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← Geert Wilders - A Victory For Common Sense

Geert Wilders - A Victory For Common Sense - Comments

Jay G's Avatar Comment 1 by Jay G

My understanding is that the judge had lots of bad things to say about his statements but found that they did not rise to the level of criminal conduct.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 12:27:02 UTC | #842229

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 2 by Tryphon Tournesol

That's about correct Jay, it was in the papers this morning. Btw all the best concerning your mother!

Geert Wilders next step will be trying to get the law changed in such way that free speech will be just that and one cannot be persecuted for thing like he said. With of course exceptions for real hate speach, calling for violence, etc. etc.

In other words; you don't have the right no to be offended! And criticism is a normal thing. In general I tend to disagree very much with what Wilders propagates, but on this one.. spot on!

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 12:55:44 UTC | #842236

josephor's Avatar Comment 3 by josephor

Wilders is a bigot who pointed out a few uncomfortable truths out about Islam, maybe sometime he'll be honest and expose the uncomfortable truths about the Christian-Judea religions but I wouldn't hold my breath.I am glad that he"won" the case but remember that this whole thing was a stupid charade that was blown out of all proportion by the prosecution.Even before the "trial"it was made quite clear that there was no case to answer.What ever way you look at this it was not a victory for freedom of expression alone but it also put a provincial ultra-right politician on an international stage where he does not belong.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 13:14:25 UTC | #842243

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 4 by Jos Gibbons

I've never known Wilders to actually say he does, or others should, hate or harm or discriminate against Muslim individuals. As far as he udnerstand him (I'm no expert on him) he has some nationalist nonsense in his head that amounts to a Dutch equivalent of the BNP. But Schrödinger's Cat is quite right to say certain observations ought not be, or viewed as being, the unique province of people like that or as amounting to views such as that. And in my own words the relevant observations are those such as the following:

[Points (i) to (iv), of which some are subdivided with (a), (b) etc. I wanted to use selective spacing to make this structure clearer, but doing that just seems to merge paragraphs into walls of text. Does anyone know how to start a new paragraph without intermediate blank lines? Anyway, after the 1-paragraph (iv) (b) I talk about these views as I have above, rather than continuing to list them.]

(i) Religious texts really, really, really suck, in terms of their moral content. Abrahamic texts are not the least exceptional in this regard, nor are Islamic texts particularly noble by Abrahamic standards.

(ii) Individual religious people are much, much, much better (at least in the West) than their books are. We do not see Jews massacring every race which isn't the chosen people, or Christians taking a sword to all unbelievers.

(iii) The reasons there is so much trouble between Islam & the West right now in ways not applicable to other religions and the West are:

(a) Islam is not so much worse at scriptural level as more attentively heeded by its followers. Christians, who once committed much the same atrocities with the more basic technologies of their time, have changed by simply ignoring much of their scripture. Muslims could in principle do the same, and really need to.

(b) In the case of Judaeo-Christianity, such views are historically typical in the West [which for that to be true must be defined so as to exclude some democracies such as Japan, for which see (iv) below); and, since all religions correlate with geography and hence to some extent with race, culture and ethnicity, the as always lazily ignorant racists amongst us get in a muddle about which ideas, or people, they should be hating and why. In fact, no people (save for those who have done, called for, defended or championed terrible things) deserve hate.

(c) Islam, as it is practised today, is largely incompatible in its core ideals with democracy as it is understood in the modern world.

(iv) The whole of (iii) remains true if both of the following changes are simultaneously made:

(a) Replace "the West" with "modern democracies".

(b) Delete or edit the non-parenthetical pre-semicolon part of (iii) (b), possibly referencing the specific historically typical nations of other democracies of interest; and note in particular we have almost no modern democracies with an analogous Islamic bent, and even those which we do (such as Turkey) face problems with Islam for the reasons described in (iii) (c) (and, indeed, (iv) (c) given the repetition described above).

And these views are typically associated with the right because they concede them selectively to suit their agenda$ (e.g. by ignoring Christianity's comparable scriptural & historical failing & why it ended up any better subsequently), and not with the left because at times they love amicability too much to risk raising hackles with inconvenient truths. (It varies from leftie to leftie; I'm on the left but hold no truck with such nonsense.)

