WASHINGTON — Another prominent Republican has joined the chorus of conservatives championing open discrimination against Muslims after the failed Christmas terror plot.
In an op-ed published Wednesday for the conservative magazine Human Events, former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich forcefully slammed the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism policies as insufficient and said his approach “must now change decisively.”
“It is time to know more about would-be terrorists, to profile for terrorists and to actively discriminate based on suspicious terrorist information,” Gingrich wrote.
“We know our opponents are radical extremists of the irreconcilable wing of Islam (Islamists, some would call them),” he added.
In an unabashed endorsement of discrimination based on background, Gingrich posited that “[w]e know how to identify these enemies but our elites have refused to do so.”
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the GOP views the foiled bombing as a “political opportunity” to score points and paint Democrats as unsatisfactory on national security — a strategy they used successfully for years after 9/11.
Gingrich, who is considered a potential GOP presidential candidate for 2012, also said the incident calls for a larger counter-terrorism strategy that involves Yemen and should “end any thought of a civilian trial in New York” for admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
A number of Republicans have attacked Obama since the plot but Gingrich took it a step further, explicitly saying that for the president, “protecting the rights of terrorists has been more important than protecting the lives of Americans.”
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) voiced his support for religious profiling Sunday on CNN, saying “one hundred percent of the Islamic terrorists are Muslim, and that is our main enemy today.”
Conservative radio host Mike Gallagher advocated full-fledged profiling of Muslims at airports, saying Sunday on Fox News that “there should be a separate line to scrutinize anybody with the name ‘Abdul’ or ‘Ahmed’ or ‘Mohammad.’”
Princeton political scientist Melissa Harris-Lacewell said Monday on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show that Republicans view the Christmas plot as a “holiday gift.”