Monday, March 08, 2010

When Harry met Geert...

This will be the third part of my inadvertent mini-series on Geert Wilders and related subjects. Here I pointed to the reciprocal love affair between Geert Wilders and Israel, here to unsurprising support of Wilders by the EDL and Pamela Geller.

What's perhaps even less of a surprise, at least with hindsight, is that at least one contributor ('Sophia') at Harry's Place is in 'two minds' about Geert Wilders:

There are examples aplenty of politicians seeking election who, at worst, like Galloway, exploit Muslim communities and themselves have adopted the Hamas platform; at best one sees Labour politicians eager for votes apparently signaling their acceptance of certain aspects of anti-liberal culture. Media, even the formerly liberal/left Guardian, seem to have become platforms for the most radical interpretations of anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Semitic writers.

Apart from the ridiculous swipe at Galloway, who doesn't support Hamas, only the Palestinian people's right to elect who they see fit, this paragraph seems to imply that British politicians should shun support from Muslim constituents, on the basis that they're... Muslim. Hard to think of anything more racist, of course.

Then she quips:

So, I hate to admit it but my feelings about Geert Wilders are becoming more mixed than I would wish.

I've followed Harry's Place for a couple of years now and up to about 18 months or so I didn't usually disagree with their posts on Radical Islam and self-professed Muslim Jihadists. But HP's contributorship and Kommentariat have undergone profound changes since then: there's an increasing number of quite conservative American contributors and commenters alike hanging out there, many suffering from a 9/11-induced lobotomy (where that sense of justice used to be) and whose beef isn't with radical manifestations of Islam but, like Wilders, with Islam itself and with Muslims.

At the time of my writing, the post had received 161 comments and perhaps naively I expected some serious counter-fire from such a crowd. I was right but for the wrong reasons. Counting the numbers of comments that were clearly and unequivocally in favour of Wilders' lunacy, discounting 'Sophia's' own comments, discounting double and unclear comments, I counted 107 comments that came out in favour of Wilders (about two thirds or 66 % - in election terms a 'landslide victory'). 'Sophia' essentially got blasted for her unforgivable undecision on the subject of 'Dear Geert'...

Most of HP's support for Wilders is along the lines of the alleged incompatibility between 'Western Values' and 'Islam'. This is of course a complete red herring. Of the legal citizens/residents of any country can be expected one thing and one thing only: that they abide by the Law of the Land. This is precisely what the overwhelming majority of British (or Dutch or whatever) Muslims (or whatever) do. When they don't they're subject to legal due process like anyone else. To believe otherwise is indeed to be deeply racist.

It shows also once again that despite all the clamour about a tidal wave of antisemitism engulfing Ole' Blighty, Weimar-style, the really socially acceptable form of racism here is in fact Islamophobia.


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