At last, a politician with the courage to speak the truth openly. And for it, he may be killed. From UPI, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
The Hague, Netherlands, Dec. 1 (UPI) — Geert Wilders is a marked man. Ever since the slaying of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh on Nov. 2, the controversial anti-Islam politician has been living in fear for his life. He has had 20 to 30 death threats — including one offering 72 virgins in paradise to any Muslim who beheads him — and after the brutal murder of Van Gogh, Dutch police are taking no chances. Wilders is driven to a different safe house every night in an armored car, is permanently protected by a posse of bodyguards and only sees his wife two or three times a week.
“Politically it’s quite an interesting time, but personally it’s terrible,” he tells United Press International in a rare interview in the Dutch House of Representatives in The Hague. “Every morning I wake up, wonder where I am and what’s going to happen to me. It’s like the worst B-movie ever.”
Wilders, a 41-year-old former speechwriter with a boyish face and a shock of peroxide-bleached hair, says he is afraid for himself and his family, but refuses to be intimidated by the mountain of death threats. “I will never make any restraints on my freedom of speech. On the contrary, I will be even stronger and tougher saying the things I have to say because if we choose to moderate our voice or stop talking about these subjects, the people who use violence, bullets and knives to get their way will win.”
When it comes to Islam and how to deal with the Netherlands’ one million Muslims – more than 5 percent of the population — Wilders certainly pulls no punches. “I have a big problem with Islam but not with Muslims,” says the populist politician, who has worked and traveled widely in the Middle East. “I believe that democracy and Islam are totally incompatible and will always be incompatible. There is not one country in the Middle East which is a democracy or is governed by the rule of law.”
Like Pim Fortuyn, the openly gay former columnist who rocked Holland’s cozy political establishment with his anti-immigration rhetoric before he was gunned down in May 2002, Wilders believes Islam is a “backward religion” that has not gone through the same reformation as Christianity or Judaism and makes no separation between divine and earthly powers. “The political culture of Islam is retarded, and we should keep it as far away from us as possible. It is not our culture and religion, so it should not become dominant in the Netherlands or Europe.”
With studies predicting that if present trends continue Muslims will become the majority in the Netherlands’ four largest cities by 2020, Wilders says the only way to prevent the native Dutch from becoming a minority in their own land is to halt all immigration from non-Western countries for five years. “The day there are more Muslims than Christians in the Netherlands, I will leave this country whether I am a parliamentarian or not,” he said. “I wouldn’t feel it was my country any more.”
Wilders says he has no problem with the majority of Muslims who are “moderate and have nothing to do with terrorism.” But he believes the Dutch government should follow the example of Britain, France and Germany and be “as tough as possible with the growing minority of radical Muslims,” which he estimates makes up 10 percent of the Muslim population.
Describing radical Islam as “fascistic” for preaching that “all non-believers have to be eliminated,” the outspoken politician says: “I am sure we will lose our country — if we have not lost it already — if we don’t show who’s in charge in the Netherlands, what are the boundaries of our law and what happens when people step over the mark.”