On December 21, the New York Times published an article by reporter Scott Shane titled “In Islamic Law, Gingrich Sees Mortal Threat to U.S.” The article tried to subtlety discredit Gingrich and others talking about the Islamist agenda in the U.S., twice stating that “many scholars” feel the threat is being overblown and it is “roundly rejected” by most experts.
The Times opens up with some of Gingrich’s quotes, such as when he called Sharia a “mortal threat.”
“Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence. But in fact they’re both engaged in jihad, and they’re both seeking to impose the same end state, which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of Shariah,” Gingrich says.
Gingrich’s warning is then characterized as a “much-disputed thesis in vogue with some conservative thinkers but roundly rejected by many American Muslims, scholars of Islam and counterterrorism officials.” Those warning about the Islamist threat within the U.S. are thus depicted as being part of a political fringe without credibility.
The article does quote anti-Islamist Muslim activist Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, who says he appreciates Gingrich’s stance, but this is the minimal level of balance required to stop the piece from turning into an op-ed. The rest of the quotes downplay the threat and ridicule Gingrich for making it an issue. There is no mention of the Muslim Brotherhoodor any of the reasons why the issue of Islamism has gained traction.