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

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Prosecution of Geert Wilders Will Definitely Go Ahead

Today it was reported that a request to the Dutch Supreme Court to have the decision to prosecute MP Geert Wilders quashed has been rejected:

Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam party PVV, will definitely be prosecuted for inciting hatred against Muslims and Islam, news agency ANP writes on Wednesday.

A request by Wilders’ lawyer Bram Moscowicz to have the decision to prosecute quashed has been rejected by the Dutch supreme court.

Amsterdam appeal court said in January Wilders should stand trial for hate speech and discrimination. The public prosecution department had said earlier there were not sufficient grounds to prosecute the MP.

The anti-immigration MP said he expected ‘a political trial’. ‘I am being prosecuted for something millions of Dutch people are thinking... Freedom of speech is being sacrificed on the altar of Islam. But I am ready to fight back with my head held high’, he added.

Over at Dutch News (a site in English), there is a poll over whether or not this decision is correct. The results are overwhelming:

You might also wish to head over there to take the poll, or refute the first two commenters, including the stunningly Stalinist 'Osita':

If he's so convinced he's done nothing wrong, he has nothing to fear, does he?
If somewhere deep in his mind he knows he's crossed the line, he'll be doing anything to prevent appearing in a court of law ...
... maybe like trying to get the decision to prosecute overturned?

By osita May 20, 2009 1:39 PM

Er, yeah. I mean, after all, it's not as if the very decision to prosecute is a political one, is it?

Alternatively, it might be of more use to sign the petition against Wilders' prosecution here, or donate to his fighting fund here.

If he is convicted, he will be constitutionally barred from holding political office. If he wins, it is likely he will be left bankrupt.

This trial is purely political, and in many respects the future of all of us hangs on the result, no matter how indirect or distant it seems.

57 comments:

DHH said...

Wilders is being charged for insighting hatred and providing misleading information to support a hateful claims for poltical gain.

The claim of freedom of speech fails because the that right, particularly if you are in public office, is to be respected and not abused which Wilders certainly is doing.

Wilders has to be charged as the laws are clear and he has clearly abused them, first in his misleading sales-pitch oriented publication Fitna and second when he incorrectly stated that he wanted to go to the Free Speech Conference in Denmark to talk about Freedom of Speech AND Islam. That is also why the Danish PM has refused his attendance.

As for Fitna, it was one of those gimmick style misinformation sales pitches which this Blog Owner has obviously fell for (or whe hope so, otherwise he supports almost-neo-nazi-like views).

Basically the sales trick is simple, find radicals quoting something horrible, pick and chose only sections of verses of the Qur'an that suit your needs whilst carefully avoiding the entire verse or those around it thus not actually telling the meaning, and superimpose horrible images. Basically if this was a legal document or someones intellectual property, Wilders would already have been sued and lost his case.

Just imaging the same was done with the Bible and Christianity. We could put elements of the Old Testiment, just parts of the versus, get some sicko radical evangalist and quote him and put images of US or British Troops and then images of dead children in Iraq or Afghanistan and then right at the end, Rumsfeld talking about a Crusade. If someone did that in the Gulf States, Morocco, Tunisia he would be charged with insighting hatred and guess what ..... that would be just.

I have put this dear Blog Owner to answer our rather rediculous comments posted in the Dutchnews and to answer the already clear points I had made which you ignored.

I challenge you to allow this to be posted on to your blog and answer the points I have made.

Freedom of Speech is a right that requires respect, abuse it and you lose its value.

(DHH or often known under the pen-name Solkhar, is a Dutch national, has worked in the Foreign Service, experienced in law enforcement and national security for more than 20 years and has chosen to retire in Marrakech, Morocco. He is a liberal Sunni Muslim by choice since the age of 17).

Rob said...

No matter what someones background is, freedom of speech is only allowed if individual rights are respected. Since Mr. Wilders is generalizing he has no respect for the individual so therefore he loses his right on freedom of speech. Every word he puts out is based on prejudice and raising hate. Why should he not be prosecuted if denial of the holocaust is punishable but he can say whatever he wants over one of the largest religions in the world. In every religious or political movement you will find extremists but does that mean that the movement as a whole needs to be banished?
Mr. Wilders is a sick man but unfortunately history is full of examples like him.
Maybe it would be best if we see him for what he is, a raving lunatic with an alienated view on modern society. But still, that is not enough to excuse him and suspend prosecution.

DHH said...

Rob, !I agree. I have no problem with his right to a view point and even if that is a view believed by many (as all views exist).

There are two issues for me, first is Wilders is an elected politician and thus he has more obligations than others to uphold respect for morals and the law.

The second is at what point does opinion change from a right to slander or hate incitement. For me the answer is clear - if it is part of an organisation or an official grouping then it should not be accepted and it should be forbidden from a political maniphesto or party's agenda. A society sets it stanards and politics must reflect that.

In this case, Islam is a belief, a faith of a significant element of the population of the Netherlands not to mention a quater of humanity. It is and should be judged as such, no less nor more than Christianity and Judaism which it shares values and ideals.

Creating hatred against Islam and the Qur'an (which Wilder's forgets is Islam) is basically saying that a significant community in the Netherlands and a quarter of the world is evil.

Wilders is not insane, he is a classic popularist radical who looks for the exciting scandal to simply get his name up in lights and appear to be the great saviour. The problem with such people is that they cross the line of no-return and must follow the trail because they would rather die than have that reputation that they so desperately seek tarnished.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

DHH:

Don't accuse me of censoring comments. If you'd looked, you would see that your comment appears instantly after submission without being moderated in any way.

I asked you over at the Dutch News thread, and shall do so again here:

what about Fitna is exactly misleading?

Wilders, if he can be accused of anything, is jumping on the bandwagon of Islamic terrorism. He never created the problems in the first place, however, and I find it hard to see how any reasonable person can say that.

Fitna is the views of several imams and Muslim terrorists, and whilst nowhere near all, a significant minority of Muslims.

It is simply displaying those views.

You mention the Old Testament. When was the last time Christianity was used as a systemtaic excuse for terrorist violence?

I'm sure you have one or two examples, but I have at least several hundred examples to back up my point that the Koran is systematically used to justify violence against infidels - because it DOES justify violence against infidels.

"..Blog Owner has obviously fell for (or whe hope so, otherwise he supports almost-neo-nazi-like views)."

Yeah, wondered when the 'N' word would crop up.

"Basically the sales trick is simple, find radicals quoting something horrible, pick and chose only sections of verses of the Qur'an that suit your needs whilst carefully avoiding the entire verse or those around it thus not actually telling the meaning, and superimpose horrible images."

Were those 'horrible images' simply random? Car accidents, earthquakes, that sort of thing?

Er, no. They were images of people acting upon Wilders' interpretation of the Koran. Was he responsible for 9/11 and 7/7 too?

Freedom of speech does indeed require respect, we agree there, but here's the crux; if Wilders is self evidently wrong, he would not need to be threatened and crushed. no one would listen in the first place.

His arguments would simply not be an issue. The fact is, prosecuting him, just like forcing him to live under armed guard, vindicates him and his views.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Rob:

What exactly has holocaust denial got to do with criticism of Islam, apart from your valiant attempts to create a straw man and link Mr Wilders to some form of Nazism?

The Islamic radicals he fights, and in many respects Islam proper, have no respect for the individual either. The label religion cannot be allowed to excuse some of the atrocities which have occurred under Islam's banner.

Every word he says he is under threat of death for. I would say that raises some interesting points in itself about where the violent maniacs in society stand.

You say that his platform is 'based on prejudice and raising hate' - but this is simply untrue. Wilders speaks for a sizeable portion of the Dutch electorate who have very legitimate concerns.

It is a concept generally known as democracy.

