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Wilders' Ideology

by Nomad Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 at 06:04:58 AM EST

In an article highlighted in Sunday's Salon, the upcoming far-right populism is charted in several European nations. As usual, the party of Dutch MP Geert Wilders is juxtaposed with far-right xenophobes of the Lega Nord and the pro-Fascist movements in Hungary and Slovakia. Lumping Wilders in that sordid mix is a mistake, for reasons I will go into below. In any case, the article is altogether shallow on information to get all wound up about it. The article briefly touches, and that is all it does, on the concept of Alpine populism:

Mr Camus elaborated a theory of "Alpine populism" back in the late 1990s. That was when Jörg Haider's Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) teamed up with the country's conservatives, Christoph Blocher's Democratic Union of the Centre (UDC) took off in Switzerland, and the Lega Nord joined Silvio Berlusconi's government in Italy. "In their discourse," explains Camus, "the three parties converge: on the fringes of Central Europe, this Alpine core conveys memories of the Ottoman threat, a fantasy Islam and the spectre of the War in Yugoslavia, the source of waves of immigration."

Alpine populism is the prototype of the new populist right in Western Europe. A readily exploitable event has since been added: the 9/11 attacks and the Islamophobia they have now and then engendered.

Contextualising notable terms like "alpine populism", "Ottoman threat" or "fantasy Islam" seem to be lacking, but it reads the closest to what Wilders is propagating. Yet lumping Wilders into the movement of "alpine populism" without being able to compare the ideological frameworks would be equally shallow. Lucky for us (?), Wilder's ideological framework is out in the open, and it is well worth a look.



A short while ago, Jerome tipped me on the succeeding publication in the Globe and Mail written by Doug Saunders, who made a trip to The Hague to personally find out what Geert Wilders stands for. His analysis is a fine one, and one that is consistent with the impression I personally have of Wilders' ideas on Islam.

The scary world of Geert Wilders - The Globe and Mail

This is the disarming thing about Mr. Wilders, the thing that allows many otherwise moderate Dutch voters, including some gay-rights leaders and leftists, as well as a surprising number of otherwise sane foreigners, to give him a chance: He comes to his politics from a position of "anything goes, let it all hang out" liberalism.

"Whatever colour or sexual preference, whatever people have, it doesn't matter as they're all welcome in our party and we don't discriminate in any way," he tells me.

I've briefly dabbled before with what lies behind the hair of Wilders, in a story from last year, when the focus was more on the anti-EU sentiments.

European Tribune - Inside Geert Wilders

In his own words, he describes himself as a "libertarian" and his greatest political role-model is Margaret Thatcher. Wilders likes to refer to or quote Mark Steyn a lot, when it comes to demographics. He renounces fascist parties, such as those by Le Pen and Haider, and next flirts with the Republicans in the States, and joins the table at Fox News for a chat with Bill O'Reilly.

Liberalism is a fundamental element in the value system of Wilders, and the bullet points of his party takes bits of outright libertarianism. However, the party's (constantly shifting) political stances are not 100% libertarian; they are evolving in equilibrium with Dutch majorities (which also aren't constant). The PVV is chameleonic in its approach to attuning to popular sentiments, and so the best label there is for the PVV is, indeed, "populist".

Although I've stressed this at previous occasions, it bears repeating that bashing Wilders as a racist or a fascist is entirely unhelpful. His party does not reject anyone on skin colour. The label fascist is too ill defined these days, rapidly becoming a cheap slur. Wilders' staunch defence of anything Israel decides is at odds with the anti-semitic streak of fascism. In other words: calling PVV racist or fascist detracts from what matters, and Wilders uses these assaults as a stick to beat his opponents.

What matters at this point is Wilders' well defined ideas on Islam, which go beyond simple antipathy directed to foreigners:

The scary world of Geert Wilders - The Globe and Mail

He is best known for a 2008 short film, Fitna, that juxtaposes Koranic verses and extremist Islamic teachings with scenes of terrorist violence and Islamist oppression. (He presented the film in London yesterday, in the House of Lords.) In isolation, it can be viewed a number of ways. It could be warning everyone about the dangers of Islam, or Muslims about the political manipulation of their faith, or everyone about the deadly consequences of literalist religious belief.

