Geert Wilders, the controversial leader of the anti-immigration PVV party, has called for a ban on the Koran in the Netherlands. The Islamic holy book is, he says ‘Fascist’, ‘wretched’ and encourages violence. He wants the book banned from shops, homes and mosques.The op-ed was inspired by the attack on Ehsan Jami, president of the Dutch Committe for Ex-muslims, this weekend. Jami, leaving a supermarket with a woman friend, was roughed up by three characters he described as 'two moroccan looking and one somali looking, with a beard'. According to Jami, the three called him a 'Jew' and a 'traitor'(1).
In a letter published in today’s Volkskrant, Wilders compares the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf and points out that this book has been banned since the end of the Second World War.
A ban on the Koran would be a clear signal to Islamists which use the book as an ‘excuse and inspiration’ for violence, says Wilders.
The Wilders piece has all of the Dutch bien-pensant high up in the curtains. Minister for Integration, Ella Vogelaar, she of the 'judeo-christian-islamic tradition', rushed out to state that the government did not have any plans to ban the Quran and never would. And a PvdA city council member in Lelystad, Els Lucas, is pressing charges against Wilders for unlawfully inciting hatred against muslims.
MP's in Second Chamber are not completely in love (NL) with Wilders' 'thought experiment' either, but this may have been in part a question of injured pride. In his op-ed Wilders writes:
The Hague is full with cowardly people. Frightened who were born a coward and who will die a coward.I can't imagine Wilders is serious about this proposal, although a poll on Planet.nl showed about half of the Netherlands thinks he is on to something. In his own, slightly mysterious way he is putting the questions of islam, islamism and muslim loyalties forefully on the agenda. And he's spectacularly succesfull. All the media are talking about it. In every comments section the debate on the nature of the Quran, islam and religion in general is raging. This must really worry and upset the leadership of this country, which is still very much dedicated to the multicultural mirage.
The Volkskrant, in the mean time, is doing it's bit to defend the multicultural dream. In a commentary of it's own (unfortunately in NL), the editors call equating islam with fascism and the Quran with Mein Kampf nonsense and misleading (oh really?). They maintain that a moderate islam, and not just moderate muslims, does exist and wonder whether Wilders is still 'toerekeningsvatbaar', a Dutch word, literally meaning 'accountable'.
But in the Dutch justice system the term 'unaccountable' is legalese for 'insane', as in 'pleading insanity'. So, the Volkskrant, in a rather backhanded way, is telling to never mind Wilders, he's probably insane. In the current events program EenVandaag a politicologist was invited to explain Wilders behavior as a 'narcissistic personality disorder' as did one of the guests of discussion program WatNu.
And so we start to see the contours of yet another concerted effort to marginalize and dehumanize a doubleplus ungood crimethinker. Untill such time that the less restrained elements in Dutch society decide to rid us of Wilders in a most expedient manner. Hey, he was only a crazy retard, weren't he?
[UPDATE001] A GoV reader has provided an EN translation of the Wilders op-ed. It can be found here on GoV.
[UPDATE002] Esther has put up a complete translation of the Wilders op-ed at her blog. In the mean time here's a good run-down of the reactions to Wilders' suggestion to ban the Quran.