If history does teach us anything, it is that if you ignore injustice and the legitimate concerns of the people, you will get something far worse than Wilders could ever be.

'sick man, lunatic, blah blah blah'.

This is simply nonsense. It is an attack on his character because you have no real answer to his points (or more likely, no real understanding of what he actually stands for).

It does you no credit.

DHH said...

Dear Blog Owner, thank you for posting the items in full, it was not an accussation but a challenge being new to your blog.

I have answered on the Dutchnews site and will not repeat that item here.

I will explain further though about Fitna. It quotes the Qur'an five times......sort of. It only puts a segment, thus it will say for example (and most often quoted in agenda-based websites) "kill them all". What it actually was referring to was a battle in the 7th century when Pagans were trying to exterminate the fledgling Muslim community and so it was a battle command - do not leave that army standing. What was left out of was the beginning and the end of the verse which says that "God loveth not the oppressors and God loveth not the aggressors" which states without no doubt that aggession and oppression is forbidden. At the end it states that full rights, justice and no revenge are to be taken on the families and the occupants of Mecca after the battle. Wilders carefully avoided that which would have made his item fall flat.

There is no doubt that there are agenda-based radical and violent Islamists, the rest of the Muslim world is fighting them as much, if not more, than the US and their allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. But the are political and use the religion as an excuse for power because religion is important to the Muslim masses and they know they are conservative by nature.

But I repeat what I said now a few times, the same could have easily been produced to turn Christianity into a Crusading world dominating and selfish religion and people and there is more than enough footage, images, versus to be misquoted and for my part it would be just as evil as what Wilders has done.

I certainly used the N word because Wilders is using a commonly used neo-Nazi propoganda tool and so to support it frankly puts that taint on the supporter who propogates it.

You ask the question about Christian terrorism and my answer is at present non at that same level that Islamists are doing it. There is no equating the world because the same standards, social, economic, educational or moral exists throughout. Life say in Pakistan is not the same as in the US or The Netherlands. But having said that, in the last 24 months, 3,500 antiIslamic websites were produced of which 80 per cent of them by US based evangelical groups. The influence of politically active far-right evangelical groups in the US is very strong and they have represtatives in all aspects of political life in that country and influence politics. The recent issue of propogating Bibles in various Afghani languages by US Military, the references by Rumsfield about a morale Crusade are all documented facts.

....continued

DHH said...

......

The simple fact is that the war on terror was an excuse for a proactive increase in religous zeal to increase activities and did have an impact on the distasterous efforts by the last US Administration in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you are interested in debating correctly the issue then I should point out that certain realities on the ground need to be made very clear.

Firstly, out of the world's Muslim population of 1.6 billion, the vast majority suffer from a lack of education, literacy, economic development and struggle to survive. It is calculted that half that population are way to busy to even consider politics and even religous obligations but simply strugle to survive. Of that remaining 800 million, 75 per cent of them are children, women and the elderly who are just living - or trying to. Thus of the 300 million active Muslims who can afford to think and act on issues, the most liberal figure is that 10 per cent of them are pro and active fundamentalists of varying degrees. So that is 30 million or the population of one middle-to-large country. Having said that, the politically or religously active tend to dominate the others and this is the result we have.

Yes sir, there is a problem, but certainly not the way you see it and there is a warning here that I tell all those playing the game which you are.

Go ahead and condemn the fundamentalists, especially the vocal militants whom should all be deported from the west because they are more than undesirable - they are dangerous.

But and here is the "but". Do not attack the basic core principles of faith of Islam because then you alienate and force all Muslims to defend their faith.

To clarify that, it means that moderates and liberals (such as myself) will be forced to concentrate on defending publically their faith instead of spending their effort on combatting the fundamentalists whom are a danger. Conservatives living abroad when forced into such a situation will fall pray to the political posturing of the radicals who will say 'I told you so' and those that are close to or are fundamentalist but not violent may consider out of desparation to join them.

To finish, I should point out that non-fundamentalists living abroad made for great migrants and can support and contribute to any society in the west. The problems of integration and clashes has nothing to do with them or religion, it has to do with the host government not preparing the conditions and the groundwork before hand. I have no problem with countries forcing migrants to sign contracts to force them to support and integrate based on the assumptions that their belief and rights are protected - the rest is then up to the migrant and if they fail they get booted out. The UK, Australia and even the European countries goofed because they fell for the political game and allowed unquestioned migration and worse - asylum granting for political scoring against countries and not realising it, allowed undesirable fanatics to set up base. Britain failed at that most of all. Thank you Maggie!

Rob said...

DHH:

Denial of the Holocaust and the misleading view on Islam as Mr. Wilders presents it as true are very alike.
If you think it is all right to view every muslim as a potential terrorist or at least as an backward idiot (his words, not mine!) then you and I have a very different perspective of reality. Furthermore, the man lifts out horrible crimes, performed by some extremists, and presents them as being very typical for Islam. To make matters worse, similar twists of actual incidents have been presented in Nazi Germany as being typical for the Jews and we all know what happened afterwards. Mr. Wilders is showing the same narrow sightedness as most of the populists in those days; he is only caring for a people he knows that does not exist. He is trying to make a name for himself, but he has no points to actually score.
The fact that many Islamic extremists have no respect for individuality does that mean we should copy that? My mother would: if you see a man jumping in canal, do you copy him too? Sorry to say this, but you seem a bit like a sheep to me, follow the herd.
The problems he is creating are caused by the fact that he presents an excess and says that all Muslims simply are like that, I guess I do not have to comment on how narrow minded this is?
The prejudice is explained, but why is the electorate concerned? They steal our jobs: excuse me, I do not see many white christians working in the cleaning business, at the Burger King or name any other unpopular line of work. In fact, I see very little Christians at all who say they are represented by Mr. Wilders. The people he represents are not happy because their neighbors (Islamic, yes) stay up until late at night, cook strange food are not like us. What they forget is that those same neighbors have made it possible to eat shoarma on Sunday evening, clean their toilets at work and do a lot more then they even want to notice. This has nothing to do with religion, most Dutch are not religious anymore, it is plain and simple fear of the unknown. Unknown, despite the fact that a very attractive Turkish girl is good enough for a night out, or maybe even a relationship, but still strangers.
And do not tell me I do not know what I am talking about, I live in one of the areas of The Hague where the Dutch nationals are truly becoming a minority; and the only people I am bothered by are the people who are always complaining that the neighborhood is going downhill, the same people who are growing weed in their attics, selling/buying stolen goods, downhill? Right!
Democracy is given right but Mr. Wilders is mocking it by lying and twisting numbers. But he is a smart man, and the fact that he is still trying a trick that did not work in the past only shows that his mental health may be questioned, again he has had an education. He knows politics, despotism, propaganda and still, this is what he comes up with?
I do not know Mr. Wilders so I do not know what his character is like, I do know what he stands for: lack of diversity, lack of discussion, lack of progress and freedom of speech (as long as you agree with him). Is that a Holland you want to visit or live in?
Not me, thank you.

DHH said...

Rob:

presume you meant the blog onwner and not directed to me, as I am in full agreement with you.

Cheers

DHH

Nick said...

"Unknown, despite the fact that a very attractive Turkish girl is good enough for a night out, or maybe even a relationship, but still strangers." - Rob.

I couldn't help thinking of a TV series that aired quite a few years ago now. It was called "On the Road Again" and was hosted by Simon Dring. He retraced the "hippie trail" which he'd travelled as a young man, driving a jeep this time with a camera crew following him as he went. A nice programme, but the bit that came to mind just now was when he was travelling through Turkey and visited a hostel where a number of young women from South Africa were staying. They had been hassled to death by the local men, who saw them as sex objects, it was a pretty poor show by the local blokes really. Those lassies couldn't walk down the street without getting verbal abuse from randy blokes. Mr. Dring spoke to a group of these men who were sitting outside a shop and they told him that it was okay to behave this way towards western women, but not towards the locals. No, no, that was a different kettle of fish altogether. If you want to talk about how women are treated, that's fine, but if you want to do that and defend Islam at the same time, then you've got your work cut out for you.

