Why I Am a Christian

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Geert Wilders Speaks

     Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament. In fact, he is the leader of the fourth largest party in that admittedly fragmented chamber. Yet his parliamentary office is located in a remote area of the building, accessible by only a single corridor, all the more difficult for assassins to reach it and for his bodyguards to protect him. He must leave in an armoured police car to a safe house especially designed to be bullet proof. He can meet his wife only once a week. When he wants to go out, even for electioneering, he must give his protectors one day's notice, and then wear a bullet proof vest and be accompanied by six plain clothes policemen. So why do so many people talk and act as if he were the villain, and not a victim?
     Wilders claims that Islam is a violent and dangerous ideology which is incompatible with the Western way of life. Because of this, they want to kill him! The threats are taken seriously, because Islamists have, in fact, plotted to kill him, as they have murdered, or attempted to murder, others who have "insulted" Islam. Under these circumstances, and in view of the terrorist attacks in New York, Britain, Bali, Spain, Bombay, and Kenya (have I missed any?), and the continuing atrocities in Nigeria and Iraq, a reasonable person might suspect that, just possibly, his thesis might be worth considering. Nevertheless, even discussing the idea is anathema to the political establishment, who never cease to vilify him. They even attempted to prevent him from entering our own country, Australia.
     I've already got more books than I can handle. Nevertheless, for my 65th birthday I received a book voucher from my stepdaughter and her husband, so I thought it was time to order Wilders' own book, Marked for Death, Islam's war against the West and me (Regnery Publishing, Washington, 2012). I am glad I did. Somehow, from the hoopla of criticism surrounding him, I had assumed he would be some sort of firebrand. Quite the reverse! He presents as a well-spoken intellectual providing a logical and coherent story without any inflammatory language, but with complete documentation covering 55 pages of notes.
     Now for a confession: not much of what he wrote was new to me. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s I did my own research into the theology and history of Islam, thus placing me in the enviable position of not having to do catch-up research when the War of Terror broke out, and allowing me to gauge whether books like this are mere polemics. Also, I have been keeping track of the situation in Europe. But for those who haven't, this is an ideal entrance to the field.
     I shan't review the publication chapter by chapter. He starts with recording the murders and attempted murders perpetrated in his part of the world by the "religion of peace". And he doesn't disguise the price he himself has paid for his forthrightness.
     During this period, my wife and I were not allowed to have any visitors - no family, no friends, no colleagues. When the cleaners came, we had to move out so that they would not see us. For a few weeks, we lived in a small wooden house near the runway on the Soesterberg military airbase. From there we were taken to a jail in Camp Zeist, having been informed that a prison was one of the safest places for us to stay. The guards drove me to Parliament every morning and back again every evening. Every morning at 7:00, including the weekends, the lights automatically switched on in our cell, as they did in all other cells. After I complained several times that we should not be treated like common prisoners, they finally put our cell on a different circuit than the rest of the prison so we could control our own lights. [p 21].
     Not surprisingly, he has had time to read the Koran several times over, and makes free to quote it. Now, I can see a criticism coming up, so I had better defuse it. It is easy enough to cherry pick a sacred text for passages which, taken out of context, can be made to sound terrible. (Of course, for some texts this is easier than for others.) It is also possible to cherry pick positive texts. The real issue is how the believers use them. In that respect, for example, someone who knew nothing about Christianity might find it better to read the creeds and confessions of faith before tackling the Bible in depth. In the case of Islam Wilders does the right thing in providing the historical background - a background of which I am familiar, and can vouch for.
     Muhammad's preaching in Mecca met with persecution from the dominant Qureish tribe, so he and his followers fled to Yathrib, soon to be renamed Medina. Muslim historians - the only ones available for the events - are quite clear that he then set about waging war on the Qureish, raiding their caravans, violating the pilgrims' peace at Tayif, where they cut down unarmed men, sponsored assassins, broke treaties, and parceled off the widows and daughters of his victims as sex slaves. He drove out two of the three Jewish tribes of Medina, and executed the whole male population of the third tribe, the Qureizah, 600 - 900 men, while selling their widows and children into slavery.
