INTERVIEW: GEERT WILDERS AND THE ‘ISLAMICIZATION’ OF EUROPE

Wildersby JOEL B. POLLAK:

Following his provocative lecture on the “European Spring” to a conference of the American Freedom Alliance in Los Angeles on Sunday, I sat down with Dutch political leader Geert Wilders, who leads a party that demands an end to immigration from Islamic nations and advocates leaving the European Union.

I found Wilders cordial and sincere in his beliefs, though sweeping in his generalizations. He acknowledged that there were Muslims who embraced Western values of freedom and tolerance, but seemed unconcerned that a ban on Muslim immigration would keep such people out–and denied that they were Muslims at all.

At one point, I asked him (6:40) to define more precisely the European values that he is defending:

Breitbart News: So what is the essence, then, of the European value system that you want to protect? What is the essential value?

Wilders: Well…the first and most important thing is our identity: we are not Islamic nor should we become Islamic.

Wilders later added: “Maybe the answer is freedom, respect, and not wanting to rule any minority.” But if Europe primarily knows itself in relation to the Islamic “other,” how can it hope to survive, much less thrive?

“What is happening to Europe today will happen to America tomorrow,” Wilders warns. But is that true, when Christianity–weakened, somewhat, but still strong–remains a foundation that Europe has long neglected? Is that true when ideals of limited government are still more widely shared here, even in the age of Obama?

Wilders has important things to say against cultural relativism, and is careful to distinguish his own party from those he considers racist and extremist in other parts of Europe. But is illiberalism the answer to illiberalism? I have made my own skepticism plain; here, below, is the full interview, for you to decide.

 

 

 

Speech by Geert Wilders Los Angeles, June 9, 2013:

The Resurgence of National Pride and the Future of Europe

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam

Ayaan Hirsi AliMichael Coren interviews Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Responds to Questions at Ohio University:

 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken defender of women’s rights in Islamic societies, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006. In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society. In 2004, together with director Theo van Gogh, she made Submission, a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures. The airing of the film on Dutch television resulted in the assassination of Mr. van Gogh by an Islamic extremist. At AEI, Ms. Hirsi Ali researches the relationship between the West and Islam, women’s rights in Islam, violence against women propagated by religious and cultural arguments, and Islam in Europe.

See also:

The Counter Jihad Report’s Youtube playlist for Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Amsterdam Gets a Harsh Lesson in Islam 101

Haitham al-Haddad

By Bruce Bawer

In January 2009 a Dutch court ordered Geert Wilders to be prosecuted for offending Muslims and inciting anti-Muslim hatred.  The complaint was based not on slurs, as such, but on factual statements made by Wilders, in his film Fitna and in various public venues, about Islamic beliefs and about actions inspired by those beliefs.  In June 2011, after a prolonged legal ordeal that cost Wilders greatly in time, money, and emotion, and that represented a disgrace to the tradition of Dutch liberty, he was finally acquitted.

In February of this year, the Islamic Students Association at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam invited Haitham al-Haddad, a British sharia scholar, to participate in a symposium, but when some of al-Haddad’s sophisticated theological statements about Jews (the usual “pigs and dogs” business) and about other topics came to light, members of the Dutch Parliament spoke out against the invitation, a media storm erupted, and VU canceled its plans.  Whereupon a venue in Amsterdam called De Balie, which sponsors debates, talks, plays, and sundry cultural and artistic events (and whose café is a good spot to grab a late-morning coffee), stepped in and offered al-Haddad their stage.

At the event that ensued, al-Haddad spelled out, and defended, many aspects of Islamic law, including the death penalty for apostates.  Because of this specific statement about executing apostates, al-Haddad was reported to Dutch officials for having broken the same laws that Wilders had been put on trial for violating.  The other day, however, judicial authorities announced their determination that al-Haddad had not committed any offense and would therefore not be prosecuted for his remarks.  Why?  Supposedly because he had placed conditions on the death penalty for apostates.  I was curious to know exactly what he had said, so I searched for the debate on You Tube.  Lucky me, there it was, all 76 minutes of it.  I will recount it in some detail here because I think it provides a window on one or two bemusing aspects of the European mentality in our time.

