Saturday, January 5, 2008

Preparing For All Hell To Break Loose

There is one man in Europe who, like Churchill before him, refuses to feed the alligator in the hopes that he or his country will be eaten last. His name is Gert Wilders, he is a Dutch politician, and he is producing a film highly critical of the Koran. The alligator feeders in the Dutch government are apoplectic. This from Prof. Daniel Pipes:

[O]n January 25 . . . an un-named film by a leading Dutch politician Geert Wilders dealing with the Koran [will be shown]. Wilders in the past has compared [the Koran] to Hitler's Mein Kampf and wants it banned; the film will likely make arguments along these lines: "With this film I'm trying to show not only in words but also images exactly what I mean," he says.

. . . [The] Dutch government has prepared. It has adopted a two-track policy of (1) trying to stop the screening and, should that fail, (2) getting ready for crisis mode. An article in today's Volkskrant, "Vrees voor rellen rond Koran-film van Wilders" (translated as "Fear of riots over Wilders' Koran film") provides some details. First, the government is trying to shut things down:

- The Justice Department is investigating whether anything can be done to prevent the film from airing.

- When it was leaked that Wilders was coming out with an anti-Koran film, three ministers warned him of the possible consequences.

Should this not succeed, preparatory steps are underway:

- Security around Wilders, which was already heavy, is being beefed up.

- The Amsterdam police have had interviews with imams and other influential persons in the Muslim community this month to prepare for their reactions. A scenario is being prepared for major public order problems. Similar measures are being taken in the Hague and Utrecht.

- Investigations are also underway to see whether Wilders will have to acquire a specially secured residence and whether his fellow party members will require security.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since informed all of its diplomatic posts … to explain to other countries that the Cabinet has distanced itself from the film.


(1) That a lone individual, a Rushdie or a Wilders, is in the anomalous position of driving a state's policy makes this situation so fascinating and anomalous. I addressed this unprecedented situation in my 1989 book, The Rushdie Affair:

In a strange reversal, governments waited on the statements issued by a private citizen. Never before had this happened. Nor had an individual's choice of words ever borne so directly on the course of international relations. The situation was especially anomalous in Great Britain, where the authorities at one point felt compelled to deny that they had cleared a pronouncement made by Rushdie. As a news item reported it, with reference to his February 19[, 1989] apology,

Whitehall sources said the Foreign Office had not asked to see the statement in advance. It was volunteered by the publishers. The Foreign Office had not taken any initiative or tried to influence the publishers in any way, nor was there any question that the Foreign Office had "cleared" or "approved" the statement, or taken any view about it.

The absurdity of the situation was caught by a cartoon in Le Monde which showed Rushdie at his typewriter, surrounded by fifteen harried bobbies all keeping an eye on him; one of the policemen barks into the walkie-talkie, "Close the airports!! He wants to write volume two!!!"

(2) When a citizen holds his government hostage, the latter is inevitably tempted to shut down his freedom of expression. Indeed, Wilders has complained of "pure political intimidation" by the cabinet and "unacceptable" pressure being placed on him to desist, including sending the public prosecutor after him.

Thus does the Islamist challenge test the principles of Western governments as never before. Put differently, will Westerners resist dhimmitude or succumb to it? The outcome is by no means assured. (December 29, 2007)

Read the entire article. Radical Islam needs to be brought out into the open and challenged. My hats off to this brave politician.


sheik yer'mami said...

"Radical Islam needs to be brought out into the open and challenged"- is there any Islam that's not 'radical?' Which part of 'wipe the infidels out to the last' and 'kill the unbelievers wherever you find them' is it you don't understand?

GW said...

I am an eternal optimist - so, yes, there is an "Islam which is not radical." I think that 99% of the existing problems of Islam, including within the Deobandi and Shia Khomeinist versions, can be traced directly to the rise of Wahhabi / Salafi Islam in Saudi Arabia. I have been friends with far too many Muslims, one of whom is in my family tree, to believe that all of Islam is a pestilence in need of eradication.

I wrote in another post:

If you talk to "moderate" Muslims - the people you want as your friends and neighbors - they invariably talk about the "essence" of Islam as being both good and positive. I believe them completely. But it is clear that they are looking to the generalities and ignoring many of the orthodox interpretations. The black letter of the Koran and methods of interpretation of Salafi Islam go beyond this "essence" and lead directly back to 7th century Arabia. As I have written extensively here,
( ) if the systemic issues are ever to be addressesd, Islam must evolve and go through its period of Enlightenment.

Assuming the polls are accurate, the good news for Britain at the moment is that a majority of her Muslims fall into that category of “partial Muslims.” But putting the MAB and MCB in a position to influence Britain’s Muslim population is a sure guarantee that there will be no evolution of Islam in Britain, but there will be an ever growing population of “good Muslims.”

There are Muslims in the world today like Tawfiq Hamid ( ) and Zuhdi Jasser ( ), voices in the wilderness at the moment, who are trying to evolve their faith. They need our full support.