Geert Wilders a fascist?

Rusty over at the Jawa Report has asked me to respond to his post here, entitled, “Cheers for Geert Wilders’ Bravery at Standing Against the Islamist Tide, Jeers for his Fascist Tendencies.”

Fascist tendencies? I’ve already explained, in this post, that Wilders’s call to ban the Qur’an is simply a call for consistency: his native Netherlands bans Mein Kampf as hate speech, and yet pays no attention to the manifest power of the Qur’an to incite to violence. The Netherlands should either stop banning books altogether or be consistent about it.

But Rusty is also concerned about a couple of elements in a speech Wilders gave several days ago in Florida, the text of which I posted here.

2. Stop pretending that Islam is a religion. Islam is a totalitarian ideology. In other words, the right to religious freedom should not apply to Islam.

So, Wilders wishes to do what exactly to Islam? I think there is something about “free exercise” in the First Amendment. But maybe Wilders has a different Bill of Rights than I do?

Even if Islam isn’t strictly a “religion” in the way we normally define religion in the West. Even if it is a totalitarian ideology, so what? How is banning a political ideology any better than banning a religious ideology? […]

What we need in the fight against political Islam are not laws making us less free. This is an ideological fight. Ideas need to be fought with ideas. We didn’t ban the CPUSA, yet we won the Cold War anyway.

I disagree with Wilders’s statement that Islam is not a religion. Islam is certainly a religion — a belief-system that, like other religions, purports to relate human beings to the divine. But at the same time, I understand why he says that Islam is not a religion — because the strictly religious aspects of Islam are actually of no concern to unbelievers at all. It makes no difference to me if a Muslim wants to pray five times a day, or read the Qur’an, or believes that Muhammad is a prophet — except insofar as it impinges me as a political program that demands my conversion, subjugation, or death.

The U.S. indeed did not outlaw the Communist Party of the USA, but it did move actively to suppress Communist activity, driving the party almost completely underground after World War I and always working energetically against Communist subversive activity in the United States. The religious aspects of Islam obscure the fact that Islamic jihadists are pursuing a political program that seeks, no less unmistakably than did the Communists, to replace the U.S. Constitution with a system that would deny many basic rights guaranteed by that Constitution.

The political program of Islam is generally not recognized in the U.S. today, but nonetheless there are many groups dedicated to carrying it out. They should not be allowed the protection of a religious cover to obscure their criminal and seditious activity. Section 2385 of the federal criminal code states that “whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government”¦shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.”

I don’t believe that is a fascist law. And this already existing law — revised as of January 2, 2006 — could and should be applied to Islamic groups that call for implementation of Sharia in the U.S., and work toward that implementation. In short, just as freedom of religion was not deemed to be a sufficient justification for Mormon polygamy in the late nineteenth century, so now freedom of religion should not be deemed to be sufficient justification for agitation on behalf of a system of laws that would deny freedom of speech and the equality of rights of all people before the law.

And there is nothing fascist about saying so.

Rusty also objects to this from Wilders’s speech:

The inconsistencies get even worse. Recall that Wilders also called for freedom of assembly in yesterday’s press release. But look at number 9 on his list of things Europe must do to stop Islamization:

9. Stop the building of new mosques. As long as no churches or synagogues are allowed to be build in countries like Saudi-Arabia we will not allow one more new mosque in our western countries. Close all mosques where incitement to violence is taking place. Close all Islamic schools, for they are fascist institutions and young children should not be educated an ideology of hate and violence.

So, Muslims will not be given freedom of assembly either? I’m not sure what else a mosque represents other than a place for Muslims to freely assemble.

Well, let’s see. What does a mosque represent other than a place for Muslims to freely assemble? Recently we have seen mosques used to preach hatred; to spread exhortations to terrorist activity; to house a bomb factory; to store weapons; to disseminate messages from bin Laden; to demand (in the U.S.) that non-Muslims conform to Islamic dietary restrictions; to fire on American troops; to fire upon Indian troops; to train jihadists; and much more.

And let’s look at what Wilders actually said. Did he say close all the mosques and deport all the Muslims? No, he did not. His ninth point makes three recommendations. First is “stop the building of new mosques. As long as no churches or synagogues are allowed to be build in countries like Saudi-Arabia we will not allow one more new mosque in our western countries.”

This is a call for reciprocity that many others have made. Even Russia, ordinarily a friend of the jihad, asked the Saudis to allow the building of a church in Saudi Arabia in exchange for a mosque in Moscow. The Roman Catholic bishop of Mainz, Germany, asked to celebrate Mass in Saudi Arabia, in light of the presence of so many mosques in Europe. Is asking that non-Muslims be accorded the same respect and consideration in Muslim countries that Muslims are accorded in the West essentially a fascist request? I don’t see why.

Second, Wilders says: “Close all mosques where incitement to violence is taking place.” Is Rusty seriously objecting to this? Incitement to violence should just continue in these places, because they are religious? It is “fascist” to want to close down places that preach violence against innocents? I don’t buy it. Wilders is not saying to close all the mosques. Why not make the distinction be that those that do not teach hatred of the Infidel and the need to subjugate him, by violence if necessary, are free to stay open? That’s fascist? Come on.

And finally, Wilders says: “Close all Islamic schools, for they are fascist institutions and young children should not be educated an ideology of hate and violence.” Here again, it is true that in many Islamic schools children are educated in an ideology of hate and violence. Iranian textbooks teach children to fight against Allah’s enemies by learning combat techniques; an Islamic school in Ottawa was teaching hatred of Jews; Islamic schools in West Africa have been hubs of human trafficking; Pakistani Islamic schools are jihad factories; an Islamic school in the U.K. was shut down for ties to terrorism and for preaching hatred of Christians and Jews; and an Islamic school in Virginia taught that adulterers and apostates should be killed.

If, in light of all this and more, Islamic schools are not to be shut down, what assurances can Muslim leaders give us that none of this will go on within them? Will they throw open their doors to inspections? In reality, the current is moving in just the opposite direction. I have not called for all Islamic schools to be shut down, and think there is a great deal that authorities can do and have not so far done in order to call them to account short of shutting them down, but here again, I don’t see that it is “fascist” or denying Muslims their freedom of religion to want to protect oneself from what have been hotbeds of violence and subversion all over the world. I propose that Islamic schools in the West remain open if they institute transparent, inspectable programs teaching against jihad violence and Islamic supremacism, and teaching the necessity to live with Infidels as equals in a secular society on an indefinite basis, without attempting to impose Sharia over them.

In any case, I don’t think Rusty is justified in calling Geert Wilders a fascist on the basis of these points — or any other. But of course, libelblogger Charles Johnson is crowing that Rusty has posted this, although he seems to have missed that Rusty said this: “I don’t think CJ’s guilt by association stance is very fair.” Uh, yep.

UPDATE: The great thinker defines fascism!

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