Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs Snags Interview of the Century: GEERT WILDERS

Watch this clip and please comment as to what you think. BUT and this is critical in a democracy, let me know if you think the man saying this should actually be prosecuted for saying so. That’s right Wilders faces prosecution for saying this in The Netherlands. Of course you may disagree, you may even be offended however surely the man has a right to say so doesn’t he?

Oh and before the usual islamists come out with the crap that ‘as Abu Hamza was prosecuted so should this guy’. Bear in mind that Hamza actually called for people to be killed. Wilders is critical of an ideology and the imposition of it in Europe. If you like democracy he should be supported. The Dutch government should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such a politically driven prosecution.

See here for a sanitised BBC version of the story:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7842344.stm

7 comments:

Young Activist said...

Clearly, Wilders comments are hateful and disgusting. He calls Islam a "fascist ideology", certainly if this was said by a major western politician about Judaism or Christianity it would be treated much harsher by the media. Should inciting racism be illegal though? I think this is a separate issue. There are drawbacks to any approach, but my first impression is that it would be healthy for a liberal democracy to prohibit a very narrowly defined definition of hate speech. Such comments serve no positive function in a democracy, but I haven't really thought about this issues a lot so I could change my mind on it, that's just my first impression. From what I've read though, it appears that prosecuting hate speech has had a positive effect in Canada and some European countries. Just wondering, do you think it should be illegal to deny the Holocaust, that seems to fall into the same category as this.

Paul said...

Hi YA, could you please explain to me how Wilders is 'inciting racism'? What race is Islam? He criticises the imposition of Islam upon Europe and Islam is not just a religon but an actual form of governance in the shape of Sharia law.

Anyway thanks for dropping by. As to holocaust denial, I am firmly against that being illegal in a democracy. I can understand the obvious reasons why it is in Germany or Israel. However I feel that whenever individuals such as that fruitcake in Iran make their Borat like statements; it only serves to make them look stupid.

Regards Paul.

Young Activist said...

Yes you are right, Islam is not a race, so perhaps I should have said racialist bigotries. In the U.S the two are generally used interchangeably. They are certainly morally equivalent. As for religious law, there is a difference between criticizing a religion and criticizing the idea of religious law. Wilders does not make that distinction. While Christianity is not a legalistic religion like Islam Judaism is. If Wilders were making these statements about Judaism he would rightly be denounced as anti-Semitic, but he does make them about Judaism or Jewish law, he singles out Islam for criticism. Why? The only explanation I can think of is that he is a nativist bigot.
When things like Holocaust denial are at the fringe they do look silly, but what happens if they enter the mainstream, as has denial of say the Armenian Genocide, then they become genuinely dangerous.

Paul said...

Good point about the Armenian Genocide about which it is illegal to mention in Turkey I believe.

YA though do you seriously believe that Wilders should be prosecuted? I mean it would be a legal nonsense for a court to establish as you suggest what is a criticism of Islam and therefore illegal and what is a legal criticism of Islamic law?

The point is relevant of course because to many Muslims Sharia is Islam the two are interchangeable. Sharia is rooted upon the Qur'an and Hadith from which it takes its legitimacy. With that in mind Wilders is factually correct to call the Qur'an a 'fascist book'. However it might have been better to say that parts of the Qur'an can be used to justify a regime that is very akin to fascism.

Just some of the pleasantries of Islamic law include the death penalty for apostasy, lesser status for non-Muslims, four male witnesses to prosecute a rape. Limb amputations for theft and the death penalty for adultery. Sounds nice doesn't it? All of that is based upon Islam's scriptures and it is not extreme interpretations it is literal.

I'll offer an anecdote from the blogosphere that illustrates this. I remember a discussion posted on Muslimunity. In it the topic turned to apostasy. Our mutual friend Karin tried to explain to a visiting American that only extremists such as the Taleban killed apostates. She was flatly contradicted by all the other posters who pointed out that in Islam if someone leaves the religon they are killed. This opinion based upon Hadith is actually law in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other places. Such regimes are more akin to fascism than any other.

