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.