Photo: Geert Wilders campaigning in Almere, the Netherlands
Tomorrow, in municipal elections in Almere, the Netherlands, Geert Wilders' PVV party -- Partij voor de Vrejheid, or Party for Freedom -- is poised to emerge the big winner as polls show PVV winning as much as 30 percent of the vote.
A few days ago, Geert Wilders spoke in Almere, an excellent speech full of insights into the Dutch political scene in the wake of its government having fallen. Toward the end of the speech, Wilders describes how his burgeoning political power to reverse the Islamization process may manifest itself.
I still have other good news for you. I heard from our party leaders in Almere and the Hague [the other city where the PVV joins the municipal elections], Raymond de Roon and Sietse Fritsma, what the main effort will be for the [coalition] negotiations in Almere and the Hague after March 3 [the municipal elections]: That will be a ban on headscarves in municipal bodies and all other institutions, foundations, or associations, if they receive even one penny of subsidy from the municipality. Thus an immediate ban on headscarves, get rid of that woman-humiliating Islamic symbol. And for all clarity: this is not however meant for crosses or yarmulkes, because those are symbols of religions that belong to our own culture and are not — as is the case with headscarves — a sign of an oppressive totalitarian ideology.
Wilders here is making the all-important distinction between Islam and other religions -- namely, Christianity and Judaism. It is a distinction that almost all others in public life are afraid to make, which is precisely why our civilization is in danger.
Baron Bodissey alerted me to this passage in the Almere speech because it so happens the Baron is reading my book The Death of the Grown-Up, which discusses this very subject -- banning the hijab -- but as it was implemented in France's public schools in such a way as to injure the West and its traditions.
From pp. 139-140:
In 2003, when the French government determined that Muslim girls, draped in the hijab, or head-wrapping veil, were inserting religion into the state-run and avowedly secular French classroom, it passed a law. The new law barred Muslim dress in the public schools. This ban on the hijab—a form of dress, like Muslims, that is relatively new to France--came at a very high, Judeo-Christian price. Also banned by law were the Star of David and the yamulke (Jewish skullcap), “large” crucifixes, along with the turban of the Sikhs. In other words, all these religious symbols, which, in modern times, had coexisted as harmoniously in France as their religions had, were suddenly stripped and hidden away from the public square. Why? The reason was to save Islam’s face: to make it appear as though the hijab hadn’t been singled out as an offending symbol, despite the fact that it was. And why was it so singled out? The answer has something to do with the fact that the hijab—unlike the Star of David, the yarmulke, the cross and the Sikh’s turban—symbolizes a Muslim way of life that makes sharia (Islamic law) the law of the land, any land. Allowing the headscarf, goes the argument, creates a climate hospitable to other special, extra-Western demands, from the insistence of Muslim men that their wives be treated by female doctors, to a refusal to tolerate certain Western set texts in the classroom, to the institution of such Islamic practices as no-interest loans, forced marriage, and polygamy, to the toleration of jihadist treason in the mosque, to, the Islamic hope goes, universal submission to sharia. No other religious symbol on earth packs this totalitarian punch. But France--and this has happened elsewhere, including Germany, where school hijab bans have also stripped nuns of their habits—has decided to pretend otherwise. Thus, for the government to bar a symbol of religious oppression, all other symbols of religion were judged oppressive also. In the name of tolerance, they were deemed equally provocative; in the name of inclusion, they were all banned.
In such a way is traditional (pre-Islamic) society dismantled, symbol by symbol, law by law. Are all religious symbols, and thus all religions, equally prone to incite trouble, if not terrorism? And are all religious symbols, and thus all religions equally imperialistic, and thus incompatible with an ecumenically based secular democracy? Of course not. But for France to admit Islam’s violent past, present and, to date, unreformed future, is to advance a case for discrimination—in this example, to justify a ban on the hijab of resurgent Islam, while justifying the acceptance of the cross of quiescent Christianity, the Star of David of beleaguered Judaism, and the turban of non-belligerent Sikhism. Such a judgment is a multicultural impossibility. Rather than resist the bigotry of the hijab, France (and by extension, the West), without even the courtesy of a show trial, will always plead guilty, admitting to the catch-all culpability of itself and its symbols—and hence, its beliefs.
Wilders' clarity on the hijab ban reveals why he is so important as a politician leading the reversal of the Islamization of the West. He defies the multicultural lock on truth as he rejects the cultural relatavist's denial of identity. For everyone's sakes, let's hope this is a winning combo at the polls tomorrow in Almere.