     To be fair to Muhammad, in this he was simply acting like a normal seventh century Arab. In other ways he was very enlightened. The worst that can be said about him is that his faults were those of his society, while his virtues were his own - which, after all, is the best that can be said for any of us. But can you imagine how Christianity would have turned out if Jesus had acted like that?
      Following his death, his successors swept out of Arabia, attacking and conquering the Persian and the eastern half of the Byzantine Empires simultaneously, within a hundred years reaching the Pyrenees. By no stretch of the imagination could these be classed as defensive wars. In each case, they gave the other monotheists three options: convert, pay tribute, or fight. If they chose the last, and lost, their goods and their women were forfeit to the Arab conquerors. All Muslims know this history. It's a pity more of us don't. God only knows how many men were killed and women raped in the establishment of Islam, but it must never be forgotten that these were not crimes committed by tyrants under cover of religion. They were committed by men who bore the same relationship to Muhammad as the Twelve Apostles did to Jesus, and who were, in all other ways, models of uprightness.
     Wilders has always insisted that he is not against Muslims, but Islam, and that although there are many moderate Muslims, there is no moderate Islam. (And if you wonder just how moderate these "moderates" are, check out these opinion polls.) So let me therefore state here what I've been saying privately for a couple of decades before the War on Terror even began:
  • The average Muslim is peaceful because the average Muslim, like the average Christian, is slack. They attend the mosque irregularly, if at all, and are cavalier in their attitude to their religious duties.
  • Probably most of those who are genuinely religious nevertheless simply desire the quiet life. (Nevertheless, a German study reveled that Muslim boys from religious families are more violent than those from non-religious families.)
  • The current crop of terrorists are extreme even by Islamic standards. Nevertheless, Islam has a tendency to sprout terrorists on a regular basis, the only difference being that, in the past, they used to direct their aggression on fellow Muslims. The Kharajites and the Assassins were the medieval equivalents of Hamas and al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, in the eyes of their fellow Muslims they may be extreme, but at least they are extreme in the right cause, for it is the unbelievers who are the real enemy.
  • The doctrine of jihâd is fundamental to Islam. The Islamic society is obliged to conquer non-Muslims by force and, if they are monotheists, compel them to pay a special tax, and suffer various other indignities. Look up the "Pact of Omar" if you don't believe me. Any Muslim who leaves the religion must be killed. These are fundamental Islamic teachings. You can no more expect a mufti to renounce them than for a bishop to renounce the Great Commission to preach the gospel throughout the world. Nevertheless, it is about time we called them out on this. When any Islamic leaders decry terrorism, we ought to insist they publicly renounce these three doctrines - not just for our own countries, not just as a temporary deferral, but absolutely and without reservations. If anything else, it will make them squirm.
     You will be interested to know that the author, despite being ensconced in the Netherlands, is familiar with the Australian scene. He even quoted our own mufti, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali's famous "cat's meat" speech in his chapter on the negative Islamic attitudes towards women.
     I wish everybody would read the chapter entitled, "The Yoke of Ishmael". In contrast to the enduring myth that the creation of Israel in 1948 is somehow the cause of Muslim anti-Semitism, he lists anti-Jewish pogroms in Palestine itself in the years 1920, 1929, and 1936, as well as 16 separate pogroms in other parts of the Middle East prior to the creation of Israel. He also makes the common sense point, ignored by nearly every commentator, that the West Bank is not "occupied", illegally or not, and hasn't been since 1967. It was part of the UN Mandate set aside for Israel, but which was illegally occupied by Jordan after the 1948 war, its Jewish inhabitants expelled, and even their cemeteries desecrated.
     Of course, it is well established that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who had incited the Palestinian pogroms, set up a mutual admiration society with the leading Nazis, and Adolf Eichmann himself gave him a private tour of Auschwitz and the gas chambers. As Wilders comments:
It is ironic that some of my critics accuse me and other patriots - who defend our national identity against Islamization and who honor Charles Martel and John III Sobieski as heroes of Western civilization - of fascism and Nazism. It is Islam that lays claim to that charge. [p 44]
     There is just so much information present in this book - all fully documented, of course. For example, there is the scale of Islamic slavery - right now, spilling over into our own countries! - and the humiliating treatment of non-Muslims, again, at this very moment. But I hope Australians and Americans also read the chapter on Muslim enclaves in Europe, because the populations over there are much higher, and provide a terrible foretaste of what awaits our own countries if we continue with Muslim immigration. You will read about "sensitive urban zones" (an official French term) where the police cannot enter, and even ambulances and fire engines are turned back, of rioting gangs, violence against and harassment of the native population, particularly women, and so forth - all financed fully by the taxpayer, courtesy of the welfare state.  But I shouldn't need to tell you about this, if you've been following the horrific news of the Rotherdam sex grooming scandal. It is part of a much wider phenomenon. From there he continues with the constant attempts to appease the monster, actions which go well beyond reasonable adjustments to exotic beliefs: actions such as the toleration of veiling the face in public, the segregation of men and women in municipal swimming pools, the rackets of halal certification and shari'a banking.
