WASHINGTON - September 12 - In remarks before the Arab American Institute
today, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold called on the President to stop using
the phrase “Islamic fascists,” an offensive and misleading
term. The administration has used this phrase increasingly when talking
about al Qaeda, its affiliates and its sympathizers. Feingold says the
use of the term “Islamic fascists” actually hurts our efforts
in fighting terrorism globally because it alienates peaceful Muslims
around the world whose support we need in fighting terrorism.
“I call on the President to stop using the phrase “Islamic
fascists”, a label that doesn’t make any sense, and certainly
doesn’t help our effort to build a coalition of societies to fight
terrorism,” Feingold said. “The President has often correctly
referred to Islam as a religion of peace, but this reckless language,
much like his prior reference to the fight against al Qaeda as a ‘crusade,’
completely cuts the other way. Fascist ideology doesn’t have anything
to do with the way global terrorist networks think or operate, and it
doesn’t have anything to do with the overwhelming majority of
Muslims around the world who practice the peaceful teachings of Islam.”
During his remarks, Feingold also addressed national security issues,
highlighting the need to refocus our attention on al Qaeda and other
terrorist networks instead of getting bogged down in Iraq, which had
no connection to the 9/11 attacks. He also discussed how we can protect
the rights and freedoms of law-abiding Americans as we fight terrorism.
Feingold’s complete remarks are available at here.