The PJ Tatler

Gerson, Bostom and Gingrich on Sharia Law

Andrew Bostom – who has written books on the subject – makes mincemeat of Michael Gerson’s attack on Newt Gingrich’s critique of Shariah law.

Former President George W. Bush’s aide Michael Gerson posted a distressingly ignorant column on 12/13/11 which attacked both former speaker and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, and my colleague Andrew C. McCarthy, for their sober, if frank conceptions of the Sharia. The counterfactual basis for Mr. Gerson’s diatribe is his own thoroughly deficient understanding of Islam’s religio-political code for personal, societal, and Muslim state behavior. He glibly—and wrongly—imputes unique Western notions of individual rights, equality before the law, or even rational legal procedures of evidence to the Sharia’s so-called “set of transcendent principles of justice.”

Gerson condemns Gingrich’s apt summary conclusion (made during a July 2010 speech at the American Enterprise Institute) that “Shariah in its natural form has principles and punishments totally abhorrent to the Western world,” while deriding the former speaker’s “qualifications” to make such an assessment. The crux of Gerson’s vitriolic, uninformed “argument”—that Gingrich has deliberately misrepresented as normative Sharia  “the most radical form of Islamic law”, and dared to identify this sacralized code as “totalitarian”—is factually-challenged—and  dangerous—drivel.

With vanishingly rare intellectual honesty and resolve, Gingrich has described how normative Sharia—antithetical to bedrock Western legal principles—by “divine,” immutable diktat, rejects freedom of conscience, while sanctioning violent jihadism, absurd, misogynistc “rules of evidence” (four male witnesses for rape), barbarous punishments (stoning for adultery), and polygamy.