Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Geert Wilders: Pride in Our Christian Identity

Geert Wilders appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show last night, and gave a great interview. He seems like a really nice man, thoughtful and articulate.

So, on that note, check out Phyllis Chesler's article,"A Dutch Hero Comes to Warn Us, Seek Our Support. The Incomparable Geert Wilders, MP, in New York City."

Chesler gives us this quote from Wilders:

You cannot escape the dangers of ideologies that are out to destroy you. America might be the last man standing. And you might lose Europe as an ally … European leaders are giving in, giving up, selling out our values. We need your support.
Read the whole thing, here.

13 comments:

Philippe Ohlund said...

Great post, Donald! :-)

Geert Wilders is indeed a very nice man.

His Freedom Party is one of Netherlands biggest political parties.

Wilders is not an extremist, but a moderate critic of Islam.

When Britain recently refused Wilders entry to the country I was deeply shocked.

But I think it was a healthy eye-opener for many concerning Europe's political crisis.

repsac3 said...

I'm opposed to anyone keeping Geert from speaking & showing his film, especially by government action. Whatever one thinks of his message, Geert should be able to put it out there & have it judged by free thinking people.

Of course, I'm also opposed to Geert's calling for the banning of the Koran, which is essentially the same kinda censorship as he's whining about happening to him--particularly as he is speaking as a member of the Dutch government. I'd think it would be kind of difficult to talk about the free speech or censorship that he's facing as a bad thing, when he's talking about ridding his country of a book he finds controversial.

Whatever one thinks of the content of either his or the Koran's words is irrelevant. Free people should be able to hear/see/read them, and make informed decisions for themselves, rather than having government functionaries tell you that this speech (whichever speech it is) is too "evil" to have you view and consider for yourself.

The man also talks about preemptive detention or deportation of Muslims accused or suspected (not tried or convicted, but merely accused) of having ties to radical Islamists. He supports legally defining Holland as a Judeo-Christian country, in effect making anyone not of those state-sanctioned religions second class citizens in their own country.

Not only do I think these ideas are wrong for America, I don't think they're right for any country who wants to claim to support freedom for it's people.

I get that the USA, which was built on a set of ideals, rather than on a shared ethnic or racial heritage, is unique. But I'm still put off when Geert discusses defending that which is Dutch from that which is not Dutch. His words and actions make it look more like he is defending his blonde-haired blue-eyed race than he is Dutch law and Dutch ideals. Stopping all Muslim immigration (while not similarly restricting immigration from non-Muslim countries) doesn't give me confidence in the purity of his motivations.

In any case, it's a pity that Bill ignored much of what Geert Wilders actually stands for.

And before anyone says so, yes, I know that many Islamist individuals and countries propose laws that are even more restrictive of free thought & movement than the ones Geert Wilders is proposing. Show me the individuals in America writing posts in support of the people doing so, or implicitly defending their restrictive ideas, and I'll be glad to write a similar comment on their blogs in reply.

DFS said...

I haven't kept up on what Geert has or hasn't said and so don't know about "Geert's calling for the banning of the Koran", but his appearance in the clip certainly wasn't about "whining about [censorship] happening to him".

Talking about the severe repercussions of what is actually happening in the European countries (riots, sharia law, murders of those who insult Islam) is most appropriate. Talking about the reality most certainly isn't wrong for America. What would be wrong for America is to ignore that reality.

Philippe Ohlund said...

repsac3, you say:

"Whatever one thinks of the content of either his or the Koran's words is irrelevant. Free people should be able to hear/see/read them, and make informed decisions for themselves, rather than having government functionaries tell you that this speech (whichever speech it is) is too "evil" to have you view and consider for yourself".

This sounds sympathetic.

But well, Deuteronomy 17:7 says:
"Thou shalt put the evil away from among you", and compare with Acts 19:19 - 20.

To ban books is really something we should avoid.

But when it comes to certain books - like Mein Kampf or the Koran - which encourages to and have resulted in the extermination of countless of persons and of certain groups of people, Wilders is absolutely right.

A book is always more than a book. "And the Word was God", see John 1:1.

Now, repsac3, you say concerning Wilders: "he is defending his blonde-haired blue-eyed race".

It is true that nationalism is something really bad, when exaggerated or used in a wrong way.

You say: "I get that the USA, which was built on a set of ideals, rather than on a shared ethnic or racial heritage, is unique".

The American heritage and the American internationalism is something I really love about the U.S., and which I miss very much here in Europe.

And true religion like Christianity is universal. It will always be something more than regional nationalism.

repsac3 said...

I haven't kept up on what Geert has or hasn't said and so don't know about "Geert's calling for the banning of the Koran",

No need to take my word for it. Here it is, in his own words, from a website sympathetic to his message:

Enough is Enough:Ban the Koran: Translation of Geert WIlders Volkskrant piece which is causing uproar in Holland - Militant Islam Monitor - Militant Islam Monitor

And yes, characterizing his discussion of his not being allowed to practice his free speech in Britain as "whining" was hyperbole. But whatever you choose to call it, it's a little hard to take seriously. Either one supports free speech and expression, even of unpopular or "dangerous" ideas--however one defines "dangerous"--or one does not.

Given that Geert Wilders is talking about banning a book out of one side of his mouth, and having his right to speak his mind against that book violated out of the other, I find it difficult to take his words about free expression seriously.