Those last two ideas find a lot of sympathy in liberal-minded people. I try them out on Mr. Wilders: Would you consider making a second Fitna about the dangers of politicized Christianity or Judaism, and the violence that's emerged from both?

He bristles at the idea. "I see many differences between Islam and other religions. In fact, I see Islam not so much as a religion as much as an ideology. As I see it, the aim of the Islamic ideology is to dominate and to submit the Western societies to their belief, and this is unlike the other religions. I say that Islam is not another branch on the tree of religions - it has to be put in the corner of totalitarian ideologies. That's why I compare it with communism and fascism - I see the comparisons between the Koran and Mein Kampf."

He then talks about a concept he calls al-Hijra, "the Islamic doctrine of migration," a Trojan-horse doctrine that commands Muslim believers to move to a non-Muslim country, have as many children as possible, then seize power. This "concept" seems to have come from a speech by Libya's Moammar Gadhafi but is absent from any existing practice of Islam.


It would've got Wilders a Godwin alert on any internet forum. This should underline that Wilders is not just scoring points by acting on populist sentiments, like other populist politicians, but that Wilders also has developed his own ideology, stitched together from scraps and pieces of prominent and not so prominent anti-Islam thinkers. A familiar name of this clique is for example Mark Steyn, a less familiar name is the Dane Lars Hedegaard, of whom a large speech is published here and also worth a separate look.

With a screed like this, Wilders is committing a "failure of the elite" - when those who should know better, don't. We knew that. But it struck me when coming to the end of Saunders piece: Wilders is operating internationally, and although he's particularly favouring the Anglo-Saxon world, Wilders has shaped and put on paper an ideological seed that can easily spread to other countries for similar politicians. This goes beyond populism, acting on anti-foreigners sentiments or fanning national "pride" for political gain. This is dogma, and Wilders is spawning an ideology that mirrors a new kind of anti-semitism, directed to other "outsiders".

Saunders concludes:

The scary world of Geert Wilders - The Globe and Mail

his words and the message of Fitna are exactly - to specific phrases, to the tone of louche brotherliness - what was said about the Jews.

It wasn't the people but the "the code of Jewish ethics," the well-documented desire of Jewish believers to take over countries and industries and societies. Judaism wasn't another religion but an ideology, closely linked to communism ("Judeo-Bolshevism" was your grandfather's "Islamo-fascism"). And it was the terrorism and violence that Judaic beliefs always seemed to bring to societies. Don't forget that Kristallnacht, the concerted violence by the Nazis against Jews and their property in 1938, was provoked by an act of Jewish terrorism, the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris. The connection between the Torah and the violence was evident to many decent and otherwise liberal-minded people.

This is not to say Geert Wilders is a Hitler or his followers are all racists. But we shouldn't pretend that his core ideas are in any way reasonable, rational, freedom-loving or tolerant.


Display:
Mr Camus elaborated a theory of "Alpine populism" back in the late 1990s. That was when Jörg Haider's Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) teamed up with the country's conservatives, Christoph Blocher's Democratic Union of the Centre (UDC) took off in Switzerland, and the Lega Nord joined Silvio Berlusconi's government in Italy. "In their discourse," explains Camus, "the three parties converge: on the fringes of Central Europe, this Alpine core conveys memories of the Ottoman threat, a fantasy Islam and the spectre of the War in Yugoslavia, the source of waves of immigration."

It's worth to note that there is (was) variation even in that. Haider himself was a friend of Gadhafi's son, and his ideology developed into a decidedly Arab-friendly one -- that is, the anti-Turkish xenophoby was not focused on religion. Though when he slit from the FPÖ, the new FPÖ went the anti-Islam route.

