“Let me be as blunt and direct as I can be. Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia, they should be deported, Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia—glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door.” Newt Gingrich on Fox News
I was under the impression that Newt Gingrich was a pretty smart guy. Maybe on Trump's shortlist for Secretary of State. It is apparent that he is not only ignorant of what Sharia means, but also the US Constitution. The First Amendment as I recall guarantees the freedom to practice religion.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked directly about the former speaker's comments."It sounds like he may need to consult his copy of the pocket Constitution as well," adding that "proposals like that, rhetoric like that, is un-American by its very definition."
The following is taken in part from The Atlantic and explains very clearly why Newt got it wrong:
There are a number of problems with the timing and content of Gingrich’s statement. At a moment when the world—and by “world,” I mean all non-Muslims and Muslims who reject the ideology of ISIS and the theology of radical Islamism—should be united in its defense of enlightened civilization, Gingrich, and others like him, do ISIS a favor by making Islam itself the culprit. The war we are experiencing is not primarily a war between civilizations, but a war within a civilization. ISIS, and its fellow travelers, will ultimately be defeated only by Muslims themselves, including Muslims who adhere to Islamic law. Muslims who meet with ISIS disapproval—which is to say, most Muslims—are the constant targets of murderous Islamists. The countries that are fighting ISIS include several Muslim-led, Muslim-majority states, and include states that are governed by Islamic law. Among other goals, ISIS seeks to convince devout Muslims that there is no place for them in the West. Suggestions like Gingrich’s reinforce this core ISIS message.
And about this sharia that Gingrich finds so outrageous: Sharia, in many ways, is analogous to Jewish law, or “halacha.” (Both words mean, more or less, “the way,” or “the pathway.”) There are several schools of sharia thought, that range from fundamentalist to liberal in approach. The conservative, Hanbali, interpretation, when stringently applied in matters of punishment for criminal and sexual transgressions, is very harsh by Western standards, but sharia, as Muslims understand the term, is not merely about punishment. Islam, like Judaism, is a law-based religion, and Islamic law concerns itself with all aspects of human existence: from marriage and divorce to economics and commercial law to personal behavior and hygiene. To attack “sharia” so broadly is to offend Muslims who are also offended by ISIS and repulsed by the sort of jihadist terrorism afflicting much of the world today.
It surprises me that people who proclaim to be
ardent supporters and defenders of the constitution, are so willing to readily
abandon it. Ironically, they would accomplish this by utilizing a tactic they claim is unconstitutional:
an executive order.