Racism

"We are not for getting Mr. Wilders in prison. We are for correcting him"

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Geert Wilders, head of the third-largest party in Dutch parliament, has called for banning both the Koran and Muslim immigration to the Netherlands, and has ridden a wave of popular xenophobia to the height of his country's political scene. This week, Wilders is being tried for hate speech in the Netherlands. He faces up to a year in prison if convicted. 

As Chris Beam points out today in Slate, Dutch xenophobia is much larger than a single individual, and has a lot to do with environmental and historical factors that no single person could control. But while changing the country's attitudes towards religious and racial outsiders is hard, prosecuting a figure as difficult to defend as Wilders is really freakin' easy. He's enough of a bogeyman to serve as a convenient and fairly unobjectionable scapegoat for Dutch racism.

In this case, scapegoating means more than simply criminalizing one person's freedom of conscience. One Dutch activist believes there is even a legal imperative to get Wilders to change his mind, not just his behavior:

Mohamed Rabbae, chairman of the moderate National Moroccan Council, said outside the court that he hoped judges would force Wilders to issue an apology for his past remarks.

"We are not for getting Mr. Wilders in prison. We are for correcting him," he said.

Wilders is definitely in need of correcting. But in a healthy country, that would be the work of the voters, and not the legal system.

Here at Reason, Senior Editor Michael C. Moynihan has frequently defended and written on Wilders' right to free speech.

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  1. Yes, Mr. Wilders does need to be “corrected”. Perhaps a bit more.

  2. Nothing like government persecution to make an asshole look like the good guy.

    I seem o recall that the French have a proverb along the lines of “censorship turns one reader into three”. Maybe they should tell the Dutch.

    1. I was explaining this to some PC type coworkers today. They didn’t get it.

  3. Geert gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what was behind that mysterious turban. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Mohammed.

  4. “We are for correcting him.”

    Obvious.

    1. See also: First post in the thread.

  5. Bring me the Rod of Correction.

    1. Rod’s busy right now. How about the Dan of Remediation?

      1. The Cord of Chastisement?

        1. Really now. We all know that this calls for the Comfy Chair.

          1. Now–you will stay in the Comfy Chair until lunch time, with only a cup of coffee at eleven.

    2. Miss me yet?

  6. I love how the “moderate” Muslim is all in favor of hauling into court anyone expressing the Wrong Views About Islam.

    I’m no expert on Dutch culture and mores, but this article has a strong undertone of “the Dutch are just racists, y’know?” that I think is wrong. I think the Dutch are a pretty accepting bunch in a phlegmatic and mildly insular way.

    I also think their hospitality has been badly abused by certain immigrants. I’m sure the vast majority of Muslim immigrants, etc., but there is a hardcore community of primitives who have taken up residence in Holland with every intention of making the Dutch conform to their barbaric views, rather than with the intention of assimilating.

    1. “I love how the “moderate” Muslim is all in favor of hauling into court anyone expressing the Wrong Views About Islam.”

      Geert Wilders wants to ban the Qur’an. He’s apparently running on it.

      I’m not in favor of government involvement anywhere here, but when I see somebody who wants to be prime minister running on banning the Qur’an, the first thing that pops into my head isn’t how Muslims want to abuse the use of government.

      1. Then don’t vote for the guy. Or run against him. Or debate him and make him look like a fool. But hauling him into a kangaroo court for wrongspeech, using the force of law to force an apology, and muttering darkly about how he needs to be “corrected” is a pretty obvious abuse. And unlike Wilders, these people actually have the power of government to make good on their threats.

        1. ^^THIS^^

          Too bad Holland isn’t more like America, where speech is speech and it is free. There is no law against hate speech here. We allow the unfettered free exchange of ideas even if they are distasteful and sickening.*

          * except under certain circumstances.

          1. There is no law against hate speech here.

            Well not yet anyway.

          2. Where in the world is Molly Norris ?

      2. Geert Wilders wants to ban the Qur’an. He’s apparently running on it.

        Well if the very same government can and has banned Hitler’s Mein Kampf, then why not the Koran? Indeed, that is why Wilders is on trial for hate speech – he dared to compare Islam with National Socialism. If the one book is banned because of its “hatefull” tenets, then why not the other?

        1. If Hitler had been more clever, he’d have proclaimed National Socialism to be a religion. That way Western liberals would be afraid to ban its holy book, or even criticize it….

        2. That is bizarre, isn’t it? Apparently books can be banned in the Netherlands, but it’s illegal to say a particular book should be banned. Oh, right. Only calling for certain books to be banned is illegal. So… how do they determine which books you cannot say should be banned?

