Geert Wilders: Enemy of Liberal Values, Symptom of Liberal Acquiescence to Religious Extremism

Common sense has prevailed in Holland. The Dutch people have returned Mark Rutte of the center-Right People’s Party to power. Whatever the legitimate criticisms Wilders and his Freedom Party have with regards to Islamic extremism their supposed solutions are illiberal, divisive, and likely to lead to persecution of genuine moderate Muslims if they were ever to take power.

Wilder’s proposed ban on the Koran and the closing of all mosques violates two of liberalism’s most cherished principles: freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. Now, I am no fan of the Koran, I deeply oppose many of the moral precepts that it preaches, but I think it should be critiqued not banned. The only time it is permissible as a liberal to limit freedom of speech is if that speech directly promotes violence or harm to others as outlined by liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill in his harm principle.

If Wilders had called for a shutting down of Mosques that promote jihadi violence or that instruct its members to kill apostates (ex-Muslims) as radical mosques do, then he would have been acting consistent with liberal values. Instead, he chose to treat all Muslims in Holland as if they were Islamists who are seeking to impose sharia law on Holland and the rest of Europe. Of course, there is an Islamist threat in Holland, as there is across Europe, but lumping all Muslims in with the Islamists is counter-productive as it alienates the genuine secular moderate Muslims, as well as the peaceful social conservative Muslims who oppose the Islamists as much as secular liberals like myself do.

Wilders has opposed and denounced the secular liberal Muslim Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, a staunch defender of secular values who has told Muslim immigrants that they should integrate and respect European values such as freedom of speech. Just like Wilders, Ahmed Aboutaleb, has been on the receiving end of death threats from Islamists. Wilders should be allying himself with people like Ahmed Aboutaleb, but he is not doing so because as much as he is an opponent of Islam, he is also an ethnic nationalist who opposes anyone of a different ethnic origin becoming a Dutch citizen and holding political office in Holland. Wilders often claims he opposes Islam because he wants to defend liberal values, but if he was a true liberal he would be allying himself with liberal Muslims who are often a minority in their own community. The fact that he opposes men like Ahmed Aboutaleb, shows that he is much more concerned with keeping Holland ethnically pure than he is with promoting liberal values.

AhmedAboutaleb-v2.jpg
Ahmed Aboutaleb

Although I vehemently oppose Wilders and all ethnic nationalist parties they have arisen and grown in popularity because most of my fellow liberals, the mainstream political parties, and the media have for some time been reluctant to fully recognize and openly discuss that Muslim communities in the West have a far-Right problem of their own in the form of Islamism that needs to be faced down in the same way that Wilders and other ethnic nationalist groups need to be challenged. In fact, many so called liberals have attacked and condemned secular Muslims and ex-Muslims for opposing the far-Right in their own communities. They have even gone one step further and allied themselves with Islamic theocrats like Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers of the Women’s march against Donald Trump in the United States who has defended sharia law and Saudi Arabia. Surely this had to be the final nail hammered in to the coffin that contains the credibility of mainstream western feminism.

It is time for all of us who consider ourselves to be liberal to come forward and to ally ourselves with genuine moderate Muslims and ex-Muslim activists. If we don’t, the ethnic nationalists will grow in support every time there is a jihadi attack in Europe, or when a writer or cartoonist is threatened or killed simply for criticizing a religion. If liberals continue to refuse to oppose the Islamic far-Right and defend the values they purport to hold then they shouldn’t be surprised when the likes of Wilders and Le Pen continue to grow in popularity.

AR Devine

AR Devine is a writer and published author. He won the Orwell Prize in 2010 for his blog, “Working with the Underclass,” written under the nom de plume of Winston Smith.
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AR Devine

AR Devine is a writer and published author. He won the Orwell Prize in 2010 for his blog, “Working with the Underclass,” written under the nom de plume of Winston Smith.

3 thoughts on “Geert Wilders: Enemy of Liberal Values, Symptom of Liberal Acquiescence to Religious Extremism

  1. “Wilders’ proposed ban on the Koran and the closing of all mosques violates two of liberalism’s most cherished principles: freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.”

