Islam’s Sharia law opposes the United States’ founding principles, so the U.S. should re-evaluate who enters the country and how, Rep. David Brat said Wednesday during a Capitol Hill news conference.
“Sharia is not compatible with religious toleration,” said the first-term Virginia Republican who defeated former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary election last year in a campaign where immigration issues largely shaped the outcome.
“And so the tendency — it’s more than a tendency — for the extreme Islamic jihadists to want to coerce their position on others is not compatible with the U.S., liberal tradition of religious toleration,” Brat said.
“And so that’s why we are truly at a new moment in our immigration policy, in our migration policy. We have not thought it through and implemented what that policy should look like, and certainly have not put it through the voter,” he said.
Brat, who supports a pause on allowing Syrian refugees to enter the U.S., said America’s bedrock principles are at risk.
“I’m from the land of James Madison,” Brat said. “He’s in my district and Jefferson is about 20 minutes away, and these folks are famous for their statements and documents on religious toleration.”
Brat said “the nation started out with this classical liberal foundation, and the rule of law, and religious toleration, and that very principle is the one that is now in question.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, said resettling Christians who for many months have been “getting their heads cut off” should be a higher immigration priority. U.S. officials screening Syrian refugees should be asking them if they believe Sharia should become the law of the land.
“Because we should not be bringing people in people to America who start out with the basis that their law needs to supplant the U.S. Constitution,” Gohmert said. “That ought to be the number one question.”