There are many swear words in English, and presumably also in Dutch and Arabic, which spring to mind when thinking about people like Wilders, or for that matter Nick Griffin. But being a(n) [insert your favourite pejorative here] should not be criminal. Because as far as I understand it, "hate speech" should mean doing the things I describe Wilders as not doing (to the best of my knowledge) in the first sentence of this post, Even if such forms of speech should not be considered free, I think we make a mistake, largely due to the aforesaid differing propensities of the left and right for criticising Islam and the left's tendency (again, only in part, not including me for one) to dismiss all criticism of Islam as the kind of hatemongering which, although we all know it does go on, is nowhere near as universally the case in criticism of Islam as is often imagined.

In this post I have relied on my limited understanding of Wilders, such as saying I'm unaware of him doing certain things, or my having a vague idea of certain nationalist, racist etc. tendencies he has. I welcome any corrections on such details.

$ Technically, the singular is agendum and the plural is agenda, not agendas, and I intend a plural in this context, a point I do need to stress.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 13:22:26 UTC | #842248

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 5 by Stevehill

Even before the "trial"it was made quite clear that there was no case to answer.What ever way you look at this it was not a victory for freedom of expression alone but it also put a provincial ultra-right politician on an international stage where he does not belong.

Perhaps then one should question the motives of his prosecutors.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 13:22:52 UTC | #842249

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 6 by ZenDruid

... but it also put a provincial ultra-right politician on an international stage where he does not belong.

Wilders does not seem to be ultra-right and mentally deficient at the same time, so maybe there's hope.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 13:28:51 UTC | #842252

josephor's Avatar Comment 7 by josephor

Perhaps then one should question the motives of his prosecutors.

Or stupidity and wastage of tax payers money, still the brutal murder of Theo Van Gogh and the motivation behind this is still very fresh in peoples memories one can only speculate !

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 15:12:54 UTC | #842283

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 8 by Tryphon Tournesol

Comment 6 by ZenDruid :

... but it also put a provincial ultra-right politician on an international stage where he does not belong.

Wilders does not seem to be ultra-right and mentally deficient at the same time, so maybe there's hope.

Ultra-right he is. But I like to think he's ultra-UNright most of the time, with his unscrupulous plans for cutting in social securities (from people he lured into voting him in the first place), weasel words (and actions) while defending that perfect judeo-christian society of us, his total disregard for environmental issues... Only lately he has been right for the wrong reasons.

Don't even think that his latest voting in favour of stunned slaughter was out of humanistic consideration, it was against islam (granted: not against individual muslims, that I sincerely believe). Or that he now is really after free speech, he is because it suits him...but let's wait until he has something to say about how far the established faiths can go in their idiocies (compared to islam). Afaik he's never had that many problems with -say- the catholic church, 'it's our culture you know, so we'll measure with two or more yardsticks anyway".

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 15:41:50 UTC | #842294

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 9 by Stonyground

Oddly , the thing that sticks in my mind in all this is the film Fitna. The film clearly showed Islamic preachers indulging in hate speech, I don't know whether any of those featured in the film were resident in Holland or were prosecuted. I also recall British politicians passing judgement on the film while admitting that they had not seen it. As the film was only about twenty minutes long and freely available on the internet I found this disgusting.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 19:05:56 UTC | #842331

ajs261's Avatar Comment 10 by ajs261

Generally, I am glad Wilders won this case, even if some of his other preferences/ideas are not to my taste... his hair for example.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 19:58:35 UTC | #842348

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 11 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 9 by Stonyground

Oddly , the thing that sticks in my mind in all this is the film Fitna. The film clearly showed Islamic preachers indulging in hate speech, I don't know whether any of those featured in the film were resident in Holland or were prosecuted. I also recall British politicians passing judgement on the film while admitting that they had not seen it. As the film was only about twenty minutes long and freely available on the internet I found this disgusting.

