Senator Rick Santorum, R-Penn., recently spoke with Christianity Today senior writer Tony Carnes about his reelection campaign. His Democratic opponent, Bob Casey Jr., declined to be interviewed. This is an edited transcript.
What issues do you find working for you out there right now?
There are several. Certainly, the immigration issue on people's minds. Second, obviously, is the national security picture with the war that we are engaged in. And related to that, energy, and our understanding that we have to become more energy secure than we are today.
You gave a widely noted speech on Islamofacism in July. Has this speech had any resonance among your constituents?
We have gotten a lot of feedback on that during my travels around the state. People understand that we are in a very serious conflict here and that I am in the lead trying to make sure we are successful in defeating the enemy that is before us
How do you define Islamofacism?
It is an ideology that is shared by people who have a radical view of Islam and want to impose that radical view of Islam through a totalitarian regime. I would make an argument that it is a perversion of Islam, as a basis for totalitarian rule and a fascist-type state. It's the government's control of basically all aspects of society, which is [fusing] government and religion into one.
Islamofacism is a complex term. Do you think it would apply to states like Saudi Arabia?
No, I would not put Saudi Arabia in that category simply because they don't subscribe to the same ideology. They don't have designs on world conquest, which Islamic fascists do. They practice Islam, and different kinds of Islam are obviously practiced throughout the world, but this is not one that is intent on world domination.1