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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

IFPS: The Trial of Geert Wilders: A Symposium

The International Free Press Society: The Trial of Geert Wilders: A Symposium

The subject matter is the upcoming trial (starting tomorrow, 2010/01/20) of the Dutch politician and MP, Geert Wilders, for, in essence, the "crime" of "Islamophobia." While I do not intend even to imply, by highlighting one contribution, that the other contributions are less than worthy, I do wish to draw Gentle Reader's attention to the contribution of David Yerushalmi:

Geert Wilders, Member of Parliament of the Netherlands and chairman of the Freedom Party, goes on trial Wednesday in the land of the Dutch. His alleged crime: criticizing Islam in such a way that it insults Muslims and causes other people to hate devout Muslims because of their faith in Islam and its scriptures. Specifically, the lengthy summons and charge sheet set out a host of Wilders’ statements that violate two specific criminal laws. One, Wilders publicly dared to criticize Islam and its scripture in such a way that he insulted devout Muslims who take their faith in Islam seriously. Two, his public statements incite others to hate or discriminate against Muslims because of their religious beliefs. If found guilty, Wilders might very well be imprisoned and stripped of his political office.

The case demonstrates in classic terms the convergence between the Left and tyranny, ...
To understand the rationale for such laws, we need not travel far. Europeans brought the truth of the Enlightenment to the West. This new truth is not merely close at hand, it is the hand. Indeed, it is the whole of a man’s existence.

The truth of the Enlightenment was and continues to be that there is no truth. Western men live the certainty of this new absolutism because we accept the reduction of man to the mathematical physics of science. To gain the certainty that men are bound by the material counting of scientific symbols is to know that all else is belief or uncertain opinion. What Western men at one time understood as the truth of existence is now only an absolutely uncertain belief. If political man has no access to truth except the truth that no truth exists, there can be no truthful criticism.

The Dutch take their Enlightenment seriously. Geert Wilders’s crime is that he takes his nation and culture no less seriously than he takes Islam’s. No one can study Islam and its legal context, known as Shariah, and not know that it seeks the dominance or destruction of Dutch national existence and culture. The new Dutchmen take neither seriously except to say that neither exist outside of the mind and the “feelings” of the men who harbour such beliefs.

Wilders’ crime is not his speech. It is his commitment to the truth of existence of a Dutch people and nation grounded in Christianity. That truth violates the principles of the Enlightenment now engraved in the tablets of a Western world where the only truth permitted men in the public sphere is a multicultural pluralism devoid of any truthful content but that there is no truthful content.

To that breach of peace, Wilders is guilty. ...

Firstly, it ought to go without saying that Mr Yerushalmi did not say that to be Dutch is to be a Christian ... I realize that Gentle Reader does not require this explicit statement; however, there are always intellectually dishonest fools about, who seek nothing but mischief.

Mr Yerushalmi's point is that "political correctness" is the natural working-out of the so-called Enlightenment. And that, not only is it false, but that it's killing us.

The "it" which is killing us is not "political correctness," that's merely a symptom of the illness. What is killing us is the societal rejection of truth; that is, that the anti-leven of the so-called Enlightenment has, after all these years, finally worked its way through the whole loaf.


Crude said...

I admit to having some trouble working up much concern for the situation. I wish it were otherwise, but for the very reasons you stated here, it's hard to regard the netherlands as a place worth caring about. If they want to walk down a path that's suicidal for their culture and ideals, so be it.

Maybe the muslims will do a better job.

Ilíon said...

While I understand the sentiment, I think you should understand that you need (for multiple reasons) to eliminate the sentiment, including (but not exhaustively):
1) this is a grave injustice being done Mr Wilders ... and the whole Dutch people, and one should always care about injustice;
1a) of course, we do not have the moral obligation to right *all* injustices in the world, for we do not (neither individually nor collectively) have the capability to right all wrongs;
2) it isn't "the Dutch" doing this to Mr Wilders, it is the self-selected multi-culti elites doing thos to all the Dutch;
3) these ideas will not stay in Europe; already the same is happening here;
3a) "Fortress America" is a myth -- we are a part of Western Civilization. We may be the best part (and I certainly think we are, for we most best exemplify the ideals), but we cannot stand alone if Europe comes under Islamic rule.

"Maybe the muslims will do a better job."

In the same way that the statists/collectivists have since the Bastille.

Certainly, an Islamically ruled Europe will eventually turn into just another primitive backwater hell-hole; perhaps in about a century. But, in the meantime, the neew overlords have nukes, and the means to deliver them ... and an ideology which all but demands that they do so.

Crude said...