     You should also read the chapter about "The Facilitators" ie those political groups who assist the Islamisation of their own countries. He correctly, in my opinion, identifies the primary motive as cultural relativism. (I could suggest some additional, baser motives.) These people are convinced that all cultures are equal, and our own less equal than all the others, and so they cannot imagine that any foreign culture might actually be - hell forbid! - bad, or that any opposition to Islam can be motivated by anything other than right-wing intolerance. People who have no hesitation in criticizing Christianity rush to the defense of any religion whose followers are predominantly foreign, and who are opposed to our own society. Yet the irony is, it is against everything they themselves stand for. Everyone knows that the women's libbers, the gay libbers, the sexual liberationists, the socialists, the atheists, and the hedonists will be the first ones up against the wall when the Islamic revolution comes.
     The other motive is the importation of voters. He documents the manner in which parties of the left have unscrupulously sought to replace the native population with imported voters they can bribe with the offer of welfare. Some of them have made no bones about their intentions in that regard. Why do you think the American Democrats encourage illegal Hispanic immigration, or a former deputy Labor Prime Minister stated his aim to turn Australia into a "Eurasian country"? Have a look at who benefits from the Muslim vote in Britain. But, ironically, once they make that Faustian bargain, they become prisoners of the those they imported.
     But the most outrageous activities of the facilitators is their attack on free speech. You may think our "anti-vilification" laws are outrageous, but at least in Australia the political activists have to sue you. In Europe the Government can put you on trial - and they have done so with a number of people. But you don't need to accept Wilders' own account of his trial; you can just check the Wikipedia account. The Netherlands is a place where not only do you get tried by judges without benefit of a jury, but the judges can tell the prosecutors to prosecute you! And now they have done it again.

     I think it was Robert Spencer who likened modern Islam to Sauron in The Lord of the Rings. An ancient enemy is rising again. Once it was defeated, but not destroyed. However, that was long ago, and the stories of the ancient conflict have the air of fairy tales. But now it is back. It is important that it be defeated before it gains too much strength. And for that, it is important we understand it.
     If you want a clear, well-written, non-inflammatory summary of the nature of Islam, and the problems now being produced in Western societies, you will be well advised to read Marked for Death by Geert Wilders. You probably won't see it in Australian or American bookstores, but it can easily be obtained online, or even ordered through the bookstore itself. Ignore the slanders of the facilitators; 99% of them have never read it, or heard him speak, but are merely relying on the word of other facilitators.
      You can probably still obtain a free copy of the Koran from the Saudi Arabian embassy. At least, that is where I got mine. But remember what I said previously: it is easy enough to cherry pick verses, but it is not up to you to decide what an orthodox Muslim must believe; what is important is what they do believe. You can also reference a very useful resource online under the title of WikiIslam. It also provides a good article on how Muslims attempt to deceive outsiders about their doctrines.
     Books on the history and theology of Islam can be found in reference libraries. However, an easily accessible work is Sir William Muir's classic biography of Muhammad, which can be read and/or downloaded online. It has been taken wholly from Muslim sources. The same thing can be said for his history of the Caliphate set up by Muhammad's successors. (It can also be read here.)
     As for Islam's impact on Western nations, there are many websites available, but they should be read critically. Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum, is always worth reading. Gates of Vienna is a partisan blog, but it does cover a lot of the troubles in Europe, often as translations of European newspapers. It also has a daily "news feed" on a variety of events unconnected with its main subject matter, which will help fill you in about events aboard.
     Know your enemy. He has been around for nearly 1,400 years, and now the old, old conflict has entered a new phase.