Wilders’ “fewer, fewer, fewer…” should not be interpreted as a chant against an ethnic minority, but rather as a call for action to preserve our nation’s freedom, culture and history without wearing ideological blinkers.Â That’s what Moroccans in MarrakechÂ are trying to accomplishÂ as well and no one is calling them ‘racists.’
What happens if a politician asks his followers whether they want more, or fewer Moroccans, in their city? It’s possible that his followers will respond by chanting: “Fewer, fewer, fewer….” And what happens if the politician confirms with: “Then we’ll make that happen.” Dutch Politician and Islam-critic Geert Wilders did just that during local elections last week (March 19) and created a storm that will have a lasting impact on the immigration debate in the Netherlands.
As usual, Dutch mainstream media, several national Moroccan/immigrant organizations and many leftist-liberal politicians lashed out against Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) accusing him of racism and hate speech. The Facebook page ‘I Am Filing a Complaint Against Wilders’ (Ik Doe Aangifte Tegen Wilders) already has 99,224 likes (March 28, 2014). Hundreds of complaints are filed with the police until now and still counting… Only time can tell how Wilders’ controversial speech will affect his and his Freedom Party’s popularity in the long-term.
“Muslims Don’t Integrate Because They Do Not Want To”
…. the blame lies with two groups: the Moroccans, who say the Dutch are responsible for their circumstances, and leftwing multiculturalists, who have portrayed Moroccans as the defenseless victims of an unfair society.Â (But the real problem is Islam.)
But should Wilders’ call on a reduction in the number of Moroccans in the Netherlands, which by Wilders own explanation was directed against criminal individuals of the Moroccan-Dutch community, be understood simply as a chant against Moroccans in general? Doesn’t it mean, in fact, that issues surrounding the mass Muslim immigration to the Netherlands, the over-representation of Moroccans (and other ethnic minorities) in crime statistics and welfare dependency, and Islamic cultural and social issues in the Netherlands need to be addressed?
First of all, I disagree with Wilders’ chant and I often disagree with his tactics as well. Nevertheless, I can certainly understand some of his arguments and also sympathize with some of the Freedom Party (PVV) goals. Nowadays, it seems that in the Netherlands, this meansÂ you’re a racistÂ which obviously is not the case. Thus, the debate is taking a wrong turn due to orchestrated ‘left-liberal oriented ideological’ pressure in Dutch politics and press.
The Dutch political leaders underestimate the concerns of the Dutch population about immigration, Islamic extremism and criminal Moroccans in Dutch neighbourhoods and should not lecture the nation about it. Instead, they must come up with workable and constructive solutions to resolve these issues and take away the peoples concerns. It is understandable and justifiable that the indigenous peoples of a country feel intimidated when extremely large numbers of immigrants from foreign civilizations move in and influence or even challenge local civilization. If that happens, people will eventually sent a clear signal that their political leaders do not take the negative implications of massive immigration, multiculturalism and criminal ethnic minorities seriously enough, and that leftist-liberal arguments about multiculturalism or political correct phrases are insufficient. Politicians who fail to address these concerns will be met by a “Geert Wilders” one way or another.
Of course, Wilders’ merging of “a city with fewer problems” with “and, if possible fewer Moroccans” is not the way to go, just as it is wrong when political leaders propose undemocratic measures to outlaw Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) in a liberal and democratic society. But why does Dutch media and certain elements in Dutch politics take every opportunity to lash out against Geert Wilders, but at the same time keep silent when leftist-liberal leaders use inflammatory expressions themselves?
For example, when Wilders is addressing the over-representation of Moroccans in crime statistics, he’s immediately accused of hate speech while addressing this issue is government policy (consisting of labour and liberal parties).
Besides, many Moroccans actually agree with Wilders when he said that crimes committed by Moroccan youths is a “Moroccan problem.” The article with Wilders’ remarksÂ was reprintedÂ on a Moroccan website and many Moroccans commented on Wilders’ remarks. One commentator wrote: “The truth has to be told. Moroccan youth here in the Netherlands are causing numerous problems. They carry out hold-ups, rob old people and attack bus drivers and gays. These incidents are occurring on a daily basis. In my opinion, the Dutch have a lot of patience with these criminals.” Other commenters blamed the criminal behavior of Moroccans on “differences of mentality,” “the deceitful Moroccan culture” or urged Moroccans “to stop looking for excuses” for the crimes committed by young Moroccans. Let’s be honest, Wilders would have been vilified in Dutch press if he made these remarks.
I’ve listed here some leftist and liberal discriminatory examples on immigration or Moroccans to give you an idea on how different the media’s approach is when it comes to remarks made by Wilders or remarks by left-wing or liberal politicians:
Hans Spekman, member of the Dutch labour party,Â saidÂ in 2008:
“Moroccans who are not complying should be humiliated for the eyes of their own peoples.”
