Presidential races

Carson supports monitoring ‘un-American’ groups: report


Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Saturday said he supports surveilling groups for “un-American” sentiment.

“[It could be] a mosque, or any church or any organization or any school or any press corps where there was a lot of radicalization and things that were anti-American,” he said in Columbia, S.C., according to The Associated Press.

{mosads}Carson did not detail how the government should judge public discourse for “anti-American” qualities, the AP said.

The retired neurosurgeon also did not comment on how such a measure would affect First Amendment rights and freedom of speech.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump sparked intense debate this week by seemingly suggesting a national database for registering Muslim Americans.

He also refused ruling out religious identification for the nation’s Islamic faithful or using warrantless searches against them for countering terrorism.

Trump later distanced himself from those measures, arguing Friday that a reporter suggested them and he merely declined to refute the journalist.

He slammed the media Saturday for its “dishonest” coverage of his position during a raucous campaign rally in Birmingham, Ala.

At issue is combating the threat of radical Islamic terrorism following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded more than 300 others.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the carnage, promising additional attacks worldwide.

Trump’s initial proposal has drawn bipartisan condemnation from the wide range of presidential candidates next year.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton called it “shocking,” while her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), said it is “bigoted.”

Multiple Republican White House hopefuls — including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — have also derided the proposal.

Carson had said Trump’s idea would “set a pretty dangerous precedent” if implemented in the future.

Tags Ben Carson database first amendment Surveillance

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