Newt Gingrich made a sweeping demand for a “sharia test” last night in talking with Sean Hannity. I discussed it with Sidewire’s Jon Allen this morning:
NG: Let me start with where I’m coming from, and let me be as blunt and as 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. But we need to be fairly relentless about defining who our enemies are. Anybody who goes on a website favoring ISIS or al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, that should be a felony and they should go to jail. Any organization which hosts such a website should be engaged in a felony, it should be closed down immediately. Our forces should be used to systematically destroy every internet-based source. And frankly, if we can’t destroy them through the internet, we should destroy them with kinetic power, using various weapons, starting with Predators, and just frankly, just killing them. I am sick and tired of being told that the wealthiest, most powerful civilization in history, all of Western Civilization, is helpless in the face of a group of medieval barbarians, who for example, recently burned 20 young women to death, burned them to death, because they wouldn’t have sex with them, a group which beheaded recently in the Philippines two Canadian businessmen. And we’re told to be reasonable, to be passive, to not judge. Well, I just want to tell you tonight, everybody who watches this video, this is the fault of Western elites who lack the guts to do what is right, to do what is necessary, and to tell us the truth, and that starts with Barack Obama.
HH: I am joined now on the Hugh Hewitt Show by Jon Allen of Sidewire. Jon Allen, that’s the most incendiary statement made in the aftermath of the destructive 84 dead attack with two Americans included, 50 injured in France last night. Your reaction to former Speaker Newt Gingrich?
JA: I’m sort of, I wish that I wasn’t speechless on the radio. There are so many things that he said yesterday that run counter to not only American ideals, but American law, and not only American law, but the American Constitution. To start with, he’s talking about a religious test, which is against the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. He’s talking about a felony for what you say in addition to what you think, also against the 1st Amendment. You can’t deport U.S. citizens, certainly can’t deport natural-born U.S. citizens, and it’s very difficult to deport people who have been naturalized. So the idea that you’re going to give a religious test and then deport anyone who believes in Sharia, you would obviously be including a lot of people who were born here. Just to start, I mean, that’s just a start, Hugh, and it’s interesting to me, I, you know, that there’s such a call to compromise our values when the argument is that our values are better than our enemies.
HH: Yeah, it’s Article 6 that prohibits the religious test. It’s the 1st Amendment that prohibits Newt’s proposal regarding website visiting and surfing. Nevertheless, the reason he gets that way is because, I want to contrast his over the top sort of hyper-clarity with a classic obfuscation from Hillary Clinton talking to Anderson Cooper last night, cut number 13:
HRC: Well, I think it’s clear we are at war with these terrorist groups and what they represent. It’s a different kind of war. And we need to be smart about how we wage it and win it. So I think we have to look at all possible approaches to doing just that.
AC: When you say we’re at war, I mean, are we, who are we at war with? Are we at war against, I mean, radical jihadists, radical Islam? Who are we at war against?
HRC: We’re at war against radical jihadists who use Islam to recruit and radicalize others in order to pursue their evil agenda. It’s not so important what we call these people as to what we do about them.
HH: All right, now Jon Allen, that’s what Newt, it’s not so important what we call these people. To me, it is. We are at war with a group that is headquartered in Raqqa, in Sirte, Libya, and in Mosul. They have a foreign field, foreign fighters force of some 25,000. There are more than 1,000 returned in Europe. There are a thousand investigations. It is a real live organization. It’s the caliphate. And so Newt’s over the top reaction is because of the understatement of the threat. I think that’s true. What’s your thought?
JA: I kind of disagree with you, Hugh, and just a little bit on this. And let me put it maybe in a slightly different way. I think obviously Newt believes that Democrats have been weak on this, as he said. We heard, we saw Ted Cruz put out a statement last night attacking President Obama on it. So I think that that part of it is coming from, you know, what Newt really thinks. On the other hand, it seems like at this point where the vice presidential pick for Trump still may be in the air, he is contrasting himself strongly with Governor Pence, who earlier this year or late last year said that it was, essentially said it was un-American to have a Muslim ban. So what you see is a really sharp line of delineation. I think Gingrich is still trying to get on that ticket. And as far as Clinton, she says it doesn’t matter what you call it, but she agrees with you on what to call it more so than Obama does, radical jihadism.
HH: She does, but she is so weak, so weak. And Newt is over the top. And we are caught needing balance. Jon Allen of Sidewire, talk to you again soon, my friend.
End of interview.