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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.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

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 ]

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