Nick said...

No matter what someones background is, freedom of speech is only allowed if individual rights are respected. - Rob.

What "rights" would those be then?

If you would care to read John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty" which is one of the classic texts on freedom of speech, then you will get a better understanding of what freedom of speech is and how it benefits a society; you will also see Wilders' position defended, and attempts to silence him condemned. I really do recommend that you read the book.

Nick said...

If you're interested, you might want to read this, this and this, so you can get a better idea of where I'm coming from, and where, I suggest, you ought to be coming from as well.

Rob said...

DHH:
sorry, I was referring to the blog owner not to you. I am new to this form of discussion.

Nick:
I have read all your suggestions and to some point I agree, but freedom of speech should not be an excuse to allow everything to be published. And if I am correct the whole discussion was whether or not prosecution was valid or not.
Religion and ethnic background have nothing to do with each other but Mr. Wilders knowingly merges the two under cover of it being uncivilized and backwards. Personally I see that as a violation of human rights and that is the problem I have with Mr. Wilders and his crowd. Mr. Wilders never really says that he is a racist but his presumed electorate definitely is not so subtle. Even the incident you describe in Turkey has nothing to do with religion, it is simply how some people look at strangers. I could call it backwards or narrow sightedness but anyhow you will find those people everywhere around the world, in your own home town as well.
The Dutch have a long history of religious troubles, but even when you look at the heart of it you will find that religion so far has been an excuse for economical and political skirmishes. The quite liberal view towards religious freedom in the Netherlands, especially since the late 19th century has led to a climate where religion and politics do not mix and the last thing we need is to make religion a political topic again. Moreover, religion is not what drives Mr. Wilders, it is pure fear of a changing society and he highlights the excesses to instill anxiety in the hearts of the people. What he forgets is that we have seen more immigration waves in the past and have survived, yes even benefited. Examples: the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled the inquisition in Spain, the French Huguenots and more smaller ones. The Hispanic wave has paved the way for our pride and joy; the Golden Age. All that hospitality has enriched our culture is that something that we should forget and dismiss?
Fitna only shows sad things; but you can make a commercial concerning any religious or political movement to make it look bad. That is not starting a discussion with a bold statement, that is raising hatred. In this global village we should be aware how powerful graphic media are; if it is published it is true! Especially when you are a politician. Therefor, yes, Mr. Wilders should be prosecuted.
And as a personal statement, I find it sad to see that Mr. Wilders is now whining everywhere about the charges, he should have considered the consequences before he acted. This is not what I consider to be the actions of a responsible politician.
What I do find very pleasing is that there is discussion possible about this whole issue, that is needed because we can not hide in the past but have to look forward.

DHH said...

Nick:

I will answer your question about women and I have no problem defending my faith (Islam).

The issue that comes accross has more to do with the issue of globalization and the meetings of cultures and faiths.

The Muslim world has a level of conservatism that, mixed with local cultures results in actions and behaviours. We can see the worse example with Islam mixed and perverted with Afghani and Pakistani tribalism and bingo you get the Taliban. The same time on the other perspective, you get Islamic conservatism with Malaysian cultural habits and you get covered but expressive and respected female activism.

But in most cases what you get is that almost totally all women in Muslims majority countries are dressed modestly, part of family units and set groupings and that those who are not are in most cases professional prostitutes. This is how it has been for centuries and the problem is now globalization, tourism and the desire by some to change that scenario which will cause conflict.

Thus, the average male especially not in the main cities will fall into the view that any women arriving not fitting the moral image is "fair game" and "looking for it".

These statements are sad, it does not reflect the changes and modernity but it has to be looked into from the perspective from that location, not from that in the UK, Norway or anywhere in the west.

Now having said that, there are other factors, not just in the Muslim world. Arabs are chauvenists, particularly from the Saudi peninsula region. That is tribal, not Islamic. Islam treats women with respect, gives standards and rights but also expectations - and before you jump, there are just as many if not more on men.

But chauvensim exists not just in the Muslm world, Serbs and Macedonians, Ukrainians and Russians treat there women as "shit", latin American and in particular Brazilian macchismo is world famous.

Globally, life sucks for most women, not because of religion but because of culture and male dominance.

Thus, Nick, I defend the accussation that it would be difficult to discuss women's rights and Islam in the same breath.

Nick said...

"Basically the sales trick is simple, find radicals quoting something horrible, pick and chose only sections of verses of the Qur'an that suit your needs whilst carefully avoiding the entire verse or those around it thus not actually telling the meaning, and superimpose horrible images. Basically if this was a legal document or someones intellectual property, Wilders would already have been sued and lost his case.

Just imaging the same was done with the Bible and Christianity. We could put elements of the Old Testiment, just parts of the versus, get some sicko radical evangalist and quote him and put images of US or British Troops and then images of dead children in Iraq or Afghanistan and then right at the end, Rumsfeld talking about a Crusade. If someone did that in the Gulf States, Morocco, Tunisia he would be charged with insighting hatred and guess what ..... that would be just." - DHH

Is this not precisely what those preachers Wilders showed in Fitna were doing? Isn't it okay for someone to point that out? And how many of those preachers have been charged with inciting hatred?

Nick said...

"But and here is the "but". Do not attack the basic core principles of faith of Islam because then you alienate and force all Muslims to defend their faith."

Muslims ought not to attack the basic core principles of freedom of speech because then you alienate and force Westerners to defend it.

See how that works? I'm sure you do.

Nick said...

"What I do find very pleasing is that there is discussion possible about this whole issue, that is needed because we can not hide in the past but have to look forward." - Rob.

Well said my man!

Nick said...

Sorry for the brief comments today lads, I've had a busy day & won't really be able to have a good spell at my laptop till tomorrow night. I've been thinking a little bit about what's been said though (as I've been driving about today.)

In the meantime, I want to bring up the notion that there exists a group of people who can accurately be called Wilders' "crowd". (A term which was used in one of the comments.)

Is this not a case of someone doing what Wilders has been accused of doing, and making a rash generalisation about people the author knows very little about?

I studied philosophy at university (John Stuart Mill came up once or twice!) and am now considering signing up for some more uni work on a p/t basis as a mature student. To that end, I am currently studying the various world religions. Having just finished W. Montgomery Watt's biography of Muhammad, I have today bought Tariq Ramadan's "The Messenger" and Hugh Kennedy's "The Great Arab Conquests".

Last year I visited Malta, and before I went I read "The Great Siege" by Ernle Bradford and "Angels of Iron" by Nicholas Prata. I've since read "Empires of the Sea" by Roger Crowley. I can recommend all these books, and I can recommend Malta as a holiday destination as well. I'm very interested in the way Islam and the West have clashed over the years.

The point I'm making here is that my intentions when it comes to discussing the whole Geert Wilders affair is to make a decent effort to understand what he is arguing for, to get a better understanding of Islam and its history, which is - if anything is - my right.

That can't happen if people are silenced just because someone is offended by what they say.

And I'm certainly not a member of some imaginary "crowd" who don't have the intellectual wherewithal to study what's being said by different parties and to draw their own conclusions.

Just thought I'd make certain realities on the ground clear. Know what I mean?

DHH said...

"....discussing the whole Geert Wilders affair is to make a decent effort to understand what he is arguing for, to get a better understanding of Islam and its history......" Nick

Nick, I am all for discussing issues and trying to understand things, it certainly is your right.

