I saw Geert Wilders speak again this evening to a gathering of about 25 people in an East Side Manhattan apartment.

I can’t imagine what it’s like living one’s whole life surrounded by a security detail, as Wilders has done since 2004. Yet, while he indicated he doesn’t like living this way, as well as not liking being under indictment for the crime of hate speech which could put him in jail for two years, it doesn’t seem to faze him. As he had in his speech at the Four Seasons Restaurant on Monday, he struck me as a calm, sincere, genuine person, not at all puffed up with himself as many politicians are. Part of the strangeness of the Wilders phenomenon is that he is the farthest thing from a demagogue or stirrer up of emotions—let alone a stirrer up of hatred—that one could imagine. He speaks about the Islam threat in simple, direct language, without dramatization beyond the factual truth of his message, in an almost regretful tone of, “Here is something that exists, it is rapidly gaining power, and if we don’t do something about it, and soon, everything we have, our freedom, our civilization, is going to be lost.” And yet, because he speaks the truth about Islam, the world sees him as … well, you can check out the despicable Newsweek article about him to see the usual adjectives.

Also, I want to repeat my admiration for Fitna, which was shown again at the gathering, on a wide TV screen. It’s hard to think of how a 17 minute movie about the Islam threat could possibly have been better than this. The selection of material, the way the film weaves together the words of the Koran with the spoken words of contemporary Islamic leaders and with footage of acts of Islamic violence, all add up to a clear, moving portrayal of Islam’s own expression of itself. The movie is not about Wilders. It’s not about Wilders’s “hate” of Islam. It’s about the truth of Islam. But, as I always say, under liberalism, the worse the truth about some minority or non-Western group, the more racist we are for speaking it. Meaning, the worse the truth about some minority or non-Western group, the more the truth about that group is prohibited.

When the movie ended, Canadian businessman Bjorn Larsen, who had introduced Wilders to the group and was serving as MC, said, “For this, two years in jail.”

- end of initial entry -

Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs has a photo of Wilders watching Fitna, with me in the background.

* * *

Terry Morris writes:

Good for you that you were invited and able to attend the meeting. Those are good pics posted at Geller’s site. Be aware also that she’s posted a link to another site where video clips of the Q & A session are posted (you are seen in one of these videos).

On a different note, I’m curious to know who pays for Mr. Wilder’s security detail?

LA replies

In both cases, I only got in through special intervention, and at the last minute. I didn’t get the ok until 11 a.m. Monday to attend the noon luncheon. And I was invited to attend the event last night at midday yesterday.

I’m sure it’s the Dutch government that pays his security.

Terry replies:

Yes, that’s what I would assume. So the same government which has laid charges against him which could result in a two-year prison sentence is also the government that protects him with a costly personal security detail which is with him everywhere he goes. That’s kind of strange, isn’t it?

LA replies:

It certainly is strange, and it underscores the bizarre quality of the whole situation. His life is under threat. The Dutch authorities are doing nothing to find the people who make these threats and throw them out of the country. Instead of going after the people who threaten the life of the Dutch politician, the government is happy to subject Wilders to armed guards for life. Then Wilders points to the danger nature of the very people who are threatening his life, and the Dutch government indicts him as a criminal. So, sure, they will prevent him from being killed.

Thus, by only protecting Wilders’s life rather than apprehending the jihadists who threaten his life, the Dutch government is behaving in dhimmi fashion. And by indicting Wilders for criticizing Islam instead of tracking down his Muslim would-be killers, the Dutch government is behaving in dhimmi fashion. So their behavior is not contradictory after all, is it?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 25, 2009 01:03 AM | Send

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