    I agree with this. But these two freedoms have not proven to be the antidote for every threat of society. So, it is good to give these principles a try, but also to be aware. Especially if the danger is the disparition of those freedoms, as islam promotes, as it has been said by a god, so, if you practice islam, you believe in no gfreedom of speech nor conscience. Even by killing those who exert them.

    I think the problem with islam is this:

    (1) It is a harmful and dangerous thing, at least for Western countries, because it is not compatible with Western values.

    (2) It is significantly growing in Western societies.

    So (3) it should be reduced with laws. That means, if in a given country there is right now X% of Muslim folllowers taht parctice Islam (I am not refering to secular Muslims), in 10 years let’s say it should be X/2 %.

    It is common sense: if you see something is dangerous, and it is growing, you stop it. It is what you would do in your own life: you would do not let a harmful thing inside your house, or in your bussiness and let it grow there.

    Having said this, we may discuss any or several of these points:
    (1) it’s not so harmful or dangerous. The most common.
    (2), it is not growing
    or (3) the ways to reduce it

    (1) It’s the most common.

    For example, people say: most of Muslims haven’t killed anyone. Well killing is a extreme position. There are many other threats not so extreme but also not compatible with Western values. But I would say that most of Nazis or Stalinists, or Satanists have never killed anyone. Oskar Schindler was a Nazi, and saved many lives. If they are only a 0,0001% of population and the rest agree that they are dangerous, freedom of speech may contain them, as well as law. But if let’s say Nazism would represent a 7 % of the population, something else has to be done.

    For example: there are moderate Muslims and extremist Muslims or islamists. I think this is one of your points. I disagree. Either you believe in Koran, and Muhammed as a role model, or not. If not, you are becoming a secular Muslim, who I think are compatible with Western societies.

    Why Islam is not compatible with Western societies? Because Koran contains many laws. And they have been dictated by a god. So they cannot be changed. Even if a Western country had exactly the same laws as Koran promotes, it would be completely different, because they could be changed, while, in islam, they cannot, because otherwise you would not believe in that god.

    I am not an expert. But this is what I see many experts say. And to consider someone an expert, besides knowledge of islam, I ask 2 things: 1) Arabic must be his native tongue or he must be bilingual in Arabic; and 2) he must be a non-Muslim, as Koran asks to deceive in order to spread islam.

    Regarding (2), I think most people and data agree it is growing, though some people say not so fast.

    And (3), I think this is also one of your points. Namely, the way Wilders faces the problem. I think Wilders faces the problem directly. Ban Koran, for example (it should be noted that in Holland “Mein Kampf” is banned, and it cannot be sold in bookstores). I think it is good to use several ways, and it is better not direct approaches. But only results can say if those approaches are right.

    Why restrict the islam speech while allowing other totalitarian speeches, like Nazi or Stalinist? That’s a key question. I think that if Nazism or Stalinist would significantly growing in Western societies, some measures would be taken restricting their freedom of speech. As i said, those freedoms are not sacred. They are a tool in order for individuals to be freer and happier. But if in a certain situation don’t work in order to achieve that, they should be tried other measures,especially if the risk is high. For example, in a war there is no freedom of speech, Why? Because it is better for a society trying to degend from an outside attack.

    Besides, as another reader has said, Koran is hate speech and promotes hate and violence againts no Muslims. If you are reading the Hammurabbi code, which does the same, it is not thereatening, but if it is growing in your country, it is.

    If Western societies do not face the problem and do something to reduce islam, Western civilization risks not only big conflicts, but its islamization. Especially if we conssider another big problem related, taht is, Western politicians and big companies selling their countries to Muslim countries to make big bussiness. Even to the point of restricting freedom of speech and freedom of conscience of anti-islamic citizens.

    The debate is a complex one.

    .

  2. Have you actually read the Koran? It clearly “directly promotes violence or harm to others” on almost every page. Even so, I don’t think banning it will improve the situation, but nor will your blatant apologetics.

  3. I think we ought to be consistent. In Canadian news today, an imam has called for the death of Jews. It’s not a hate crime, because he was merely endorsing Hadith. You can advocate any genocide you want, as long as its part of your religion’s holy texts.

    In my view, as long as advocating genocide is considered a hate crime, as it is generally in Canada, then any person promoting that material should be in prison. That would include anyone promoting the Bible.

    If religions find this offensive, there’s an easy solution… just change the text. Edit. Delete.

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