Newt Gingrich: We should 'test' all Muslims in US, and if they 'believe in Sharia,' deport them

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

Donald Trump's Top VP prospects: Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich

UPDATE: Gingrich took to Twitter Friday morning to dispute "amazing distortions" of his interview.

Newt Gingrich said Thursday night in the aftermath of the deadly terror attack in France that the US should issue a religious test to Muslims in the country and deport those who are found to believe in Sharia Law.

The former House speaker's comments came on Fox News when host Sean Hannity asked, "What does this tragedy, this evil attack tonight, mean for that conflict and debate?"

RELATED: Newt Gingrich through the years

18 PHOTOS
Newt Gingrich through the years
See Gallery
Newt Gingrich through the years
UNITED STATES FILE PHOTO: Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., gives a lecture on Sept. 18, 1993 during the first day of his 'Renewing American Civilization' course taught in fall 1993 at Kennesaw State College in Kennesaw, Ga. The course later became part of Congressional ethics violation charges leveled against Gingrich in 1996. (Photo by Bill Clark/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 5: Newt Gingrich(L), speaker of the US House of Representatives, laughs as US President Bill Clinton(R) looks on during a meeting of the bi-partisan leadership of Congress 05 January at the White House. The day after the opening session of the 104th Congress, Republicans and Democrats met with Clinton to discuss the legislative agenda. (COLOR KEY: Red in ties.) (Photo credit should read J. DAVID AKE/AFP/Getty Images)
CLAREMONT, NH - JUNE 11: President William Jefferson Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, share a laugh at a meeting held at a senior citizens center in Claremont, N.H. (Photo by John Bohn/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ME.Gingrich.Newt.RDL (kodak) House speaker Newt Gingrich greets supporters at a fundÂraiser at the Anaheim Hilton and Towers in Anaheim. TIMES (Photo by Robert Lachman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 15: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., speaks during the ceremony to unveil his portrait in Statuary Hall. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 17: (AFP OUT) Former U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) (L) speaks as he is interviewed by moderator Tim Russert (R) during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at the NBC studios December 17, 2006 in Washington, DC. Gingrich spoke on various topics including the war in Iraq and the 2008 Presidential election. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press)
WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 06: Newt Gingrich and Callista Gingrich attend the 32nd Kennedy Center Honors at Kennedy Center Hall of States on December 6, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
MANCHESTER, NH - JANUARY 07: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry participate in the ABC News, Yahoo! News, and WMUR Republican Presidential Debate at Saint Anselm College January 7, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The GOP contenders are in the final stretch of campaigning for the New Hampshire primary, the first in the nation, to be held on January 10. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WOLFEBORO, NH - JANUARY 07: Republican presidential candidate, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich speaks during a campaign town hall meeting at the Wright Museum January 7, 2012 in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. According to a CNN/Time/ORC poll released Friday, Gingrich has dropped from 43-percent in December to 17-percent, putting him even with fellow candidate, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. However, both are trailing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who is polling at 37-percent. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican presidential hopefuls, former Massachusetts Govenor Mitt Romney (L), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, take the stage for the NBC News, Tampa Bay Times, National Journal Republican Presidential Candidates Debate at the University of South Florida, January 23, 2012, Tampa, Florida. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential hopeful, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, delivers remarks during a Hispanic Town Hall January 28, 2012 at the Centro de la Familia church in Orlando, Florida AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GettyImages)
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich laugh as they participate in a debate sponsored by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona at the Mesa Arts Center February 22, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona. The debate is the last one scheduled before voters head to the polls in Michigan and Arizona's primaries on February 28 and Super Tuesday on March 6. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Callista Gingrich speak during a tribute to former president Ronald Reagan at the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) -- Episode 4289 -- Pictured: (l-r) Newt Gingrich, Nicole 'Snookie' Polizzi, Callista Gingrich backstage on July 18, 2012 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 27: Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) addresses the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 27, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland. Conservative activists attended the annual political conference to discuss their agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 25: Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright(L) and Newt Gingrich attend The Washington Post White House Correspondents' Pre-Dinner Reception at The Washington Hilton on April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH- JULY 6: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) introduces Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Sharonville Convention Center July 6, 2016, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Trump is campaigning in Ohio ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH- JULY 6: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) introduces Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Sharonville Convention Center July 6, 2016, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Trump is campaigning in Ohio ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

"Western civilization is in a war," Gingrich said. "We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia, glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door."

