Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson’s recent statement that “No Muslim should be president” (of the U.S.) has nothing to do with Islamophobia or prejudice against Muslims.

If you believe that there should be no wall of separation between church and state, then you are also inclined to believe that a Muslim could be president, for the central tenet of the Islamic faith is that religious truth and political power are indissolubly linked. Ayatollah Khomeini once put it this way: “Islam is politics or it is nothing.”

When Jesus was questioned by those who sought to trap him about whether it was right for Jews to pay the taxes demanded by Caesar, Jesus responded by asking one of them to produce a Roman coin that might be used for paying taxes, then also asked whose head and inscription were on the coin.

They replied: “Caesar’s,” and Jesus responded: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s and unto God the things which be God’s.” A modern-day follower of Islam would recognize no such painful choice between temporal authority and his deity (Allah). To him or her, God is Caesar, one and the same.

When John Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, was campaigning for the presidency, he found it necessary to assure doubting voters that if elected he would not be taking orders from the Vatican.

If a follower of Islam were elected to be president of the United States, however, he or she would be obligated to adhere to the eternal, divine and immutable teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as contained in the Quran.

There is a profound incompatibility between the religion of Islam and democracy, which precludes consideration of a believing Muslim for election to the essentially secular office of the presidency.

Walter J. Eno

Scarborough