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Mark Steyn

Steyn on Britain and Europe

Shooting the Messenger

Two years ago, I was asked to contribute a foreword to Geert Wilders' book, Marked For Death: Islam's War Against The West And Me, which can be purchased through the SteynOnline bookstore, and helps keep my current legal battle afloat. Buying Marked For Death will also help Geert Wilders with his latest legal difficulties.

In today's edition of De Volksrant - which is Dutch for, er, The Folks' Rant - Jan Jaap de Ruiter has a column called "Geert Wilders democratisch bestrijden? Vergeet het maar" - or "Geert Wilders' democratic battle? Fuhgeddaboutit". Minheer de Ruiter suggests that Wilders' party has only one goal: "spreading the poison of xenophobia" via "its message of hate and loathing".

Despite this being the middle of a Dutch election campaign, the author doesn't marshal any evidence beyond his own labeling. But he does throw in a bit of guilt-by-association. Two years ago, when I wrote my foreword, the worst thing you could say about a chap was that he had "ties" to Wilders:

The South Australian senator Cory Bernardi met Mr. Wilders on a trip to the Netherlands and came home to headlines like "Senator Under Fire For Ties To Wilders" (The Sydney Morning Herald) and "Calls For Cory Bernardi's Scalp Over Geert Wilders" (The Australian). Members not only of the opposing party but even of his own called for Senator Bernardi to be fired from his post as parliamentary secretary to the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

Now De Volksrant suggests that, while it's bad for people to be associated with Wilders, it's worse for Wilders to be associated with ...me:

De alles-of-niets-mentaliteit van Wilders en Bosma ('al houden we maar Ă©Ă©n zetel over') is zeer schadelijk voor de sociale verhoudingen in dit land. Neem verder ook in overweging dat de partij samenwerkt met andere xenofobe Europese partijen als het Front National en het Vlaams Belang, en dat zij meer dan innige contacten onderhoudt met oerconservatieve Noord-Amerikaanse kringen als die rond Pamela Geller en Mark Steyn, en dan zien we dat het net zich sluit.

Which, if I remember enough of my mum's Flemish, means more or less:

The all-or-nothing mentality of Wilders and Bosma... is extremely damaging to social relations in this country. Also take into account that the party cooperates with the Front National and other xenophobic European parties as the Vlaams Belang, and that they're extremely close to ultra-conservative North American circles as those around Pamela Geller and Mark Steyn, and we can see that the net is closing.

I wasn't aware I had a "circle" - except in the sense that Bernardi is "under fire for ties to Wilders", and Wilders is under fire for ties to me, and no doubt somewhere or other I'm under fire for ties to Bernardi (the Senator shared a stage with me in Adelaide two years ago). But the real circle here is the fanatical desperation to make Wilders the problem. As I wrote in my foreword:

It is not easy to be Geert Wilders. He has spent almost a decade in a strange, claustrophobic, transient, and tenuous existence little different from kidnap victims or, in his words, a political prisoner. He is under round-the-clock guard because of explicit threats to murder him by Muslim extremists.

Yet he's the one who gets put on trial for incitement.

That was in 2011. Three years later, for Euro-politics' most notorious blond, it's lather, rinse and repeat. Muslims are still threatening to kill Wilders:

The rap, Geertje, is a recital of facts about Wilders' life, including his youth, his membership of the VVD and his anti-Islam film Fitna. It ends with the 'Wilders' character kneeling with guns at his head. After the screen goes blank, a shot is heard.

Making a video ending with the execution of Geert Wilders? Pas de problème! But proposing changes to Dutch immigration policy during an election campaign? Hate crime!

Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders was referred to prosecutors on Thursday after making anti-Moroccan remarks at a campaign rally.

Wilders, whose hard-right, euro-skeptic Freedom Party (PVV) leads opinion polls before municipal elections next week, told supporters in The Hague he wanted fewer Moroccans there.

There are no easy ways back from the limb that "the most tolerant nation in Europe" has climbed out on. As I write in After America:

"Sixty per cent of Amsterdam's orthodox community intends to emigrate from Holland," said Benzion Evers, the son of the city's chief rabbi, five of whose children had already left by 2010. When he walked the streets of his hometown, the young Mr Evers hid his skullcap under a baseball cap. Seemed like old times. "Jews with a conscience should leave Holland, where they and their children have no future, leave for the US or Israel," advised Frits Bolkestein, former EU Commissioner and head of the Dutch Liberal Party. "Anti-Semitism will continue to exist, because the Moroccan and Turkish youngsters don't care about efforts for reconciliation." Minheer Bolkestein was not (yet) asking what else those "youngsters" didn't care for...

We can take a wild guess at that:

A society that becomes more Muslim will have fewer homosexuals. In 2009, the Rainbow Palace, formerly Amsterdam's most popular 'homo-hotel' (in the Dutch vernacular), had announced it was renaming itself the Sharm and reorienting itself to Islamic tourism. Or as the felicitously named website allah.eu put it: 'Gay Hotel Turns Muslim.'

The multicultural liberals who built "the most tolerant nation in Europe" will not defend it against the avowedly intolerant. And in their impotent rage they will turn ever more vehemently on those who insist on their right to discuss these matters freely and honestly.

~Meanwhile, across the North Sea, Britain's Crown Prosecution Service is bringing to court the first cases over female genital mutilation. But not for everyone:

The CPS has decided to take no further action in four other cases of alleged FGM.

In one of those cases it was alleged that two parents had arranged for their daughter to undergo female genital mutilation while abroad.

In another, a suspect contacted an FGM helpline to request the procedure for his two daughters after misunderstanding the purpose of the service for victims.

Oh, dear. What an unfortunate "misunderstanding". The gentleman had called the Female Genital Mutilation Helpline thinking it was a helpline set up by Her Majesty's Government to help you find someone to genitally mutilate your daughters. In the rich, vibrant diversity of the modern multicultural state, it's easy to see why the poor fellow might make that assumption. Just give it a couple more years, sir.

March 21, 2014

 

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