My final point is that in the west and indeed at the UN itself there are moves to place Islam beyond criticism. The UN General Assembly has passed a motion stating that ‘defamation of religon’ be outlawed. The Islamists love it and I would not be surprised if the proposed prosecution of Wilders is aimed at appeasing similar groups in the Netherlands.

Young Activist said...

Have you read the Talmud and the Bible, what about the Veda, are these also "fascist book[s]". Why does Islam get singled out? There are horrible things in the texts of other faiths as well.
There is a clear difference between theological criticism and bigotry. Wilders is obviously not a theologian, he is a petty nativist, and very close to being a fascist himself. He is avid fan of prolonged detention without trial, an Israeli policy which I believe even you have criticized, he supports the banning of books, which is something you also criticize, I really don't understand how someone who considers himself a libertarian would associate with such a man.
The concept of Dhmmi which you allude to is archaic and outdated, I agree. But you have to remember it came at a time when your enlightened Europeans where launching inquisitions, at the time it was the most tolerant declaration about minorities ever put into law on a large scale. There are problems in the Islamic world, that is true, but that is for the Muslims to work, are there not enough issues for you to address with Britain?
Your obsessive preoccupation with Islam rings of intolerance. If not bigotry why are you so concerned with that religion?


To answer your question, I beleive it may be beneficial to ban a narrowly defined concept of hate speech, but I haven't looked at it in enough detail to have a definitive opinion. This speech is dangerous to a free society, the issue comes down to wheter or not restrictions on it are a greater threat and I imagine the answer to that would vary from society to society.

Paul said...

'Have you read the Talmud and the Bible, what about the Veda, are these also "fascist book[s]". Why does Islam get singled out? There are horrible things in the texts of other faiths as well.
There is a clear difference between theological criticism and bigotry. Wilders is obviously not a theologian, he is a petty nativist, and very close to being a fascist himself. He is avid fan of prolonged detention without trial, an Israeli policy which I believe even you have criticized, he supports the banning of books, which is something you also criticize, I really don't understand how someone who considers himself a libertarian would associate with such a man.'

Yawn! Honestly YA this does get tiring. Look this ought to be quite clear what I am saying. I do not 'associate' with Wilders! I just think that he has a right to say what he says without being prosecuted and ought to have been allowed in the UK to visit the House of Lords last week as well. It really ought to be possible for you to understand my view point. Doubtless the man is reactionary, so let’s get him in the open and debate with him yes?

'Your obsessive preoccupation with Islam rings of intolerance. If not bigotry why are you so concerned with that religion?' I have explained this before, this is due to the designs on power that Islamists currently have in the west. Something of course which naive liberals purposefully ignore. How does that make me bigoted? If a body of opinion seeks to rule over you in a repressive way is it not sensible to criticise it whilst you can? Do you understand that? I can repeat it slowly for you if it proves tricky.

It really is strange that as a 'Liberal' it would appear to be you and not I that is in favour of an authoritarian regime. Certainly there are topics you feel should be kept from the public. And those that seek to debate them should be prosecuted in the case of Wilders or pilloried in my case.

Before you and I completely spit our dummies it, it might be sensible for you to listen to this recent interview Wilders gave on radio 4 to Michael Burke.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00cv5mn

Again you might not like all that he says but he certainly does not come across as a fascist. A populist maybe or a hero to many others. Nonetheless he and the issues surrounding him are worthy of debate.

Christopher Logan said...

YA said,
"Your obsessive preoccupation with Islam rings of intolerance. If not bigotry why are you so concerned with that religion?"

Obviously YA has no clue as to what is happening in the UK with Islam.

Islam gets singled out because Christians and Jews are not trying to impose a set of barbaric religious laws on the UK.

Funny how he says nothing about the hate speech that stems from Islam. He is just another liberal who helps the enemy.