I think the UK government behaved like the bunch of moral cowards that they actually are, when it came to Fitna. I've seen the film, and it's really nothing worse than one can read daily even on leftist leaning sites like The Guardian. What the film primarily does is to quote some of the more hostile commands from the Koran, and then show how this is exactly how some Muslims are behaving today. I can understand how a government hell bent on feeding us the bullshit line that Islam is ' a religion of peace' might have problems with the reality of the situation.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 20:54:49 UTC | #842359

12PM's Avatar Comment 12 by 12PM

I think as long as a claim is backed with reasons or explanation, it shouldn't be taken as hate-speech. But whoever makes that claim must accept to hear responses again with reasons. I don't mind if claim and counter claim never end. the actual hate speech is saying 'my religion is the only truth'. that is actual hate speech because it insults the intelligence and commonsense of the general population. It also misleads. But if it is backed with reasons, then fine. Yet whoever makes such a claim must provide sufficient proof. And must also accept all counterclaims in civilized manner.

whenever someone expresses the truth, he must not be burned - not in this modern time - especially must not happen in the free-world. oppressing a speech based on truth is an action that is oppressing intellectual work.

Did UK do that - by mistake?

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 02:09:51 UTC | #842409

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 13 by Tryphon Tournesol

Comment 10 by ajs261 :

Generally, I am glad Wilders won this case, even if some of his other preferences/ideas are not to my taste... his hair for example.

Funny you mention that..I once had the strange experience that, when putting on the television, that I thought I saw Wilders chasing James Bond with an ax on the Golden Gate bridge. Upon reflection it turned out to be Christopher Walken as Zorin the villain in a View to a kill :)

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 08:35:11 UTC | #842445

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 14 by Premiseless

Comment 3 by josephor :

Wilders is a bigot who pointed out a few uncomfortable truths out about Islam, maybe sometime he'll be honest and expose the uncomfortable truths about the Christian-Judea religions but I wouldn't hold my breath.I am glad that he"won" the case but remember that this whole thing was a stupid charade that was blown out of all proportion by the prosecution.Even before the "trial"it was made quite clear that there was no case to answer.What ever way you look at this it was not a victory for freedom of expression alone but it also put a provincial ultra-right politician on an international stage where he does not belong.

'and for the right to criticise religions as the bastions of bronze age and medieval backwardness that they are...'

Don't you think this is the point of such cases?

Politics is often an insincere game where individuals will use whatever artillery seems the flavor of the moment. Which of these or whether both are being employed by Wilders might be impossible to know without trusting his account of his own motivations. Nevertheless, the position of religions remains the same and it is often being protected by precedents far more bigoted than anything a single human is able to employ even if quite deliberately, though just as deceitful if this be the case. In a war against bigotry is it fair to employ it? Maybe it's an only option? Or have you alternatives?

Sincerity and kindness seems to have been grafted by religions, from the wider population, onto its delusional rootstock, and thus it becomes a de facto cruelty to attack its foundations since this indirectly impacts the lives of those misled into its mind controls. They become the innocent victims of religions groomings, and often multi generational, to add further root to the core problem of permitting boloney legal status, rights and global powers. However this is no excuse to encourage, be lenient or tolerate its attempts to become more widespread. Next generations deserve to be educated about it in no uncertain terms. Freedom of speech to state exactly what it is and why are a minimum requirement!

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 11:02:13 UTC | #842464

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 15 by Steve Zara

This was a very unwise case. People like Wilders feed off publicity and notoriety. Wilders wins whatever the verdict - if (as happened) he goes free, he is a triumphant challenger of the liberal state. If he had got to prison, he would be a victim cruelly punished by a corrupt legal system.

This was the right verdict. Hate crimes are difficult, and Wilders probably did not cross the line. An acquittal is the fastest way to calm things down.

Wilder's views are abhorrent. He says he does not want to target Muslims, but his policies target Muslims, effectively making them second-class citizens in some ways. He's also not a supporter of reason, wanting faith-based values enshrined in law.

People like Wilders help to form a positive feedback loop with extremists. A cynic might even suspect collusion between Wilders and Muslim fundamentalists, after all, both want publicity and both want conflict. I don't believe things have got that far. Yet.

It's true that Wilders does make some statements that sound reasonable, but he is a very dangerous ally. He's like the Lord of the Rings character Wormtongue - he spreads so much poison that after a while it seems normal.

