Friday, January 23, 2009

In defense of a culture

Geert Wilders is a Dutch nationalist. He is also the leader of a right-of-centre party in the Netherlands that represents about 15% of the popular vote. Here is some background on him.

He doesn’t care for the EU and he doesn’t like the impact of Islam on Europe and the Netherlands in particular. Wilders is very outspoken about these things and as a result he has 24 hour police protection because of death threats. In the Netherlands, when one challenges Islam, the resulting death threats are taken seriously. A Dutch filmmaker died at the hands of an Islamic religious fanatic and another member of the Dutch parliament, who was associated with the filmmaker, fled to the United States where she is under police protection.

But the government of the Netherlands considers those who openly question the political, cultural and economic value of having mass immigration from Muslim countries to be “troublemakers”. The government likes to shut up troublemakers. So, Wilders will now be charged under some Dutch law for inciting hatred against Muslims because he produced and distributed a short documentary film, Fitna, on the excessive violence fostered in the name of Islam.

The problem is, as I have written before in this blog, Wilders did not say anything against Muslims. His focus is the religion, which he correctly identifies as an authoritarian political ideology with a deity attached to it. In effect, the Dutch government is trying him for “criminal blasphemy” under the guise of vague “self-esteem” laws that we are all too unfortunately familiar with here in Canada.

One wonders what they teach in European schools.

Europe was formed in opposition to Islam, when Charlemagne made a deal with the Pope and united the Frankish tribes in the 9th century CE. Islamic armies had invaded the Iberian Peninsula a century before that and were pushing into what is now France in an effort to encircle the remnants of the eastern Roman Empire centred in Constantinople. Charlemagne drove them out of France and closed that border to Islam for good, and, in the process, started a distinct European culture which has lasted for more than a 1,000 years.

Wilders is defending that culture. The Dutch government is intent on destroying it.

My late father went to war 60 years ago and helped to liberate the Netherlands from another authoritarian ideology. He nearly lost his life there twice.

Let us hope the Dutch will learn to liberate themselves this time and no Canadians will have to risk themselves to save Europeans.

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