Tuesday, April 26, 2005

EFI Biography--Geert Wilders

Who the heck is that?

A member of parliament in Holland who has been taken into a well guarded safe house to protect him from Islamic extremists.

Well guarded safe house? Some cushy joint with a view and room service?

Not exactly, he is living in a prison. The same prison the Lockerbie bombers were in as they awaited trial. "I have a kind of living room which is quite okay" he stated. "On either side there are the cells the two Libyans were held in. In one cell I have my clothing......In the other cell there is my bed."

So Geert is living in a prison and the people who have threatened him are on the outside, free to do as they please? What gives?

Well, after the murder of Pim Fortuyn who was an outspoken critic of multiculturalism and the shooting, stabbing and butchering of Theo Van Gogh, who dared criticize Muslim fundamentalism, the government is taking calls for Wilder's beheading much more seriously.

Some facts.

Wilder has started a new political party after breaking away from his former party the VVD in September of 2004.

Recent polls show his "Wilders Group" may win as much as 10% of the seats in the lower house of the Dutch parliament.

He was the foreign-affairs spokesman for the VVD but left the party because of his opposition to extending an invitation to Turkey to join the European Union.

His background in mainstream politics has made it hard for opponents to label him as a crackpot or racist.

Describes himself as a "Tocquevillian conservative". Andrew Stuttaford of National Review after reading his manifesto entitled "Declaration of Independence" describes his politics as an eclectic mix of small government conservatism, Atlanticism, free-market liberalism, Euro-skepticism, and populism. Above all, he is known for his criticism of Holland's failed policy of immigration and multiculturalism that has left a country of 16 million people with an Islamic population of about a million that has not been integrated.

Policy proposals or things that would make John Ashcroft blush.

Five year moratorium on immigration from non-western countries.

Deportation of dual nationals convicted of criminal offenses.

More public spending on assimilation, closing down extremist mosques and preventive detention of those in the small hard core of extremists, reasonably believed to be planning terrorists attacks.

Controversial statements.

"Islam and democracy are incompatible, but Muslims and democracy are compatible."

"Saving lives must come ahead of extending the full protection of Dutch law to those who would overthrow it."

Stuttaford's Take.

A work in progress. A man still trying to think through the full ramifications both of the complex and threatening situation now facing his country and of the remedies he proposes. He doesn't have all the answers but is one of the few in his country asking the right questions.

What is up with the hair?