The trial against Galileo didn’t change physical reality or threaten the survival of European civilization; the forces that Wilders is warning against could indeed destroy European civilization if left unchecked.”
More from the Gates of Vienna
Ed West from the Telegraph Discovers the Obvious: Geert Wilders and his Freedom party Â are not in any sense “Far Right”, Â but in fact right against wrong:
Like my colleague Douglas Murray,Â who has already written an excellent post on the show trial of the century, I’ve been surprised by the lack of British media interest in Geert Wilders’s martyrdom in Amsterdam. An American minor celebrity only has to fart to receive blanket coverage in the British press, but when a major politician next door faces jail on trumped-up charges â€“ in a case that will have implications for our freedom of speech â€“ there seems to be little interest.
For those who haven’t visited these parts, Wilders is a Dutch politician on trial for “insulting” Islam by comparing the Koran toÂ Mein Kampf, and for saying that Moroccans commit many street robberies in the Netherlands. Yes, put on trial â€“ not fisked or twitter-lynched or condemned by the Equality Gestapo, but actually brought to court. Wilders calls it “surreal”, and it certainly seems strange that in a city where a gentleman can smoke Morocco’s most famous export and view half-naked women in shop windows, he can go to jail for criticising a religion.
What Americans â€“ or anyone else who’s somehow missed Europe’s slide towards diversity authoritarianism â€“ will find so strange is that it’s not even the truth of Wilder’s statement on trial. Comparing the Koran toMein Kampf is daft â€“ the Koran can be used for evil intent, and does justify violence in many passages, but it can, and has, also inspired much good;Â Mein Kampf is just plain evil. But this is a country with a long tradition of robust public debate, often of a comically abusive nature, and especially so about religion. It is part of the Dutch tradition of freedom that makes it such a pleasant society.
As for what he says about Moroccans, it is factually correct, but as one of the prosecutors said before the trial: “It is irrelevant whether Wilders’s witnesses might prove Wilders’s observations to be correct, what’s relevant is that his observations are illegal”.
Continued below the fold….
Meanwhile, Tariq Ramadan, the Muslim Brotherhood’s star agent in Eurabia, chips away at freedom of speech:
……some people have been adamantly arguing that freedom of expression is an absolute right, especially when the issue has to do with Muslims. What we are saying is that the freedom to express yourself was not and cannot be an absolute right. Â Source
How can the country that produced Spinoza have become so retarded? It all began with the Nazis, or more specifically with Holocaust denial, which was criminalised by France in 1990. It was an absurdly stupid law, since the number of Europeans who don’t believe the Nazis murdered 6 million Jews could probably fit inside David Irving’s living room, but it was the thin end of the wedge. Laws gagging neo-Nazis were soon extended to views that were unpleasant, bigoted or, increasingly, just unfashionable and offensive, as the band of acceptable opinions in Eutopia became ever smaller. Wilders is unfashionable, certainly, but his ideas are not beyond the pale.
Alongside the criminalisation of thought crime, those within the consensus have made their opponents’ viewsÂ verboten by labeling dissenters as “racist” or “Islamophobic” or comparing them to Hitler, as the Dutch media did repeatedly with Pim Fortuyn up until the day he was murdered.
Another abused term is “far-Right”, a label that the British and American media routinely apply to Geert Wilders.
The European far-Right has certain characteristics â€“ as well as being obsessed with race, it is anti-big business, pro-state intervention, pro-worker’s rights but anti-Communist, nostalgic about the countryside and often sentimental about animals, politically paranoid and prone to conspiracy theories, anti-gay, anti-American and, most of all, anti-SemiticÂ Zionist (just as it used to be against “cosmopolitans” and “foreign intellectuals”).
The British National Party, for instance, though not “fascist” in any meaningful sense, is undoubtedly far-Right, which is most clearly demonstrated by its attitude to America and capitalism. The extreme Right is economically closer to the Left than it is to the centre-Right, but, whatever several of my colleagues believe, it is still Right-wing (not that most BNP voters give a monkey’s either way).
Wilders’ Freedom Party is not in any sense ‘far-Right”, as its own policy statement makes:
The Party for Freedom combines economic liberalism with a conservative programme towards immigration and culture. The party seeks tax cuts (â‚¬16 billion in the 2006 election programme), de-centralization, abolishment of the minimum wage, limiting of child benefits and government subsidies. Towards immigration and culture, the party believes that the Judeo-Christian and humanist traditions should be treated as the dominant culture in the Netherlands, and that immigrants should adapt accordingly. The party wants a halt to immigration from non-western countries. It is skeptical towards the EU project, is against future EU enlargement with countries like Turkey and opposes the presence of Islam in the Netherlands. The party is also opposed to dual citizenship.
The ambiguity of the penultimate sentence is disturbing, but otherwise the party comes from the European mainstream, specifically the centre-Right tradition. Wilders simply believes that becoming a minority in one’s major cities because everyone is too embarrassed to offend anyone by raising the issue is taking northern European shyness a bit far.
Now even the Dutch establishment has downgraded him from “far-Right” to “radical Right”, barely less loony-sounding, but a start.Â According to Dutch News:
Geert Wilders’ political movement PVV is not an extreme right wing party but contains some radical right wing elements, according to a report into radicalisation in the Netherlands by Tilburg University research group IVA.
PVV statements on ‘islamisation’ and non-western immigrants appear to be discriminatory and the party organisation is authoritarian rather than democratic, the researchers say.
The researchers, who were looking into polarisation and radicalism across the Netherlands, describe the PVV as ‘new radical right’, a party with a national democratic ideology but without extreme right wing roots. In particular, the party’s pro-Israel stance shows it is not neo Nazi, the report states.
Nevertheless, the PVV has a preference for ‘the familiar’ and turns against things which are ‘foreign’ and its political opponents, the report said. This, coupled with an authoritarian tendency show it leans towards a national democratic ideology. And on the internet, for example, the party is a magnet for extreme views, the researchers point out.
Wilders himself called the new description “scandalous”, and I hardly blame him, since Encylopaedia.com describes “radical Right” in unflattering terms:
The radical right is a term applied in the United States to sociopolitical movements and political factions and parties that develop in response to supposed threats against American values and interests. Such backlashes usually stem from rapid social or economic change that sparks a reaction among groups seeking to maintain or narrow lines of power and privilege.
They justify their actions by discounting the legitimacy of their opponents, seeing them as agents of an un-American conspiracy not deserving of political respect or constitutional protection.
Discounting the legitimacy of their opponents and viewing them as not deserving of respect or legal protection â€“ sounds awfully familiar from this side of the Atlantic.