Geert Wilders and European democracy

21 02 2010

By Isi Leibler, for the Jerusalem Post:

The outcome of the current trial of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders on charges of “incitement to hatred” will represent a watershed in Europe’s response to the challenge of Islamic fundamentalism.

Wilders, nicknamed Mozart because of his blond hair, is somewhat of a maverick. Voted politician of the year in 2007 by the Dutch media, he is a charismatic and popular politician who displays refreshing contempt for the hypocritical political correctness relating to Islam that has enveloped Europe. Some polls suggest that in an election now, his Freedom Party could become Holland’s largest parliamentary party.

Wilders opposes what he regards as the craven appeasement of the Netherlands and most European nations to intimidation and threats of violence from Islamic fundamentalists.

Against the background of the massive influx of Muslim immigrants, he fears that having embraced post-modernism and cultural relativism, most Europeans lack the stamina to maintain their core values and are capitulating to Muslims determined to impose Shari’a law in Europe.

Wilders refers to Islam as “the Trojan horse in Europe” and predicts that “if we do not stop Islamification now, Eurabia will just be a matter of time. One century ago, there were approximately 50 Muslims in the Netherlands. Today, there are about one million. Where will it end? We are heading for the end of European civilization.”

As a youngster, Wilders lived for two years in Israel, which he describes as “the West’s first line of defense,” and has visited the Jewish state more than 40 times. He says that “we in the West are all Israel… The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad.”

Two years ago, Wilders produced an explosive film titled Fitna, which graphically depicted the violence and denial of human rights prevailing in many Muslim countries. It highlighted practices such as stoning of adulterous women, beheadings, execution of apostates, honor killings, hanging of homosexuals, forced child marriages, female circumcision and other odious practices prevailing to this day in many Islamic societies.

Wilders denies he is a racist or fascist, insisting that “I make a distinction between the ideology of Islam and the people,” emphatically reiterating that “my allies are not Le Pen or Haider… we will never join up with fascists”.

IN THE current political environment, the critique of Islam carries heavy personal costs beyond political fallout. The rewards offered by Muslim extremists to anyone who succeeds in killing Wilders are not idle threats, as evidenced by the murder by a fanatical Muslim of Dutch media personality Theo Van Gogh several years ago. Over the past five and a half years Wilders has been under 24-hour police protection.

However, Wilders may have over-reached himself when he called for the banning of the Koran, which he compared to Mein Kampf, alleging that it incites Muslims to resort to violence. Whilst such provocative statements may have been deliberately expressed to dramatize the dangers confronting Europe, they alienated many who would endorse his calls to heed the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism because it would require Muslims to renounce their religious identity and sacred texts and thus run counter to all democratic principles.

Read the rest here.

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