Santorum calls for war with ‘Islamo-fascists’

Amid a chorus of condemning hisses, supportive banging and outright laughter, former Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum argued for war with radical Islam at the Yale Political Union debate Thursday night.

As part of a speaking tour throughout various college campuses about the dangers of Islamic extremism, Santorum spoke before a full house in Sterling-Sheffield-Strathcona Hall on the importance of defining the enemy in the “War on Islamic Extremism” — the subject of the debate — and on the historical roots of the clash between Islamic and Judeo-Christian culture. After the event, many students interviewed agreed with Santorum that dangerous extremists who tend to justify violence through the Quran do exist. But most went on to emphatically dispute his claim that Islam is a fundamentally violent religion.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum discusses what he termed the “War on Islamic Extremism” at Thursday night’s Yale Political Union debate.
Eva Galvan
Former Sen. Rick Santorum discusses what he termed the “War on Islamic Extremism” at Thursday night’s Yale Political Union debate.

For Santorum, though, any lingering questions about the necessity of America’s war with Islamic extremists are in no way moral. Rather, he said, they are practical.

“We absolutely must confront this enemy,” he said. “The real question is ‘Will the American People be willing to fight?’ ”

Resistance to the war is the result of America not knowing its enemy and instead clouding the mission with political correctness and more palatable jargon, Santorum said. He specifically targeted the characterization of America’s military efforts in the Middle East as a “War on Terror.”

“How can you be at war against a military tactic?” he asked. “FDR had the courage to offend people and called the Germans Nazis, and the Italians Fascists … Congress, on the other hand, has sugarcoated the enemy so as not to offend anyone. Seven years into a war and people still can’t tell the difference between Sunni and Shi’a.”

Santorum’s criticism of the handling of the war in American politics was focused even more fiercely against the political left.

He argued — amid impassioned banging of support and opposing hissing — that the left should recognize that the “Islamo-Fascis world” is the antithesis to everything the left embodies.

“The very principles the left holds dear in the United States, such as feminism, homosexual rights, separation of church and state, and the elimination of anti-Semitism are the ones the Islamo-Facists violate,” Santorum said. “[The left says] the enemy hates us because of us, that [the extremists] are victims of imperialism and Zionism, that it is our fault, and that if we walked away they would leave us alone.”

Santorum was adamant that negotiation is not an option, though he did not go into detail about the actual level of war the U.S. should engage in with the Middle East.

But many in the audience said they were not convinced that warfare and Santorum’s rhetoric are the best ways to deal with Islamic extremism.

“There are people who use Islam to justify violence and there are strains of Islam that are antithetical to western civilization, but [Santorum] is wrong on the question of how deal with those groups,” Matthew Ellison ’10 said. “Our challenge is to convince others that the liberal values we hold dear are worth subscribing to. When we use the rhetoric of war we are pushing the moderates away from us and emboldening the extremists.”

Santorum seemed to remain unfazed by any skepticism in the audience and only got louder as he argued for the origins of Islamic extremism in the religion’s founding.

He offered a contrast between Jesus Christ and Muhammed as the basis for the irreconcilable differences between Christianity, which he linked to the West, and Islam, which he linked to the Middle East.

“The greatest Christian, the Messiah, is Jesus — he never ruled a country, never forced anyone to convert,” Santorum said. “Islam, on the other hand, was founded by Muhammed who went on to conquer much of the Middle East and Northern Africa.”

He pointed to how Muslim leaders of Spain, centuries ago, gave nonbelievers the option of converting or facing death. He did not mention the Spanish Inquisition, and he excused episodes of Christian violence as “misguidance.”

This message did not sit well with some in the audience who did not appreciate what they termed a “history lesson.”

“I don’t think Rick Santorum is qualified to give us a lecture on the history of Islam,” Benjamin Chaidell ’11 said. “He oversimplifies the religion of Islam and the struggle against Islam as an ‘us vs. them’ phenomenon.”

