First, in an interview with Glenn Beck, former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain, a Republican candidate for president, said he would want Muslim Americans to take a loyalty test if they were to be part of his cabinet. He reiterated his stance Monday night in the New Hampshire presidential debate, the first for the 2012 election, saying that he would ask Muslims seeking jobs in his administration "certain questions . . . to make sure that we have people committed to the Constitution."
Former House Speaker and now presidential candidate Newt Gingrich agreed with him, saying, "Now, I just want to go out on a limb here. I'm in favor of saying to people, 'If you're not prepared to be loyal to the United States, you will not serve in my administration, period.'"
I want to pause a minute—as the blather and rhetoric and finger-pointing continue to ramp up in these months prior to the 2012 presidential election—and reflect on what these presidential candidates are suggesting: That a certain group of people who are a part of American society must prove their loyalty to the United States before serving in public office.
Think about that for a minute.
Dilshad D. Ali has covered Muslims in America for 15 years.