[The following is an editorial in the Centre Daily News, about a visit to Penn State by the Islamo-Fascist Awareness Weekers, brought to my attention by Jonathan Brockupp in the Department of History and Religious Studies.]

As the world, the country and even formerly placid Happy Valley desperately need unity and understanding, rock star Rick Santorum brought his Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week tour to Penn State this week, spreading his divisive “us vs. them,” “Christians vs. pagans” message.

“Thank youuuuuuuuuuu, State College. You’re a great audience. Here’s one you may have heard before. …”

The former U.S. senator’s appearance is part of a 109-campus blitz organized by David Horowitz and the Horowitz Freedom Center based in Los Angeles.

They’re clever wordsmiths, these ultra-right activists. Horowitz associates himself with a cherished value, while “the other” is painted as pure evil.

Radio bloviator Rush Limbaugh does the same, most famously branding anyone with a view that differs from his about a woman’s role — none of his several wives, presumably, among them — “Femi-Nazis.”

Now the word bombdu jouris “Islamo-Fascism,” linking an entire religion with the terrorist enemy.
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By extension, then, was Italy under Mussolini “Catholo-Fascist”? Was World War II Germany “Christo-Fascist”? Or perhaps “Polytheisto-Fascist”? Stalin’s Soviet Union “Atheo-Fascist”?

When you can associate your “enemy” — an entire race, religion, nation or region — with evil and yourself with truth, justice and, by God, the American way, the public-relations battle is won.

Here’s a suggestion for what to call the pompous demonizers and disseminators of division and hatred. It’s a three-letter animal that, ironically, is the symbol of the political party to which many of their targets belong.