A Reply to Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff on Geert Wilders

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line defends Geert Wilders against accusations that he’s a “fascist:” Who are the fascists in Europe?

Read the whole thing for the context of Mirengoff’s argument (he quotes from an article at Brussels Journal, a Belgian blog connected to the far right Vlaams Belang that has published articles favorable to the BNP and other far right groups), but I’ll take issue with this section of the conclusion:

Wilders takes some positions with which I do not agree; for example, banning the Koran. But his general position with respect to Muslims in Dutch society is reasonable, not extreme. He opposes mass immigration, especially from Muslim countries, and wants Muslims to assimilate into a Dutch society.

Just to be clear, I don’t label Wilders as a “fascist,” myself. However, there are two positions he has expressed publicly that should be noted:

  • Wilders advocates banning the Koran as “hate speech,” treating it like Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
  • Wilders advocates stripping Muslims of constitutional rights to freedom of religion. He wants to redefine Islam as a political ideology and make it illegal.

Wilders essentially wants to criminalize Islam itself. It’s hard to see how this equates to simply wanting “Muslims to assimilate into a Dutch society.” You might be able to argue that those positions aren’t “fascist” by a classical definition, but they certainly have more than a whiff of totalitarianism about them.

Everyone is free to make their own decision about where to draw the line.

But this is where I draw it.

Profoundly anti-democratic positions like those, and his associations with extremists in the US and Europe, are why I cannot support Geert Wilders.

Banning books and religions? Nope, sorry, not down with that.

At Power Line, a reader has replied to Paul’s post, disputing Wilders’ claim that the Netherlands is facing “Islamification:”

My credentials: I live in the NL and have for 40 years now.

This piece is a joke, La Pen -> anti-Semite = BAD, Wilders = anti-Islam = GOOD. Just based on this little trick of logic that makes my head spin disqualifies the “writer” of this piece and shows his credentials. Anything after that is just window dressing.

Wilder make statements that make no sense, and are parroted here. Islamification of NL? You have of course checked these numbers, right? I have (happy to send you the spreadsheet) and even after tweaking the parameters to favour Wilders idiocy to the max the Islamification is successful somewhere around the year 3200. Tweaking the parameters back to normal, the answer is: never.

No, Wilders is a populist that will say and do anything to get to power and preying on peoples prejudices is ALL he has. He is loved by certain parts of the US just because he is anti-Islam, and they agree and love him blindly. Mind you, the same folks just hate holocaust deniers, while supporting Wilders is just that, denying the danger of populists.

Yes, we have all seen this before and know where it leads us. Wilders is a nut case and does not deserve to be treated in any other way.

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