Today at a town hall event in South Carolina, a voter asked Newt Gingrich if he would ever consider supporting a Muslim-American for president. The former House speaker said he would, but under one condition:
Q: Would you as Newt Gingrich support a Muslim-American running for president. Would you endorse at one point in the future in American history that a Muslim-American could possibly be running for president given that we had a woman running for president in Hillary Clinton and we had a Jewish-American in Joe Lieberman for vice president.
GINGRICH: I think it would depend entirely on whether they would commit in public to give up Sharia. I am totally opposed to Sharia law being accepted by any court in the United States. In fact I favor a federal law that preempts it and says Sharia law will not be used in any court in the United States.
Watch the clip:
So it would appear that for Gingrich, every Muslim-American is potentially a proponent of Sharia law. Would Gingrich apply this condition to others? Would a candidate from another religion have to publicly denounce extremists that claim to adhere to that particular faith?
The so-called Sharia threat or “creeping Sharia” is a canard trumped up by Islamophobes who are trying to cast suspicion on the presence of all Muslims in America. As the ACLU noted, “there is no evidence that Islamic law is encroaching on our courts.” And Newt might have some problems with that federal law banning Sharia law. Just last week, a federal court struck down Oklahoma’s ban on Sharia law, declaring that the state’s move violated the United States Constitution.