After GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney apparently made contradictory statements about whether he’d appoint a Muslim to a Cabinet position, a local Muslim leader says “time will tell.”
Romney has reportedly said both that he wouldn’t consider a Muslim and that he wouldn’t use religion as a deciding factor in making top-level appointments if he’s elected.
Shuaib ud-Din of the Utah Islamic Center in Sandy said politicians often change their stands, so Romney’s “clarification should be taken at face value.”
That clarification came Tuesday, when Romney told reporters in Florida that he would choose Cabinet members “based on their merits. … I’m open to having people of any faith, ethnic group.”
However, at a private fund-raiser in Las Vegas earlier this month, Romney reportedly said: “Based on the numbers of American Muslims — as a percentage — in our population, I cannot see that a Cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration,” according to a Christian Science Monitor opinion piece written by Mansoor Ijaz, an American-born businessman of Pakistani heritage.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on Romney to meet with Muslim leaders, pointing to press reports the Council sees as troubling.
Romney apparently made similar remarks before, saying at an earlier fund-raiser that he probably wouldn’t appoint a Muslim to his cabinet, according to a report in the Talking Point Memo, based on the account of Irma Aguirre, a former finance director for the Nevada Republican Party and another witness. (MORE)