I have to agree that his comments about Muslims who he might appoint to his administration and the necessity for loyalty oaths, didn't sit well with me either.
Aside from any considerations of bigotry or intolerance, it was such a stupid thing to say on so many levels:
1) A candidate for appointment makes in through your vetting process but your staff couldn't figure out if he or she was a terrorist sleeper so you better insist on a loyalty oath?
2) Somehow a sleeper makes it through the process but you think that the loyalty oath precaution will work because as we all know it, Islamists never break an oath?
3) You couldn't tell you were going down a stupidity path after hearing the first 5 seconds of your own words?
4) You actually think such talk will appeal to GOP primary voters?
I don't get the impression that Caine is a bigot, and so I'm thinking it simply was a stupidity attack. An attempt to score points with the anti-PC crowd. My concern is that it was so incredibly stupid it calls into question the man's general intelligence.
He's not committed any additional faux pas since then, but I have a sense, whenever I watch him, that he might be right on the verge of doing so. If he comes out with something equally stupid, I will have to strongly consider crossing him off my list of potentials.
As for his comments about Sharia law, I've not given the issue in depth consideration but generally believe that it is not as significant as its critics suggest nor as innocuous as its supporters would have us believe.
There is very clearly an intent to introduce Sharia law into the everyday lives and legal matters of Muslim Americans. Whether it is 'creeping" or sinister is another matter altogether.
Many Muslim-Americans would like to be able to deal with legal issues in accordance with Sharia, but from what I can tell this tends to focus primarily on legal issues between Muslim-Americans and as respects family or social matters e.g. divorce.
To the extent that certain principles of Sharia law may be reflected in local laws, I don't have a problem if it results from the legislative process and meets constitutional standards.
I also don't really care whether Muslims-Americans wish to agree among themselves that their disputes will be resolved in accordance with Sharia by special Sharia courts within their community.
What I would have a problem with is giving these Sharia courts any actual jurisdictional standing, so that they must be used by any member of the community (Muslim or Infidel) or their findings can be used as precedent in any other proceeding.
Just as two parties can agree in advance to resolve contractual disputes (which only involve their interests) in a specified manner, I don't have a problem with contracts between parties containing a provision that requires a Sharia court be used to resolve disputes... with the proviso that no normally superceding protections would be waived and with the understanding that the clause or the enitre contract could be ruled invalid if it could be shown that it was not freely bargained.
Even people who like Chris Christie will agree that he can, at times, be full of himself, shoot from the hip, and be dismissive of opinions that don't concur with his own. Like any other, this issue can involve people who wish to assume and examine only the most extreme possibilities, and often they come across as crazy. No matter what Christie thinks though, all of the concerns expressed about Sharia law in America are not crazy. These kind of blanket statements by Christie are well appreciated by folks like Christiane Amanpour when she wants to score a point or two on another conservative, but it's hardly as if she carries a little book of his saying wherever she goes, and I doubt she would have been as content with his characterization of the opposition as crazy
, if she sympathized with the opposition.
I know you certainly didn't intend it, but the exchange you've quoted give a nice thumbnail sketch of both Cain and Amanpour.
She's basically insinuated that Cain is crazy with her quote from a politician who doesn't reside in the first ten spots on Christiane's List of The Worlds Greatest leaders.
Caine responded with equanimity; without defensiveness, and with a honest restatement of what he believes and what he intends to do. Contrast this to the sort of retort you could expect from many other candidates.
As for Amanpour, just so that there isn't any doubt where she stands on this crazy nonsense, of the crazy Mr. Cain, she throws in her final comment about American laws being in American courts
Someone with the skill and personae of Ms Amanpour can often get away with making something so witless sound if not profound then authoritative.
Particularly with the fans in her audience, who swoon over her accent, and cosmopolitan image.
Obviously American Laws are in American Courts. No one that I know of has argued that we woke up yesterday to find American courts operating in accordance with Sharia. The very nature of Cain's concern is that the effort to introduce Sharia may be insidious. Now, he may very well be nuts with his concern, but the fact that American Laws are in American Courts does nothing to substantiate this.
She could have also said: The worlds ocean levels haven't risen to top a single coastal city. So the people of the world should be safe for the moment.
The reintroduction of Sharia within secular Muslim governments has long been the stated goal for the Islamic parties of most of these nations. There is plenty of instances in the West where Muslim populations have attempted to introduce Sharia into their everyday lives, and you can't look at photos from any Muslim demonstrations (East or West) where there isn't a sign simply reading "Sharia."
It's ironic that Muslim monoculturalists in the West have benefited so much from European multiculturalsim, but you can't blame the average Muslim immigrant. He or she has always been honest and open about spreading not only the religion of Islam but's it culture across whatever lands in which they find themselves.
Again, this doesn't prove that there is a war of conquest and conversion taking place between Muslims and the West, nor does it even suggest that there aren't some aspects of the Muslim culture that the West would do well to adopt, but it certainly belies any nonsense that modern Islam promotes muticulturalism and tolerance or that Muslim immigrants are focused on assimilation rather than an exclusive cultural identity.
While this does seem to be less the case with Muslim Americans, everything is relative, and the matter can be examined without foolish and heated comments about conquering, crazies, bigots and others.