Liberalism is a fundamental element in the value system of Wilders

This is true to various degrees for the 'Alpine populists', too, as well as the Republikaner in Germany. The FPÖ itself was a liberal party before Haider and still is in name. Though the liberal side is mostly tax cut populism -- nothing at the level of Wilders (or Fortuyn).

Although I've stressed this at previous occasions, it bears repeating that bashing Wilders as a racist or a fascist is entirely unhelpful.

Bringing up fascism (or, in this case, its worst historical manifestation, Nazism) is worthwile when there is a broad analogy to be drawn -- IMO that's just what Doug Saunders does in your final quote.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 21st, 2010 at 06:06:42 PM EST
I find pointing out parallels with historic practices or ideas worthwhile, but not by bringing up fascism of any sort. Bringing up fascism, or Nazism, as an ideological framework is a pitfall too many adversaries of Wilders have run into. Bringing up these ideologies will immediately tilt debate to Wilders' profit, because it fits his own position as a person being vilified.

Saunders points out the parallels of Wilders' ideas with anti-semitism as they were framed by Hitler. It was anti-semitism that became incorporated into all kind of forms of fascism, including Nazism. At the core, Wilders is forming a new breed of anti-semitism. The focus should go there, and not to any Godwin parallels. Which is why I observed belatedly in the comment below that this diary also might have crossed the Godwin Law.

However, I'm sure there are plenty of anti-semitism parallels to be found prior to the rise of Nazism.

by Nomad on Sun Mar 21st, 2010 at 07:08:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By what you've presented Wilders is Yet Another surviving example of the various ethno-nationalisms that were so popular in the Austro-Hungarian Empire around circa 1900 - Zionism being one - and then spread Euro-wise after WW 1: Italian and Spanish Fascism, the NSDAP in Germany and Austria, Oswald Mosley in the UK, Quisling's Nasjonal Samling in Norway, & etc.

There was a Dutch variant as well, tho' damned if I can remember what they called themselves.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 21st, 2010 at 07:41:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Sun Mar 21st, 2010 at 07:59:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank for the pointer.  It was the Zwart Front I couldn't pull out of my brain.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Mar 21st, 2010 at 08:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wilders is forming a new breed of anti-semitism.

Would you explain your reasoning please, apart from Saunders' lurid analogy. I have the impression Wilders is fixated with demonizing Moslem "totalitarian" culture --this characterization of any religious dogma not Protestant signifies political "ideology". Do you have reasons to believe, specific examples, Wilders advocates for say, a bigger Dutch militia (as in Italy today) to enforce curfews, arrest Jews... and Moslem immigrants. Perhaps segregated housing? Loyalty oaths and censor imprimatur.

I didn't view the O'Reilly video. Did Wilders mention incarceration of Jews? Confiscation of property? Israeli esponiage? What?

I did read the Hedegaard speech. I found that informative, to the extent his comprehension of the intellectual history of liberalism in Denmark, Europe, qualifies his membership in a clique and explains his antipathy toward backward, totalitarian "Islamic civilizations."

What examples of new anti-semitism?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Mar 21st, 2010 at 09:13:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Firstly, if you'd be addressing Wilders, he'd point out to you that his fixation is not with Muslims per se, but it is with Islam. This is a subtle distinction - and also IMO a convenient method of making suspect by association anyone who is Muslim, even by name only, but not saying it.

Secondly, you're putting pressure on a problem I am/was heading for: sticking a name to Wilders' ideology. There isn't one to my knowledge. Wilders ideas on Islam bear strong parallels with anti-semitism as developed over hundred years ago, but they are specifically not anti-semitic, old or new. Wilders does not target Jews, in fact, his argumentation is that the tripartite of Christian-Jewish-humanist traditions form the core of Western civilization, and that Muslim influences should be excluded at all costs.

As to policies he has proposed, the ones I found most galling were his proposals done in Dutch Parliament to tax women who wear scarfs, a license for the police to kneecap protesting people, or sending in the military to quell unrest which was in response to protests dominated by people with an immigrant background.

