Geert Wilders – Islam Going Dutch, European, American
Comment at end
29th January, 2009
GEERT WILDERS TALKS ABOUT HIS BELIEFS ON ISLAM, HIS FITNA VIDEO, PC IN EUROPE
“The Dutch government, like other European governments are cowards”
“Cultural relativism is the biggest danger we face today”
“Muslims can lie, are allowed to lie, and according to the Koran, are even ordered to lie”
Sadly, I have concluded that Mr Wilders is right about the capitulation of European politicians, even including those in my own country, Britain. It has been long ongoing, not just since Blair’s ascendancy. Multiculturalism has been the Holy Grail of tolerant Britain. No fair-minded, non-racist political party would dare be seen to question it and all its tenets. Not overtly, anyway. Why not? Partly because they had been cowed by the PC brigade and civil righters upholding, inter-alia if not above all else, the rights of minorities regardless of likely long-term damage to the rights of the majority.
IS MULTICULTURALISM TO BLAME?
In defence of Tony Blair’s approach to this issue, I believe he DID see the dangers. I will add here links to Tony Blair’s 2006 speech on “multiculturalism”.
“Integration is about values …. it’s what unites us as citizens … multicultural Britain is about democracy, rule of law, respect for this country … a shared heritage … what defines us as citizens … the values are what hold us together. At that point no distinctive culture or religion supersedes our duty to be part of an integrated United Kingdom. Others warned me about linking this speech with 7/7. Multiculturalism was always, ALWAYS implicitly balanced by a duty to integrate, to be part of Britain … about a celebration of diversity …”
You need to listen, read or watch ALL of this speech and you need some ability, in my humble opinion, to read between lines. It was made six months before Blair’s retirement as Prime Minister. Rather late, some might say. But I believe he had been fighting a behind-the-scenes battle with the politically correct within his own party, and in the liberal press. This, as much as his association with the ongoing wars in the Middle East, was at least partly behind the move to oust him. I never accepted that it was only to do with the rest of his party running scared of voter unhappiness over Iraq/Bush etc. There were other factors too, including domestic policies which many in his party found too right-wing. But perhaps above all, he was tainted in the minds of the Left and the Left press in Britain, and the rabid Right, who wanted his head for ANYTHING, as “not to be trusted”. And yet to read this speech, made three months after the attempted coup, he says little with which the politically correct in Britain could disapprove.
Mr Blair also celebrated the fact that no mainstream political party today plays the “racist card”.
“We don’t want the hate-mongers whatever their race or religion or creed.”
“The right to be different, the duty to integrate – that is what being British means – and neither racists nor extremists should be allowed to destroy it.”
Now, of course, you can pick holes in this speech. IS he right about the distortion of the “peaceful faith of Islam” when criticising the London 7/7 terrorists? Is he right to say that Islam’s civil courts (Sharia) may be a forum for some issues?
I confess that even as a Blair supporter, I am as yet unconvinced that we have had it right over the last 30 years. Immediately after 9/11 it became harder for Blair (and Bush) to put forward their case for highlighting some elements of Islam as questionable. The length of time it was taking, the growing resentment from the Left, the anti-war brigade and civil righters, the accusations of “lies” and “war crimes by western leaders”.
Since politics is the art of the possible, a new tack was needed.
Today it rests in the hands of the new leader of the west, President Obama, to make inroads. Why do I not feel easier with this?
I DO believe the jury is still out on many of these issues, sadly. Certainly, personally I have no interest in Sharia Courts in Britain on ANY issues. It is a slippery slope, and discriminates against women. We don’t need them. Full stop.
And as for Mr Wilders and “values” – the main value at risk here is not that Mr Wilders is throwing out tolerance. The main issue is that those of us who criticise him are throwing out “freedom of speech”. Ironic indeed, considering the freedom to speak out enjoyed, used and abused by those hell-bent on destroying those very freedoms.
THE CONCERN OVER DEFINING OUR COMMON VALUES AND DEFINING THE LIMITS AND POWERS OF ISLAM
AN UNQUESTIONABLE POLITICAL/RELIGIOUS CREED
The main reason for the present uncertainty seems to be the inability or unwillingness of any leaders of Islam to grab the bull by the horns and attempt to explain, alter or in any way interfere with the writings from which radical Islamicists take their lead. THAT alteration, questioning, modernising have all been written in as inadmissible.
As an analogy, imagine if it had been part of the (unwritten) constitution of Britain that we could never question the right of the Prime Minister, the monarch, the government of the day. Simply inadmissible. Forbidden. Wouldn’t we then be slaves to a doctrine put together centuries ago? Of course we would.
To understand why this analogy IS accurate you need to understand that Islam is often defined as more than a religion. It is, if interpretation is correct, according to the Koran itself, a political/religious doctrine. With the religion, you take the politics – both sides of the same coin. Or at least fundamentalists do. True that not every apostate from Islam is today executed for that apostasy. Though that depends in which country they happen to reside.
RECOGNISED LEADERSHIP LACKING
The other issue is that Islam HAS no defined leadership. Excerpt (my bolding):
“The Quran – Islam’s holy book – dictates that Islam must have no religious hierarchy. Unlike Catholicism, for instance, Islam is a decentralized religion, with no divinely sanctioned head office or cleric. Each Muslim has his or her own personal relationship with God. The fact that Islam does not require clergy is a blessing. A Muslim can practice Islam as she sees fit and will be accountable for her actions on Judgment Day.”
I do not know if there is any way round this. It certainly makes accountability, change, modernisation far harder. It may turn out to be an insurmountable problem.
Now Mr Blair fights the threat from ‘Islamicist’ (see my differentiation of terms) fundamentalism in a different way. Through his Faith Foundation he reaches out to all religions and particularly the youth of today. And through attempting to find common ground on values with moderate Muslims around the world, particularly in the Middle East, he is trying to avoid a future conflagration which could make the Iraq situation look like a teddy bear’s picnic.