Geert Wilders

Sam H. writes from the Netherlands:

I have written to you several times about the Dutch politician Geert Wilders and I promised you in the past that I would give you some more background. Let me do that now, because there is reason to suspect that Mr. Wilders is going to become quite well-known in the next few weeks, and of course VFR needs to be well-informed.

I think that in many respects Mr. Wilders is one of the few politicians on the world whose views are very close to you on some of the main points.

Mr. Wilders is likely to become very well-known because he has announced that he will shortly bring out a short film criticizing Islam. The Dutch government suspects that this film will lead to a repetition of the kind of riots we saw with the “cartoon riots.”

Here is an interview with Fox News (in English) that gives a flavor of Mr. Wilders.

Here I present further information about him.

Facts/political background Wilders (44 years old) was a long-term member of the Dutch political party called VVD, which is Holland’s traditionally more or less right-wing classical liberal party. At the age of 34, he was elected to the Dutch parliament for the VVD and served in that capacity between 1998 and 2004 (one of his colleagues was Ayaan Hirsi Ali). Following the assassination of Pim Fortuyn in 2002, Mr. Wilders became more prominent. In 2004 he was kicked out of the VVD party because he disagreed with the VVD-leadership that negotiations should start with Turkey to become a member of the EU. A few months later, the film director Theo van Gogh was slaughtered on the streets of Amsterdam by a Muslim. Mr. Wilders received many death threats and has had severe secret service protection ever since. His new political party rocketed up in the polls. At the general elections in November 2006, Mr. Wilders’ new party (the PVV or Freedom Party) gained nine out of 150 seats. The PVV thus became the fifth-largest party in parliament. In all opinion polls since 2006, the PVV is projected to make considerable gains at the next elections.

Islam Mr. Wilders is not a Johnny-come-lately. He has traveled extensively through the Middle East, starting at the age of 18 when he spent a few years working in Israel and touring the entire Middle East. He continued these travels through the Muslim world and has visited almost all countries in that region. As a politician, he was focused on the terrorist threat of radical Islam well before 9/11 and the rise of Pim Fortuyn. Here is a quote (my translation) from his book Kies voor Vrijheid (Choose Freedom, 2005):

“Islam states that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims and is very extreme in its hatred of apostates and non-believers, going considerably further than any religion. I don’t believe in a liberal or European Islam. Politicized Islam is not a coincidence but inherent in the very core of Islam. From a historical perspective, Islam must be seen as a falling back to ideas that the Judeo-Christian and classical traditions had already long been overcome. In Greek philosophy the great good of being critical towards the traditions on which society is based had long been discovered. In the area that is now called Israel, God and the political order had become separated. Right and might did not coincide; the highest authority was being measured by a norm outside of political authority. And in the Christian tradition, the Church has abandoned its claims to worldly power since Augustine’s teaching of the two cities. But Islam from the very beginning has also wanted to be a political order. The Koran also pretends to offer revealed laws and regulations that must structure civil society. A separation between the worldly and the spiritual domains is therefore impossible according to the core of Islam. Democracy and Islam are therefore incompatible. The Netherlands must be protected from the import of Islamic culture which will bring ruin to our toleration and democracy.” (pp. 65-66).

Public policy proposals Mr. Wilders meets your litmus test. His biggest attention is on immigration. He is adamantly opposed to letting any Muslims enter and he is not afraid to say so openly. He has called for a complete standstill of any immigration, for any reasons, of Muslims to the Netherlands. (For other immigration he wants to have a yearly quota of a maximum of 5,000). He is opposed to the principle of dual nationality (most Muslims in the Netherlands are Turkish and Moroccan and the large majority are dual citizens). He is of course opposed to any forms of amnesty. He is in favor of repatriating Muslims who voluntarily wish to live and even willing to give them financial support. He is in favor of removing Muslims with dual passports who commit crimes, stripping them from their Dutch passport and sending them back to the country of origin. He is in favor of withdrawing from any international treaties including human rights treaties that stand in the way of such policies. The current first article of the Dutch constitution (revised in the 1980s) is the principle of non-discrimination. He wants to repeal that article and replace it by an article that proclaims that the Netherlands is a country with a Jewish-Christian-humanistic tradition, which must remain dominant. He is opposed to the building of any mosques in the Netherlands. He wishes to close radical mosques and remove their imams from the country sending them back to the countries of origin.

In short, this is a man, although he is far from perfect, who is worth some sustained attention from VFR.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 29, 2008 02:01 PM | Send

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