The one proposal that I always have found to say the most is one that he launched in 2005 and seems to stand by it today: scrapping article 1 of the Dutch Constitution. It's the article that outlines equality for the law. Summer 2009, in Copenhagen, Wilders repeated this.


Wilders uses the term "Eurabia" because he believes that migration and demography are part of an Islamic doctrine aimed at conquering Europe.

Wilders' speech was punctuated by cheering and ended with several standing ovations after he had used a welter of statistics and quotations to "prove" that "many of the Muslims in Europe" want to implement Shariah Law.

...

Wilders wants European countries to amend to the constitutions to say that "The European cultural foundation is Judeo-Christian and Humanistic in nature", to stop mass immigration from Muslim countries and promote voluntary repatriation, to expel criminal foreigners and, after denaturalisation, criminals with dual nationality. Further measures he proposed included the closure of Islamic schools - "because they are fascist institutions" - and the closure of radical mosques and a ban on the construction of new ones.

IOW: It is similar to anti-semitism but targeted to different people. How do we call this?

by Nomad on Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 at 05:40:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
we call it islamophobia, a branch of targetted xenophobia.

or plain simple hate.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 at 06:00:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Islam-hate has a nice ring to it...

There are already several websites and analysis on "Islamfobie", the Dutch translation of islamophobia, and on these sites also parallels are made with anti-semitism. However, the term is also in use by organisations such as the Dutch-Belgium AEL, which isn't exactly free from criticism that it promotes anti-semitism. Headaches.

by Nomad on Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 at 08:08:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm. You skipped right over totalitarianism.

1. Not Muslims, Islam. Yes, this line of reasoning is incoherent. Wilders claims he respects people who profess devotion to Islamic doctrines --their profession being exactly why such people identify themselves and are identified by others as Muslims. At the same time, he  impugns and condemns Islamic doctrines, in effect arguing that doctrine does not dictate the profession and identity of a Muslim. Perhaps many Dutch recognized a truth in Wilders's hypocrisy, that is their own indifference to religious profession, their association "by name only" to some church or temple, organization and dogma. Association denotes conceptual and political fealty. Wilders abuses both meanings in order to discriminate Muslim residents, while rejecting discourse rendered in explicit race and ethnic idioms.

It seems to me, doing so allows other people to  demand that any  Muslim "by name" conform in appearances and conduct with secularism so-called (material and political rewards of normative ecumenical membership notwithstanding). To dramatize the ignomy of overt religious profession --and to avoid examining historic and modern Dutch principles of religious freedom-- Wilders et al. promulate fictions of Muslim devotion Islamic doctrines  "Sharia law" and "Islamic Nationalism" juxtaposed to "civil law" and Dutch nationalism civic pride.

I'm pretty sure, I've not mentioned anything new to ET readers. What commenters do tend to gloss is racism -- an ideology of race, inculcation of race detection, events attributed to race politics, statistical descriptions of race, public discrimination by race, etc. Wilders avoids the language of racism, the familiar pejoratives of color, poverty, and violence that accompanies "hate" crime among "brown people," women, and homosexuals --lumpen groups of alterity. He sticks to his high road of Enlightened political philosophy that so-called left-of-center and liberal critics are loathe to repudiate yet struggle to justify, given the habitual language and image repertoire of conformity at their disposal.

The list of Wilders's policy proposals are galling for reasons you don't really identify. "Protests dominated by people with an immigrant background:" This is an example of glossing racism, blatant not subtle criteria which justify punative responses to non-conformity. What do these people with immigrant backgrounds protest? And why would such protest be so offensive to warrant police action?

