CAIRO - Seeking to catch up with Republican front-runners, White House hopeful Newt Gingrich is toughening up his criticism of Islam, describing President Barack Obama as a "pro-Islamic" leader.
You'll notice the President Obama is very quick to apologize for Islam while he attacks the Catholic Church, Gingrich told a campaign rally in Georgia on Thursday, March 1, Politico magazine reported.
"You'll notice that he's very sensitive about problems involving Islam."
Gingrich, a former House speaker, has been struggling to catch up with front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum to win the Republican Party nomination to run against Obama in the November elections.
He has toned up his anti-Islam rhetoric to win up votes ahead of the "Super Tuesday" on March 6.
On Tuesday, Gingrich described Obama as a "so-pro-Islamic president".
"[He] can't even tell the truth about the people who are trying to kill us, he said in a latest in a series of attacks on the White House as excessively friendly to Muslims.
Last week, the Republican aspirant used his opening remarks at a debate to promise that "no future president will ever bow to a Saudi king again".
He also heaped criticism of Obama's apology over the burning of the Noble Qur`an at a US airbase in Afghanistan.
"I think we can look into the mind of a president in the speed and thoroughness with which they have disowned their own people," he said.
Obama on Wednesday defended his apology, saying it helped to calm down the Afghan public anger, which left 30 people dead in a week of violent protests over the Qur'an burning.
Gingrich is known for repeated criticism of Islam and the Islamic Shari`ah.
In July 2010, Gingrich said that he sees Islamic Shari`ah as a mortal threat to the United States.
He also believes in the theory that advocates of Shari`ah are radical Islamists.
Gingrich and his wife produced in 2010 and narrated a film, "America at Risk", about what they say the threat of "radical Islam".
In the film, they discuss what they say the danger of terrorism and Shari`ah against a lurid background of terrorist bombings, bloody victims, wailing sirens and chanting Muslim crowds.
Gingrich had once called for a ban on all mosques near Ground Zero "so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia."
Gingrich's anti-Islam slurs are not the first by Republican presidential aspirants.
Republican aspirant Rick Santorum had described Islamic Shari`ah as "an existential threat" to America.
Former candidate Herman Cain had also said that he would not appoint a Muslim in his administration.
Cain, who withdrew from the race for the White House, later modified his position by calling for an unconstitutional "loyalty" oath for Muslim appointees.
US Muslims have been sensing a growing hostility following a hearing presented by Republican representative Peter King on what he described as radicalization of US Muslims.Recently, a Republican Missouri lawmaker described Islam as a disease like polio while another Alaska Rep. branded Muslims as occupiers' of American neighborhoods.