Romney and Gingrich on Jihad (and Sharia)


Islamic Willful Blindness

Islamic Understanding

During an interview with US News reporter Dan Gligoff published June 3, 2009, Mitt Romney offered the following bizarre observation about the living Islamic institution of jihad, ostensibly to “clarify” remarks made during an earlier speech at the Heritage Foundation:

I spoke about three major threats America faces on a long term basis. Jihadism is one of them, and that is not Islam.

Romney—despite this distressingly ridiculous pronouncement—is still considered a major, even the front running contender for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Yesterday (3/3/11) former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich launched a website to promote his own potential candidacy for President.

Gingrich, in stark contrast to the muddled and craven nonsense uttered by Romney on jihad during his US News interview, delivered an astute and courageous address this past July 29, 2010, which provided an irrefragably accurate, if blunt characterization of the existential threat posed by Islam’s living, self-professed mission: to impose Sharia, its totalitarian religio-political “law,” globally.

With vanishingly rare intellectual honesty and resolve, Gingrich described how normative Sharia — antithetical to bedrock Western legal principles — by “divine,” immutable diktat, rejects freedom of conscience, while sanctioning violent jihadism, absurd, misogynistc “rules of evidence” (four male witnesses for rape), barbarous punishments (stoning for adultery), and polygamy:

Sharia in its natural form has principles and punishments totally abhorrent to the Western world, and the underlying basic belief which is that law comes directly from God and is therefore imposed upon humans and no human can change the law without it being an act of apostasy is a fundamental violation of a tradition in the Western system which goes back to Rome, Athens, and Jerusalem and which has evolved in giving us freedom across the planet on a scale we can hardly imagine and which is now directly threatened by those who would impose it.

Moreover, Gingrich warned about efforts — deliberate, or unwitting — to represent Sharia as a benign system:

So let me also be quite clear that the rules are radical and horrific. I think again it’s fascinating that even when people go out and do polling and they say to, for example, Muslims in general, do you believe in Sharia, they don’t then explain what Sharia is. Sharia becomes like would you like to be a Rotarian and it sounds okay.

Gingrich’s unflinching portrayal of the existential threat Sharia represents — whether or not this totalitarian system is imposed by violent, or non-violent means — was accompanied by a clarion call for concrete measures to oppose any Sharia encroachment on the U.S. legal code:

Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence. But in fact they’re both engaged in jihad and they’re both seeking to impose the same end state which is to replace Western civilization with a [radical] imposition of Sharia.

The fight against Sharia and the madrassas in mosques which teach hatred and fanaticism is the heart of the enemy movement from which the terrorists spring forth. It’s time we had a national debate on this. One of the things I’m going to suggest today is a federal law which says no court anywhere in the United States under any circumstance is allowed to consider Sharia as a replacement for American law.

Even if Newt Gingrich decides not to seek the Republican Presidential nomination, he has set the standard for honest and informed discussion of Islamic totalitarianism which should be expected of all contenders—a standard Mitt Romney fails, miserably.


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