2. Sticking a name to Wilders' ideology. Perhaps Wilders hostility toward semitic "races" is as complex as you suspect. Today, common understanding of anti-semitism is hostility toward Jews validated by (i) a racist classification of people specifically who profess Judaism; and (ii) inferior "semite" race traits. Yet the great, hideous pseudo-scientific dilemma that's plagued racist scholars for more than 200 years is of course how to isolate "Jewish" phenotype and language within semitic . The historical contradiction has always been elevating Judeo-Christian superiority while denegrating semitic inferiority. Yes, Wilders expresses this dichotomy, too. His antipathy  toward Islamic doctrine passes the "parallel" test of anti-semitism through his Zionist rhetoric --unconditional support of Isreali nationalism, "repatriation" of Moslem residents-- to purge the Netherlands of foreign culture.

Now comes a glib conclusion to Wilders's philosophical appeal in buckets of nearly content-free, Nazi iconography. You can cope with the "Eurabia" imagery, as it captures Wilders' racist phobia with a kind of stereotypical accuracy one can fondle. Daintily.

Look how you exclude "socialists" from his equations of cultural hegemony and liberalism threatened by totalitarian Islamic doctrine, hmmm.

"It is the socialists who are responsible for mass immigration, Islamisation [BWAH!] and the general decay of our cities and societies. It is the socialists who are responsible for the fact that cities such as Rotterdam, Marseille and Malmö seem to be situated in Eurabia rather than in Europe."

Labeling or branding Wilders' "ideology" won't excuse critical examination of the conflicting visions of socialism that he manipulates or meaningful recourse to equal protection for Muslim immigrants. Does Wilders's celebrity (or notoriety) really turn on a tacit agreement that the practical limits of liberalism --"lifestyle liberties" dvx calls it-- do not extend beyond symbolic expression?

 

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 at 04:43:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You pose almost as much answers as questions. Let me respond briefly to just a few of these thoughts.

Starting:

The list of Wilders's policy proposals are galling for reasons you don't really identify. "Protests dominated by people with an immigrant background:" This is an example of glossing racism, blatant not subtle criteria which justify punative responses to non-conformity. What do these people with immigrant backgrounds protest? And why would such protest be so offensive to warrant police action?

Excuse my brevity. I'd have to delve into specifics, starting with the specifics of the event that triggered Wilders into proposing kneecapping people. The next step could lead into elucidating the background of the particular city, and the comparable situations (social factors, neighbourhood, etc) existing throughout the rest of the Netherlands. In other words, it would involve some serious research time. Let me therefore just state that IMO kneecapping anyone who's involved in protests is a far too excessive measure to even be proposed as a conceivable option.

Also:

Labeling or branding Wilders' "ideology" won't excuse critical examination of the conflicting visions of socialism that he manipulates or meaningful recourse to equal protection for Muslim immigrants.

Astute. The first is a point that I don't see discussed much while it is essential. I still am, and long have been, in the camp of Dutch politicians who remarked on the failure of immigrant integration since the ninenties, including (controversial) people such as Frits Bolkenstein and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (but only during her days she could unblinkingly defend secularism, that is, prior to her stay at the AEI). I disagree that failed policies on immigration integration can solely be blamed on the "left" as Wilders is wont to argue. This conveniently leaves out Dutch christian party/parties, CDA and its predecessors, who were a governing party from 1918 until 1994. However, neither should this mean that I feel the parties on the right (VVD, Wilders) who've been most critical have the right answers.

Wilders has a following of a projected 24 - 26 seats (about 15% of the electorate and approximately the same amount the Pim Fortuyn party won during 2002 elections) partly because of the legacy of 30-40 years of immigration integration policies which were a mix of (post-colonial?) naivety and indifference. In this, Wilders is a useful idiot: because his movement is forcing the hand of other parties to address immigration integration effectively in the light of their own ideological framework.

Does Wilders's celebrity (or notoriety) really turn on a tacit agreement that the practical limits of liberalism --"lifestyle liberties" dvx calls it-- do not extend beyond symbolic expression?

Ponderous stuff. Wil have to chew on it.

by Nomad on Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 at 05:36:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In this, Wilders is a useful idiot: because his movement is forcing the hand of other parties to address immigration integration effectively in the light of their own ideological framework.

