Beastweek decided to take a swipe at Geert Wilders this month -- no particular reason, just because he's still there. It's a singularly empty piece, a selection of complaints by Christopher Dickey rattling around, anchored by an almost comically validating chorus.
There’s no such thing as moderate Islam, Wilders insists, and he’s tired of hearing that radical Islam is something different from the mainstream faith.
BTW, Beastweek, Turkey's Erdogun goes ballistic at the very notion of "moderate Islam." The Turkish PM doesn't like assimilation, either -- calling it "a crime against humanity." But never mind. You're perfect the way you are. Don't ever change.
It means nothing to him that among Muslim believers there are many different sects and currents.
“He makes no distinctions whatsoever,” says Robert Leiken, author of the just-published study Europe’s Angry Muslims. “He wants to throw out the whole Quran because of some things that are objectionable—but you could say the same thing about the Book of Joshua.”
Robert Leiken, an old friend of mine, is the man who brought us all "The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood," which is kind of like the Edsel, or even the Titanic, for intellectuals. "Abrogation" doesn't seem to have entered the syllabus yet.
Back to Newsbeast:
Wilders refuses to concede the point. ...
Frankly, it's not Geert's point to concede. No sacred text of Islam supports "moderate Islam."
You start to wonder if Wilders really believes what he says or if he’s just staked out a position that suits him politically. The fight against Islam, he once told a protégé, is “our core business”—and Wilders has developed it for all it’s worth. His extremist stance often smells of cynicism and self-indulgence.
Here we go, ad hominem invective substituting for brain activity.
Cue up chorus:
“His weakness is that he plays the renegade, he still wants to position himself as being outside the establishment,” says Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an author and former Dutch parliamentarian whose critiques of Islam have been ferocious in their own right.
“Once upon a time it was necessary for him to distinguish himself by saying, ‘I take a stand, and I am a man of clarity.’”
I guess taking stands and clarity are out of fashion. Funny, I just wrote this week's column dissecting a very, very similar book-length attack on Hirsi Ali's seemingly former self.
That was then. These days the country’s ruling coalition stands or falls at Wilders’s discretion. And his antipathy toward Islam goes so far that when Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands wore a headscarf during a royal visit to the Gulf monarchies last week, Wilders complained that the Dutch government should have stopped her.
It's opposition to dhimmitude -- about which Newsbeast has zero clue.
“He has to move to the middle,” urges Hirsi Ali. “He has to distinguish between violent Islamists and nonviolent Muslims. You know, there are so many shades of Muslims right now, and he could use some of them as his allies.”
But it’s as if the rhetoric has taken control of the speaker.
“He has always loved attention and power,” says his largely estranged brother, Paul Wilders. “He has ruled out any sense of doubt.”
Blah, blah, and so it goes. To what end? I think the answer lies in the subtitle: "Can't Someone Tell Geert Wilders to Stop His Anti-Muslim Diatribes Before Someone Gets Hurt?" Speaking out about Islam, its laws, its history, its culture, is the cardinal sin of our age. It must be demonized as "diatribes." Wilders must be slandered as cynical and self-indulgent -- just as Hirsi Ali is, by the way, in the book I mentioned above (Wanted Women). The truth must be rendered as toxic as the truth-tellers.
To that end, the acolytes of Islamic appeasement blame discourse, debate, analysis, cartoons for causing people to get hurt, putting the acolytes (dhimmi) in compliance with Islamic law. Whether it's Pope Benedict at Regensberg or Pastor Jones in the Florida scrub, the acolytes live to make them all, pope, pastor, politician, shut up -- again, in compliance with Islamic law. Most of the time they succeed. Even Hirsi Ali seems to have "evolved," certainly since she made the statements and stands cited in Wanted Women, which I discuss in this week's upcoming column as a treatise in post 9/11 moral equivalence.
But I don't think any of them can touch Wilders. Beastweek swipes in vain.