Leon de Winter denies that he defended Islam in his article on the Wilders trial

(Note, April 8: A reader has found further information on Leon de Winter’s previous attacks on Geert Wilders, his defense of Islam, and the praise he received from Muslims for doing so, in the Jakarta Post from March 2008.)

Nora Brinker (the Editrix) writes from Germany:

I recently wrote a blog entry about the Dutch writer Leon de Winter, which was triggered by your critique of his article at the Wall Street Journal on the Geert Wilders trial but went beyond it. My blog entry was published by the English section of the biggest of all German blogs (overall, not just the biggest among political blogs) Politically Incorrect, to which I am a regular contributor. Today, the PI-Team forwarded de Winter’s reply to me (see below).

I do not communicate out of principle with people who write “r u” when they mean “are you” (isn’t it amazing that even supposed intellectual heavyweights resort to “kiddie” Internet jargon?), but I thought the reply might be interesting to you because it was your interpretation to which he objected. I guess the rest of the article went over his head.

De Winter writes interesting novels, I even liked one or two of them. How that man can be quite that bigoted and plainly stupid (he seems to think that PI is a monolithic block) is a revelation for me.

Best regards,
Nora Brinker

Leon de Winter comment at blog PI:

Leon de Winter


I stumbled upon this blog—you are totally incorrect in interpreting my piece as pro-islam—r u nuts? You know my pieces, you know my points of view—so don’t try to bend this piece in the WSJ. In my piece I defend the premise that you cannot condemn a historical text like the Koran in a modern court of justice—is that weird, pro-Islam? Grow up! I’ve written dozens of pieces about the Koran—you know where I stand …

LA replies:

Thanks for writing and sending this. De Winter is contemptuously dismissive of my charge that his article was defensive of Islam rather than defensive of Geert Wilders, but he fails utterly to respond to what I actually said. So I’ll repeat it. In his WSJ piece, dramatically (and misleadingly) titled, “Stop the Trial of Geert Wilders,” he said nothing against the tyrannical Dutch hate speech laws, nothing against prosecuting a man for stating an opinion about Islam, nothing against making it a crime for Netherlanders to criticize Islam. Rather, he said that the Wilders trial should be terminated because the trial would put Islam itself on the docket.

And indeed, putting Islam on the docket was and is precisely Wilders’s defense. His defense is that the statements he has made about Islam are true. De Winter wants to avoid any public procedure that discusses whether it is true that Islam commands its followers to wage Holy War aimed at subjugating all non-Muslims. The fact remains: de Winter said nothing against the indictment and trial of Wilders. He was only opposed to the trial because the Wilders defense would examine the teachings of Islam.

A person who responds to an article critical of himself, an article that quotes his own statements and shows their meaning, by retorting, “r u nuts?… Grow up!… you know where I stand,” is a person who has never thought critically about the meaning of his own statements—and may be unwilling to do so.

April 9, 10:27 a.m.

LA writes:

I’ve deleted the reader’s comment and my comment posted in this space last evening concerning Leon de Winter’s 2008 remarks defendng Islam by saying that the Jewish Bible is violent too, and the 2008 Jakarta Post article the comments were based on. We had thought the article was mistakenly naming Leon de Winter as Harry de Winter, but in fact there is a Harry de Winter, as is explained here.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 07, 2010 03:06 PM | Send

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