The first thing to discuss is that it is not Wilder's intention or argument to better understand Islam. Wilders is agenda based and thus he is not discussing put propogating a cause which is by all definitions and standards that the west is proud of - unacceptable and liabelous. That is why it has as much to do with say Holaucast Denial. Fitna altered paragraphs and did the famous 'cut & paste' excercise to provide false and misleading information and then stating it as a fact AND for a political purpose of creating hatred.

That is it in a nutshell.

I am western born and hold dearly many of those values. I am also a Muslim have been so since the age of 17. I have worked and travelled the world and my worked at the sharp-end of the stick. I know the Muslim world from all areas having worked in Pakistan, been to Afghanistan during Soviet times and Taliban times. I speak Arabic and I live in Morocco by choice, were I am now mostly retired.

Why I am saying this, because I am saying that my western values, my liberal Sunni Islamic beliefs in no way clashes with those standards and principles that I believe in. More important though for this discussion is that I am basing this on the subject of core Islamic principles and beliefs. The rest, which is often the negatives that you see is a clash of culture and politics, radicalism and militancy but not Islam. They may claim it, as all radicals will catch on what is important to the masses that they seek support from, which in the case of Muslims is their religion.

That is one reason why I participate in discussions, to make sure that this difference is understood.

If you have an issue or are critical over an action, reference, event, be sure it is cultural, political or the like and I will join you in discussions and tell you how bad it can get - because I have experienced it all. If you make it out as religious, then be very careful on your references and evidence and I will respond to clarify and if tell you more than likely it is not corect what you said.

I will give an example, you refered to when I said about Moderate and Liberals will have to defend attacks on Islam instead of concentrating on fighting fundamentalists - the real important battle. You said that "Muslims ought not to attack the basic core principles of freedom of speech because then you alienate and force Westerners to defend it."

I will argue back that Islam does not and thus "Muslims" do not, but political and cultral groups may, but Islam has no problem. Unless you are talking about Wilders which in that case it has nothing to do with freedom of speech because he abused that right since it is an agenda based fraud.

Lets have a good discussion.

Nick said...

I'll just make a quick comment, if I may, and put forward a "companions in guilt" move: If someone putting forward an agenda-based viewpoint is a sufficient condition for them to be prosecuted in a court of law, then every politician, every football manager, in fact almost every citizen in whatever country you care to mention, would end up in the clink.

Surely then, that is not a workable criteria.

Nick said...

Can I just add that although you keep asserting that this is not a freedom of speech issue, repetition does not lead to truth.

It clearly is a freedom of speech issue. I can argue for that; can you provide some kind of argument in support of your assertion?

DHH said...

Nick,

if your freedom of speech theory works out in the fashion that you say, then I presume you believe that liable and defamation laws should not exist.

The fact is that there are limits set by countries to stop "organised" discrimination, misinformation (i.e. lies) and especially when designed for hate creation.

This is particularly relavent from to further aspects 1) when the person is in public office it should be an automatic maximum penalty (parliamentary immunity does apply in this case) and 2) the Fitna was an act of liabelous planned fabrication for the purpose of - hate.

Nick said...

Are we in agreement though that the preachers and terrorists portayed in "Fitna" along with the many others throughout the world are guilty of doing exactly what Wilders says they're doing and that is using Islamic texts to justify hatred and violence?

Someone needs to point that out if the problem is going to be dealt with effectively. Wilders is pointing it out.

He also challenges Muslims at the end of "Fitna" to find a way of removing the numerous violent verses in the Koran from the Islamic worldview.

If as a Muslim you have an understanding of Islam which has done so, are you not then on Wilders' side here: that is to say are the people causing all this strife and trouble in the name of your religion your intellectual and may I say, spiritual enemies?

If I'm reading you correctly your main issue with Wilders is when he asserts that there are many peaceful Muslims but there is no peaceful Islam. From his reading of Islamic texts and history then, his understanding is that the Koran and the hadith do call for followers of Islam to push outward into the [i]dar al-harb[/i] and bring shariah law into the countries in which they live, and to use non-peaceful means when they are able to, and if it is necessary.

If Wilders' understanding of Islam is wrong, then I suggest to you that the best course of action would be to explain where he's gone wrong.

You have mentioned people attacking the core princples of faith of Islam, but if people such as yourself (let us say) don't speak up and denounce the "preachers of hate" portayed in Fitna, and the many others around the world, and explain why Islam is indeed a religion of peace, then people will only be hearing one side of the story.

And we're back to freedom of speech again. This is why it can benefit a society. We can only gain an understanding if views are expressed openly. You are free to explain to others, your vision and understanding of the Islamic faith. I put it to you that instead of simply denouncing Wilders and accusing him of thoughtcrimes, you would be better off explaining own understanding of Islam to others, and encouraging people who share your faith and understanding to do the same.

You might be surprised by the number of people who will be interested in hearing that message.

Nick said...

I'm still not clear what this "hate" that is sometimes mentioned consists of btw; not am I familiar with any examples of it.

Perhaps if you want to use that term you could define it, and give some examples?

My suggestion, as I said earlier, would be that you do not see Wilders as someone who "hates" or who wants to incite this "hatred" you refer to.

Instead, why not see Wilders' understanding of Islam as the result of a good faith effort to understand the doctrines of that religion which has led him to draw the wrong conclusions?

How else can I put this? Don't frame this as a moral failure on the part of Wilders but as an intellectual one.

If you look at it that way, then there's something you can do about it. You can - in the spirit of John Stuart Mill - take steps to set the record straight.

Most people in the West had very little knowledge of Islam before 9/11, and perhaps it would be true to say that this remains the case.

The problem is who do you ask about it? Where do you get reliable information from? Which books are out there? (Isn't Amazon a great thing?)

If your position is that Islam does not justify the acts portrayed in "Fitna" and does not preach the imposition of shariah law in Western nations within dar al-harb and so forth, then get your views out there, I say!

DHH said...

Nick,

you said "If your position is that Islam does not justify the acts portrayed in "Fitna" and does not preach the imposition of shariah law in Western nations within dar al-harb and so forth, then get your views out there, I say!"

In this point I certainly agree with you, the Muslims themselves are often the worst defenders of their faith and that I think is mostly because they are battling fundamentalism within their (I should now say my) world.

Back to Wilders, he knows better, he has the resources but he is locked into agendas not all his own. Though westerners cringe when added, the fact remains that he started his anti-Islam crusade the same time he started his frequent visits to Israel and his living in a Kabootz, which though I do not want to go down that track, does explain a great deal. Since the Netherlands parliament has an open book on travel by its memebers, his 14 trips in 7 years and his public admission that if he had to leave Europe he would live in his "next favorite country" (and laughingly then critized Muslims not supporting The Netherlands).

The point here is that Wilders has no excuse, academic or emotional ignorance.

Nick said...

You may be on to something; if I visited a country surrounded by hostile nations that wanted to wipe it off the face of the earth, and which was attacked by terrorists day and night, had to cope with fanatical suicide bombers killing its citizens, I'd probably come away with a different view as well.

At the very least I would ask myself why so many Muslims think that way. And I would start reading their holy book to find out.

So you may be right, when Wilders saw the barbaric acts, the lying, the deceit and race hatred exhibited by so many Muslims, who justified it all by referring to their holy books, he may have had a bit of a "light bulb" moment.

Nick said...

My point being: you appear to agree with my conclusion, have nothing to say against my little argument; all you have to say is that if someone visits Israel a few times they must, because of that, be a bad person.

Come on! Taking that position says far more about you than it does about Geert Wilders, or anybody else.

I'm still waiting for you to define this "hate" you refer to, and for you to provide some examples of it.