As the event began, Yoeri Albrecht, director of De Balie and the evening’s host, explained that he’d decided to invite al-Haddad because it’s “important to discuss the position of Islam in the West.”  He told the cleric that he was “very happy that you agreed” to come and wished him “a warm welcome.”  Albrecht had invited two other men to join him and al-Haddad onstage.  One was Kustaw Bessems, a journalist; the other was Tofik Dibi, a young Dutch-Moroccan Marxist, university student, and member of Parliament for the Green Left Party who has publicly protested against Wilders and who represents himself as an advocate for a modern, progressive Islam.  Neither Wilders nor anyone else from his Freedom Party was asked to join the debate.  Bessems noted early on that while he finds al-Haddad’s views “despicable,” it was he who had personally taken the initiative to find an alternate venue after VU’s cancellation, because he believes in free speech (as if free speech means that fanatics have an automatic right to a platform).

Dibi’s questions for al-Haddad were a tad challenging, but his manner was respectful, even deferential.  The imam, for his part, didn’t beat around the bush.  Dibi: “Do you have more right to speak about Islam than other Muslims?”  Al-Haddad: “Yeah, of course.”  Dibi: “Do you allow yourself to doubt?”  Al-Haddad: “There are certain things in Islam that are clear.  No one can doubt them.”

Albrecht, for his part, sounded almost astonished when, having finally grasped al-Haddad’s key point, he said: “Outside of Islam, there is no truth?”  Al-Haddad: “No.”  Albrecht: “Could you understand that a lot of people would be afraid of this kind of thinking?”  Al-Haddad: “There is something called truth.  There is right and wrong.”  When al-Haddad admitted that he supported stoning for crimes like adultery and apostasy, Albrecht exclaimed: “You can’t be serious!”  The host seemed to be genuinely gobsmacked.  (Incidentally, the “conditions” al-Haddad had reportedly placed on the death penalty for apostates, and that had purportedly saved him from prosecution by the Dutch judiciary, were as follows: an apostate could not be executed until his case was handled in a Muslim country by a sharia judge.)

It emerged that earlier that day al-Haddad had refused to let a woman sit beside him on a TV show.  Asked now about women’s rights, al-Haddad insisted that men and women, being different, have different rights; that obliging women to wear headscarves is not an act of oppression any more than parking rules in Britain are; and that “women’s rights” need to be viewed in context.  A woman in the audience was given an opportunity to express her own shock at al-Haddad’s views on women: “I am really amazed at the way you think!”  For a while, Albrecht gave up his seat onstage to her.  “Who gives you the right,” she asked al-Haddad, “where do you get the right, to discuss women’s rights?”

I was shocked too.  I was shocked that in the year 2012, these Dutch infidels – intellectual infidels – professed to be shocked, and indeed gave every indication of being sincerely shocked, when they heard a recognized Islamic authority spell out basic facts of Islamic belief.  These are the same basic facts that Geert Wilders has been talking about for years.  It was for daring to speak these facts – for, in effect, reporting on the same barbaric beliefs and practices that al-Haddad was now not only describing but defending – that Wilders had been hauled into court on charges of having insulted al-Haddad’s faith.  Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wilders – all of them had been reviled around the world as Islamophobes for stating these same facts.  But on that evening at De Balie it was almost as if none of these critics of Islam had ever opened their mouths.

Read more at Front Page

Netherlands Sliding into the Abyss

Posted By Bruce Bawer In Daily Mailer,FrontPage

 

In a new interview in the Dutch magazine Panorama, Geert Wilders talks about a variety of things, including his forthcoming book about Islam, which will be published in the U.S. in April.  In it, he says, he’ll document the fact that “Islam is a dangerous ideology” and that “Muhammed really is one of the big bad guys” of history, whose negative influence continues to be felt today.  Yes, Wilders acknowledges, there are genuinely moderate people who call themselves Muslims, and if they want to call themselves Muslims that’s fine with him – but there is no such thing as a moderate Islam.

What, asks the interviewer, is his great fear?  Answer: that “if we don’t put an end to Islamization, it will slowly but surely insinuate itself into our society, at the cost of our freedom.  And bit by bit things will go the wrong way.  That’s why I’m extending this warning.  Otherwise someday our children and grandchildren won’t have freedom any more.”  To which the interviewer replies: “And if people say: come on, Geert, it’s not really so bad, is it?…What do you say then?”  “I say: it’s worse than you think.”