Syed Salah Ahmed ’11 took issue with the way Santorum interpreted Islamic thinkers like Madudi and Syed Qutb out of their contexts. Ahmed said that Islamic fundamentalism is a reaction against British — and now American — imperialism.

Santorum concluded his speech by emphasizing to his audience that the struggle against Islamic extremism will remain the key struggle of its generation.

Before losing his bid for reelection in 2006, Santorum served in the Senate from 1995 until 2007 and was also the third-ranking member of the Senate Republican Leadership after 2001.

Comments

  • Andrew

    Glad to hear that Rick has found something productive to do with all his free time now…

  • Anonymous

    "FDR had the courage to offend people and called the Germans Nazis, and the Italians Fascists."

    Santorum believes this serves as precedent to authorize violent counter action.

    Interesting.

    The world calls Bush and Cheney fascists and Nazis. Does that give the world the right to attack the USA??

  • Mahoud

    I'm concerned that he actually thought Yale would be concerned about Islamic fundamentalism. He should have known better.

  • Marvin L Foushee

    Does the word “Judeo-Fascist” conjure up any images of the goat–gods of the Middle East targeting Palestinian women and children with American-made missiles from American-made helicopers and from American made F-16's for being within a 20 mile radius of the terrorist enemy?

    How much is the land worth that was stolen from the Palestinians by the children of the goat-god? One trillion dollars, Nine Trillion dollars (the amount of American Federal debt that has accumulated in trying to keep the Israeli goverment from paying their eminent domain debts to the people who lost their land to the Judeo-Fascists and their goat-god.

    If a goat–god wants to create a hyper-expressway through the land of the Cannanites, the children of the goat need to pay for their land if they are claiming eminent domain in the name of the Goat-God of Israel.

    This is a Yale student newspaper, not a Harvard newspaper or the "Prince": we can solve the problems in the Middle East by determining the value of all the land of Israel at the time of 1948 [compounded at 6 percent interest, adjusted for inflation]. The children of the corn-god at Capital One want 22 percent for the student Visa loans, so this is not a bad pawnshop deal.

    Once a price has been determined, we need to determine what percentage of the total amount should go to the Palestinians who lost their land by naked agression of the children of the goat-god. At least 85 percent, but on under 75 percent.

    ♫: Ra Sun; Blue Skies: ☼

  • Raj

    Richar - Muslims have attacked the US all over the world, and even here at home on 9/11 - where were you?

    Mahoud - good point

    Marv - what land was stolen from who? Jordan and Egypt? Talk about needing a history lesson. If Muslims invested as much in Palestine as say, America has, or as much as they do in Dubai, Palestine would be a beautiful place…unfortunately the only price the now-called Palestinian's is the death of all Jews…according to their own words…the pawn shop only has one buyer…Condi Rice, and she's a sucker

  • hgs89

    And #4 is a perfect example the people that liberals and Condi try to deal with. They, the Palestinians and Arab Muslims, despise Jews and Christians alike. The comments made by #4 show that no matter how much we grovel and beg, still the Islamo-fascists wait for us to destroy ourselves. They do not want peace or understanding, they want blood. The sooner the liberals and apologists among us understand that, the sooner we will be able to deal with them from a truthful base of reality.

  • Vince P

    I agree with #3's comment 100%. The snotty know-nothing who gave this quote:

    "“I don’t think Rick Santorum is qualified to give us a lecture on the history of Islam,” Benjamin Chaidell ’11 said. “He oversimplifies the religion of Islam and the struggle against Islam as an ‘us vs. them’ phenomenon.” "

    Where to start… well first off.. this know-nothing is not qualified to state that Santorum is wrong.

    I heard Santorum give a lecture on Islam in the past.. the man understands the relevant parts and distinctions.

    What so many know-nothings seem not to understand is that the doctrine of Jihad and the imperative to Islamize the whole planet and by force if necessary IS A COMMON DOCTRINE in all schools of Islam.