Britain was wrong not to let him in, but they did nothing to him that he isn't advocating for Muslims in Holland who wish to talk about & study their faith.

Geert should be able to speak (& obviously he able to here in America, and is taking advantage of it). But it would be wise to look not only at the problems he wishes to highlight--evaluating what he says against other reports and one's own eyes--but at the solutions he is suggesting, and how they jibe with our American ideals of freedom and equality.

repsac3 said...

"But when it comes to certain books - like Mein Kampf or the Koran - which encourages to and have resulted in the extermination of countless of persons and of certain groups of people, Wilders is absolutely right."

One question, Phillippe. How do you know what either of these books actually say or encourage, unless you've read them and decided for yourself? Surely you're not willing to just take the word of someone else--someone who apparently believes himself "better" than you, because he was able to read these hateful words without being affected and encouraged to kill, while you surely would fall victim to the evil spell contained in these books, and become a killer.

I'm just not willing to put that much faith into any other living being, Phillippe. While I'm willing to consult others to help explain the tricky parts, there is no book that I, you, or anyone else should be forbidden by law to own or read, especially based on the word of someone who clearly didn't follow his own proposed law. If he was able to read it and decide for himself, why shouldn't you & I be afforded the same opportunity?

Philippe Ohlund said...

repsac3, you ask: "How do you know what either of these books actually say or encourage, unless you've read them and decided for yourself?".

Well, repsac3, I have read them, Mein Kampf in Swedish, and the Koran in English.

I have studied these both books, I have been touched by them, and I have also decided.

I don't want them, and I don't want them for my children.

We know the trees by their fruits, but we should not eat from them all, compare with Genesis 2:16 - 17.

"Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire", see Matthew 7:19.

repsac3 said...

I have studied these both books, I have been touched by them, and I have also decided. I don't want them, and I don't want them for my children.

I have no problem with you banning these (or any) books from your house, and forbidding your children to read them.

But I reserve the right to make those decisions for my house and my children, and a government ban on these books, such as the one Geert Wilders is suggesting and that you are supporting, would take that decision out of my hands.

Just as you read these books and decided for yourself--without turning into too much of a monster yourself, I note, though I do recall you saying you flirted with Nazism & then Communism in your youth--everyone else should be able to do the same.

The cure for expressions of bigotry, hatred or pretty much any other evil idea isn't locking them away; it's exposing them to the light, and teaching free people why these ideas are so bad.

While Geert Wilders wants to bad the Koran, he has no problem taking some of it's most "evil, hate-filled" verses, and putting them in a film where they can be broadcast throughout the world. You'd think that if he believes the book is so evil it deserves banning, he wouldn't propagate the worst portions of it potentially to millions, by his own hand. (One almost wonders whether Fitna would be allowed to be screened in Holland, should his ban ever be passed.)

I'm sorry, Phillippe, but I think the guy is a walking contradiction. He doesn't follow or practice his own beliefs about free speech in general, or about the Koran in particular, but he expects that you will. And unfortunately too many of "you" are...

shoprat said...

As Harry Potter and Dumbledore try to warn the people of a real danger that the Ministry of Magic denies. The longer we deny the danger the harder it's going to be.

Philippe Ohlund said...

repsac3, you write: "you flirted with Nazism & then Communism in your youth--everyone else should be able to do the same".

What you say of my past is unfortunately true.

That was a dark time of my life I would not wish for my worst enemies, and I'm glad I got out of it, without hurting anyone else or myself.

But not all were that lucky.

I have learned my lesson, and now I easily recognize the similarities between Islam, Nazism, and Communism.

We should not invite evil into our lives, compare with 1 Peter 5:8.

"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you", see James 4:7.

PS. I just came home from watching the movie Walkyrie. It was all in French, with Tom Cruise, and very interesting.

The time when you could separate military society from civil society is clearly over.

Maybe the general conscription should be extended to two years for all women and men in the West? DS.

repsac3 said...

repsac3, you write: "you flirted with Nazism & then Communism in your youth--everyone else should be able to do the same".

Misleading edit there, Phillippe... Makes it look like I was saying everyone should be able to be a Nazi and then a Communist, like you were...

Would've been better if you'd either included the whole sentence...

"Just as you read these books and decided for yourself--without turning into too much of a monster yourself, I note, though I do recall you saying you flirted with Nazism & then Communism in your youth--everyone else should be able to do the same."

...or only included the small part of the sentence to which you were actually replying.

"...I do recall you saying you flirted with Nazism & then Communism in your youth..."

I'm sure it was unintentional, but given the number of misunderstandings folks have had with things I've written here, I figured it was best to clarify it quickly, before the accusations, allegations, and "observations" started...

Trish said...

I'm with ya Shoprat...Dolores Umbridge is hard at work stifling information.
As in the beheading of the woman in NYC, the media is getting dumber and dumber.
They pick and choose what they want to report, and HOW they wish to report it.
As long as the world denies there is a problem, we will all be victims of it as well.

Trish said...

I'm with ya Shoprat...Dolores Umbridge is hard at work stifling information.
As in the beheading of the woman in NYC, the media is getting dumber and dumber.
They pick and choose what they want to report, and HOW they wish to report it.
As long as the world denies there is a problem, we will all be victims of it as well.