Kondrake: Rice and Hughes Convince Bush To Drop ‘Islamic Fascism’ From Speeches

Roll Call executive editor and Fox News host Mort Kondrake included this tidbit in his most recent syndicated column:

In a controversial move within the administration, [Undersecretary of State Karen] Hughes and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seem to have persuaded Bush — temporarily, at least — to drop the label “Islamic fascism” from his speeches; diplomats say that Muslims hear it as an attack on their religion, thereby validating the extremists’ false charge that the United States is at war with Islam.

The move is a blow to conservatives, who celebrated last month when President Bush used the term several times in his speeches on terrorism. The phrase is a favorite of right-wing commentators like Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity; the AP called it “the new buzzword” for conservatives “in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq.”

Critics of the phrase, including numerous Muslim-American groups and Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and former Marine Army Ranger Jack Reed (D-RI), were lambasted by the right. The Weekly Standard Stephen Schwartz said people who took offense to the term were mere “primitive Muslims.”

Will Rice and Hughes get the same treatment?

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