That's the optimistic view. The pessimistic one is that he is another radical to move the Overton Window, who could get the large parties to absorb some elements and assumptions in the framing of issues into their ideologies.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 at 07:45:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My vision is not at all optimistic.

Of course to a degree what you describe is happening, too. VVD is already doing it. CDA, as always, is conflicted, struggling with their own morality and populist clamour. But: I don't see much of it in other parties.

The one development is healthy, the other one is unhealthy. The latter may brings us to the ugly road: Wilders building a coalition with those parties that have shifted enough, and we'll have to sit thruogh prime-minister Wilders to let the Dutch painfully find out it's another great political illusion. The difficult route is to have the left parties attempting to solve a 40 years old immigration problem with Wilders in opposition breathing incessantly in their necks whilst continuing to polarize Dutch society, which he seems to do just fine.

From my perspective, both scenarios ain't fun.

by Nomad on Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 at 08:34:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nomad:
How do we call this

Whatever name we find, I think it will have to include the adjective genteel, because he's trying to address putatively educated people who live in the mainstream. And as I noted elsewhere, I think there are sections of the mainstream just waiting for a leader nat associated with the lumpen fringes.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 at 05:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wilders, he'd point out to you that his fixation is not with Muslims per se, but it is with Islam.

Cat analysed well how this is a hypocritical distinction to avoid explicit race and ethnic idioms. I want to add one point to this: Wilders treats Islam as a monolythic ideology, with the effect of dismissing diversity in the views of Muslims. It's one grand conspiracy from Turkey to Morocco intent on converting Europe by immigration.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 at 07:38:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bringing up these ideologies will immediately tilt debate to Wilders' profit, because it fits his own position as a person being vilified.

But that's a pose all far-right demagogues take up! And they will do so whatever you connect them to, fascism or populism or hate-mongerism or Islamophobia or some new term.

It was anti-semitism that became incorporated into all kind of forms of fascism, including Nazism.

Nitpick: not into the Japanese form and Salazar's Estado Novo, and only as a sideshow into Franco's Falangism; the latter two's rhetorical focus was (AFAIK) anti-communism. Non-nitpick: true, it's not the broad ideology of fascism (which includes a re-make of the state and society) but the anti-some-minority element (which exists as part of ideologies other than fascism too) that's relevant to Wilders' ideology.

At the core, Wilders is forming a new breed of anti-semitism. The focus should go there, and not to any Godwin parallels.

I don't understand your point. What's different in Wilders' new iteration of xenophobia is not what is dangerous in it -- the danger is just what is NOT different. The issue is not what name one gives to his ideology. The parallels, as outlined by Saunders, suggest similar mechanisms at work, which should be exposed similarly; and the possibility of future escalation, which should be warned against -- both of which should be important issues.

I'm sure there are plenty of anti-semitism parallels to be found prior to the rise of Nazism.

Sure, I could refer to the rhetoric of 19th century Hungarian Antisemites for example (which to boot started out more religion- than ethnicity-based); but Saunders, like most people, probably knows much less about those.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 at 07:19:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The parallel between Japanese and German fascism was the concept of the untermensch - as in "inferior peoples." For the German Fascists this was the "endless hordes to the East" in the Slavic plains... For the Japanese it was the "endless hordes to the West" in the plains of China...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 at 08:25:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this diary also has crossed a Godwin alert... But hey, that other guy started it...
by Nomad on Sun Mar 21st, 2010 at 06:13:33 PM EST
.
Speech Geert Wilders MP / Columbia University New York, October 21, 2009

It is clear that not everyone sees the danger. I quote a prominent American, who recently won a Nobel Prize: "Throughout history, Islam had demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance", and "Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism, it is an important part of promoting peace", and "We celebrate a great religion, and its commitment to justice and progress". End of quote.  I  strongly have to disagree with this assessment. Islam has nothing in common with tolerance or peace or justice!

