It would seem Newt Gingrich is taking the Islamic threat to Western values much more seriously than he used to.
by Robert M. Petrusak
[Editor’s note: New Gingrich has called for a Federal ban on Sharia law in America.]
Theocracy is inherently oppressive and contrary to America’s core values. It regards God as the sovereign and source of law. It therefore places the coercive power of the state–including interpretation and enforcement of law–in the hands of believers. It excludes non-believers from the body politic and brings them suffering. In total contrast, the Declaration of Independence regards God not as a source of coercive power, but as a guarantor of inalienable rights including liberty and equality. The Declaration states that government derives its sovereign authority or “just powers” not from God, but “from the consent of the governed.” This concept of popular sovereignty is reflected not only in the preamble of the Constitution, but also in the “Guarantee Clause” of Article IV, Section 4 which obligates the federal government to preserve a republican form of government in every state. The Constitution also precludes theocracy through the First Amendment’s ban on laws respecting establishments of religion or prohibiting “free exercise” of religious beliefs.
Political Islam or “Islamism” is theocratic. It may be defined as a belief that Islam should control society and politics, not simply personal religious life. Accordingly to the eminent scholar Bernard Lewis, the ideal Islamic polity recognizes God as sole sovereign and law-giver and assigns believers the task of spreading His revelation until the entire world accepts it. This is to be achieved by extending the authority and membership of the community that follows God’s law, the Shariah, which deals with the acquisition and exercise of power and the duties of ruler and subject.  Accordingly, Shariah is not simply a prescription for exercising personal belief through activity such as prayer and diet. It is a system of laws that affects the conduct of both believers and non- believers in Islamic theocracies. More ominously, expansion of the community that regards God as sovereign suggests contraction and disempowerment of the community which does not.