He added: "Anybody who goes on a website favoring ISIS, or Al Qaeda, or other terrorist groups, that should be a felony, and they should go to jail. Any organization which hosts such a website should be engaged in a felony. It should be closed down immediately."

The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects against "an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Gingrich, who was thought to be one of Donald Trump's top picks for vice president, said he was "sick and tired of being told that the wealthiest, most powerful civilization in history, all of Western civilization, is helpless in the face of a group of medieval barbarians."

RELATED: Truck attacker kills dozens in Nice

22 PHOTOS
Truck attacker kills dozens in Nice
See Gallery
Truck attacker kills dozens in Nice
Police officers stand near a van, with its windscreen riddled with bullets, that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. Up to 30 people are feared dead and over 100 others were injured after a van drove into a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks in the French resort of Nice on July 14, a local official told French television, describing it as a 'major criminal attack'. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers and rescue workers arrive at the scene of an attack on July 14, 2016, after a van ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice. The mayor of the French city of Nice said dozens of people were likely killed after a van rammed into a crowd marking Bastille Day in the French Riviera resort today and urged residents to stay indoors. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers and rescued workers stand near a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. The mayor of the French city of Nice said dozens of people were likely killed after a van rammed into a crowd marking Bastille Day in the French Riviera resort today and urged residents to stay indoors. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers stand near a van, with its windscreen riddled with bullets, that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. The mayor of the French city of Nice said dozens of people were likely killed after a van rammed into a crowd marking Bastille Day in the French Riviera resort today and urged residents to stay indoors. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - An injured individual is seen on the ground after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - An injured individual is seen on the ground after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
French soldiers and rescue forces are seen at the scene whare at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
French soldiers cordon the area after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - A body is seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - Bodies are seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard TEMPLATE OUT.
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - Bodies are seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - Bodies are seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
French police and rescue forces vehicles are seen on the Promenade des Anglais July 15, 2016 after at least 60 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet
People cross the street with their hands on thier heads as a French soldier secures the area July 15, 2016 after at least 60 people were killed along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - A man sits next to a body seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - An injured individual is seen on the ground after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - An injured individual is seen on the ground after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck July 15, 2016 that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France, July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
A man walks with his hands up as police officers carry out checks on people in the centre of French Riviera town of Nice, after a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display on July 14, 2016. At least 60 people are feared dead after a van drove into a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks in the French resort of Nice on July 14, authorities said on July 15. / AFP / Valery HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
A soldier stands guard near the site of an attack in the French Riviera town of Nice, after a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display on July 14, 2016. Up to 30 people are feared dead and over 100 others were injured after a van drove into a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks in the French resort of Nice on July 14, a local official told French television, describing it as a 'major criminal attack'. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers speak with a soldier after a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. Up to 30 people are feared dead and over 100 others were injured after a van drove into a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks in the French resort of Nice on July 14, a local official told French television, describing it as a 'major criminal attack'. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

"We're told to be reasonable, to be passive, to not judge," he said. "Well I just want to tell you tonight, everybody who watches this video, this is the fault of Western elites who lack the guts to do what is right, to do what is necessary, and to tell us the truth, and that starts with Barack Obama."

At the end of Gingrich's lengthy statement, Hannity replied: "That's a powerful statement. I agree wholeheartedly."

The attack in Nice, France, Thursday left at least 80 dead and more than 100 wounded.

SEE ALSO: Should Muslims be subject to greater scrutiny?

Read Full Story

People are Reading