WASHINGTON â€” “Long before he announced his presidential run this year, Newt Gingrich had become the most prominent American politician to embrace an alarming premise: that Shariah, or Islamic law, poses a threat to the United States as grave as or graver than terrorism.
â€œI believe Shariah is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it,â€ Mr. Gingrich said in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington in July 2010 devoted to what he suggested were the hidden dangers of Islamic radicalism. â€œI think itâ€™s that straightforward and that real.â€
â€œStealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence,â€ Mr. Gingrich said in the speech. â€œBut in fact theyâ€™re both engaged in jihad, and theyâ€™re both seeking to impose the same end state, which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of Shariah.â€
Echoing some Republicans in Congress, Mr. Gingrich blasted the Obama administrationâ€™s policy of declining to label terrorism carried out in the name of militant Islam as â€œIslamicâ€ or â€œjihadist.â€