"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

For Shame (IV): Cunning as a Fox

As I write this, Geert Wilders has just enjoyed a tour of the United States, a country which deigned to allow him access, and considers itself enough of a mature democracy that his views can be aired publicly, indeed on national television.

Whilst there he gave several high profile speeches and appeared on the major news networks for interviews (a compilation of which can be found here).

I intended to write about this sooner, but events overtook me a little. So, here I plan a brief contrast with how Wilders was covered in the UK media when he was banned on 12th February 2009, plus a rebuttal of some of the more outrageous lies about him.

You might be surprised (although, if you're a regular, more likely not); the contrast really is quite glaring. Because in Britain, not even those who claim to always stand up for tolerance, freedom and respect wanted to know.

The Left were wary of him; but the Right, even more so.

Melanie Phillips wrote a fairly balanced account of the ban in the Mail, which you can read here. She was one of the few mainstream commentators who seemed to actually realise just what this was - appeasement, capitulation to Islamic terror and the threat of violence.

The Mail on Sunday editorial on the issue took a slightly different line, however. Whilst in broad agreement with Phillips that banning Wilders was a wrong and hypocritical move, the tone left us in no doubt as to how the Mail's owners/editors perceive Wilders:

"The Mail holds no brief for Geert Wilders, the Dutch right-winger whose rabid views on the Koran are, understandably, deeply insulting to Muslims...

...Wilders may be a revolting extremist, with a taste for hysterical propaganda and pornographic cartoons...

...including terrorists far more dangerous than this Dutch weirdo."

This language truly shocked me. Firstly, the Mail is dismissed by pretty much everyone who considers themselves Left-wing or a liberal in Britain as a rabidly Right-wing joke. Personally, I find them no more hysterical then the rest of the mainstream media.

That aside - 'Dutch weirdo'? Would they get away with referring to an 'Arab weirdo' or a 'Pakistani weirdo'?

They most certainly would not (ask Robert Kilroy-Silk, sacked simply for pointing out some home truths about the more unpleasant aspects of Arab society in the Express in 2003). Yet they seem to believe that this biased, hate-filled bile is absolutely fine. Why not just present the facts and leave people to make up their own minds?

The double standards are clear to see - it's noted that Mr Wilders' views might offend Muslims; fair enough. But surely then it's possible that Wilders holds the views he does because the opinions of some Muslims offend him?

Why is one more valid than the other?

Stephen Glover, another Mail journalist described Mr Wilders' views as 'noxious', as well as claiming that moderate Muslims could defeat his arguments if given the chance.

I will come back to these points a little later.

The actual purpose of this post is to address three articles written in the Guardian newspaper, one the day before Wilders was deported, and two the day after. The former is by Robert Fox; the latter two are by Liberal Democrat MP & Home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne and Lord Nazir Ahmed, respectively.

Well, you can read Nazir Ahmed's article here. I don't have too much to say on the matter; clearly, he just tries to defend his own appalling hypocrisy and double standards, mixed in with outright lies - Wilders takes the verses of the Koran out of context, Wilders wants the Koran banned (himself taking that remark out of context), etc etc etc. His worst lie is that BNP members and the Muslims who interpret the Koran as Fitna does might have rallied behind Wilders; the man lives as a prisoner because of the constant threat to his life from the latter.

Yet as we know, 'Lord' Ahmed gives no quarter to the truth or reality.

If you'd like to write to Ahmed regarding the Koran or any other matters raised in his article, you can reach him at:

Nazir Ahmed
c/o Her Majesty's Prison Doncaster

Seriously. He has a boring few weeks stretching before him - he might answer.

One point of interest is the comments. It is quite clear that even the average Guardian reader sees Ahmed for the shameless charlatan he is. Many seem to actively despise Geert Wilders (a word that is used with alarming frequency) and his views - but most still feel he should have been allowed in.

I find Chris Huhne's article slightly more worrying, if only because he is a democratically elected MP who supposedly stands for the party of civil liberties. He's also a bit of a Euro-federalist, so in his dream world there would obviously be no banning Wilders... You'd think.

But you'd be wrong.

Huhne, who defended the right of Holocaust-denier Gerald Toben to enter Britain, feels Fitna (which he's at least watched) 'crosses the line' and puts 'Britain's ethnic minorities at genuine risk'.

I find this an astounding view. To compare Wilders to a Holocaust-denier is not only a disgusting insult, but a low, dirty trick. There is absolutely no comparison between the two positions, yet a huge number of the comments tries to pretend there is.

This is a fallacy; anti-semites hate Jews, and generally speaking they don't care about their beliefs or religious observances; they care about their genes.

Wilders has made it clear time and time again that he hates no one; he simply challenges the idea that Islam as a belief system is compatible with Western society and values without some radical reforms.

Fitna is a warning; but the point is, it only shows real events, real Muslims speaking, and real passages from the Koran upon which said events are based. Huhne, however, calls the film 'a 16 minute incitement to violence'; he then cites John Stuart Mill in order to back up his assertions that Wilders banning is justified as his visit would cause more harm than good.

Please read the Frozen Northman's letter to Huhne; he studied Mill and refutes the points carefully, better than I could with my sketchy knowledge of the man.

Anyway, we leave one set of outrageous lies for another; meet Robert Fox.

Now, Fox is quite a disingenuous character, and his tactics are slightly different. He attacks the actual technical quality of Fitna, as if that in itself is a reason not to bother with it.

