The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Rubio is wrong about Islam and doesn’t even understand his own Nazi analogy

(Tom Toles)

Marco Rubio has decided to play the taunt-Islam game for fun and political profit. He has decided to say (or to put it in Rubio terms, somebody has convinced him to say) that if you don’t say we’re at war with “Radical Islam,” then you’re appeasing the terrorists. Saying “Radical Jihadists” just won’t do.

Marco knows full well why some do not want to put the word “Islam” into the name of the terrorists who have attacked the West. This happens to be exactly what the terrorists want. They do not, in fact, represent the contemporary understanding or practice of Islam, any more than Jim Jones represented a contemporary understanding of Christianity.

But Rubio’s analogy to Nazism (yes of course Nazism) shows clearly he doesn’t even understand what he’s talking about. He said Sunday, “That would be like saying we weren’t at war with Nazis, because we were afraid to offend some Germans who may have been members of the Nazi Party but weren’t violent themselves.”

No. Saying we were at war with Nazism is exactly what America DID do. Rightly. What we DIDN’T do was to say we were at war with all people of German heritage everywhere. A lot of Americans of German heritage were in American uniforms in Germany fighting Nazism.

Nobody has been reluctant to say we are fighting Al Qaeda. Or Daesh. Adding “Islam” into the formulation is what the terrorists feverishly desire, and would serve only to jamb a thumb into Muslim eyes everywhere. Again, exactly what the terrorists want us to do.

Someone should ask Mr. Rubio why that’s what he wants to do too.