Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has adopted a "clash of civilizations" vocabulary in his strong stand against the Islamic cultural center planned for Lower Manhattan, warning that the greatest threat facing the U.S. is not terrorism but what he calls "radical Islamism." Who else loves to make grand speeches that warn of a clash of civilizations, condemn religious faiths, and frequently mention Lower Manhattan? That's right: Osama bin Laden!
Slate's William Saletan parses Gingrich's recent statements and finds a number of surprising similarities to the language used in bin Laden's 20 known audio and video recordings. "Everything Bin Laden says about the U.S., Gingrich validates. All you have to do is read their statements, side by side." Saletan provides a list of 18 quotes from each, matching each bin Laden pronouncement to an eerily similar Gingrich quote. We thought we would try something a little more fun: Guess the quote! Here are five unsourced quotations. See if you can guess which belong to the world's most notorious terrorist and which to the former U.S. Speaker of the House.
This is a struggle with [religious adherents] in both their militant and their stealth form. … The stealth form believes in using cultural, intellectual and political [power], but their end goal is exactly the same.
The [group of people] is incapable of recognizing the rights of others. It will not be able to respect others' beliefs or feelings. The [group of people] still believes in ethnic supremacy and looks down on other nations.
[Our culture] is experiencing a [foreign religion's] cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could. No [foreign religious structures]. No self deception. No surrender.
The intentions of [their people] have also been clarified in statements about the need to change the beliefs, curricula, and morals of [our people] to become more tolerant, as they put it. In clearer terms, it is a religious-economic war.
[He approvingly quotes a man who prayed solemnly before launching a famous military strike.] This was not a man who was confused about what the stakes were, nor was he confused about what the goal was.
Click through to Saletan's Slate article to find out who said what.