Gingrich Overshot the Mark, But His Instincts on Islam are Sound
Enough with the "virtue-signaling" by conservatives. There's too much at stake.
Former House Speaker — and until a few days ago, front runner for Trump’s VP pick — Newt Gingrich has reaped a whirlwind for speaking frankly about the danger posed by Muslim organizations, mosques, and jihadists in America, in the wake of the recent terror attack in Nice, France. In an interview with Sean Hannity, he said:
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.
President Obama denounced Gingrich in scathing terms, as CNN reports:
“In the wake of last night’s attacks, we’ve heard more suggestions that all Muslims in America be targeted, tested for their beliefs, some deported or jailed,” Obama said in remarks from the White House. “And the very suggestion is repugnant and an affront to everything that we stand for as Americans.”
The attacks didn’t come exclusively from the multiculturalist left. My old friend Maggie Gallagher of National Review called Gingrich’s suggestion
truly horrifying. … The feds’ questioning people ‘of a Muslim background’(whatever that means) and deporting them if they have views the government disagrees with? That’s pretty much the definition of a police state, not the United States of America.
Princeton philosopher, and like Gingrich a prominent public Catholic, Robert George weighed in as well:
To single out Muslims for special civic disabilities or deny them civil rights and liberties is to sin grievously against the Constitution.
— Robert P. George (@McCormickProf) July 16, 2016
Yes, what Gingrich said went too far: It would be catastrophic for the government to restrict the “free exercise of religion” for legal residents and citizens, which is protected by the First Amendment to our Constitution. We should oppose any such effort against any group of citizens — for instance, the State of California’s targeting of religious colleges that won’t play ball with sexual libertinism on campus and same-sex married professors, by stripping them of crucial, routine federal funding. We certainly wouldn’t want to see all pro-life churches and organizations questioned, the next time some unbalanced person counters the legal violence committed daily in an abortion clinic with an act of illegal violence. (See this piece for the reasons why virtually all pro-lifers reject such uncivil disobedience — as a violation of Just War theory.)
In cold Constitutional fact, Muslims who are here legally have the right to hold, preach, and advance through peaceful means their religion’s doctrine of sharia — which every orthodox, widespread version of Islam holds is a universal, divinely revealed, unchangeable and infallible code of law binding on every human being on earth. Its provisions include the death penalty for adulterers and homosexuals, execution for any Muslim who leaves that faith, and the total suppression of every other religion — with Hindus marked for death, and Jews and Christians subjected to systematic humiliation and crippling special taxes.
Yes, Muslims who are legally here have the right to advance this repugnant, evil system — and if, by some bizarre lack of prudence on the part of our government, we allowed enough Muslims in, they could impose such a system by amending the Constitution. That would be perfectly Constitutional, and if we let enough Muslims in to accomplish that, we would deserve it. Much more likely, of course, would be five members of the U.S. Supreme Court deciding that the “living Constitution” must evolve to embrace sharia. Under our current legal system of a five-lawyer, effective absolute monarchy, that would pass Constitutional muster, too — like the Court’s 2015 destruction of marriage laws by judicial fiat.
In practice, we don’t really worry that any such thing will happen — because, and only because, the sheer numbers of Muslims among us remain comparatively small. Residents of Belgium, and Britain, and the Netherlands have no such room for smug self-confidence, with Muslim populations large, young, and growing — and brash, Saudi-funded imams boldly predicting that those nations will be Islamic sharia states in just a few generations. I live in Texas, which went from being a sparsely-settled province of Mexico to a booming American state in a single generation by the very same means — the mass influx of young, fertile settlers. So yes, it has happened here.
Short of a full-scale takeover, Muslims across most European countries have shown a mass refusal to assimilate, forming self-enclosed enclaves where the national law is often in effect replaced by sharia — where police are afraid to protect the rights granted citizens by the actual constitution. The threat of phony charges of “racism” led English police to turn a blind eye for a decade to a Muslim child sex trafficking ring in Rotherham and 11 other towns, which targeted dozens of non-Muslim girls as young as nine (the age of consent, according to sharia) with impunity. In Germany, the sheer scale of the New Year’s Eve rape attacks by Muslim refugees across the country (which will mostly go unpunished) was hidden by government and media — just as we learned today that government and media colluded in France to hide the evidence of prolonged, hideous torture committed against the victims of the Paris attacks.
Most recently and appallingly, we have seen academic elites in Europe twist themselves into pretzels to justify the appalling misogyny and criminal violence of recent Muslim immigrants. Anything, apparently, is better than admitting that it was a catastrophic mistake to admit these people into their countries — a mistake that must be reversed via deportations. Read this account of an interview with Norwegian anthropologist Unni Wikan:
Professor Unni Wikan isn’t surprised by numbers showing that 65% of rapists in Oslo last year are non-Western men. Now she’s asking Norwegian women to dress themselves less boldly. … “It is sensational how blind and naive Norwegians can be towards non-Western men. Norwegian women must use common sense,” says Wikan. …
Shocking numbers were published yesterday which show that the total number of rapes in Oslo went up by 40% from 1999 to 2000.
Wikan, who is a professor of social anthropology, thinks Norwegian women must take their share in the responsibility for having rapes occur. She explains the appalling number by among other things, the culture conflicts that often arise between Norwegian women and foreign men.
“The numbers don’t surprise me at all. Many immigrants think Norwegian women send them signals that ask for sexual contact. And then it can quickly go wrong. Many Norwegian women have by far poor knowledge of non-Western men’s attitude towards women,” says Wikan.
“It is never acceptable with rape. But it is understandable that some men from non-Western countries think that they get sexual invitations from Norwegian women who on their side are just acting normal for a Norwegian woman. It is sensational how blind and naive Norwegian women can be towards non-Western men,” says Wikan.
She knows that she will be criticized for these statements, but thinks the debate is important.
“I will not blame Norwegian women for the rapes. But Norwegian women must understand that we live in a multi-cultural society and adapt themselves to it.”
Are American women ready to “adapt themselves”? Because that’s what more Muslim immigration will demand.
Clearly, you don’t need a Muslim majority to feel the chilling effects of sharia. You just need enough vocal, litigious Muslim activists and compliant anti-Western multiculturalists in positions of power and influence — and we are indeed very close to having that here in America, as we learned from the Obama administration’s political purge of personnel and materials crucial to countering terrorist groups, and from the media lynching of Mr. Gingrich.
So I won’t take the easy course of joining those condemning Speaker Gingrich. What he said crossed a serious line, and he has already begun to clarify his comments. No Muslim born here should be restricted from promoting sharia by legal, peaceful means. But how many more such people should we willingly import from strife-torn foreign countries, whose streets are bloodied by jihad and whose Christians live in fear? That decision is entirely up to us. No foreign resident has any right to enter America, and the Constitution does not apply to foreigners; if it did, they could vote in our elections.
It is not un-American, as Speaker Paul Ryan has said, to take into account the religious views of immigrants — not when that religion comes with a baked-in political ideology. The U.S. refused to admit Utah as a state until the Mormon church gave up polygamy. Our citizenship oath was rewritten in the 19th century, such that Catholics like my ancestors had to forswear political allegiance to popes, who at the time repressed Protestantism in the Papal States and called for Catholic supremacy. These measures were perfectly Constitutional, and reasonable under the circumstances. So is as much of a ban as we can manage to pass politically on the mass influx of Muslims. As Supreme Court Justice (and Nuremburg prosecutor) Robert Jackson correctly said, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.