I agree there's an injustice being done to Wilders here. However..

1) If "The Dutch" are the victims - which I take to be, most of the dutch, most of the actual citizens in what is supposedly a democracy - then how could it have gone this far? Are they really (if it comes to that) going to try and sentence Wilders under an unjust law that most of their people reject? Do most of their people really reject it?

2) I agree that we should have a concern for western civilization, wherever it is. But, as I doubt I have to tell you, secularism is a threat to the west too. Is Wilders trying to protect the same "West" you, and likely I, wish to protect? Is that "West" even on life support among the dutch? I doubt it; you know what happens to many on life support there.

I suppose I could find a compromise position. Urging a dedication not to some Christian theocracy bulwark, nor some "return to enlightenment ideals", but an encouragement to return to a deep respect for the sanctity of human life, for truth, for purpose, etc. What I'm really wary of is something like 'joining hands with committed, deep secularists against muslims'. Muslims have done vastly less harm to the west in comparison, at least for the past century or so. (Which I doubt you were suggesting, but I admit was my instinctual thought.)

MathewK said...

Political correctness will definitely be the death of us.

On islam and the west, i suppose the dutch aren't really anything to be concerned about, but to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you can avoid the crocodile all you like, it just means he'll eat you last.

It's what i often say about Israel, they've been on the front lines for decades against islam, if they ever fall, we'll be next.

kh123 said...

Well, offhand and by way of a caveat, one thing I've noticed is that France has been revisiting its former sentiments towards Islam as of late. Maybe they're remembering how far the Caliphate tried to push into Europe some several hundred years ago?

"No more birkahs - they're not welcome here," which is just another way of saying "You're not welcome here."

Well, good luck to Pierre. They have a sizable Muslim population in certain quarters of Paris alone - where there's talk of takhfiri recruitment being fairly busy in those enclaves.

There's also the question there (and if the rest of Europe isn't sleeping on this front) of population statistics in relation to Islam: France is still recovering from the vacancy that two world wars have left in their population (and given French lifestyles, kids and family have taken a backseat to... well, the backseat); whereas French Muslim families seemingly have no problem with several additions to ever-increasing families over a short period of time.

Nothing wrong with that per se, but there needs to be the consideration of just what kind of cultural demographic shift is occurring with those increases/decreases in the population. Especially in what was coveted for a long time as "north of Cordoba" (i.e., just outside the reach of the ever-hungry medieval Caliphate, as was the rest of Europe)...

Well, modern France invited them, or turned the other way when they showed up. Let them discover the joys of PC emasculate policies, lax borders, mujahideen, and the complacent/cowed Islamic communities that go along with it. Spain learned that lesson with Atocha Station... or did they? (Right after the Atocha bombing, the Spanish population thought they could curry favor with the mujahideen by holding up "La Paz" signs and ultimately dropping out of the U.S.-led coalition - which only lead to more bombing plots against Madrid, on an even wider scale than before...)

America seems not too far behind in that respect. I'm afraid that the population's going to need something more than a Pearl Harbor and 9/11 to wake it up - planes flying into buildings and people jumping off of highrises rather than suffocating from the smoke... But this apparently isn't catching the MTV generation's attention.

This problem is not going to go away with "Islam = peace" mantras, post-modern dialogue, or a president who thinks all the world needs is his high school charisma & Columbia charm to bring them all together under his tutelary wing.

Islam's like a bully - it won't stop until you show it that you're not going to cow down everytime it has the urge to lop off a dozen (or several million) kufr or dhimmi heads. The best you can expect from that kind of situation is for the aggressor (the mujahideen) to fear and - by extension - respect you. Not to love you, not to like you, not even to agree that you have the right to exist. (They've denied Israel this since its inception.) But to at least make them realize that they'd bloody their own nose just as much as anything they could inflict on you.

Mecca and Medina, anyone? That'd be a fair trade for two towers, a quarter of the Pentagon, and over 3,000 people murdered...

Dark times, dark times.

But hey, at least they're having high times up in the Netherlands, ja?

Ilíon said...

Crude: "... What I'm really wary of is something like 'joining hands with committed, deep secularists against muslims'. Muslims have done vastly less harm to the west in comparison, at least for the past century or so. (Which I doubt you were suggesting, but I admit was my instinctual thought.)"

Islam is so brittle; it can survive only by imposing conformity, upon pain of death. Islamic societies can survive, but they cannot thrive.

Islam is an existential danger to Western civilization *only because* the people of our societies have wilfully abandoned and rejected the very roots (and life-blood) of our societies.

Islam is brittle; but Western societies are hollow!