It’s hard to believe that in the year 2011 there exist Dutchmen – outside of the perennially clueless cultural elite, that is – who are still able to believe that things aren’t “really so bad.”  But, alas, there are.  There are.

To be sure, thanks largely to pressure from Wilders and his Freedom Party, the last few years have seen reforms in Dutch immigration and integration policies.  But has it been too little, too late?   For the unfortunate fact is that one set of indicators after another continues to head south.  Take a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and produced by Risbo, a research institute at Erasmus University.  It shows that of males in the Netherlands’ “Moroccan community” between the ages of 12 and 24, no fewer than 38.7 percent have come to the attention of the police at least once during the last five years in connection with some offense – mostly violent crimes and thefts.

The winner in this dubious sweepstakes is the historic city of Den Bosch, about fifty miles south of Amsterdam.  In Den Bosch, just under half of young Moroccan males between 12 and 24 – 47.7 percent, to be exact – have police records.  (That’s up from 45 percent last year.)  In a long list of other cities – Zeist, Gouda, Veenendaal, Amersfoort, Maassluis, Oosterhout, Schiedam, Nijmegen, Utrecht, Ede, Leiden, and The Hague – the figure also topped 40 percent.  In every municipality that was studied, incidentally, the scores for Moroccan youths far outstripped those for ethnic Dutch kids, among whom an average of 13 percent of boys in the same age cohort had come in for similar police attention during the same period.

One person who knows a good deal about the Dutch Moroccan youth milieu is filmmaker Roy Dames, who spent eight years – imagine! – working on Mocros, a documentary about young Moroccans in Rotterdam.  (The film opened on November 10 in Amsterdam and Nijmegen, and will be aired on Dutch TV early next year.)  In an interview with the Dutch edition of Metro, Dames, whose previous work includes documentaries about criminals, prostitutes, alcoholics, and homeless people, says that he “wanted to make a documentary about the Moroccan boys in the street, the street kids that you see everywhere.  In 2002, when I started Mocros, Moroccan boys had a poor image. They still do.  Many Moroccan boys are kicked out of school, cause trouble in the streets, and are in danger of leading a life of crime.”

The ones he’s been following around all these years with his camera now average about twenty-three years old.  They’re on welfare and get “an occasional job.”  One of them has spent some time in prison.  It’s not easy to get them to open up, he says, because they “live in a culture of silence and shame” in which pressure from family, friends, and community “is enormous.”

Spending all these years in the company of these youths hasn’t exactly protected Dames from their not-so-chummy side.  At one point he was filming a (shall we say) uncongenial encounter between thirty of his young subjects and some hapless “youth workers” when suddenly the boys “turned on me” aggressively.  Dames jumped in his car and sped off just in time – and had to put the project on hold for six months.  (Apparently it took that long for the kids to cool down.)

One gathers that while Dames has a certain degree of sympathy for at least some of these kids, he also doesn’t pull any punches, and shows things how they are – which is not pretty.  (A snotty little review in De Telegraaf gripes that the film, intentionally or not, will confirm all the prejudices of ethnic Dutch viewers – and the reviewer ends with that line, as if to make it clear that the last thing he wants to do is to explore the disturbing implications of this observation.)

It seems significant that the profile of Dames appeared in the Dutch edition of Metro, of all places.  Metro is a chain of urban newspapers that can be picked up for free in subway stations and other such places (the Dutch trains are always full of discarded copies), and over the years I’ve noticed that the Dutch and Swedish editions of Metro are – scandalously – often the only places you’ll find news stories that are too politically incorrect for those countries’ “real” media to touch.  Apparently Dames’s documentary falls into that category.  Mocros has received “little attention in the media,” he laments, because “the Dutch press is politically correct” and would prefer not to have a “real debate” about the issues raised by films like his.

Well, we knew that already – heaven knows Geert Wilders does.  But after the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, the hounding of Ayaan Hirsi Ali out of the country, and the prosecution of Wilders – all because they dared to express their opinions about Islam – and given the increasingly out-of-this-world statistics such as those included in the Risbo report, one wonders exactly what it would take to persuade the Dutch media that it’s time, at long last, to permit a truly wide-open, no-holds-barred discussion of Islam in the Netherlands.  One fears that by the time some of the media moguls realize it’s time to let ‘er rip, it’ll already be much too late.