Diederik Samson, political leader of the Dutch labour party,Â saidÂ in 2011 that
“Moroccan youths have a sort of ethnic monopoly on street disturbances.”
Ahmed Marcouch, a Moroccan-Dutch labour politician,Â wants to screenÂ all foreigners with a temporary residence permit every 5 years.
MariÃ«tte Hamer, member of the Dutch labour party, wantsÂ a quota of one East-European per 12 square meters.
The Dutch liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) wants to setÂ additional conditions for AntilleansÂ who want to immigrate to the Netherlands. And the liberals used billboards with the text: “We Speak Dutch in Rotterdam” (In Rotterdam Spreken We Nederlands) during the March 2014 local elections which was criticized in the media to some extent, but the billboards got also support from Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands and leader of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).
What do all these examples have in common? They were all uttered by leftist or liberal politicians/parties, but none of them did spark any substantial outrage in Dutch media as was and is the case with Wilders’ remarks. I think you can imagine what would have happened if Wilders was responsible for all these examples.
Last Friday, March 21, wasÂ International Day Against RacismÂ in remembrance of the Sharpeville massacre (South Africa, 1960), when South African police opened fire at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid killing 69 people. This remembrance day was two days after Wilders’ infamous chant about ‘fewer Moroccans’ during the local elections on Wednesday, March 19. The Dutch ‘committee 21 March,’ a platform of several leftist-Islamic-liberal organizations, organized a Day against Racism for March 22, but after Wilders’ chant immediately changed it in a “We Are All Moroccans” theme, to protest against Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV).
The anti-Israel banner with the text “Wilders is Israel’s Dog”. (Â©Â GeenStijl) A better picture of the banner can be seen here:maartenbrante.com. This banner was already used in a Day against Racism protest in 2011, seen here:Â nufoto.nl. Same guy, same intolerance.
Â StatueÂ De DokwerkerÂ and Al-Qaida flag. (Â©Â GeenStijl)
What is very worrying though is the fact that this protest turned into a showcase of leftist and Islamic intolerance by participants who showed a sign defaming Israel (‘Wilders is Israel’s Dog’) and waved the Al-Qaida flag. To make things worse, the protest ended at the statue of the Dokwerker. This monument, next to theÂ Portuguese synagogueÂ and the Great Synagogue in the centre of the ‘old’ Jewish neighbourhood in Amsterdam, is to honour theÂ February strike in 1941when a general strike was organized in the Netherlands as a protest against the Nazi progroms in the Jewish neighbourhood of Amsterdam during WWII. The Dokwerker, a symbol of resistance against anti-Semitism and oppression, was abused by these leftist-Islamic protesters to make a stand against Geert Wilders. Can you imagine, the Al-Qaida flag and an anti-Israel sign assembled in a historic place where the Nazis arrested thousands of Dutch Jews during Nazi progroms and deporting them to the gas chambers in Eastern Europe?
One way or another, when a demonstration is held against Geert Wilders, some protesters think they have to demonize Israel as well. You can disagree with Wilders’ political agenda, but you cannot speak up against Wilders and at the same time remain silent when leftist and Islamic protesters demonize a minority (Jews) or support Islamic extremism (by waving the Al-Qaida flag) during a protest where Al-Qaida and Israel had nothing to do with in the first place. But the political establishment and the mainstream media were shrouded in silence.
The Netherlands is a democratic and open society and should remain so. However, Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) show clearly that there is a need to manage mass immigration, Islamic extremism and violence committed by Moroccan youths more tightly than ever before.
The proportion of ethnic minorities in the Netherlands is very high. The Dutch governmentÂ calculated in 2012Â that 21% of the population in the Netherlands was of foreign origin (of which 55% was of non-Western origin). Our political leaders need to understand, that when ethnic minorities make up almost a quarter of the population, reactions from the indigenous peoples of a country are likely to occur. Therefore, Wilders’ “fewer, fewer, fewer…” should not be interpreted as a chant against an ethnic minority, but rather as a call for action to preserve our nation’s freedom, culture and history without wearing ideological blinkers. That’s what Moroccans in MarrakechÂ are trying to accomplishÂ as well and no one is calling them ‘racists.’
Crethi PlethiÂ is the pseudonym for Harald van Es and is the founder and director of CrethiPlethi.com. He writes articles for CrethiPlethi.com in Dutch and English on the Middle East, Israel, Revolutionary Islamism, Multiculturalism and the Netherlands. He has lived in Jaffa (Tel Aviv), Israel. He currently lives in the Netherlands. For all the exclusive blog entries by Crethi Plethi,Â go here.