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 11:19:54 UTC | #842471

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 16 by Premiseless

Comment 15 by Steve Zara :

It's true that Wilders does make some statements that sound reasonable, but he is a very dangerous ally. He's like the Lord of the Rings character Wormtongue - he spreads so much poison that after a while it seems normal.

This is my point about religions having carved out a multi apologetic equation for themselves. You yourself are effectively saying that religions deserve to be freed of such extremist attacks though religion itself better not exist in an ideal world. Its a de facto convergence upon supporting a delusional stand off - and the only rational position seems to be to defend the peaceful delusional even though it be known preserving such mindsets will ALWAYS badly infect unsuspecting minds to an extent that they become traumatised by its irrationalities. If religion be Hitchens poison then what be this one and how to differentiate betwixt the two and liberate a position absent both? I take it nobody knows and nobody ever will? As I've stated elsewhere, irrational demands dominate any rational enterprise and always form the majority democracy by virtue of the range of easily deceivable humans needing educating way beyond the successful ways known to work in deceiving them otherwise!

We're all caught in a loop (and apparently have no choice anyway according to the likes of S.Cat).

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 11:50:38 UTC | #842477

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 17 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 15 by Steve Zara

Wilder's views are abhorrent. He says he does not want to target Muslims, but his policies target Muslims, effectively making them second-class citizens in some ways. He's also not a supporter of reason, wanting faith-based values enshrined in law.

The latter point I concur with. An argument for one religion over another, even if the other religion can be said to be 'worse', is not a rational argument.

But as for targetting Muslims.......the dividing line between incitement and genuine expression of objection is a very thin one. How, for example, could I possibly argue that communism is a complete and utter load of hogwash without in some way impuning communists ? If I argue that I think communism is morally wrong......surely that is in itself an argument that communists are immoral. It is all but impossible to impune an ideology or belief without in some way impuning those who follow it.

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 15:25:31 UTC | #842521

yesnomaybe's Avatar Comment 18 by yesnomaybe

Comment 15 by Steve Zara :

Wilder's views are abhorrent. He says he does not want to target Muslims, but his policies target Muslims, effectively making them second-class citizens in some ways.

Are you saying that Wilders' views are "abhorrent", but that he himself is not? Or is he personally "abhorrent"? I think we need to know.

If he's "abhorrent", I assume this judgement of yours is because of his views. If someone has "abhorrent" views, you seem to be saying, then they themselves are "abhorrent" (and, by extension, the million plus people who voted for Wilders). Isn't this "hate-speech"?

How does this square with the followers of Islam? Is every policy that doesn't appease Islam to now be seen as "targeting Muslims"?

No one has any interest in abstract views that no one, in reality, actually holds. And if people hold certain views that they themselves view as an integral part of their identity, then criticising those views will impact on the individuals holding such views. If you know of a way of, for example, opposing communism without frustrating the desires of communists, please let us know?

People like Wilders . . .

Now you're being personal. I thought this was what you were against?

A cynic might even suspect collusion between Wilders and Muslim fundamentalists, after all, both want publicity and both want conflict . . .

Did I miss something? Is Wilders calling for the beheading of his critics?

It's true that Wilders does make some statements that sound reasonable, but he is a very dangerous ally. He's like the Lord of the Rings character Wormtongue - he spreads so much poison that after a while it seems normal.

Can you inform me of ANY politician in ANY western country who has, in your view, the correct approach to Islam?

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 22:21:26 UTC | #842620

yesnomaybe's Avatar Comment 19 by yesnomaybe

Comment 17 by Schrodinger's Cat :

An argument for one religion over another, even if the other religion can be said to be 'worse', is not a rational argument.

Why? How are you defining "rational"? Why are you qualifying the term "worse"?

