Donald Trump’s Sharia Compliance

Photo courtesy AP Images Photo courtesy AP Images

Donald Trump’s boast that if he had been president, the September 11 jihad terror attacks would not have happened because “if I were running things, I doubt those people would have been in the country,” has been gaining him even more notoriety and cheers from foes of Obama’s immigration policies. What Trump would do to prevent jihad terror attacks by domestic jihadis, or Sharia encroachment on American freedoms, however, is far less clear than his stance on immigration, and some of the things he has said about these matters should give even the most full-throated of his enthusiasts considerably less to cheer about.

Several weeks ago, in the midst of Ben Carson’s remarks on sharia, Eric Bolling of Fox News asked Trump: “Would you want the president or a candidate to say, ‘I will promise to uphold the Constitution over the Sharia law'?” Trump replied: “Well, I think it’s an argument I don’t want to get into, it’s not my argument, so it’s an argument that I won’t get into.”

Promising to uphold the Constitution over sharia is not an argument that Trump wants to get into? He may not be aware that if he becomes president, he will solemnly swear to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and this solemn responsibility extends far beyond his competition with Ben Carson.

What’s more, after he denounced our free-speech event in Garland, Texas, last May, which was attacked by Islamic jihadists, it is not at all clear that Donald Trump understands the jihad imperative or the war against free speech, or is at all equipped to counter them.

Many people, particularly his supporters, misunderstand this point, saying that Trump is all for free speech but that he just objects to how Pamela Geller and I were exercising it by drawing Muhammad. The fact that I was co-organizer of and a speaker at the Garland event only obscures the issue because it makes people think that my criticism of Trump on this score is personal. In reality, I would take issue with him just as strongly if he had said that people should not draw Muhammad in any context, referring to any event – not because there is some intrinsic necessity to draw Muhammad, but because when violent jihadis commit murder to prevent people from drawing Muhammad, to desist voluntarily from drawing Muhammad is to reward violent intimidation, and encourage more.

When Trump said, “They can’t do something else? They have to be in the middle of Texas doing something on Muhammad and insulting everybody?”, he was revealing that he did not grasp that essential point, and was willing to acquiesce to sharia restrictions on the freedom of speech.