The Wilders interview

If you have some how missed Geert Wilders and his anti-Koran film Fitna, go see it, and then read his interview to the WSJ

Having his own party liberates Mr. Wilders to speak his mind. As he sees it, the West suffers from an excess of toleration for those who do not share its tradition of tolerance. “We believe that — ‘we’ means the political elite — that all cultures are equal,” he says. “I believe this is the biggest disease today facing Europe. . . . We should wake up and tell ourselves: You’re not a xenophobe, you’re not a racist, you’re not a crazy guy if you say, ‘My culture is better than yours.’ A culture based on Christianity, Judaism, humanism is better. Look at how we treat women, look at how we treat apostates, look at how we go with the separation of church and state. I can give you 500 examples why our culture is better.”

He acknowledges that “the majority of Muslims in Europe and America are not terrorists or violent people.” But he says “it really doesn’t matter that much, because if you don’t define your own culture as the best, dominant one, and you allow through immigration people from those countries to come in, at the end of the day you will lose your own identity and your own culture, and your society will change. And our freedom will change — all the freedoms we have will change.”

The murder of van Gogh lends credence to this warning, as does the Muhammad cartoon controversy of 2005 in Denmark. As for “Fitna,” it has not occasioned a violent response, but its foes have made efforts to suppress it. A Dutch Muslim organization went to court seeking to enjoin its release on the ground that, in Mr. Wilders’s words, “it’s not in the interest of Dutch security.” The plaintiffs also charged Mr. Wilders with blasphemy and inciting hatred. Mr. Wilders thought the argument frivolous, but decided to pre-empt it: “The day before the verdict, I broadcasted [‘Fitna’] . . . not because I was not confident in the outcome, but I thought: I’m not taking any chance, I’m doing it. And it was legal, because there was not a verdict yet.” The judge held that the national-security claim was moot and ruled in Mr. Wilders’s favor on the issues of blasphemy and incitement.

He surely does believe in Popper’s paradox.

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  • jonolan  On December 1, 2008 at 5:37 am

    I’ll side with Wilder’s freedom of speech. Plato’s Paradox of Intolerance is just that, a paradox. As such it should be discounted in the real world since we cannot reach consensus of what is and isn’t unacceptable intolerance.

  • you12  On December 1, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Aah. The Dutch Raj Thuggarey!

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On December 1, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    honestly, do we need a film to describe to us how much of a psycho religion islam really is?

    anyway, i saw this back when it made headlines. nothing new about it. it’s probably made to those pseudo-seculars who believe in tolerating every religion without even knowing what the religion preaches.

    i can tolerate every single religion except islam. but this sane and well thought off decision of mine has taken way my right to call myself a secularist. i don’t care. i still believe im a secular. and i hate islam.

  • you12  On December 1, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    This Mr. Wilders seems to be a “pretending to be liberal” nutcase. Now I don’t have any problems with him expressing his one sided views on Islam,But he is a man of contradictions and hypocrisy.And he calls him self a libertarian.

    There are just so many contradictions in his own views. but on a larger note,For all the losses and horrors of WWII;it seems Europe has not learned anything and has replaced its Antisemitism with an AntiMuslim stance.

    PS: I posted a comment earlier today on this topic. Where is it?

  • Aristotle The Geek  On December 2, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Wilders is free to say what he wants; I don’t dispute that. The main problem is political Islam. In a democracy, the moment any group reaches a majority, they will change the laws of the country to suit their needs. From what I have read, Wilders fears this the most. Theo Van Gogh was a brutal example of censorship through intimidation that radical Muslims practice. In this context, I don’t blame him for having taken the position he has. Care, though, has to be taken that this does not degenerate into a blind collectivist sentiment bordering on islamophobia – “no muslims allowed”.

    No we don’t need any film to show us the dark side of Islam. But films are a powerful medium that can deliver a powerful message, if used carefully. That’s what W capitalized on.

    For a long time, I have held the position that as long as you don’t interfere in my affairs, I don’t care whether you worship a god or a donkey. And, no religion in the world satisfies my position. That said, the Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and other minor religions have more or less embraced the 21st century – there are a few idiots among them, but they are “few”. Not the case with Muslims, particularly in the Middle East. There, the position is in reverse. But this is only as far as religion is concerned. When it comes to politics, and all religions are political, no one plays fair.

    Among the many reasons behind European antisemitism is the Jews being tagged “Christ killers”. Then there was the usual bad blood because of money lending – according to Will Durant, even Voltaire wasn’t a great fan of Jews, precisely because of his business dealings with them. In any case, Europe has never been comfortable with Islam either.

    Islamo-fascism is a threat, and mollycoddling under the pretext of secularism and preventing “hurt sentiments” is a very dangerous game.

    In spite of my views on “absolute freedom of speech”, I think Popper is right. There is a limit to tolerance. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom of action.

    PS: I have given up moderating each and every comment months ago. Use some email id, and use it every time you post. That way, once I approve one of your comments, they will appear automatically the next time.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On December 2, 2008 at 1:58 am

    very weird indeed. when something goes wrong in the islamic world, the leaders blame that on lack of islamic values and label the perpetrators as being un-islamic. and what is the solution these leaders recommend? more islamisation!!! back in the hole yet again.

    like Wilder says, islam needs to be treated as communism and outcast-ed. if religion is a disease then islam is the sole best example. rest have welcomed change.

    will islam evolve?
    i don’t think so. the fundamental part of islam always over-rules the moderate stock. fact is, no moderate muslim in the world has the balls in him to speak out against his fundamental counterpart. where are the voices of shah ruk khans and the salman khans when the mosque they go pray in are slowly being taken over by separatist leaders? where are the shabana azmi’s and the teesta setalvads? no where to be found. shabana cleans the gutters of hinduism but what about the gutters of islam? will she ever have the balls to clean that?

    moderate muslims are a scared breed. worthy to be ruled by a few mullahs from villages of UP/bihar. shabana azmi, srk, amir khan, they all belong to the same breed. and they’ll do nothing. expect teach the hindu crowd about secularism.

  • Aristotle The Geek  On December 2, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Have you thought about the similarities between the Islamic Taleban and democratic governments around the world? Both believe in “moral policing” and both have specific ideas of how society should look like. While the Taleban were ruling Afghanistan, they were doing it just like any other government – police, courts, laws etc; the only difference was the laws followed were Islamic ones.

    I see only one difference between Islamic countries and the so-called civilized world – the scale of barbarism on display. And we have not even begun to talk about China, or Burma, or USSR, or the excesses that democracies can indulge in when they lose the plot.

  • donny2811  On May 17, 2010 at 4:08 am

    For a good insight into the realities and Wilders’ case from the Dutch themselves, go to, it is in English.

  • donny2811  On May 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Geert Wilders (see more on my link) is more interested in being seen as the saviour of Holland than anything else. His attempts to be a part of mainstream politics failed so he simply found his own party and looked for a radical fringe element to follow him. His background, motives are more than suspicious and his process follows classic textbook radicalism – the lie, abusing context/creating fabrication and finally assuming the public is stupid.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On May 20, 2010 at 12:59 am

      He seems to be what one might call a “conservative”—nationalism, anti-immigration etc etc. The only thing one can share with such a group, as in the present case, is their stand against the authoritarian tendencies of Islam. Nothing more, because they themselves have a different kind of authoritarianism in mind.

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