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Geert Wilders Dutch Trial

January 20, 2010

Why I Stand with Geert Wilders | January 19, 2010
He represents all Westerners who cherish their civilization.

By Daniel Pipes

Who is the most important European alive today? I nominate the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. I do so because he is best placed to deal with the Islamic challenge facing the continent. He has the potential to emerge as a world-historical figure.

That Islamic challenge consists of two components: on the one hand, an indigenous population’s withering Christian faith, inadequate birthrate, and cultural diffidence, and on the other an influx of devout, prolific, and culturally assertive Muslim immigrants. This fast-moving situation raises profound questions about Europe: Will it retain its historic civilization or become a majority-Muslim continent living under Islamic law (the Shari’a)?

Wilders, 46, founder and head of the Party for Freedom (PVV), is the unrivaled leader of those Europeans who wish to retain their historic identity. That’s because he and the PVV differ from most of Europe’s other nationalist, anti-immigrant parties.

The PVV is libertarian and mainstream conservative, without roots in neo-Fascism, nativism, conspiricism, antisemitism,
or other forms of extremism. (Wilders publicly emulates Ronald Reagan.) Indicative of this moderation is Wilders’s long-standing affection for Israel that includes two years’ residence in the Jewish state, dozens of visits, and his advocating the transfer of the Dutch embassy to Jerusalem.

In addition, Wilders is a charismatic, savvy, principled, and outspoken leader who has rapidly become the most dynamic political force in the Netherlands. While he opines on the full range of topics, Islam and Muslims constitute his signature issue. Overcoming the tendency of Dutch politicians to play it safe, he calls Muhammad a devil and demands that Muslims “tear out half of the Koran if they wish to stay in the Netherlands.” More broadly, he sees Islam itself as the problem, not just a virulent version of it called Islamism.

Finally, the PVV benefits from the fact that, uniquely in Europe, the Dutch are receptive to a non-nativist rejection of Shari’a. This first became apparent a decade ago, when Pim Fortuyn, a left-leaning former-Communist homosexual professor began arguing that his values and lifestyle were irrevocably threatened by the Shari’a. Fortuyn anticipated Wilders in founding his own political party and calling for a halt to Muslim immigration to the Netherlands. Following Fortuyn’s 2002 assassination by a leftist, Wilders effectively inherited his mantle and his constituency.

The PVV has done well electorally, winning 6 percent of the seats in the November 2006 national parliamentary elections and 16 percent of Dutch seats in the June 2009 European Union elections. Polls now generally show the PVV winning a plurality of votes and becoming the country’s largest party. Were Wilders to become prime minister, he could take on a leadership role for all Europe.

But he faces daunting challenges.

The Netherlands’ fractured political scene means the PVV must either find willing partners to form a governing coalition (a difficult task, given how leftists and Muslims have demonized Wilders as a “right-wing extremist”) or win a majority of the seats in parliament (a distant prospect).

Wilders must also overcome his opponents’ dirty tactics. Most notably, they have finally, after two and a half years of preliminary skirmishes, succeeded in dragging him to court on charges of hate speech and incitement to hatred. The public prosecutor’s case against Wilders opens in Amsterdam on January 20; if convicted, Wilders faces a fine of up to $14,000 or as many as 16 months in jail.

Remember, he is his country’s leading politician. Plus, due to threats against his life, he always travels with bodyguards and incessantly changes safe houses. Who exactly, one wonders, is the victim of incitement?

Although I disagree with Wilders about Islam (I respect the religion but fight Islamists with all I have), we stand shoulder-to-shoulder against the lawsuit. I reject the criminalization of political differences, particularly attempts to thwart a grassroots political movement via the courts. Accordingly, the Middle East Forum’s Legal Project has worked on Wilders’s behalf, raising substantial funds for his defense and helping in other ways. We do so convinced of the paramount importance of talking freely in public during time of war about the nature of the enemy.

Ironically, were Wilders fined or jailed, it would probably improve his chances to become prime minister. But principle outweighs political tactics here. He represents all Westerners who cherish their civilization. The outcome of his trial and his freedom to speak have implications for us all.

— Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. © 2010 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved. (nationalreview.com)

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This is my contribution to the International Free Press Society symposium on Geert Wilders. Read the full symposium here:   http://www.internationalfreepresssociety.org/2010/01/the-trial-of-geert-wilders-a-symposium/

Give me liberty or …

Paris January 18 2010

Nidra Poller

“…the statements of Wilders are un-Dutch, they don’t belong to our Christian-Judaic culture…. He discriminates Moroccans because of their race and causes hate against them…. His desire to ban the Koran brings fear and terror into peoples homes… The laws against hate crimes were made in 1934, to protect the Jews in a reaction to what was happening in Germany. That is telling. Prudently, parallels can be made –these laws had a clear cut political context.” Fokko Oldenhuis, Groningen University professor of Religion and Law (Elsevier December 17, 2009)

Dutch prosecutors are going after Geert Wilders with an axe, madly determined to hack him up–mind, heart and body politic—and bury the parts under the ashes of six million exterminated European Jews. Look how far we have come since a confused UK hid Salman Rushdie under its skirts, acting on remnants of principles and hardly aware of what was at stake. Today, the courts of a European nation proudly assume the role of hatchet man for conquering Islam.

There is no justification for the persecution of Geert Wilders. He is a legitimate political figure who speaks for a growing sector of the Dutch population and represents a hope for citizens of other European countries struggling to defend civilized values on the battlefields of a frankly declared war–the jihad– which their leaders and opinion-makers are determined to hide from view. European citizens are asking their governments to set limits on Islamic encroachment–the minaret construction freeze voted in a Swiss referendum—and the will of the people sometimes reaches the ears of their elected representatives– forthcoming law against full facial veiling in France, cancellation of permit for a mega-mosque at London’s 2012 Olympic site.

Geert Wilders has played an essential role in this transmission. Precisely because the “far right extremist populist” label written up for him by jihad sources and repeated by mindless journalists does not apply. When men and women of integrity stand up to confront the Islamic assault on our civilized values, they attract broad public support. The danger in Europe today does not come from the last dredges of retrograde extreme right forces, it comes from the jihad friendly Left. Communists, socialists, and ecologists in France shamelessly court the Muslim vote and accuse the Sarkozy government of pétainisme for daring to deport illegal immigrants.

Is this the lesson Europe has drawn from the Shoah? What could be more obscene than enrolling 6 million exterminated Jews in a battle to deprive one honest upstanding legitimate popular Dutch MP of the freedom to oppose the spread of an ideology that blatantly plans the extermination of the remaining Jewish population of the world? And actively promotes the plan here and now in Europe?

If every last Muslim immigrant were deported from every European country… if Muslims to the second and third generation were stripped of their citizenship and deported… many decent people would be unfairly deprived of their acquired rights, but… the wave of violent Jew hatred that is plaguing Europe would come to a sudden halt.

Many analysts who recognize these truths regret “extreme” positions taken by Geert Wilders. They believe he would better serve the cause, and avoid prosecution, if he would tone down his rhetoric. I disagree. Pulling punches, rounding out the angles, applauding the “majority of Muslims who are moderates” though they never appear in public, making false distinctions between Islam and Islamism is getting us nowhere. The fact that the prosecution has stooped to barring the press from a landmark trial that will determine the limits of free expression is an indication of their fear of the eloquence and clarity of Geert Wilders.

We do not want to be faced in this day and age with the choice of liberty or death. But moderation is not the answer. Give me liberty or send me to bed without supper is not a rallying cry for the defenders of freedom.

Nidra Poller
nidrapol@gmail.com .AOLWebSuite .AOLPicturesFullSizeLink { height: 1px; width: 1px; overflow: hidden; } .AOLWebSuite a {color:blue; text-decoration: underline; cursor: pointer} .AOLWebSuite a.hsSig {cursor: default}
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http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/01/20/netherlands.geert.wilders/
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