At home, the line of defense is clear. It is our border. My new strategy calls on us to think of our border as more than just a line on a map. We need to see the border as a cultural line also, a defining line of freedom against proponents of sharia, which, I cannot emphasize enough, poses a direct threat to our founding principles of liberty and equality. It is that simple. There is a crucial military component to the anti-sharia defensive, which I will outline momentarily. But without taking civil precautions at the border, even a decisive military victory abroad could be nullified by non-violent means at home.
How? Through largely unregulated immigration of peoples from "sharia states" -- those regions whose governing traditions derive, wholly or in some important part, from the edicts of Islam. If such an influx continues, Islamic law will be accommodated, adopted and even legislated, at least in some jurisdictions, according to majority will. We know this to be true because such a "sharia shift" is already transforming what sociologists call post-Christian Europe into an increasingly Islamic sphere. If we do not want to see such changes here, we must act. Accordingly, I am asking Congress to amend our laws to bar further Islamic immigration, beginning with immigration from sharia states. This, the most crucial domestic component of my anti-sharia program, will undoubtedly be regarded as the most controversial because it necessitates making a definitive judgment against the laws promulgated by Islam, a religion. This may appear to go against our cherished tradition of religious tolerance, not to mention good manners. But if the laws promulgated by Islam directly threaten freedom of conscience, freedom of expression and religion, women's rights and key concepts of equality -- and they do -- it is a sign of intellectual rigor mortis not to say so. And I do say so, but, again, not to launch a transformative military or cultural offensive against Islam, but to initiate the mobilization of a defensive movement to prevent the Islamization of American law and liberty.
And what about Iraq? Thanks to American-led coalition troops, a Ba'athist dictatorship has been dismantled, and Iraq is a parliamentary democracy under a new constitution. It is a matter of increasing significance, however, that this new constitution, ratified by the people of Iraq, enshrines Islamic law above all. This means that when the new Iraq joined the ranks of democratic nations, it simultaneously joined the ranks of sharia states. This may help explain widespread Iraqi sympathy for Hezbollah, for example, the Iranian-supported Shi'ite terrorist group that not only attacks American and Israeli interests, but also seeks the expansion of sharia. It also begs the question about long-term American support: How, in the war on terrorism, can we uphold a partner that feels solidarity with terrorists?
We cannot -- certainly not as a realistic war strategy to safeguard the liberty of the Free World. Once, I saw the war that began on Sept. 11, 2001, as dividing the world between those countries that were with us, and those that were against us. I have now come to define the crisis, both cultural and military, as occurring between the Free World and the Sharia World. The centrality of sharia in Islam is not something Americans can or should try to change. But it is not something we can ignore, either.
With this centrality in mind, our goals in the Middle East should change from, in effect, promoting sharia-democracy to preventing the export of sharia and terrorism to advance sharia. Accordingly, I have directed our military to formulate a plan to redeploy American troops from Iraq's cities, where they have been operating at great risk to attain stability for the Iraqi government, to bases in the north. From there, they may assist as needed in our mission to neutralize the terrorism- and sharia-exporting capabilities of freedom's enemies in the region. These would include nuke-seeking Iran and Syria, without whose support Hezbollah would not exist, and Saudi Arabia, from whose coffers comes global jihad.
What we call the war on terror now moves into a more focused phase, which better defines our mission and makes it more attainable. The road ahead is long and difficult, but our next steps are clear.
God bless the United States.