The largest Muslim civil liberties group in the United States on Wednesday condemned Newt Gingrich for saying he would only hire Muslims to his administration if they renounced the use of Islam’s Shariah law as a tool for U.S. government.
Calling Gingrich “one of the nation’s worst promoters of anti-Muslim bigotry,” the Council of American Islamic Relations suggested the Republican presidential candidate is a segregationist.
“Newt Gingrich’s vision of America segregates our citizens by faith. His outdated political ideas look backward to a time when Catholics and Jews were vilified and their faiths called a threat,” said CAIR Legislative Director Corey Sayolor in a statement.
“The time for bias in American politics has passed and Newt Gingrich looks like a relic of an ugly era,” Sayolor said.
CAIR said the release was prompted by the candidate’s remarks Tuesday in Columbia when, asked if he would ever endorse a Muslim running for president.
“It would depend entirely on whether they would commit in public to give up Shariah,” Gingrich said.
“A truly modern person who happened to worship Allah would not be a threat, a person who belonged to any kind of belief in Shariah, any effort to impose it on the rest of us, would be a mortal threat,” Gingrich told the crowd, adding that he’s “totally opposed” to Shariah law being applied in American courts and favors a federal law that “preempts” its use.