Paul Nehlen, the primary challenger to House speaker Paul Ryan, said this week that he wants to begin a debate about deporting every Muslim from the United States.
The Wisconsin businessman made the statement on “Chicago's Morning Drive" during a discussion about sharia law and his support of Newt Gingrich's proposal to test and deport Muslims who say they comply with Islamic law.
Nehlen: If the break point is sharia, and Islam is the only major religion that encourages lying—the taqiyya says you have to lie to the infidel, you lie to them if you have to—so if you look at a Muslim and say, hey, are you [inaudible], and they go, no, okay, you're in, absolutely. Okay, you're out. I mean, if they lie, how do you vet something like that? Q: Then how do you implement the test that you want to implement? Nehlen: Well, then, the question is why do you have Muslims in the country, that—how can you possibly vet somebody who lies? Q: So are you suggesting that we deport all of the Muslims in this country? Nehlen: I'm suggesting we have a discussion about it, that's for sure. I am absolutely suggesting we figure out how do we—here's what we should be doing. We should be monitoring every mosque. We should be monitoring all social media. What do we got, 3 million Muslims in the United States. We've got a thousand active FBI investigations going on right now. I mean, there is a problem.
When host Dan Proft circled back to Nehlen's answer later in the interview, the Wisconsin businessman objected to the host's characterization, saying, "No no no. Sharia-compliant. I said if you're Sharia-compliant." But Nehlen had already implied moments earlier that terrorists would lie to remain in the country, which prompted the exchange about deporting all Muslims.
Proft also asked Nehlen if he was comfortable going down the road of what amounts to prosecuting thought-crimes. Nehlen was unmoved.
"Let's look back 1,400 years and see how those thought-crimes played out," he said.
Nehlen's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the interview, which was flagged on Twitter by Watchdog Wisconsin education reporter James Wigderson.
The candidate has attracted support this week—though not an endorsement—from GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who publicly thanked Nehlen for defending him in the wake of the Khan family controversy. Trump used Paul Ryan's own words when asked by the Washington Post if he is supporting the House speaker's reelection bid against Nehlen: "I'm not quite there yet."
Wisconsin's congressional primary elections will take place next Tuesday.