The Guardian tried something similar during the Danish cartoons controversy. They pretended that like all good lefties they loved free speech and would defend it to the hilt.

Did they back up their Danish colleagues and allow their readers to actually make up their own minds by publishing the cartoons?

Of course not. But that wasn't because they were afraid, or they secretly disagreed with the message - lord, no. You see, it was simply because the cartoons weren't very good. Plus a little bit insensitive and crass.

After all, Muslims are forbidden to reproduce Mohammed's image, and we should respect that. It's not too much to ask to keep your head attached to your neck, is it?

But that's the point - Wilders is not trying to violently silence anyone. He has not threatened anyone, and no one lives in fear of their life because of him.

Fox's piece is frankly surreal. It's a constant barrage of snide remarks and asides, but the most interesting one is that Wilders is a populist (a Guardianism for a Right-winger who's winning votes, because as we know democracy is only valid when the right answers are received) who released Fitna to court controversy and was disappointed when there was none.

Now, let's be honest here. Wilders has certainly got some front - I suppose he has to. But he's a lawyer who speaks English - he could just be a quiet, well-to-do citizen of the US or Australia now, like tens of thousands of other middle class Dutch who have fled Holland.

Instead, he's a prisoner in his own life. He has 24 hour police protection, as I assume his family does. His life constantly hangs on the reactions of someone else. He hasn't slept in his own house for 4 years, and some nights even has to sleep in a prison cell because it's the only place considered safe for him. To add insult to injury, he's now facing prosecution.

Why? Er, because he made a film and some statements daring to suggest that some Muslims use Islam as the basis for violent thuggery and heinous crimes. Look at the Theo van Gogh case - the threat is certainly real. Is that not controversy enough, Mr Fox?

But then, Fox will never get it; he will always despise anyone who wants Holland to be Holland and England to be England on principle.

What disappoints me more is the way the Right here have made their knees dusty crawling to the liberal elites when they had the chance to change the tune and back Wilders; but instead it was 'Wilders is a bad man and if we say so our colleagues might consider us slightly less bad for our ability to think and reason'.

Maybe, but they still hate you and they would still destroy you in a second - look at how John McCain spent his entire political career crawling to such people, and how he ended up when the time came.

Wilders is a right-thinking classical Dutch liberal with some very sensible ideas. Frankly, he's also deeply courageous, an Europe needs a lot more men like him - and fast.

I must urge anyone who has read this to head over to the Fox article and read the comments; it's Planet Guardian over there most of the time, but not on this occasion.

The vanguard are there; the moderator 'HeyHabib', die-hard leftists like 'FukImperialism'; they duly spend their time calling anyone who doesn't toe the line a bigot and turning any arguments against Islam they can't refute back on Christianity.

But the vast majority are ordinary, fed up people - there are even a couple of Muslims sick of the likes of Ahmed speaking for them, and making sensible and valid points.

To finish off, I just had to demonstrate how tolerant the left are; please enjoy this comment left on Melanie Phillips' article:

"No surprise that the most racist nation on earth The Netherlands could produce such a monster in the shape of Mr Wilders, lest we forget the Dutch were the original propagators of Slavery and the inventors and exporters of Apartheid, their cities such as Utrecht and Amsterdam are ridden with Ghetto's from marginalized ethnic groups.

The only satisfying thought to come from this is that in 70 years rising sea levels caused by global warming will have swamped The Netherlands, then the dutch can all immigrate to Austria to join their fellow Fascist sympathizers."

Mark Sampson, London UK, 11/2/2009

Good God. Is it me, or does Mr Sampson sound like the monster? Someone should tell him that collective guilt is racist and then send him on a diversity course - quick, by the sounds of it.

I leave you with the best source of what Mr Wilders truly believes; here he is on the BBC's Hardtalk in August 2008. It's 25 minutes out of your life, and well worth it, if you can get over the presenter.

My favourite (and the most bizarre) quote is taken from near the end; the presenter, Stephen Sackur is talking about major Dutch cities becoming majority non-white. Wilders replies with something about how they'll be ruled by Islam - to which Sackur replies, 'you could have said non-white, but you chose to say Islamic - admit it, you're a racist, aren't you?'

Nice reasoning there...


Derius said...

With regards to the Robert Fox article, in the comments section, at about no 20, we have the following statement:

"gert wilder must be jailed for the rest of his life for provoking anti-islam feeling. lord ahmed has done his duty to uk muslims by oposing entry of gert to uk."

So if you criticise Islam, and thereby provoke "anti-islam feeling", you should be imprisoned for the rest of your life?

And as long as somebody does their duty towards UK muslims, at the expense of the rest of the UK, then that's just fine?

It really isn't that difficult to spot who the real fascists are. Why do so many people at the Guardian seem to have so much trouble in doing this?

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

That comment shocked me, too.

There was another one there saying something like:

'that's what the racists are scared of most - a black man with a title. Well done Ahmed.'

I think all lords and MPs should work for all people. A white English lord would be expelled if he insisted on working only for 'white' causes and people.

It's pretty sick to promote someone then congratulate them for working purely on narrow, ethnically or religously defined lines.

In reality, what has Islam got to do with the life of a peer? Ahmed should either give up the special interests or be sacked. His private beleifs and life are his business, but again that should apply to all peers.

I did enjoy how the moderator 'Habib' deleted several posts from 'bigots', but the one you described remained.

There's nothing quite like double standards from the lovers of tolerance at the Guardian, is there?