Cable news programming on Thursday quickly turned its attention to the terrorist attack in Nice, France, that killed 84 people and injured 50. Anchors, politicians and pundits were quick to explain what happened and suggest varying responses, as Newt Gingrich did on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. So what did the once potential Donald Trump VP pick have to say about the incident and what America’s response should be? Simply put, he wants all U.S. Muslims to be tested, and those who practice sharia should be deported.
“Western civilization is in a war,” said the former Speaker of the House. “We should frankly test every person from here who is of a Muslim background. 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.”
Hannity agreed with his suggestions “wholeheartedly” and called his declaration of war a “powerful statement.” Especially when Gingrich pinned the blame for Nice on “Western elites who lack the guts to do what is right, to do what is necessary.” In other words, President Barack Obama, whom Hannity’s guest called out by name.
Gingrich’s calls for testing American Muslims and banning those who believe in sharia echoed Trump’s longstanding
call for suggestion that the U.S. ban entry to immigrants from predominantly Muslim nations. It also runs into the same legal and ethical quandaries, as pointed out by the Washington Post. Among other things, Gingrich’s tests and sharia ban would “violate scores of First Amendment-based Supreme Court rulings” and civil rights laws protecting American citizens against religious discrimination.
Another thing it shares with Trump’s Muslim ban? It helps ISIS recruiters, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations statement condemning the Nice attacks and Gingrich’s comments. “When former House speaker Newt Gingrich suggests that American Muslims be subjected to Inquisition-style religious test and then expelled from their homes and nation, he plays into the hands of terror recruiters and betrays the American values he purports to uphold,” read the statement.
To watch Gingrich’s nearly 10-minute interview with Hannity, check out the video below.
(Via the Washington Post)