I'm also wondering if you're going to respond to what was said about your idea that someone having an agenda was enough to justify their being silenced by the state: That it is an impractical criteria to use when discussing any possible limits on the freedom of though and expression.

Nick said...

That should of course read, "thought and expression." Typo. (You can't edit these comments, which is a minor scunner sometimes.)

DHH said...

Nick,

Wilders says that the Qur'an is evil, he has stated that many times. He has said that the Qur'an seeks and demands conquest and those that do not support convert and die, he has said that also many, many times.

Of course the evidence he gave was distorted editings as I have mentioned before, that in conjunction with what he claims and his constant baiting and erroneous assumptions about Muslims in the Netherlands and globally is thus a hate crime.

The comments about Isreal was not a point about the Israel/Palestinian issue, which for your information I am a full supporter of the two-state principle and that the fundamenatlist line about Jews is haram (forbidden) as Jews are a member of the People of the Book as are Christians and us Muslims. Also the Qur'an specifically states that all good Jews and Christians will stand shoulder-to-shulder with good Muslims as the Gates of Heaven on Judgement Day.

I mentioned his constant travellings to, his own comments and his residence in a known right-wing Kabootz gives credibility to his agenda-based efforts, it says nothing about me but a lot about him. I am one for following facts or credible evidence - his starting his Crusade began at the sametime.

Lastly, I have said and explained a number of times quite clearly about agendas. I have no problem with any agenda if it is clear and it does not breach standards and ethics, which Wilders has done.

Thus an agenda for pro-immigration or anti-immigration for reasons that fall within acceptable standards is fine, they exist and that is not a problem. Agendas such as pro-EU or anti-EU, left-wing socialism etc, again not a problem it is a right and frankly speaking humanity has many, many points of views.

Now on the subject of Wilders. His agenda supports the view of not ani-immigration but particularly identifying and demanding the expulstion of one section of the community based on his "hate" and false accussations (done so by deliberate manipulation of facts) of an entire religion.

That agenda breaches the standards and ethics, first and most of all that an agenda is based on a deliberate lie, that it is based on propoganda and not real principles and it is xenophobic/anti-religious.

Remember, an agenda that is officially anti-Semetic would be immediately outlawed, a political part agenda that states that the Holocaust did not happen would suffer the same fate. But Wilders (and right now yourself) believes that a political view that Islam and the Qur'an is evil and that Muslims must be expunged from The Netherlands and the West is fine, smacks of hypocracy.

Nick said...

Well, firstly you are making assumptions about what I believe. And you know what assume did.

Secondly I believe Wilders has stated several times that he does not want the expulsion of one section of the community. He wants restrictions on any future immigration. (An entirely different thing.) So you appear to be attacking a straw man there.

Thirdly, if you blow away the froth and get to the drink, the only real issue you appear to have with Wilders is not that he is pointing out what real preachers of hate are saying and doing. Nor is it that he is rising to meet their challenge, and trying to do something about it.

You agree that those real preachers of hate are to be opposed, and in that your interests and those of Geert Wilders are aligned.

No, the only two real, logical points you seem to disagree with Wilders about are:

a) That (according to you) Wilders makes a rash generalisation and believes all Muslims are like those preachers of hate/ terrorists/murderers shown in "Fitna".

But Wilders has said several times that there are many peaceful Muslims. So again, you're attacking a straw man.

b) That Wilders has said that (although there are many peacful Muslims) there is no peaceful Islam. This, if I'm reading you correctly, is the real issue here.

Wilders' understanding of the Koran, and therefore of Islam, and of the history of Islam since its inception in the 7th Century, is incorrect.

However you have said that the vast, silent majority of Muslims don't have the time or inclination to study the Koran properly and really give their religion the attention they might. Of the minority who do, through slightly more privileged life circumstances, have the time to make Islam the true focal point of their lives, and who can study it more fully, some believe Islam is exactly what Wilders says it is, and some don't.

But if the vast majority of Muslims are silent (or lack enough knowledge to comment with authority), and those who have knowledge and the ability to speak out against those preachers of hate and their vision of Islam choose to remain silent - then there is no opposing view! One will then only hear the Islamists' view being expressed.

You can see then, how a non-Arabic speaking Westerner relying to some extent at least on secondary sources and previous work that has been done in the field of religious studies, can come to the conclusion that the interpretations of the Koran which he hears coming from the Muslim camp (for lack of a better expression) are what most Muslims believe.

So again, I must say that the best course of action for any Muslims who disagree with the people Wilders (and others) quotes, is to provide an opposing view - and explain exactly why the work of Sayyid Qutb, and the many others like him, is based on an incorrect understanding of Islamic texts.

Nick said...

b) That Wilders has said that (although there are many peacful Muslims) there is no peaceful Islam. This, if I'm reading you correctly, is the real issue here: in your opinion, Wilders' understanding of the Koran, and therefore of Islam, and of the history of Islam since its inception in the 7th Century, is incorrect.

Just to be clear about what I'm saying here, I thought I'd re-present that section of my earlier comment.

I was thinking too about your earlier reference to the "Cow Sura" and I'll return to that later, but for now I'll just say (once again) that in your opinion Wilders is presenting quotes from the Koran out of context, or using an incorrect interpretation of particular verses. But this is what the people he portrays in "Fitna" are doing!

In that movie, he is showing what they are saying!

Someone needs to point that out. Don't you agree?

Wilders is doing that.

Nick said...

"I will argue back that Islam does not and thus "Muslims" do not (attack free speech), but political and cultral groups may, but Islam has no problem."

I wonder who that was rioting after the Danish cartoons were published? The silent majority, who don't have time to study their religion properly, perhaps?

DHH said...

Wilders attack is that the Qur'an is evil but Muslms are mostly fine which is an impossible statement, no Qur'an then no Muslim. That you have now accepted is an issue. His statement of immigration is no more Muslim migration, non-residents expulsion and no mosques. These are in his manifesto, website for all to read.

Wilders has a greater understanding of Islam than you have given him credit for and has no excuse for his fabrications. He has access to all the information, all the opinions, the official lines from his own state, those presented by the various educative institutions in the Muslim world, all the Muslim countries

Wilders does not make only a rash generalization, he makes a complete fabrication of the core principles and beliefs.

The quotes he has made are those of radical fundamentalists and rather than your continuing to say that they said the same thing, I will remind you that evangelical radicals quote elements of the Bible for their own purposes and condemnation of non-followers with ease but the rest of the world does not condemn Christianity.

There is no doubt that there is militant fundamentalists within the Muslim world, that is the issue and I believe the only issue. The subject about violence, war, crusade are all politics using the main and most significant factor in life within the Muslim world - Islam itself.

The vast majorithy of the Muslim world is frankly speaking does not fall for the fundamentalist's game, it is the west that has fallen for it.

Back to the Fitna excercise - film of 9/11 an act done by criminals wanted in all but a few Muslim countries and condemned by every Muslim state bar 2 and that was Somalia and Afghanistan whom were in anarchy. Then it showed images of celebration of the event, at fundamentalist mosques, or pro event demonstrations 'before' the authorities stopped them. Images of suicide bombers, though every one of the five principle and 12 major Islamic schools-of-thought around the world condemn it. Then there is the misquotes of the Qur'an, showing individual references but carefully avoiding other parts of the same surah to give the wrong detail. All classic con-jobs.

I am going through this to point out how 1) it is careful misrepresentation and 2) how it is obviously not remotely representing he Muslim world save the small (alibeit vocal) fundamentalist world.

.....continued

DHH said...

Before explaining the real cause of this situation I will answer very simply your question about the riots regarding the Danish cartoons.

