Respected scholar Robert Spencer wrote this in October last year in Jihad Watch:
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.
Less than two months later in the wake of savage and bloody attacks by Muslim immigrants in Paris and California, Trump called for a ban on all Muslim travel to the U.S.
The irony in the timing of Spencer’s piece is that it was written in response to Trump’s denunciation of Spencer and anti-Islamist activist Pam Geller’s free speech event. Spencer explains:
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.
Bold print mine.
Isn’t that rich? Trump pointing out the someone is insulting everybody? For Trump I suppose, it’s free speech for me, but not for thee.
It’s hard to imagine any other GOP candidate for president being so wishy-washy on sharia. Perhaps as Spencer pointed out, it’s just that Trump is somehow unclear on the “Jihadi imperative’ with respect to banning free speech – something that even the three Democrat candidates are aware. Or did Bolling ask a question of Trump he knew nothing about.
Throughout the coverage of the pre-primary season, Ben Carson took significant heat for seeming ill-prepared in the foreign policy-national security paradigm. Not so, Trump. Small wonder he used a lame excuse that FOX News was being unfair to him to dodge this week’s debate.