    Just like there's a bazillion protestant denominations, for the most part they all share a common core… and in Islam, Jihad is one of the common cores.

    This notion that Islam is so complexly fractured is the oversimplification.

    What is true is that Muslims, since they're people, run the full spectrum of fever , belief, interest, adherence , etc.. to these doctrines.

    That's not the point.. the Jihad doctrine is there in Islam… waiting for some Muslims somewhere to pursue it as Allah commands.

    If I hear one more idiot direct the "Islam is peace" platitude to a critic of Islam, I’m going to explode.

    Oh Apologist for Islam: you don’t need to convince us Non-Muslims that Islam is peace… you need to convince the ever-growing number of Muslims who fully accept this hadith from Bukahri:

    Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25; Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause."

    And then there was this quote in the article:

    “There are people who use Islam to justify violence and there are strains of Islam that are antithetical to western civilization, but [Santorum] is wrong on the question of how deal with those groups,” Matthew Ellison ’10 said. “Our challenge is to convince others that the liberal values we hold dear are worth subscribing to. When we use the rhetoric of war we are pushing the moderates away from us and emboldening the extremists.”

    Another genius. Obviously he doesn’t understand that according to Islam, all man-made laws , forms of government, etc.. is a direct offense against Allah.

    Per Islam, Allah has demanded that all humans live according to Allah's will and by the behavioral example set by Mohammed.

    Please Matthew.. dazzle us with your skills of persuasion as you attempt to convince an Imam who believes that the US Constitution is a grave sin against Allah that liberal ideas are really cool!

    Try to tell them that these two imperatives (one from the Koran and one Hadith (Bukhari)) don't mean what they say.. these are the marching orders given to Muslims for all time to accomplish…

    Koran
    8:39. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world].

    Hadith
    Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24; Narrated Ibn Umar: Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah."

    Islam is a declaration of war against the world, and what do the college students say? "Oh we need to be sensitive to them" No, I don’t think so. They need to understand we will not submit.

    it's shameful how stupid and arrogant college students are. The Left is destroying the ability to think. So wrapped up in some bizarre subjective way of thinking.

  • John Sorel

    Some of the audience disputed that Islam is a violent religion. But there is this assumption they seem to have that all religions must be good. This is a faulty assumption. For instance, the Astecs had a religion where they tore out the hearts of victims for sacrifices. Is that "good"?
    Mohammad invented Islam, and now a billion fools believe the religion he invented. If he says "die for Allah", they take that as direct from God.

  • Recent Alum

    Vince P: There are theological arguments on both sides as to whether Islam should be interpreted as a violent religion or not. But when it comes to actual behavior, no one can deny that Muslims are far more violent than Christians; this is the more apparent today than ever, but was also true earlier in history.

    John Sorel: Ironically, the sort of people who argue that Islam is a "Religion of Peace" are usually the same people who are bashing Christianity for being oppressive, paternalistic, anti-homosexuality, etc.

  • trum alum

    I am disappointed that this otherwise fine article failed to remind its readers that Santorum is not only a former senator, but also the namesake of the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes, but not always, the byproduct of anal sex (spreadingsantorum.com). I mean, come on now. This is Yale, after all.

  • Anonymous

    Vince P. Please do not try to lecture us about a religion that you know nothing about at all. Not even a little bit. In case you did not realize, we have professors here at Yale. Every thing you said here is misconstructed and Jihad does not mean fighting for God. Man made laws are not challenges to God's authority(apart from old Shiite interpretation which most 12er Shiites in Iran have now). In case you did not notice, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia etc. all have man made constitutions. Oh God, its pointless arguing against a brainwashed indoctrinated right winger like you who actually gives value to Santorum's lecture on Islam. I can assure you that all professors on Islam and Spanish history e.t.c. here at Yale have radically different opinions on the subjects than Santorum. 180 degrees. I guess perhaps all of them know nothing and Santorum is more qualified. Actaully why don't you and Santorum start a class on Islam here at Yale. We can have all the people who actually know this stuff fired.