Thought Crime

BBC:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has suggested testing all US Muslims to see if they believe in Sharia law, and deporting those who do.…

Mr Gingrich, who was in the frame as Mr Trump’s potential running mate before Indiana Governor Mike Pence was asked, also suggested monitoring US mosques and jailing anyone who visits websites favouring a terror group.

“Anybody who goes on a website favouring Isis, or al-Qaeda, or other terrorist groups, that should be a felony, and they should go to jail,” he added.

A few months ago I was reading about the CIA’s engagement in the cultural cold war and viewed Big Jim McLain, I was a Communist for the FBI, Iron Curtain, and other artifacts of the McCarthy era. Throughout my life the McCarthy period seemed like a skeleton out of the US’s nightmare past. When my father bitterly opposed Carter’s suggestion that Boy Scouts make the rounds checking neighbor’s thermostats I didn’t understand how recent his experience with authoritarianism was.

Ray Bradbury’s epitaph is a simple one: “Author of ‘Fahrenheit 451.’” I’m thinking today that to the extent there is a war for Western civilization it is one not between English law and Sharia law, but a struggle between the literate and the functionally illiterate, between history and the ahistorical void.

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