Yusuf Dayur, the 12-year-old who posted a Facebook video to rebut Ben Carson's assertion that Muslims should not be president, visited the MPR News studios Wednesday. Dayur told Tom Crann that he's wanted to be president since he was 2 or 3 years old.
The Eden Prairie middle-schooler invoked the memory of President John Kennedy's groundbreaking candidacy: "It's not fair if you say that a Muslim cannot be president. John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president, and people disagreed with him being Catholic and didn't want a believing person in the Oval Office."
A few highlights from the interview:
What he'd say to persuade people a Muslim should be president
A Muslim should be president for the following reasons: Muslims are not like the media portrays, like ISIS and al-Qaida. We are believing people who believe that we should respect people of all faiths, all colors. I think people need to know that Islam is a really peaceful religion. People think that we are terrorists, we like to cut off people's hands, cut off people's fingers, but that's not true. We're just really peaceful people.
What he'll do until he's old enough to run
My plan is I will go to the U of M — or Harvard, I don't know. ... I will study law and maybe science. If I study law, I will go back to college, you know ... and when I turn 35, I will run for president.
A problem he'd like to tackle in office
I would try to solve the Assad regime problem, because they're killing lots of civilians who haven't done anything.
Where his motivation comes from
I really want a leadership position in this great nation. Or I would also love, love, love to be mayor of a city in Minnesota. I would love to be a governor, a mayor. That's what really pushes me to learn this stuff. I would like to have a leadership position and help this nation.