Sen. Feingold faults Bush's use of the term:
"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," Feingold said.James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute:
In seeking to explain the term, the White House referred to comments made last week by homeland security adviser Fran Townsend.
"What the president was trying to capture was this idea of using violence to achieve ideological ends — and that's wrong," Townsend said at a news conference. "Regardless of what label you pin on it, it is this form of radical extremism that really wants to deny people freedom and impose a totalitarian vision of society on everyone, that we object to."
"It indicates no understanding of Islam, and it actually degrades the meaning of the word fascism. That's not what fascism means. Fascism means national socialism. It doesn't refer to a gang of criminal terrorists who are using a cult-like ideology to murder people."Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, thinks the phrase is already on the way out:
"I think it's pretty clear now that the use of the term was counterproductive in winning the hearts and minds in the war on terror. I think even President Bush and his advisers now recognize that."Let us hope so.