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Can the President be Muslim?

What the Constitution Says About Religion and the White House

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Can the President be Muslim?

Obama hosts Ramadan dinner.

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Updated October 05, 2010

With all the rumors claiming President Barack Obama is a Muslim, it's fair to ask: So what if he was?

What's wrong with having a Muslim president?

See more: 5 Wacky Myths About Obama

The answer is: not a thing.

The No Religious Test clause of the U.S. Constitution makes it perfectly clear that voters can elect a Muslim president of the United States or one belonging to any faith they choose, even none at all.

Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution states: "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

By and large, however, American presidents have been Christians. To date not a single Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or other non-Christian has occupied the White House.

Obama has said repeatedly that he is a Christian.

That hasn't stopped his most strident critics from raising questions about his faith and fomenting vicious innuendo by claiming falsely that Obama canceled the National Day of Prayer or that he supports the mosque near ground zero.

The only qualifications required of presidents by the Constitution are that they be natural-born citizens who are at least 35 years old and have resided in the country for at least 14 years.

There's nothing in Constitution disqualifying a Muslim president.

Whether America is ready for a Muslim president is another story.

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