NBC host David Gregory allowed former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) to get away with making false and misleading claims about Sharia law and President Obama’s stance on radical Islam. Speaking on Meet The Press’ web supplement Press Pass, Santorum claimed that the President has never condemned “radical Islam,” an assertion that Gregory simply lets stand without challenge:
Sharia law means women have to have head coverings, have no rights — and you don’t hear the President say a word about Sharia. You haven’t heard him condemn Sharia law or radical Islam.
The notion that Obama hasn’t condemned radical Islam is absurd: the President told a Muslim audience in Cairo that “the first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms” and that “among some Muslims, there’s a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of somebody else’s faith,” among many other instances. He also has a particularly aggressive record of taking military action against Islamic extremists.
Obama hasn’t aggressively attacked “Sharia law” because, in the most basic sense, Sharia is the code of conduct that defines how Muslims ought to live, somethign reasonably similar to the same religious ethical codes that people of all faiths hold to. It doesn’t say that women “have no rights.” Hyperbolic rhetoric about the dangers of Sharia law is commonly employed by an Islamophobic activist network that has pushed through discriminatory anti-Sharia legislation in several states.