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 22:33:56 UTC | #842624

Sean the Sorcerer's Avatar Comment 20 by Sean the Sorcerer

I don't know what Geert Wilders' religion or "cosmic vision" is, but I do know that he is a much-needed voice of Western strength and power in the face of the Islamic challenge. To me, the West has become a culturally weak and decadent civilization, and the Muslims know this. As a practical matter, atheism and liberalism seem to produce cultural suicide, driven by both ideological and demographic collapse, so it's not clear how the West will survive long-term as a secular society. If nothing else, religion seems to produce a lot of "holy warriors" who will fight for their borders, tribes and culture. What do atheists propose to do in the face of an aggressive, fecund and fanatical culture like fundamentalist Islam? There is nothing natural or rational about aborting yourselves into extinction! I would really like to hear Mr. Dawkins or another influential atheist address this issue, because from where I sit it looks like the West, and modernity in general, is dying. I fully expect to see more people like Wilders arise to try to wake Western people up -- perhaps even a new Hitleresque figure who will seek to drive the Muslims out of Europe. As much as I despise the Judeo-Christianity-Islamic tradition, I respect the fact that they have some cultural and spiritual strength. Where is strong, conquering atheism? The closest thing I've found is Laveyan Satanism, which is atheistic but understands the importance of spiritual power and simple animal domination. I want to be on the winning side, but right now secular humanists and atheists seem like a bunch of fucking losers!

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 22:54:59 UTC | #842627

Pitchguest's Avatar Comment 21 by Pitchguest

Oh please. Geert Wilders is among one of the worst of the worst when it comes to criticizing Muslims. And not just Muslims, but immigrants too. He is after all the founder of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, the far-right populist nationalist party.

Their views are reminiscient of the so many nationalist parties that have flared up in recent years. In Sweden there's the Sweden Democrats, in Britain there's the EDL, in US the Tea Party. So radical they're ridiculous. Our very own Naz- sorry, nationalists, carry in their manifesto that should they win the next election, all immigrants residing and coming to Sweden are going to have to do a "loyalty" test. If they don't pass, they'll have to leave the country. The test will, of course, be on their terms. Think about that for a moment. A "loyalty" test.

Any immigrant who'd dare criticize Sweden is going to be expelled. Immediately.

Another prominent member of the party offered to pay immigrants to leave the country. No, really.

As for Geert, I have no sympathy for him what so ever. That he got out of court makes no difference to me. It shouldn't have been taken to court, obviously. That's just playing into his hands. But I wouldn't have shed a tear had he been convicted and I wouldn't have shed a tear for freedom of speech, either. I mean, people are saying that if he was only put on trial because he "dared" to criticize Islam. Bollocks. He was put on trial due to hate speech. And I should think not just criticizing Muslims for their faith, but also inciting hatred and discrimination towards them, and also inciting hatred and discrimination to Dutch-Morroccans because of their race is hate speech. Shouting loudly exclaiming hatred, and inciting hatred, towards another group of people? And he's surprised he was arrested?

Addendum: Oh. And as we're on the subject. Fitna is a movie that's supposed to "reveal" the adherence of Muslims among us, but what it really shows is how selective footage and passages from the Qu'ran can be used to deceive and obfuscate in order to "make a point." But what inspired Geert to make this movie is what's interesting, the movie Submission. A joint production by Theo Van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. If you look at the story behind it, Van Gogh made it in honour of his good friend Pim Fortuyn who was murdered by activist Volkert van der Graaf, who in according to a statement by him justified the murder by saying he "didn't want Fortuyn to exploit Muslims as scapegoats and targeting the weak members of society (immigrants) to seek political power."

In other words, murdered by a white native Dutch animal rights activist and not a Muslim. However Theo van Gogh took his statement of depicting Muslims as "scapegoats" to heart and started production on Submission. Now Ayaan Hirsi Ali we all know about. But after seeing the documentary about her, it's hard to take her seriously on anything anymore. She claims she was hunted by her father (not true), she claims she was arranged to be married (true), she claims she was hiding from her father and her suitor because she feared for her life (not true), she claims she lived in Somalia and fled to the Netherlands to evade war (not true). Basically a lot of what she said and a lot of what was revealed turned out to be not true.

Anyway. I've seen Fitna. I've seen Submission. And not once are we given the benefit of the doubt. We're simply forcefed "facts." Not once are we told to critically acclimatize what we've learned. No. We're to take it at face value. Which is ludicrous. You can take his motives for what you will, and you can take the motives of murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh for what you will, but the moment I take things at face value, that's the moment I lose my mind. Also, and this is just in my humble opinion, I'm not going to take the opinion of a known opposer of immigrants and Muslims, as well as one who incites hatred and discrimination towards aforementioned groups, seriously on anything denigrating immigrants and Muslims. That would just be stupid.