They are cultural, not religious and for a very simple reason. The bulk of the demonstrations and violence was pushed by those fundamentalists counting on the cultural and social-economic status of those immigrants, that they would go violent "like back at home". What of course the media and the agenda-sites of course ignored was that almost all Muslim countries did not over-act, declare war on Denmark, close Danish embassies but only diplomatically expressed its demand that the cartoon be withdrawn and that Denmark's government condemn the publisher. If the Muslim world was as you would have said it, all the Muslim countries would have responded like Iran and that is ironic because that country's response was most definitely "political".

The Muslim world has always had a battle between radical fundamentalism and liberalism. It has gone up and down over the centuries in a pattern form up to 1978. What happened in that year? The Iranian Revolution. In one event, fundamentalist clerics sold-out some of their own control to radical militancy to ensure power. From that time onwards, every radical fundamentalist cleric started searching out militant groups to convert to their version of Islam and at the same time sold out some of their principles to ensure support from those militants. Al Qaeda is the perfect example, the Taliban is probably the best (or worst) example of a combination of Corrupted Fundamentalism Islamism mixed with tribal culture, rules and laws. It is well known amongst terrorism experts that Bin Laden and his followers are completely at odds with the Taliban but their mutual need for each other is what only keeps them together, in fact that had split three times before.

Basically we can say that fundamentlists represent 15 per cent of the active political structure of the Muslim world, 10 per cent are strong ultra-conservatives but not supporting extremism. On the other side 20 per cent are liberal/moderates and 5 per cent are the equivelant of agnostic. The remaining 50 per cent of the Muslim population are the iliterate, poorest mass of the populations whom traditionally follow the only source of education and information available - the mosque - which is of course the domain of that 10 per cent strong ultra-conservatives (not the extremists).

The battle is for the hearts and minds of that 50 per cent and since 1978 that 10 per cent has strongly moved towards the extremists. Of course these stats are a global figure not per state, the masses in the sub-continent, Egypt, Indonesia does not represent the moderate views in North West Africa, the Emirates etc and who is in control of the country compared to the sentiment in the rural regions.

The other factor of course is the response from non-Muslim nations, the power of the internet and mass-media has an impact, fundamentalists now use it but the vast power of it is run by the west and this is where the rumour mill, agenda groups influence not only their own population but give amunition to Muslim radicals that what they claim is correct about the west.

I am the first one to say that the Muslim world is failing to tackle the issue effectively and that ultimately it is Muslims that must cure the problem, but the balance that normally exists is now gone, that is because of globalization, mass migration, but most of all the new uncontrolled media and those that benefit from it for their own agendas - the Wilders and such.

Nick said...

I'm afraid I find your explanation about the motives of the people who were involved in riots following the publication of the Danish cartoons unconvincing.

The fact is that those were Muslims who were rioting, threatening people etc..

And despite your assertion that they were rioting because of their economic situation, they definitely weren't rioting for higher wages, or a shorter working week.

The driving force behind those riots were the participants' religious beliefs.

Nick said...

I'm still not sure what you're driving at when you accuse Geert Wilders of "hatred" and so forth.

Am I supposed to think that it is your view that Wilders had inside him some vague, undirected emotional force, and one fine day he woke up and decided to fabricate an entire philosophy purely and simply for political gain? And use this emotional force inside him to that end?

It seems wildly implausible, in light of what happened to Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, that a Dutch politician would consider such a course of action a good career move.

As for this "hate" you refer to, I still don't know exactly what you're referring to, so I really would appreciate it if you could define your term, and explain when this "hate" arose in Mr. Wilders (if it's his "hate" you mean) and how it has manifested itself in the world.

Perhaps you could draw up a timeline showing what this "hate" is, and how it arose, and more to the point here, how you think someone's emotional state affects the truth value of any assertions one makes.

It's interesting that you agree that there are genuine preachers of hate who (in your view) misrepresent your faith, and who call for and indeed commit acts of butchery in the name of your faith, and your ire is reserved for someone who is pointing that out.

As for your assertion that Wilders "should know better" than to believe that the Koran preaches that Muslims are better than anyone else, that shariah law is where it's at, and that good Muslims should strive to implement shariah law throughout the dar al-harb, well that's an interesting comment. It suggests to me that perhaps you have "hatred" of your own and it is aimed at someone who is doing what you should be doing. Because it certainly isn't what you would call a compelling argument, that's for sure.

Nick said...

It quotes the Qur'an five times......sort of. It only puts a segment, thus it will say for example (and most often quoted in agenda-based websites) "kill them all". What it actually was referring to was a battle in the 7th century when Pagans were trying to exterminate the fledgling Muslim community and so it was a battle command - do not leave that army standing. What was left out of was the beginning and the end of the verse which says that "God loveth not the oppressors and God loveth not the aggressors" which states without no doubt that aggession and oppression is forbidden. At the end it states that full rights, justice and no revenge are to be taken on the families and the occupants of Mecca after the battle. - DHH

Are you referring to Sura 2:190-194?

Link 1.Link2.

DHH said...

Nick, in this case yes.

Of course the blog owner no longer likes having a Muslim on his site so this will be erased as soon as he sees it. He allows a poster to use obsenities at me but no responses arguing errors and facts.

Check later and see.

DHH said...

Nick,

You said "As for your assertion that Wilders "should know better" than to believe that the Koran preaches that Muslims are better than anyone else, that shariah law is where it's at, and that good Muslims should strive to implement shariah law throughout the dar al-harb, well that's an interesting comment."

Since you want to know about this, let me tell you that the Qur'an does not talk about Shariah Law and Dar al-harb, that is elements in some of the hadiths.

There is no universal shariah law, there are as many versions and interpretations as there are countries and shariah law is only in 7 of Muslim countries, the rest have secular courts or shariah-inspired secular systems.

Also hadiths are viewed with value in diffent forms in diffent areas, locations, sects and schools.

That is why I am saying, that Wilders knows this very well. He is well briefed, he has done his homework but still he produced his propoganda piece.

That you said yourself these interpretations tells me that your sources are tainted by agenda based misinformation. The sad fact is that propoganda in the west about Islam is as bad as propoganda given by factions in the Muslim world about the west. It is us whom travel between the two or are from one and is apart of the other sees this ugly campaign.

Nick said...

Well I'm glad I found the passage you were referring to, and can I say I found it very interesting indeed. First of all can I say that if one tried to represent that passage simply by quoting the words, "Slay them wherever you find them" that would be inaccurate, and misleading.

You say, correctly, that the verse immediately before that one says, "Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love aggressors." (2:190)

As I read it, this puts the "Slay them wherever you find them" verse in the context of a fight that already been initiated; I must nitpick a little though: You seemed to indicate that according to this passage, God loved neither oppressors or aggressors, suggesting to me that Muslims would be seen as both, if they acted contrary to the guidelines within the passage.

(Which in turn suggested to me that devout Muslims should not, on the basis of this passage, become (military) aggressors or (political) oppressors.

However it seems that only the term "aggressors" appears in Sura 2:190.

Using different translations of the same passage, I find references to oppression or persecution in Sura 2:193, which actually describe the forces ranged against Muhammad. ("And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression ..." - Yusuf Ali. "And fight them until persecution is no more .." - Pickthal.)

It appears to me then that you brought two terms together to refer to one party, whereas in actual fact they are used in the Koran to refer to two entirely different (and diametrically opposed) parties.

Other than that little nitpick, as I said I found the passage interesting. It brought to mind what I think is the key passage in Machiavelli's "The Prince" in which he states that, ".. it is necessary for a prince who wishes to maintain himself to learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge or not to use it according to necessity." If the use of force is justified (necessary) then a successful ruler must use it, or risk failure. That's not to say that one should use force indiscriminately: Machiavelli explicitly condemns Agathacles: "... his vicious cruelty and inhumanity, along with numerous wicked deeds, do not permit us to honour him among the most excellent of men." And in Chapter 17 Machiavelli says that, although a virtuouso prince should emulate a lion and a fox, "... those who base their behaviour only on the lion do not understand things." I therefore find this particular passage in the Koran interesting because it might be similar to other things which I have read before.

