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A Frenchie travelling the world...

09 August 2007

Gert Wilder and the Koran

Dear readers,

I just wanted to react to the hot topic of the day in the Netherlands. The leader of the PvV (Party for Freedom, an extreme right wing small Dutch party), Gert Wilders, has asked for a ban on the Koran in the Netherlands, comparing the Muslim holy book to Mein Kampf. As you can imagine, this has stirred quite some reactions, not only from the Muslim community, but also from the media, the government and, more interestingly, from lawyers. Two lawyers are suing Wilders on the basis that he is attacking the Dutch "samenleving" concept. This concept means that The Netherlands ability to survive as a crowded small multicultural country is based on a relative tolerance and the possibility to "live together" ("samenleven" in Dutch) peacefully.

Wilders has attacked this relentlessly indeed, even since before his election in the Tweede Kamer (the Dutch lower chamber of the Parliament). His targets are mainly the left wing SP (and anything vaguely socialist) and the Muslim community and concepts. He likes also to fire at will on the conservative government. His favorite tactics are slander, calomny, veiled threats and Parliament open questions... This is resented by many in the Netherlands, but not all, as the PvV enjoys a small but significant level of electoral support.

This last outburst though is probably one too many. The Netherlands is a very religious society (very comparable to the USA in that matter) and most its social and educational system, as well as part of its political system is confessionally based. While most political and social movement are Christian (Catholics and Protestants are roughly representing 45% of the population each), the Muslim community is strong here and sometimes quite radicalised. Muslims here have schools, mosques and social organisations. Attacking their most basic faith is a very dangerous game. Not that they might retaliate physically (it is not to be excluded, but Wilders is quite paranoid and pretty well protected), but because of the parallels that could be made.

I have read the Koran myself (though not in its original language, unfortunately) as well as the Bible and some other "holy books". To be honest, the Muslim sacred book is not worse nor better than most of the others. It is for some parts fairly violent, unfair and one sided. For other parts it is tolerant, open and poetic. The same can be said of most of these books. Attacking one on the fact that parts of it are violent is in a way attacking all the others. And that is something that most Dutch people, Christians, Jews and Muslims alike are not ready to accept...

10 comments:

Mohamed El Kortbi said...

Nous musulmans, nous n'avons aucune crainte en ce qui concerne notre livre saint, le Coran, car, nous croyons que Dieu se charge de le protéger.

Nous le lisons quand nous fêtons un joyeux évènement,nous le récitons quand nous passons par des moments difficiles. Il nous protège et éclaire notre vie.

Alphast said...

Et je respecte ça. Et c'est aussi pour cela que la réaction de Wilders est stupide. Il oublie que ce qui est important, c'est ce que les gens font d'un livre... comment ils le lisent.

Mohamed El Kortbi said...

Peut être Wilders n'a jamais lu le Coran ou un autre livre saint !

Alphast said...

Je le soupçonne de l'avoir bien lu, mais, comme souvent font les idéologues, de n'y avoir cherché que ce qui soutenait son point de vue. "Il n'y a pire aveugle que celui qui ne veut pas voir" (ça, ce n'est pas dans le Coran, mais dans la Bible). Il en a retenu seulement les sourates qui paraissent agressives ou intolérantes aux yeux d'un occidental et ignoré les autres...

Anonymous said...

hey gert,
be careful these people r animals, still live in the 7th century !!! i agree and a lot of us here in america feel the same way u do. it seems they get away with what ever they want to say and use our laws to protect there evil ways, just look at cair, a muslim orginazation to promote hate !!! we have lids and dems here that r to stupid to see what they r doing !!!
take care !!!!!!

Michael said...

