The rationale for Wilders’s call to ban the Koran

Last month I enthusiastically greeted Geert Wilder’s radical program to save the Netherlands from Islam, the most radical aspect of which is a proposal to ban the “fascist” Koran. I wondered, however, what exactly is Wilder’s basis for the latter position. In an interview this week with Douglas Murray in the Spectator about his so-far unseen short movie about Islam, “Fitna,” Wilders explains why he thinks the Koran should be outlawed:

“I really believe that the Koran is a fascist book and Islam—which is more ideology, according to me, than religion—is something that is at least very bad for our values and our society. I’m not a cultural relativist. I believe that we should be proud of our culture. Our culture is far better than the more retarded Islamic culture. So this is why last year in an article I wrote, I said, well, we should ban the Koran. I initiated a big debate with the Prime Minister in the Dutch parliament about it and talked about how it would be good if there could be a new Koran like a New Testament and all the hatred and incitement and intolerance—get rid of that.” The sole limit to freedom of speech that Wilders recognises is incitement. And this is the problem he has with the Koran.

“Big parts of the Koran today are still used … to do the most terrible things. And I believe a lot of people don’t know that and I hope it will open their eyes and we will get a discussion going about the real nature of Islam. We should stop this process of Islamisation and we should protect not only our identity but also our freedom more. With the growing amount of Islamisation of both our countries and our societies we will lose our freedoms. At the end of the day Islam will kill our democracy and our society, and I know it will not happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow but there is a process going on and there is a total lack of urgency of people who really feel that it is a threat.”

And what is his main message to the non-Muslims who see his film?

“Stop being a cultural relativist and be proud of who you are, and fight for it especially if, you know, I mean these people are not Buddhist…. All the reactions of the Islamic world, even unfortunately from the Dutch government, show that Islam is something different, has to be treated differently, as something entirely beside our own culture and values.”

And why did he choose the title he did? Because “Islam is our challenge—our fitna. Every day, a few times every Muslim if he sees a woman walking in a short skirt or somebody with a picture or drawing of Mohammed, all the time they have fitnas … A Muslim knows from the age of five what fitna means, every Muslim and, well—Islam is the fitna of our society. Will we survive the challenge of this terrible ideology? Will we be able to stop it or to give it the place that it will not kill our democratic society and values that we share in the West?”

Wilders sums it up defiantly: “If I surrender, they will win. And they will never win. They have to lose, and they will lose.”

Wilder’s logic regarding the Koran is straightforward and makes complete sense—and does so even within the terms of Europe’s existing cultural-Marxist political order. Much of the Koran (in my experience, virtually every page that I open to and begin to read at random) consists of bloodcurdling expressions by Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, of his rage at non-believers for rejecting him, and his endlessly repeated call for their defeat, humiliation, torture, death, and eternal sadistic punishment. This unending war against non-Muslims is at the core of classical Islam and remains the active inspiration for today’s jihadists and terrorists. No work in history remotely compares with it.

At present, every country in Western Europe makes it a crime to “stir up hatred” against a group. Publications that “stir up hatred” are banned and become the basis for trial, fine, and imprisonment. If ever there was a book that “incited hatred against a group,” it is the Koran. Therefore—and I think this is Wilder’s implied argument—simply on the basis of Europe’s existing laws against incitement of hatred, the Koran should be banned. Meaning that it cannot be published, it cannot be sold, it cannot recited aloud in mosques, it cannot be taught in schools. No changes in Europe’s laws would be required to bring this about. All that is needed is that the law against incitement of racial or religious hatred be applied to the most hateful book ever penned. Apply the anti-hate laws, and Muslims will start to leave the Netherlands.

That, as I understand it from reading between the lines, is Wilders’s logic. There is much to say for it.

However, I personally would not favor using the anti-hate laws to suppress Islam. In my view, the anti-hate laws are a tyrannical attack on the most basic freedoms and they must be repealed if Europe is to survive. Under the anti-hate laws, any critical statement about Islam or other minority cultures or beliefs is hate speech. The hate speech laws abolish speech itself. As a matter of principle, they prohibit public discussion on the must urgent issues facing Europe. THus they abolish politics itself, turning the nations of Europe into administered units of a totalitarian system. So let us not depend on the hate-speech laws to protect ourselves from Islam.

The more sound and solid basis for banning the Koran—or banning Islam itself which is the same thing—is that Islam, while being a religion, is also a political movement that seeks the complete destruction of the political and social order of Europe, including all human liberties, through the imposition of sharia. In practical terms, Islam is sharia. Where Islam rules, sharia rules. Hatred against infidels, jihad against infidels, violence against infidels—these are the means of achieving the rule of sharia. Just as sensible people reject the absurdity of a “war on terror,” because you cannot make war on a method or an instrument, for the same reason we should reject a campaign against “hatred.” Hatred of infidels is an organic expression and instrument of Islam. The problem is Islam, not the hatred it employs.

- end of initial entry -

August 27, 2008

LA writes:

Another problem with banning the Koran is that the Koran would become unavailable for non-Muslims. Do we really want to prevent ourselves from reading the Koran and knowing about it? Of course not. The problem is not a book and the passages it contains. The problem is the religion and the political movement that follow that book. It is Islam that threatens our society and that must be removed from our society, not the Koran.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 19, 2008 02:19 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):