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Carson addresses faith, Trump, terrorism and racism in valley speeches

Ben Carson in Henderson

John Locher / AP

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks at a rally Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, at the Henderson Pavilion. Carson spoke at the International Church of Las Vegas earlier in the day.

Updated Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015 | 5:19 p.m.

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Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson prays before speaking Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, at the International Church of Las Vegas. Carson spoke at the church ahead of a scheduled rally in Henderson.

Republican presidential contender Ben Carson's religious faith means he “doesn’t get down in the mud” the way other political candidates do, he said today in a speech at the International Church of Las Vegas.

Carson, who leads in several polls in Iowa, pushed back against media reports that have raised discrepancies in his claim that as a child he attempted to stab a classmate only to have the blade stopped by a belt buckle.

“The left-wing media,” Carson said, questions the story's veracity because “they don’t understand the power of God.”

Carson, whose wife Candy attended the speech, also briefly laughed off Donald Trump’s recent speech in which the real estate developer mocked Carson’s account of the stabbing.

The retired neurosurgeon spoke at the church, whose pastor, Paul Goulet, recently became an American citizen, about how his faith informed his medical work and how his mother had emphasized his education.

Carson then traveled to the Henderson Pavilion, where he gave a speech introduced by Goulet. In front of a banner that read “Heal, Inspire, Revive,” Carson said Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris underscores the need for the United States to support its allies and fight terrorism.

Carson accused the administration of “turning its back” on countries such as Israel and said that although the invasion of Iraq in 2003 may have destabilized the region, the Islamic State posed an “existential threat.”

“If we don’t fight the global jihadist movement there,” he said, “we’ll be fighting them here.”

In his remarks, Carson also decried the wave of campus activism that led to the resignation of leaders at the University of Missouri and Claremont McKenna College, saying, “Universities are supposed to be bastions of enlightenment, but they are tolerating kids who are bullies. That’s the beginning of fascism.”

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