Nick said...

That you said yourself these interpretations tells me that your sources are tainted by agenda based misinformation. - DHH

If you read my original comment more carefully you will see that I was portraying the view held by someone else. And I was, in part at least, basing that on what you yourself had said.

Nick said...

I have to say that having read the passage I find no mention whatsoever of "full rights, justice and no revenge are to be taken on the families and occupants of Mecca." Which you said was right there.

It's not.

Nick said...

The quotes he has made are those of radical fundamentalists and rather than your continuing to say that they said the same thing, I will remind you that evangelical radicals quote elements of the Bible for their own purposes and condemnation of non-followers with ease but the rest of the world does not condemn Christianity. - DHH

Two things wrong with this.

1) Richard Dawkins, Chris Hitchens and Sam Harris walk the earth.

2) A "tu quoque" move doesn't address the initial point, which was that you appear to be in agreement with Wilders, but just don't have the stones to do what he's doing.

Maybe that's why you hate him so much.

DHH said...

Nick,

The bible says in many versus about not being an aggressor or oppressor, make love not war, but Christians have over the multiple centuries wages war, in God's name and obviously in reality for their own individual or collective reasons.

The Qur'an says God loveth not the aggressor and God loveth not the oppressor, and like the Christian and other religions, what mankind does in defiance of those very simple messages.

Nick, Fitna misquotes five different surahs, I am not going to go into details of the complete Qur'anic versus of which says which nor am I going to spend this blog-space into explaining and debating versus - I am certain the blog-owner would not appreciate that. Go to the UCSD site or Islam.org of you want to do that.

What I will say though is that the Qur'an was written in the 7th century, it is divided into three very separate areas, the divine message, the events of the time and then examples of life that has a meaning behind it. It should be read at such, to quote an example of the time as a message - which is done many times, confuses and gives an incorrect message. I mention this because people have read the Qur'an with the eyes of literary analysis or try to compare it to non-Muslim texts or contemporary values and that excercise will never work, particularly if not read as three. Only the Torah and Coptic Christian texts can be read side-by-side as the origins are the same.

Fundamentalists all quote the same thing and add more twisting for their own benefit. Utra orthodox Jews will quote the Torah and say that God gave all of Jordan and parts of Egypt, Syria and Lebanon as Israel just for the Jews. As they are fundamentalists, there interpretation is that it is not historical but eternal but even Netenyahu will not claim that. Chritians evangalists will quote various biblical examples from Genesis or others for their radical point that others will not. Muslim fundamentalists will quote items from the Qur'an and take them literally though main five schools of thought in Islam and almost every other main college will not agree with them. Like the Torah and the Old Testement, the Qur'an talks about the after life and makes a comment that Jews 'who do not accept Allah' (ie Islam's teachings) when faced with the truth on Judgement Day will burn in the hell-fires more than others and that they will be hunted down as 'pigs and donkeys' (my translation). This quote about pigs etc is often quoted in websites. This verse goes on to explain that Jews have had the opportunity now twice to accept God's Message, denying first Jesus (Issa in Arabic) and then Mohammed and thus they have no excuse any more and God's punishment is most severe. The Torah and parts of Genesis have just as fire-and-brimstone versus. The point is that Fundamentalists have abused this Surah just as much as it has been deliberately misread by non-Muslims.
...... continued

DHH said...

Another example of this, as it is the most important part of our discussion here. Fundamentalists in all religions will put more importance in certain versus of their doctrine and put less or ignore others. This is interpretation for agenda. As mentioned above, Orthodox Jews will put increased value on the sacred land issue at the cost of other elements which moderate Jews appear to value and accept the sacred land issue at a different value. But both groups are still quoting the same Torah.

Fundamentalist Muslims will quote that verse about Jews and say they are dirt, to be killed (even though that was almost unheard of not less then 80 years ago) and yet they will put less value on another Surah that states that "all good People of the Book" (that is Jews and Christians) "will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with good Muslims at the Gates of Heaven on Judgement Day". Somehow that became less important for fundamentalists.

Remember, the anger against Jews was almost never there, and Jews and Muslims lived in pretty much harmony until the last century with the Palestine/Israel issue. Actually, over the centuries, Jews lived more safely and happily in North Africa and the Middle East than they did in Europe and twice in Moorish al Andalous (now South Spain) had a Jewish Chancellor (prime minister) and also once in Damascus. Ironically, now the number one advisor to the Moroccan King is a Jew. We can go into the other misinformation campaign about Jews, taxes etc, also often wrongly interpreted.

The nutshell here is a fundamentalist quotes the same thing but interpretes them differently.

Lastly, Wilders knows all of this, he has no excuse but a cause. He did not wake up one day and do it, but as a radical-right-wing he "catches on" to sentiment and then grabs hold of it, expands, distorts rellying on the habit of the masses to accept the first thing told to them and that is all it is. Facists did it in Spain and Italy, National Socialists did so about Jews in the 30s and 40s, McCarthiets did it, Muslim Brotherhood does it, Christian Falangists did it in Lebanon, Stalin did it and so on and so forth.

Nick said...

So when you argued that Wilders had misrepresented the Koran by leaving out "the beginning and end of the verse which says that "God loveth not the oppressors" you neglected to mention that the oppressors were the foe of the Muslims. (Which transforms the meaning of that phrase altogether.)

And when you argued that "At the end it states that full rights, justice and no revenge are to be taken on the families and occupants of Mecca after the battle" you were in error. That is to say, you added something to the Koran which is not there.

Now you don't want to go into details and try to explain and debate the verses you brought up as your only evidence supporting your assertion that Wilders portrays the Koran incorrectly.

I put it to you that you are guilty of doing that which you accuse others of doing. You have misrepresented the Koran because you are pursuing your own agenda.

Sura 2:190 - 194.

Nick said...

I must also bring to your attention the fact that nowhere in the movie "Fitna" is there any kind of claim that the Koran says "kill them all." Nor does Wilders quote Sura 2:190-194 at any point.

Therefore, your initial assertion that Wilders misrepresented the Koran in "Fitna" is undermined.

Any assertions you have made about what led up to that alleged misrepresentation are undermined.

Any assertions you have made about what flows from that alleged misrepresentation are undermined.

And any assertions you have made about Geert Wilders' character or motives for creating the movie "Fitna" are undermined.

You really should know better.

DHH said...

Nick,
I have been asked about quotes from Surahs in enough forums that which one referring or has been quoted is for me no longer relevant. Surah 190 is the most abused Surah by agenda based groups and that is why I referred to it automatically.

I had asked and pointed out the exact elements on the Fitna before but erased that item, so I just quickly did this for you. So this is how it goes……

FITNA says:
Page turns... "Quran Surah 8.060"
"Prepare for them whatever force and cavalry ye are able of gathering
to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and our enemies"

Actual full translation

008.060
YUSUFALI: Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.

Note the next verse:
008.061
YUSUFALI: But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).
So why was that left out?

FITNA says:
"Quran Surah 4.056"

"Those who have disbelieved our signs,
we shall roast them in fire
whenever their skins are cooked to a turn,
we shall substitute new skins for them
that they may feel the punishments:
verily Allah is sublime and wise."

The actual quote and two before and one after are:

004.054
YUSUFALI: Or do they envy mankind for what Allah hath given them of his bounty? but We had already given the people of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.

004.055
YUSUFALI: Some of them believed, and some of them averted their faces from him: And enough is Hell for a burning fire.