President Obama also celebrated the fact that when the first Muslim-American was elected to Congress, he took the oath using the same Koran that one of the Founding Fathers - Thomas Jefferson - kept in his personal library. It is interesting to know that Thomas Jefferson in 1801 was about to wage war against the Islamic 'Barbary' states of Northern Africa to stop the pillaging of ships and enslavement of more than a million Christians.

The ambassador of these Muslim nations told Thomas Jefferson and John Adams that Muslims find the justification for their slaughter and enslavement of kafir in the Koran. Now I ask you, dear friends, could it be that Thomas Jefferson did not keep a copy of the Koran because he admired Islam but because he wanted to understand the ruthless nature of his enemies?  

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe in democracy, I believe in the American people and the choices it makes, and normally, as a politician from Holland, I would never judge your President. But these remarks of President Obama, do not only affect America, but Europe too. I am afraid that President Obama's remarks could be a turning point in history. I fear that serious geo political changes are looming, changes that will alter our foreign policies, our view on free speech, changes that will alter the West, our way of life,  and for the worse and not for the better.

Wilders' Likud View: Israel vs Jihad and Terror

Ladies and gentlemen, there is one Western country that has been forced to fight the forces of jihad for its values since the very first day of its existence: Israel, the canary in the coal mine. Let me say a few words about that wonderful country.

I had the privilege of living in Israel. However, in Europe being pro-Israel makes you an endangered species. Israel is a beacon of light in an area - the Middle East - that is pitch black everywhere else. Israel is a Western democracy, while Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt are medieval dictatorships.

The so-called 'Middle East conflict' is not about land at all. It is a conflict about ideologies; a battle between Islam and freedom. It is not about some land in Gaza or in Judea and Samaria. It is about Jihad. To Islam the whole of Israel is occupied territory. They see Tel Aviv and Haifa as settlements too.

I am very much in favor of a two-state solution. I mean Churchill's 1921 two-state solution, when Palestine was partitioned in a Jewish and an Arab part. Arab Palestine is now called Jordan, and therefore, there is already a Palestinian state. With eighty percent of the population having roots on the other side of the Jordan, there is no doubt Jordan is truly the state of Palestine.

Islam forces Israel to fight, and Israel is not just fighting for itself. Israel is fighting for all of us, for the entire West. Just like those brave American soldiers who landed in Sicily in 1943 and stormed the Normandy beaches in 1944, young Israeli men and women are fighting for our freedom, our civilization.

Hatemongers Geert Wilders and David Horowitz routed at Temple U.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali - How to beat Geert Wilders at the polls

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

by Oui on Sun Mar 21st, 2010 at 07:53:40 PM EST
Ah, the Same Old nonsense.  

Didn't the Israelis kill off a couple of Terrorist Olive Pickers this weekend using, pretty much, this line of argument?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 21st, 2010 at 08:02:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"failure of the elite"

Damn straight. What I find most shocking is not Wilders' own views, but how closely the views of so many putatively educated persons are on a convergent course.

Awhile back, the proposed construction of a prominent mosque was the subject of much discussion. I was frankly horrified at how often persons who I thought were (do I really want put it this way?) (yes I do) better than that rapidly defaulted from arguments on the merits (the whole debate, by the way, had the effect of bringing Turkish organizations further into the civil-society mainstream) to highly generalized diatribes about how "Islam" is radical, anti-woman, etc.

I think that for many, the Wilders-type "defend our lifestyle liberties" ideology is a lot more seductive than traditional blood&soil ultranationalism.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 at 07:02:41 AM EST
Great diary... part of the problem is that there isn't an exact word for what Wilders is doing...

Sectarianism is the closest that comes to mind - from Northern Ireland.

We've spent plenty of time on ET debunking Mark Steyn... I think the fact that Wilders ideology rests on a Steyn-ian foundation is a telling one.

The comparison with anti-semitism is apt... but lessons have been learned by the populists... where once there was a "Protocols of the Elders" - now it's vague insinuations of a religion-wide plot...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 at 09:01:41 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 at 02:12:25 PM EST
by t-------------- on Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 at 08:02:25 PM EST


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