17 February 2008

Geert Wilders - "I Don't Hate Muslims. I Hate Islam".

In today's Observer there is an article on Dutch MP Geert Wilders, whose new film criticising Islam is courting controversy and may soon be shown on Dutch TV.

I find Wilder's suggestion to...
ban the 'fascist' Koran itself a fascist statement. I do have sympathy with his view that Islam is the 'ideology of a retarded culture' (retarded in the sense that all religion harks back to outdated morality written many centuries ago). I also of course, vigorously defend Wilder's right to free speech (no matter how offensive it may be to some Muslim groups).

However, all sympathy for Wilders disappears when he makes statements that are obviously playing to an anti-Muslim popularism and in themself demonstrate his own fascistic tendencies.

It is fine to call the Koran 'fascist' but not to push for it to be banned. The irony of wanting to ban a 'fascist' book obviously goes over Wilder's head - the act of banning books and suppressing free speech is one of the most obvious aspects of fascism.

For this reason, I have no doubt that Wilders motives are insincere, yet despite this I have to support his right to be provocative (as long as he doesn't incite violence). Much as I may despise Wilder's motives and the inevitable racism they foster, I cannot defend those on either the Islamic or anti-Islamic sides who want to suppress free speech. The only solution to fascist arguments is to thoroughly defeat them with more argument. We should have faith in the strength of our anti-fascist arguments and through that defend free speech as sacrosanct.


  1. Well I don't hate Germans, but I hate Nazi's and I certainly don't have a problem with "Mein Kampf" being banned.

    Same difference isn't it?

  2. Isn't it important that 'mein kampf' is available to read? How can we criticise Nazism if we are not allowed to read about it?

  3. Surely "the act of banning books and suppressing free speech is one of the most obvious aspects" of communism!?!

    PS I can criticise Marxism without reading "Das Kapital" and communism without reading Mao's little red book!

  4. Snafu: I wouldn't disagree. I think any system that denies democracy is bad - soviets, chinese and Nazis being worse democracies than the West.

  5. Wow! I agree, yet again. This is getting embarrassing. Are you sure you don't have a split personality or something? Sort of Dr Libertarian and Mr Statist?

  6. So if this idiot Wilders got his way and banned the Koran, muslims would simply memorise it. Remind me. When did Holland turn into a fascist state?

  7. Neil, funny that the Soviets, Chinese and Nazis all believed that the State was the answer to society's problems!

    Are you still in favour of the nanny state or will you join those of us on the right who favour less Government interference!?!

  8. Mark, I don't think there is any contradiction between believing in the principle of free speech and believing ID cards/DNA databases could work well.

  9. Snafu: I think the State 'can' be the answer sometimes . I don't think any solution is perfect and I don't rule out either a market solution or state solution. I also like non-profit trusts, partnerships and co-operatives - the BBC, John Lewis, Co-op. I think there is a place for all of these things - just not necessarily how it is currently ordered. I also think health, education, public transport, some infrastructure like energy and utilities can work best when tax funded and provided.

  10. "health, education, public transport, some infrastructure like energy and utilities can work best when tax funded..."

    Agreed with the first three, they are merit goods. Taxpayer-funded vouchers will cover education and health; cost of public transport can be covered by Land Value Tax. Don't agree with second two; a slightly higher CBI is always better than subsidising any particular item of personal consumption.

    "... and provided".

    Nope. The State has proven itself to be supremely shit at providing anything except core functions - law'n'order etc, at which this Nulab government is failing miserably as widely documented elsewhere.