  7. Gads, I am sick of every objection to Islam and Muslims being labeled “racism” and “xenophobia” and “prejudice.” Islam isn’t a race, a phobia is an irrational fear, and a considered judgment isn’t a “prejudice.”

    It’s perfectly rational to object to importing large numbers of people with views largely contrary to those of the people already living there, especially when the new immigrants are often rather (shall we say) aggressive about their beliefs.

    Is it really “xenophobia” to object to oppression of women, gay-bashing, increased crime, more welfare recipients, lots of people who don’t believe in separation of church and state, and who want to change their new country to be more like the Third World shitholes they came from?

    1. Moslem states do not oppress gay people. Tehran will not hang you for being gay if you just undergo sex change surgery and become a synthetic heterosexual.

      They allow gays as long as they are licensed and spayed. It is the hallmark of Western racism to evade that fact.

      1. They allow gays as long as they are licensed and spayed.

        We are talking about human beings, not dogs, you fucking imbecile! Forcing someone to be “licensed and spayed” is the very definition of oppression. Forcing someone to undergo sex change surgery is oppression.

        -1,000,000 for idiocy, go back to HuffPo

    2. +1000

      Exactly. This is getting totally puke-worthy. With half an ounce of brain one can project a linear demographic trend and see that the gay-loving, tolerant, drug-tolerating NICE Netherlands will no longer be Netherlands if replaced by Moroccans. But idiotic PC points still rule. RACISM RACISM RACISM. fuck that shit.

  8. “There’s only two things I hate in this world.”

  9. “Wilders is definitely in need of correcting. But in a healthy country, that would be the work of the voters, and not the legal system.”

    This is part of the point I’ve been trying to make lately in response to those who think moderate Muslims in the West need to do more to stand up for free speech…

    The fact is that the reluctance to stand up for the free speech of those who are saying awful and evil things about you is damn near universal–everybody wants to stand up for the free speech of those that agree with us…

    But if Geert Wilders is in any way representative of the free speech moderate Imams are supposed to stand up for, then I have a hard time criticizing such reluctance. It really is the pretty much the same reluctance people in the west experience when pressed to stick up for the free speech of radical Islamists…

    If you stand up for the free speech rights of people screaming “Death to America” with anything more than begrudging reluctance, then there’s something wrong with you…

    And the point is that if you’re among those who criticize moderate Imams for being reluctant to stick up for the free speech of those who are denigrating and ridiculing their religion, then these are the kinds of people you’re expecting them to stick up for–and not to be reluctant about doing it? They’re supposed to stick for them like they really mean it too?!

    Time to explain yourself.

    1. If Geert Wilders is in any way representative of the free speech moderate Imams are supposed to stand up for, then I have a hard time criticizing such reluctance.

      I think better “representatives of the free speech moderate Imams are supposed to stand up for” would be, to pick a couple of comically hyperbolic examples, a provocative artist who’s a close relative of the most famous artist in the history of the Netherlands, or a hippie chick who put a stick figure drawing in a community newspaper.

      I mean, of course the moderate Imams are going to call on their followers to murder anyone who opposes the conquest of Europe by Islam. That goes without saying. But wouldn’t you think a truly moderate Muslim would be happy to just see Molly Norris publicly beaten for a few hours?

      1. “I mean, of course the moderate Imams are going to call on their followers to murder anyone who opposes the conquest of Europe by Islam. That goes without saying. But wouldn’t you think a truly moderate Muslim would be happy to just see Molly Norris publicly beaten for a few hours?

        I’m not sure I follow what you’re saying here.

        Anybody who called for the murder in the street of Theo Van Gogh or Pim Fortuyn isn’t a moderate Muslim…

        But you don’t have to be a death fatwa issuing, screaming terrorist Mullah to be reluctant to stand up for the right of newspapers to make fun of your religious beliefs.

        Again, there’s the rights people have–that’s one thing–and then there’s jackass behavior, which despite being jackassery, should still be legal.

        Simple people can’t see any differences between those things–libertarians see the differences crystal clear. I can be against people acting like jackasses and still think jackassery should be perfectly legal.

        Putting out death threats on people for disparaging Islam? That isn’t just jackassery–of course that should be against the law! But being reluctant to advocate in favor of a newspaper that’s printing cartoons to offend your religious beliefs–on purpose–isn’t exactly the same thing as issuing a death threat.

        In fact, protesting newspapers that print stuff that offends you–isn’t that free speech too? If you think moderate Imams should stand up for the rights of those who are ridiculing them–in the name of free speech–then shouldn’t you be doing more to stand up for the rights of moderate Imams to criticize newspapers that ridicule Islam–in the name of free speech?

