Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the House in the United States, and one of the men who was on Donald Trump’s shortlist to become Vice-President, gave his views on how to deal with terrorism after the recent attacks in Nice. Responding to those horrific attacks that left countless individuals dead or injured, Gingrich talked about the possibility of testing Muslims to see if they believe in Sharia Law. Gingrich believes every Muslim in the United States, whether they are a citizen or on a Visa, should pass the test before being allowed to stay in the country.
It is unclear how Gingrich plans to enact such a test, beyond asking Muslims whether they believe in Sharia Law or not, but his statements appeared genuine. He stated that if Muslims believed in the United States Constitution and the principles of this country, they would not believe Sharia Law is the first and foremost law of the land.
Despite his potentially inflammatory tone, Gingrich also said that he was fully supportive of the rights of Muslims, who were American patriots. He believes that if an American-Muslim is true to their faith, but also believes in the law of the Constitution and the United States, they should be free to practice their religion how they see fit.
Gingrich’s comments already drew criticism from Democrats and some Republicans. While his statements may seem absurd on the surface, there is growing support in the United States for finding new ways of dealing with the issue of Islamic terrorism. The recent attacks in Europe, coupled with the attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando, have left Americans fearing the worst when it comes to ISIS and their ability to cause chaos in Western countries.
Gingrich also talked about how the United States should do more to monitor Muslim communities and mosques around the country. He believes that mosques are the breeding ground for extremism, which is why surveillance on those locations is very important. He also stated that the internet search history of Muslims should be monitored to see whether they are visiting any sites that are tied to extremists in or outside the United States.
Aside from his comments on Muslims, Gingrich also targeted President Obama for special criticism. He said the “left wing” roots of the President were part of the reason why the United States had not done more to fight ISIS over the past seven years. He believes the President is more inclined to blame other avenues, instead of looking at the root problem that is Islamic terrorism.
The recent attacks do highlight a dramatic difference in the way liberals and conservatives respond to terror. When the Orlando shooting took place, most liberals were focused on gun control, while conservatives put their focus on Islamic terror and the potential for Muslims to cause issues in the United States.
It remains to be seen how the country will deal with this threat going forward, and the 2016 Presidential Election should give us some clues as to how most Americans feel about dealing with these terror issues.