The appalling decision to try Wilders, the Freedom Party’s head and the Dutch Parliament’s only internationally famous member, for “incitement to hatred and discrimination” against Islam is indeed an assault on free speech. But no one who has followed events in the Netherlands over the last decade can have been terribly surprised by it. Far from coming out of the blue, this is the predictable next step in a long, shameful process of accommodating Islam—and of increasingly aggressive attempts to silence Islam’s critics—on the part of the Dutch establishment.We have seen a similar movement to censor all criticism of Islam in Belgium, Austria, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Spain. Europe has not done well for itself in terms of pride of culture and self-preservation. Without any survival spirit to speak of, and with dwindling birth rates of indigenous Europeans, I wonder if anyone will notice when western Europe is gone? Eastern Europe is a different story, and while the Eastern part of the continent has not had the time to grow as decadent as the west, the time spent under communist control left deep scars on the human landscape. I am hoping that Eastern Europe, at least, has time to recover its strength, will, and fertility.
The same people who demonized Fortuyn have done their best to stifle Wilders. In April 2007, intelligence and security officials called him in and demanded that he tone down his rhetoric on Islam. Last February, the Minister of Justice subjected him to what he described as another “hour of intimidation.” The announcement that he was making a film about Islam only led his enemies to turn up the heat. Even before Fitna was released early last year, Doekle Terpstra, a leading member of the Dutch establishment, called for mass rallies to protest the movie. Terpstra organized a coalition of political, business, academic, and religious leaders, the sole purpose of which was to try to freeze Wilders out of public debate. Dutch cities are riddled with terrorist cells and crowded with fundamentalist Muslims who cheered 9/11 and idolize Osama bin Laden, but for Terpstra and his political allies, the real problem was the one Member of Parliament who wouldn’t shut up. “Geert Wilders is evil,” pronounced Terpstra, “and evil has to be stopped.” Fortuyn, van Gogh, and Hirsi Ali had been stopped; now it was Wilders’s turn.
But Wilders—who for years now has lived under 24-hour armed guard—would not be gagged. Thus the disgraceful decision to put him on trial. In Dutch Muslim schools and mosques, incendiary rhetoric about the Netherlands, America, Jews, gays, democracy, and sexual equality is routine; a generation of Dutch Muslims are being brought up with toxic attitudes toward the society in which they live. And no one is ever prosecuted for any of this. Instead, a court in the Netherlands—a nation once famous for being an oasis of free speech—has now decided to prosecute a member of the national legislature for speaking his mind. By doing so, it proves exactly what Wilders has argued all along: that fear and “sensitivity” to a religion of submission are destroying Dutch freedom. _CityJournal
Friday, January 23, 2009
The Netherlands Government Committing Suicide
Why would Dutchmen, who once led the world in science and world exploration, make the decision to destroy their own culture? What form of madness has entered the brains of government leaders in the Netherlands? They are putting Geert Wilders on trial for offending Islam. It is Islam that should be put on trial. Now the country is doomed unless the Dutch find a backbone and stand up for themselves, sending their weakling government to the junkheap.