        Advocating against somebody’s religion shouldn’t be a crime, but when you start running for prime minister and arguing that the government should ban somebody’s holy book, that’s a little more than jackassery…

        He’s arguing for taking away their freedom to read what they want–he can’t then, out of the other side of his mouth, chastise them for their lack of enthusiasm for free speech.

        Holy Moly. That’s self-contradictory on its face.

  10. “Wilders is definitely in need of correcting. But in a healthy country, that would be the work of the voters, and not the legal system.”

    There is an enormous chasm between us then.

    I would much rather leave freedom of speech issues up to courts, up to the rule of law–my free speech rights aren’t for anyone else to vote on.

    My rights don’t exist or not based on what’s going on at the polls.

    Geert Wilders’ rights are just like mine that way–regardless of whether the government of The Netherlands chooses to ignore them.

    In a healthy country, the free market of ideas will ultimately ignore people like Geert Wilders.

    1. Yeah, but you’re not running for public office. We do vote on what we think about the speech (and actions) of politicians like Geert Wilders.

    2. My guess is that he means “work of the voters” in terms of supporting or not supporting him for office, not voting on the speech itself.

      1. I’m probably overly sensitive to the suggestion that anything smacking of people’s rights should be put to a vote.

        But given the astounding number of rights that seem to be up for a vote these days–from gay marriage to gun rights to marijuana legalization to a whole buffet of other things…

        Maybe being overly sensitive to the suggestion that anybody’s rights should be put to a vote is perfectly appropriate.

        1. I’m probably overly sensitive to the suggestion that anything smacking of people’s rights should be put to a vote.

          If were in the habit of declaring anything and everything that suited me as an unalienable right without an evidentiary leg to stand on, I’d be pretty torqued about having to submit the proposition to the judgement of a greater authority, too.

          1. God I love the 9th Amendment.

            If I could only save one, I’d let all the others drown and save the 9th.

            But you’re right, I suppose. It is hard to defend the existence of a right unless someone asserts it.

            By the way, I have a right to dye my hair any color I choose–and if that means the people starve to death, then I’m really gonna miss ’em.

            Evidence or no evidence.

            1. Do you concede I have the right to fire your ass when you show up to work with your purple dye job, or will you go whining to the courts for redress and compensation? Think about that honestly.

              1. The suggestion that employers have the right to fire their employees for dying their hair purple doesn’t even make me blink.

            2. God I love the 9th Amendment.

              The 9th Amendment only says the enumeration of certain rights does not deny the existence of other rights, not enumerated. It does not make any claims as to what those rights may or may not be. By your rationale, the 9th prohibits governments from making any laws at all. I seriously doubt that’s what the authors had in mind.

              1. It underscores the fact that my rights are not a gift of government.

                Consider their source–they come from me. They belong to me already, no matter what they are–yeah, the government better be careful not to squash them with their stupid laws.

                Still, the government’s got national defense, contract enforcement, a criminal law system–there’s lots of leeway there.

                So they can’t screw with my right to dye my hair whatever color I choose?

                Oh noes!

    3. Huh? Rosen isn’t saying his free speech should be up to voters. He’s saying the voters will “correct” him by not electing him, instead of the courts punishing him.

      1. And what if they elect him?

        Then what?

        It’s up to the voters? Hell no.

        1. Again: Huh?

          Neither I nor Rosen said anything about the legitimacy of his policies, only that if the people disagree with him they should show it at the polls.

          1. “Wilders is definitely in need of correcting. But in a healthy country, that would be the work of the voters, and not the legal system.”

            I’ll take my chances with the legal system–again, my rights are mine no matter whether the voters disagree.

            In a healthy country, what the voters think of Muslims and their rights wouldn’t matter at all.

            So a politician wants to ban the Qur’an?

            In a healthy country, what the voters think of a politician who wants to ban the Qur’an wouldn’t matter at all.

            1. Ken
              You have a major, major hole in your model of a nation above. A nation is made up of people. If you change the people, the nation changes. Its as simple as that. But leftist propaganda has been so fantastically successful that we are now calling this utter mundane, common-sense point “racist.”
              So what “ordinary citizens” think about Muslims will CHANGE because more and more “ordinary citizens” will be Muslims. And then the question of those other pesky “ordinary citizens” – the native Dutch will be up for a vote. BY then it’ll be too late.

              Come on, people. This isn’t rocket science. I’m all for an anarcho-capitalist utopia with freeholders + mutual associations banding up as they please and doing their own “immigration enforcement” but as long as the State assumes control of territorial integrity a la sovereignty the citizen has no way of registering his displeasure, especially with “anti-discrimination” laws that exist everywhere.

