Sunday, March 07, 2010

Geert Wilders the next Dutch PM?
Keeping an eye on politics in the Netherlands

As Obama takes America to the left with policies like nationalized healthcare, is Europe trending to the right? The Netherlands is an interesting country to watch to see where Europe may be headed these days. People who look at the Netherlands from the outside see a country with a tolerant Leftist psyche, with open policies on drugs, prostitution, and a multiculturist attitude that in recent years has made Dutch borders a haven for one million Muslim immigrants (in a nation of 16 million). But it would seem that even the tolerant Dutch have their breaking point. [See my October 2009 post about Wilders: "What's going on in Europe?"]

Geert Wilders, 46-year-old leader of the conservative Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), scored major gains in local authority polls last Thursday, meaning that he is now a serious challenger in the June national election. "The leftist elite still believes in multi-culturalism, coddling criminals, a European super-state, and high taxes," Wilders told cheering supporters at a rally on Wednesday. "But the rest of the Netherlands thinks differently. That silent majority now has a voice."

According to an article in the UK Telegraph by Toby Young ("Geert Wilders' victory in Holland's regional elections is a victory for free speech"), if the PVV party receives the same support in the national elections on June 9 as they did in the polls on last Thursday, then Geert Wilders will be the Netherlands' next Prime Minister. Asks Young: "Are the Dutch people just fed up with being told they're not allowed to criticise Muslim extremists because to do so is "Islamophobic"? [Kind of reminds you of politics in the U.S. a year or so ago when anyone seriously criticizing Obama or his policies was branded a raaaacist.] According to Young, Wilders has "exposed the Dutch political class as a bunch of pathetic quislings who tiptoe around the delicate sensibilities of their immigrant communities while jettisoning one of the most sacred principles on which Western civilisation is based. Clearly, the Dutch people have had enough." To which I would add: it's about time.

In another recent article, clearly not so pro-Wilders as Young's point of view, found in the UK Independent, Wilders is characterized as a far-right Islamophobe, with "flowing locks of swept-back blond hair" that have "led some to nickname him Mozart." Wilders was in the UK recently to promote "his brand of Islamophobia" with a screening of his 17-minute film Fitna, described by him as "a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization." Wilders was turned away from Britain last year with angry protests when he tried to enter the country with his film; however, "this time few people seemed to notice." Why the difference between last year and this isn't explained by the Independent article.

The article continues: "Here, under the watchful eyes of his three earpiece-wearing bodyguards, the 46-year-old leader of the Freedom Party told a tense and sometimes heated press conference that Islam was a "fascist ideology" and that the Prophet Mohamed was "a mass murderer, a barbarian and a paedophile". He said: "I have nothing against Muslims, but I have a problem with the Islamic ideology, which I believe is a totalitarian ideology to be compared with other totalitarian ideologies like communism or fascism. I believe Islam is a violent and dangerous religion and even a retarded culture. I think we should stop the Islamisation of our society. Islamism and democracy are incompatible. The more Islamism we have, the more freedom we will lose and this is something worth fighting for."

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