From an Englishman (who speaks reads and writes fluent French and has read all the comments in that language):
While all ye Holy Books do indeed contain a mixture of more strident and more peace-loving material, let's look at the facts:
Christians say, "Belief in Christ is the only way to achieve Eternal Life"; Chrisians do not propose to kill or even defeat anybody who rejects Christ, but have only compassion for the error of his ways and for his lost soul.
Jews say, "We have the correct handle on what God has ordained. Join us in obeying His 613Commandments as laid out in the Torah." Jews indeed stay separate, but have no sanction against those who (temporarily) reject the Jewish interpretation of God's Word.
And Muslims? ... Ahhh, a different story altogether! "God's command is to struggle for the victory of Islam." "ISLAM WILL WIN!" "Britain will inshaAllah become Muslim. So will America." "Any territory that has even been ruled by Muslims must never be ruled by anybody else! [Spain, the Holy Land ...]". "Anybody whom we perceive as actively opposing Muslims in any way - not just in religion - must be exterminated; most especially and urgently, the Jews!"
Is this what we are called upon to respect??? Please explain to me HOW WE CAN DO THAT ... PLEASE. Also, please explain how Muslims' blatant anti-Semitism can escape being considered racism? How can they counter the comparison with Hitler?

Alphast said...

Thanks everyone for your answers. I had left this post disappear, but I realize people are still reacting to it.After the publication of the movie, there is more to say about it, obviously.

First an answer to Michael: the problem with your answer is that you pick chose in the Jewish and Christian texts what you like and in the Muslim ones what you dislike. And the same for acts from the same religions. At the same time you disregard all texts from Muslims (Quran or Haddiths) that contradict the ones you chose.

You also chose in the Muslim world the extreme attitudes you dislike and that are, arguably the fact of a very small minority of people. The only point where you are right, is about anti-Semitism. Vast majorities of people in the Arab world are anti-Semitic, having been consistantly brainwashed by irresponsible politicians and media. Please remember that these people don't have the chance we had: most of them have no or very little education. Second, they don't live in democracies. They live in dictatures and most of these dictatures are supported and funded by our democracies (especially but not only the USA, the UK and some other European countries). So let's say that freedom of opinion and debate is not allowed there. And Israel and the Jews are an easy scapegoat for such regimes. Additionally, anti-Semitism is only one face of the problem. What do you think about the blatant racism in the Israeli society (where Arabs are second class citizens) and in the Western society (as demonstrated by Wilders movie)?

Eventually, Michael, kudos for your command of languages!

Michael said...

Merci, Alphast, de m'avoir répondu. Oh, comme je voudrais continuer la discussion avec vous, mais avouons-le, c'est trop dur en écrivant. Si nous nous rencontrions …
Vous m'accusez d'avoir choisi parmi les textes 'saints' … Et bien, c'est plutôt les positions actuelles des différentes religions – pas forcément les textes - que je présente. Je crois qu'il est faux de regarder les positions musulmanes comme le domaine d'une minorité: la majorité s'y souscrit par son silence. Encore plus faux d'accuser Israël de racisme: l'Etat juif – certainement sur le plan théorique - leur donne les droits tout à fait égaux à ceux des Juifs.

daniel said...

I ask the Europeans to stick their head in the sand again so that America can save their asses again!!! All you have to do is learn about Islam. To compare Islam to Christianity is STUPID!!! Here is the main difference Chrisitianity has a mechanism for for reform which Islam does not. Islam sticks closely to the text written by a WARLORD who subjugated raped and oppressed his conquests. To be a good muslim, you must still adhere to this philosophy. The fact is that most muslims aren't obeying their commandments because they do not have the power to do so. History shows that all it takes is time.

daniel said...

I ask the Europeans to stick their head in the sand again so that America can save their asses again!!! All you have to do is learn about Islam. To compare Islam to Christianity is STUPID!!! Here is the main difference Chrisitianity has a mechanism for for reform which Islam does not. Islam sticks closely to the text written by a WARLORD who subjugated raped and oppressed his conquests. To be a good muslim, you must still adhere to this philosophy. The fact is that most muslims aren't obeying their commandments because they do not have the power to do so. History shows that all it takes is time.