Many conservative pundits write and lecture on the threat of radical Islam. Almost none, however, possess political power. Geert Wilders is an exception. Head of the Netherlands’ third largest political party – the Party for Freedom – Wilders is on a mission to halt Islam’s advance in the West.
In May, Wilders published his first book, Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me (Regnery Publishing). In it, Wilders, as is his wont, ventures beyond the bounds of political correctness. For instance, unlike many other prominent politicians – including those on the Right – Wilders refuses to call Islam a “religion of peace.” In the book, he unabashedly writes:
• “Islam is the problem – and we should not be afraid to say so.”
• “[T]here are many moderate Muslims, but there is no moderate Islam.”
• “Islam…is a totalitarian system aiming for political domination of the world.”
• “[O]ur civilized Western culture is far superior to the barbaric culture of Islam.”
In short, Wilders is a breath of fresh air in a world that has gone mad in its attempts to reassure itself that 99.9 percent of Muslims are peace-loving citizens. As Wilders documents in the book, many Muslim immigrants yearn to impose Islamic culture and law on the West, yet the political class says virtually nothing. Those who do speak up are immediately tagged xenophobes and bigots.
As Mark Stein – possibly the greatest English satirist alive today – writes in his foreword to Wilders’ book: “[A]t election time in Europe, the average voter has a choice between a left-of-center party and an ever so mildly right-of-left-of-center party, and whichever he votes for, they’re generally in complete agreement on everything from mass immigration to unsustainable welfare programs to climate change. And they’re ruthless about delegitimizing anyone who wants a broader debate.”
Marked for Death is not a literary masterpiece. The writing is engaging enough, but thematically, the book seems a bit disjointed at times with Wilders liable to jump from Mohammed’s military conquests in the 7th century to the murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Muslim radical in 2004 to pedophilia in Islamic culture (it is apparently “widely condoned”).
Nonetheless, the book is important for three reasons. First, it contains a chock full of interesting information. Among many other items, Wilders writes about Mohammed’s marriage to Aisha (he was in his 50s, she was six); the Koran’s numerous anti-Semitic and violent verses; and Islam’s disturbing history of slavery (which amazingly continues to the present day).
Second, Wilders is great at finding little-known damning quotes about Islam. For example, Aldous Huxley wrote in 1925 (a tad too pessimistically), “In fifty years’ time, it seems to me, Europe can’t fail to be wiped out by these [Muslim] monsters.” A century earlier, John Quincy Adams predicted that the conflict between Christianity and Islam cannot “cease but by the extinction of that imposture [Islam], which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man.”
Most importantly, though, the book is valuable because Wilders wrote it, and Wilders deserves every bit of support he can get. Thanks to his outspokenness against Islam, Wilders regularly receives death threats and was forced to flee his home in 2004. Today, he lives in a bullet-proof safe house under 24/7 armed guard. As Wilders writes, “I have not walked the streets on my own in more than seven years.” Perhaps that’s just as well since Muslim immigrants have overrun Wilders’ old neighborhood, Kanaleneiland, transforming it into a crime zone.
Wilders, however, is not backing down. In 2008, he produced “Fitna,” a 17-minute documentary on violence and the Koran, which generated enormous controversy. And in 2010, his Party for Freedom, which he founded four years earlier, won 16 percent of the vote, becoming the Netherland’s third largest party. Due to his influence, the government agreed to decrease immigration from Muslim countries (Wilders wants it abolished completely); increase pressure on immigrants to assimilate into Dutch culture; and reject elements of multi-culturalism, which Wilders blames for creating the Netherlands’s Muslim problem in the first place.
One need not agree with all of Wilders’ ideas. For example, some may reject his call to ban new mosques in the United States and Europe. Others may question the wisdom of banning the Koran in the Netherlands (Wilders argues that the Koran is no less dangerous than Hitler’s Mein Kampf which the Netherlands bans). Indeed, some of Wilders’ ideas landed him in court in 2009 for “incitement to hatred and discrimination” – a trial that Wilders says was a “farce” and “an anti-democratic exercise to suppress my freedom.” (He was acquitted in 2011.)