By Abu Noor
Some people describe him as something like a phenomenon while others describe him as a demagogue, it is hard not to have an opinion about the controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders. Ever since he broke away from the liberal party in 2004, Wilders message can be summed up in one word; ‘Islamophobia’. It was shocking to see the polls today, which showed that if elections were held at this very moment, Wilders’ Freedom Party, an absolute one issue party, would be the second largest party in the Netherlands with 25 seats in parliament.
How does he pull it off? The man with the hair-do Mozart would dream of knows how to work the media. Like a true director he manages to stage the most bizarre things, thus creating a media hype many rock stars are jealous of.
Wilders never appears in talk shows, where he does not have full control of what happens, but rather does the most extreme things to ensure media attention and a platform through which he can voice his thoughts without going into public debates about this. By ignoring some media outlets, Wilders cleverly ensures that he will not normalize himself as a politician, while these outlets can’t afford it to ignore the man and his statements. Apparently there really is no such thing as bad publicity.
After a successful run at home, Geert has decided that it is time for him to grace the rest of the world with his ridiculous ideas. He has taken his anti-Islam film Fitna on the road for all of us to see. Even though his film wasn’t a major success in the Netherlands, it was such a poor film even Muslims agreed that it would be a waste of time to complain about it, Wilders is trying to reach out to the rest world for two reasons. The first is trying to warn the West and its allies for Islam, the Holy Qur’ an, Muslims and Muslim majority countries, for it is Islam and the Muslims which are a fundamental threat for Western values. The second is a lot more pragmatic, his political party is in need of money.
At the moment Wilders is touring the US, where he made an appearance on the O’reilly Factor on Fox News. He scolded his fellow countrymen, saying they were “Big fat cowards” for not speaking out against Islam more and insiniuated that the founding of Eurabia would only be a matter of time. During a lecture in New York earlier this week, Wilders underlined the above with the following statement: “Today, I come before you to warn of a great threat. It is called Islam. It poses as a religion, but its goals are very worldly: world domination, holy war, Sharia law, the end of the separation of church and state, slavery of women, the end of democracy. It is NOT a religion, it is an political ideology. It demands your respect, but has no respect for you.”
It is empty opinions such as these that endanger the very values Wilders claims he loves so dearly. Yes, there are some deep socio-economic problems with a fair number of Muslims in the Netherlands, but pushing away groups of people does not in any way contribute to making the Netherlands a better place for all its citizens.