              So again…racism schmacism, change the people, you change the country. Second order change – the Constitution, laws and rights themselves.

              1. You’re gonna save future generations from their decision to become Muslim?!

                If non-Muslims become the minority in the future and require protection of their rights because of their minority status, then the solution isn’t to use democracy to denigrate the rights of the minority today.

                The solution is to protect minority rights despite what the majority wants–now, in the future and forever.

                If you’re suggesting that disparaging the rights of the minority today is the solution to protecting minority rights in the future, then the flaw isn’t in my argument…

                It’s in yours.

                1. Yes, because you know how well the rights of non-muslims are protected in muslim countries.

                  1. You’re right, we need to speak out on their behalf too!

                    Actually, I haven’t gone too far out of my way to speak up for anybody but me–and that’s kinda the point…

                    Expecting Muslims to stick up for the free speech rights of their anti-Muslim adversaries is a lot like expecting me to get all bent out of shape over some Progressive getting the short end of the stick…

                    I’m not about to go out of my way to stick up for any Progressives either.

                    1. No amount of “speaking up” is going to protect a non-Muslim minority from the Shariah juggernaut. The simple solution is to close off immigration to Muslims. Thats it. No more Mohammad Bouyeris need settle in the Netherlands.

  11. I was already planning on burning a Koran every day until Tehran stops lynching gay teens. Guess if they imprison him I will have to also burn a second one until he is released.

    Does anyone have some remaindered Korans?

  12. If the shit hits the fan in Europe this week and naturalized European Muslims are behind it, this type of speech is going to be exactly what it takes to get elected.

  13. So the Vietnamese have infiltrated the Netherlands and establishefd re-education camps, at which Mr. Wilders will apparently one of their first guests.

    Mr. Wilder may want to discuss political strategy with Loretta Sanchez.

  14. Dutch xenophobia

    Why is it that the oikophobes and alienists always insist in describing people with opposing views in clinical terms that usually end with a “phobe” or an “ism”, as if to suggest opposing views are symptoms of some sort of dysfunctional pathology?

    1. They’re exhibiting jismphobia. Or something.

    2. Interesting point. An Islamophobe would best describe someone who bows down to Islamic demands from fear.
      Someone who hates Islam should be known as mis-islamic and someone who opposes should be anti-islamic.

    3. as if to suggest opposing views are symptoms of some sort of dysfunctional pathology?

      You answered your own question.

  15. Geert. Wasn’t he the robot in The Day the Earth Stood Still?

    1. “Van Klaatu baradtrix nikdertooo”

      1. The aliens were speaking Dutch! What can that mean?

  16. My God, its full of shit!

  17. So the answer to Wilder’s call for infringing freedom of thought by banning the Koran is to prosecute him for expressing his thoughts?

    What a wierd world we live in.

  18. Huh, they’re putting the somewhat popular, prejudiced right-wing leader in prison for a short while. Well, maybe he’ll have time to reflect a bit, collect his thoughts, write a book about his struggle or what have you.

    1. I was just about to post that!

      Nice way to turn him into a folk hero …

    2. Wonder what happens if he names that book “Koran”?

  19. Hate speech laws are completely unnecessary. Tolerant speech is the proper response. For example, when I asked Pascrell (NJ8 – D) about raising the number of diversity visas to 1 million per year and opening the diversity lottery up to people from all nations, he refused on the grounds that people from “certain countries” were taking good paying jobs from Americans. I responded by writing a web article about it and getting a permit to hand out pamphlets at the largest train station in his district. The canvasing begins tomorrow morning. Outing the DINOs is rather easy, because most of them are bigots underneath the surface.

  20. I’m not sure, but I heard that he doesn’t actually want to ban the Koran but merely asked why Mein Kampf is banned but the Koran isn’t. ?

    1. No, he called for a ban of the Koran, using the ban of Mein Kampf as precedent.

      1. I couldn’t support the banning of any book
        however maybe a warning label about the content of books that incite violence and murder and a ban on selling them to children wouldn’t go amiss
        I’d hold that for the bible, torah, koran and mein kampf all of which contain incitement

  21. Yes racism schmacism, apparently converting your electorate progressively more Muslim is all very “tolerant” a la murders in daytime for people criticizing a religion. Libertarians need to think SERIOUSLY about immigration in the context of socio-cultural differences and demographics. If the native Dutch are replaced by Moroccans, apparently we are all supposed to think that Netherlands will remain Netherlands.

    1. You may not find a lot of people who agree with you about Moroccans specifically (Bad holiday in Marrakesh?), but I don’t think you’ll find too many libertarians around here who think governments don’t have any business making decisions about who they let across their borders.

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