Following the terrorist attack in Nice, France, on July 14, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said he thinks Muslims who follow Sharia law should be deported from the United States (video below).
"Western Civilization is in a war," Gingrich, who is reportedly being considered for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's vice president, said July 14 on Fox News' "Hannity" program.
"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.”
Sharia, or Islamic law, impacts the legal code in most Muslim countries since it guides all aspects of Muslim life, CFR Backgrounders notes. Its interpretation can differ from one individual or country to the next
“Sharia's influence on both personal status law and criminal law is highly controversial," CFR Backgrounders explains. "Some interpretations are used to justify cruel punishments such as amputation and stoning, as well as unequal treatment of women in inheritance, dress, and independence. The debate is growing as to whether sharia can coexist with secularism, democracy, or even modernity, an idea that is being tested by several countries in the Middle East in the wake of popular uprisings and civil wars."
During his Fox News appearance, Gingrich added that he wants strict penalties enforced on all citizens.
“We need to be fairly relentless about defining who are enemies are," he said. "Anybody who goes on a website favoring ISIS or Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups that should be a felony and they should go to jail. Any organization which hosts such a website should be engaged in a felony. It should be closed down immediately."
Gingrich added that if Internet-based sources cannot be destroyed online, they should be destroyed using predator drones.
Gingrich also said he is tired of being told that the most powerful and wealthiest nations are helpless against “medieval barbarians.”
“This is the fault of Western elites who lack the guts to do what is right, to do what is necessary, and to tell us the truth, and that starts with Barack Obama,” he said of the terrorist violence occurring against the West.
“We better rethink the rules, or we’re going to lose the war,” he added.
At least 84 people were killed in the evening attack on Nice, France, when Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old French citizen of Tunisian descent, drove a truck through crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day, The Guardian reports.
He was not on any terrorist watchlist or known to have radical Islamist views.
No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.