004.056
YUSUFALI: Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.

004.057
YUSUFALI: But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,- their eternal home: Therein shall they have companions pure and holy: We shall admit them to shades, cool and ever deepening.

These are talking about the after-life, about how the Message of God was given to the children of Abraham and they ignored it (the coming of Christ) and then they did so again (the coming of Mohammed). That they have ignored the laws and gifts given unto them etc…..

But of course FITNA is not interested in the reasons of the stories just a part of a text.

DHH said...

FITNA says
... "Quran Surah 47.004"

"Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers,
smite at their necks
and when ye have caused a bloodbath among them
bind a bond firmly on them"

The full text was omitted and it is here, plus a few after:

047.004
YUSUFALI: Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.

047.005
YUSUFALI: Soon will He guide them and improve their condition

047.006
YUSUFALI: And admit them to the Garden which He has announced for them.

This is about the time to finish the battles, to condemn this then you must condemn God for destroying Sodom and Gomorra.

Fitna says
"Quran Surah 4.089"

"They but wish that ye should reject faith
as they do, and thus be on the same footing as they,
so take not friends from their ranks
until they flee in the way of Allah
But if they turn renegades, seize them and kill them
wherever ye find them and take no friends or helpers
from their ranks"

004.089
YUSUFALI: They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;-

004.090
YUSUFALI: Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. If Allah had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then Allah Hath opened no way for you (to war against them).

I wonder where Wilders thinks this has to do with the present, this is a historical reference and an example of the time, but somehow Wilders thinks this was prepared for now?

Fitna says

... "Quran Surah 8.039"

"Fight them until there is no dissension
and the religion is entirely Allah's"

This was completely misquoted…..

008.039
YUSUFALI: And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.
This makes it clear that they were oppressed and that justice needs to be started…and then even more…

Nick, I said I did not want to go into this because I did not want to fill the blog with quotes from the Qur’an.

I am interested that you think that your recent reading makes you an expert though the Qur’an has been studied in depth since the 7th century.

I stand by what I have said, the intentions and deliberate misguidance by Wilders on the Qur’an let alone making out that the words of a number of known radical fundamentalist clerics represents all of Islam and the Qur’an is criminal and he will be found guilty for it.

Your arguments are unsound, defensive and rather repetitive, as the saying goes ….” If you look for the enemy hard enough, you will eventually find one, regardless if it exists at all – Mahatma Ghandi.”

Nick said...

I am interested that you think that your recent reading makes you an expert though the Qur’an has been studied in depth since the 7th century. - DHH

Read what I said: I found the passage you referred to originally interesting because I could relate to it, having read something similar elsewhere.


You seem to be developing a rather unsavoury habit of misrepresenting people.

Which is quite something, given your views about other people doing so ..

Nick said...

That's it for the moment though, I'm on someone else's PC right now (at work) ..

Nick said...

Okay, just one more before I get back to what I should be doing right now:

"I have been asked about quotes from Surahs in enough forums that which one referring or has been quoted is for me no longer relevant. Surah 190 is the most abused Surah by agenda based groups and that is why I referred to it automatically." - DHH

Really? Why is that? As I said, after reading it I would take the meaning of verse 191 ("Slay them all ..") together with verse 190, and I relate the use of force to what Machiavelli wrote: sometimes it's necessary, and a virtuoso prince does that which is "not good" according to necessity. Only according to necessity, mind you. As I mentioned earlier, Machiavelli also wrote that those who relied on the lion (signifying force) all the time "do not understand things.

So as I said, I think the passage could possibly be understood from a Western perspective, and in a positive way.

Of course, just as not everybody's actually read the Koran, not everybody has read Machiavelli either.

ok really got to go for the moment, work awaits .. well, no work at the moment but it could all kick off at any moment ..

Nick said...

Your arguments are unsound, defensive and rather repetitive, as the saying goes ….” If you look for the enemy hard enough, you will eventually find one, regardless if it exists at all – Mahatma Ghandi.” - DHH

No actually it was your argument that was not sound, which I clearly demonstrated. You have acknowledged this, by admitting that Wilders never quoted the passage of the Koran you claimed he did, nor did he ever use a "quote" from the Koran saying "kill them all" as you asserted.

When you make such a fundamental error as this early on in a debate, base so many of your following assertions upon it, then it's shown that you got it all so badly wrong, well, it doesn't exactly make one take anything else you write as gospel.

Especially when you've had the brass neck to tell other people discussing Islam to "be very careful on your references and evidence and I will respond to clarify and if tell you more than likely it is not corect what you said."

You've given me a laugh, anyway, Solkhar.

Nick said...

I wonder where Wilders thinks this has to do with the present, this is a historical reference and an example of the time, but somehow Wilders thinks this was prepared for now? - DHH

I wonder why Muslims think the Koran has anything to do with the present day; after all it was written in the 7th century, but somehow Muslims think it was "prepared" for now, in the 21st?

Nick said...

There is no universal shariah law, there are as many versions and interpretations as there are countries and shariah law is only in 7 of Muslim countries, the rest have secular courts or shariah-inspired secular systems.

Also hadiths are viewed with value in diffent forms in diffent areas, locations, sects and schools. - DHH

Don't all these people know better? Can't they all agree? After all they're reading the same core texts, then arriving at different conclusions and expressing their individual views.

According to you that equates to pursuing an "agenda" and as such (mysteriously) qualifies as "hate".

Or maybe not, eh ..

Nick said...

You keep saying that Wilders "should know better" but this seems to me a very poor argument indeed.

For as long as there have been religions on the earth, human beings have disagreed about the meaning of religious texts.

You have said that there is disagreement about shariah law throughout the Islamic world, which indicates that people can read the same Islamic textbooks and come away with entirely different interpretations.

You seem keen to throw ad hominem remarks Wilders' way, but seem unable to actually explain what you mean by "hate" (which you accuse Wilders of inciting, and so far as I can make out, of experiencing himself).

I have put it to you that your opinion of Wilders makes no sense, if he actually believes what he says about Islam.

All you seem able to come up with in response is, well he shouldn't believe it.

But he does. You may not like it, but that's irrelevant. You may want to try and say that his persecution is not a matter of freedom of speech, but it is. You may not like it, but that's irrelevant.

John Stuart Mill once wrote that "... the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race, posterity as well as the existing generation - those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth produced by its collision with error." (Mill, "On Liberty," Penguin Classics, p. 76.)

Mill then put forward several arguments in favour of freedom of thought and expression; here is one you ought to consider carefully: “… every opinion which embodies somewhat of the portion of truth which the common opinion omits ought to be considered precious, with whatever amount of error and confusion that truth may be blended. No sober judge of human affairs will feel bound to be indignant because those who force on our notice truths which we should otherwise have overlooked, overlook some of those which we see. [...] Truth, in the great practical concerns of life, is so much a question of reconciling and combining of opposites that very few have minds sufficiently capacious and impartial to make the adjustment with an approach to correctness, and it has to be made by the rough process of a struggle between combatants fighting under hostile banners.” (ibid., pp. 109-111.)

You appear to agree with much of what Wilders has to say, and with many of his goals. If you feel that you disagree with some of what he has to say, then you and anyone who happens to agree with your interpretation of Islamic texts - and that is all it is, your interpretation, one amongst many, are, in a free and democratic society, able to put forward your own views in opposition to Wilders.

If you are unable to understand why this is not only desirable at an individual level, but that it benefits society as a whole, then I suggest you lay down the Koran for a while, and try to study Western philosophy. Begin with Mill's "On Liberty."

If you find the book difficult, don't worry. Just post again on here, quoting the passage you find too hard to understand; remember though, be very careful on your references and evidence and I will respond to clarify and if tell you more than likely it is not corect what you said.

Good luck.

Nick said...

Some thoughts.