Tl;dr: Geert Wilders is a nationalist, far-right populist, known for his bigotry toward Muslims and immigrants. He was put on trial because he incited hatred and discrimination towards Morroccans and Muslims, not just because he "dared" to criticize Islam. He was put on trial for hate speech. I will not weep for this man's freedom of speech. I will not weep for this man. (And a bit about Theo van Gogh and Hirsi Ali.)

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 09:37:33 UTC | #842758

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 22 by Premiseless

Comment 21 by Pitchguest :

Bollocks. He was put on trial due to hate speech. And I should think not just criticizing Muslims for their faith, but also inciting hatred and discrimination towards them, and also inciting hatred and discrimination .......... Shouting loudly exclaiming hatred, and inciting hatred, towards another group of people? And he's surprised he was arrested?

On this basis, convince me which religion ought mot to be "arrested"?

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 11:27:13 UTC | #842793

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 23 by Atheist Mike

What's just wrong in this I think is that only (religious) crackpots and far-rightists denounce muslim fascism. If western liberals don't start properly criticizing Islam for what it is they'll lose people to the far right, with all the ensuing consequences if those freaks get to power. So Wilders having won this might be a good thing because it proves you can show truths about Islam without being sent to prison but proper political parties better start working on it and not leave the truth-monopoly to Wilders and his ultra-nationalist fools.

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 15:23:26 UTC | #842897

Sean the Sorcerer's Avatar Comment 24 by Sean the Sorcerer

Comment 23 by Atheist Mike :

If western liberals don't start properly criticizing Islam for what it is they'll lose people to the far right,

This is exactly correct. The problem is, western liberals like Pitchguest are in the grip of an ideology which has totally disarmed them, which forces them to open their borders and cultures to invasion by anyone and to commit cultural suicide in the name of some utopian PC ideal that has never worked and never will. I'm sorry if that sounds like fascism to you, but it's simply the truth. The current liberalism of the West is a brief accident of history that will soon pass, one way or another -- either by people rejecting it in favor of their own cultural survival, or by liberal culture simply dying out by non-reproduction and conquest. This is what Wilders and the Western nationalists are about: cultural survival, rebirth and a rejection of the suicidal PC ideologies that have taken power throughout the West in recent decades. All I can say is, it's about fucking time...

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 19:24:08 UTC | #843003

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 25 by Atheist Mike

@comment 24

I don't think replacing the lamb with the wolf is very smart. What we need is to find a middle ground. Make the lamb show its teeth once in a while.

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 00:24:01 UTC | #843192

Pitchguest's Avatar Comment 26 by Pitchguest

Comment 24 by SeanTheMystic

This is exactly correct. The problem is, western liberals like Pitchguest are in the grip of an ideology which has totally disarmed them, which forces them to open their borders and cultures to invasion by anyone and to commit cultural suicide in the name of some utopian PC ideal that has never worked and never will. I'm sorry if that sounds like fascism to you, but it's simply the truth. The current liberalism of the West is a brief accident of history that will soon pass, one way or another -- either by people rejecting it in favor of their own cultural survival, or by liberal culture simply dying out by non-reproduction and conquest. This is what Wilders and the Western nationalists are about: cultural survival, rebirth and a rejection of the suicidal PC ideologies that have taken power throughout the West in recent decades. All I can say is, it's about fucking time...

I'm curious what you mean, exactly, when you say we're commiting "cultural suicide." As if our country suddenly opened up to the world. The history of our multiculture has existed long before people immigrated here, yet it is somehow multiculturalism that's the cause of our problems. Ridiculous. This idealogy has disarmed no one. To say that it has is just meandering, pointless fearmongering. As for liberals and liberalism, I've heard tell of people railing against liberals and liberalism and every time they do I get this stupid grin on my face; a grin that can't decide whether it wants to laugh or to cry. Think about it: you condemn the belief that liberty and equality is important. What?

