Bernie Sanders Says "Muslim Troops" Should Be Fighting ISIS & That Statement Is Problematic

During Saturday night's Democratic presidential debates, the two contending candidates for the nomination waded into the weeds on foreign policy, terrorism, and national defense, and there were more than a few testy moments and memorable exchanges. And amid all the argument, one particular comment from Vermont senator Bernie Sanders sure sounded wrong — Sanders said "Muslim troops" should be fighting ISIS, not American troops, and there's something more than a little problematic about that framing.

Specifically, while describing the battle with ISIS as a "a war for the soul of Islam," Sanders commented that soldiers fighting ISIS on the ground in the Middle East "should not be American troops, they should be Muslim troops."

Right off the top, there's one big problem with this that really jumps out. It may sound familiar for anyone familiar with the principles behind intersectional feminism — namely, the creation of a needless, fallacious distinction between "Americans" and "Muslims." Muslims and Americans, obviously, are not mutually exclusive groups. Muslims aren't a racial group or a nationality. Rather, they're members of a widely prescribed religious faith that exists across all regional, racial, and national boundaries.

For that reason alone, it was clumsy and ill-considered for Sanders to say what he did.