Santorum’s Islamaphobia problem
Journalist Max Blumenthal unearthed a 2007 speech Santorum gave to a Washington conference at the invitation of David Horowitz. In the speech (audio can be found at anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller’s site), Santorum outlined the ‘war’ against ‘radical Islam’:
What must we do to win? We must educate, engage, evangelize and eradicate. …
The other thing we need to do is eradicate, and that’s the final thing. As I said, this is going to be a long war. There are going to be pluses and minuses, ups and downs. But we have to win this war to — fight this war to win this war.
Santorum insists that he’s ‘not suggesting that we have to go in there and blow them up.’ But, later in the speech, he compares the ‘long war’ to World War II, adding, ‘Americans don’t like war. They don’t like suffering and dying. No one does.’
Both in this speech and in other writings and remarks, Santorum often specifies that he’s speaking of ‘radical Islam.’ But what does ‘radical Islam’ mean to Santorum? In fact, the former senator often times conflates extremists with the entire Muslim faith at-large and, at other times, he states outright that radicals dominate Islam. In the 2007 D.C. speech, Santorum compared Muslim wars from hundreds of years ago to 9/11: ‘Does anybody know when the high-water mark of Islam was? September the 11th, 1683,’ he said to gasps from the audience.
As to what ‘losing’ the war with ‘radical Islam’ looks like, Santorum discussed Europe. ‘Europe is on the way to losing,’ he said. ‘The most popular male name in Belgium — Mohammad. It’s the fifth most popular name in France among boys.’ The other data point he cited was larger birthrates among ‘Westernized Europeans’ as opposed to ‘Islamic Europeans.’ Nowhere did he indicate a growing ‘radical’ threat in Europe.
In October 2007 at his alma mater Penn State, Santorum gave a speech and failed to break out the radical strain from the faith at-large: ‘Islam, unlike Christianity, is an all-encompassing ideology. It is not just something you do on Sunday. … We (as Americans) don’t get that.’ The quote is particularly ironic from someone who, among other such statements, has said, ‘[O]ur civil laws have to comport with a higher law: God’s law.’