Conservatism is the belief that looks to preserve traditionally accepted norms and promote minimal, if at all gradual, change. Conservatism is the opposite of liberalism. It does not believe in the importance of liberty and equality. It believes in the importance of ancient social norms, like apartheid and segregation, proselytizing, and protecting traditions, like slavery, the death penalty and 'marriage' (between a man and a woman). Geert Wilders is a conservative. Yet Geert Wilders wants "change." And fast. I'd call him a hypocrite, but that kind of goes without saying. Also people would accuse me of using ad-hom.

You also accuse me of wishing to enact this "utopian PC ideal that has never worked and never will." But that just sounds contradictory. What is it that Geert Wilders wishes to do, if not to create a utopia? And utopian "PC" ideal? PC? So if treating Muslims with respect, or at least just not treating them with disdain, is politically correct, then treating them with disdain would be politically incorrect? Is that what you're saying? So you would rather treat Muslims with disdain?

Again. I cannot stress this enough. You condemn the belief, and the believer, that liberty and equality is important. The argument to condemn liberals and liberalism gets stupider and stupider every time I hear it. Without liberalism, there would be no United States constitution. Without liberalism, there would be no Civil Rights Movement. Without liberalism, there would be no "atheist community." It is the most ridiculous argument ever conceived. Moreover, the Social Democratic movement in Sweden was the best thing that ever happened to this country. A very much liberal movement to be sure. Furthermore to get my point across even clearer, without liberalism* there would be no United States of America.

*And immigration. Can't forget immigration.

Tue, 28 Jun 2011 16:52:22 UTC | #843933

yesnomaybe's Avatar Comment 27 by yesnomaybe

To Steve Zara, and anyone else of similar sentimets,

I was hoping that you would at least answer this question and i'm unsure how to interpret your silence?

Comment 18 by yesnomaybe :

Can you inform me of ANY politician in ANY western country who has, in your view, the correct approach to Islam?

Criticism of Wilders can be principled, reasonable, justified and well-informed. However, criticism of Wilders can also be a disguise for criticising any politician who dares to explicitly suggest there is an incompatibility between Islam, as it's commonly practised, and secular, liberal democracy.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 21:55:15 UTC | #845825

yesnomaybe's Avatar Comment 28 by yesnomaybe

Comment 26 by Pitchguest :

Conservatism is the belief that looks to preserve traditionally accepted norms and promote minimal, if at all gradual, change. Conservatism is the opposite of liberalism. It does not believe in the importance of liberty and equality.

This is gibberish. What "equality" are you championing here? The equality of people or their ideas? Are all people to be treated equally under the law, or are people to be defined in terms of group-identity and allowed to function under those group norms?

If a person favours secularism, one law for all, gender equality, sexual equality, free speech, and wishes to defend this type of society, do you now consider them a "conservative"? You seem to think that "liberalism" means not just tolerating but actively promoting "illiberalism". You seem unconcerned that the inevitable result of this trend will be the end of "liberalism". Some of us don't share your apathy.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 22:08:01 UTC | #845827

yesnomaybe's Avatar Comment 29 by yesnomaybe

Comment 25 by Atheist Mike :

@comment 24 I don't think replacing the lamb with the wolf is very smart. What we need is to find a middle ground. Make the lamb show its teeth once in a while.

I agree. The problem is that this "middle ground" has very few, if any, occupants. What should be happening, isn't happening. The lambs aren't materialising.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 22:14:08 UTC | #845829

Arnott Bird's Avatar Comment 30 by Arnott Bird

But as for targetting Muslims.......the dividing line between incitement and genuine expression of objection is a very thin one. How, for example, could I possibly argue that communism is a complete and utter load of hogwash without in some way impuning communists ? If I argue that I think communism is morally wrong......surely that is in itself an argument that communists are immoral. It is all but impossible to impune an ideology or belief without in some way impuning those who follow it.

Hmmm. Taxing 'head-rags' is an expression of criticism of Islam? By referencing communism, which (no longer) has cultural/religious/racist connotations, you highlight where Wilders has diverged from criticism of Islamic extremism and has veered toward racist hate-speech. If he was criticising Islam I, and I suspect the courts, would have no problem. That is not what he is doing. He is using the screen of such to denigrate those of a particular cultural identity, and using them as a scapegoat for the awful mess that Europe - and in this particular case, the Netherlands - has got itself into.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 22:27:54 UTC | #845832