March 2nd 2013


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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Labor govt sinking amid confusion and acrimony

EDITORIAL: After the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Leadership needed to overcome global slump

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Geert Wilders' agenda in Australia examined

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Coalition fails to exploit Labor's vulnerabilities

BUSHFIRES: The deadly consequences of dismantling bushfire controls

EDUCATION: Gonski report: doubts emerge over educational benefits

AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY: How the words prejudice and racism are misused

SOCIETY: Obliterating parenthood and families

LIFE ISSUES: Abortion - bringing the numbers down

POPULATION: Is world 'threatened' by religion and children?

CHINA: 'One Ring to rule them all': China's strategic aims

UNITED STATES: How the US Republicans failed in 2012

EDUCATION: We live in a culture of Peter Pans

OBITUARY: Dr Lyn Billings (1918-2013), pioneer of natural family-planning

CINEMA: Powerful tale of redemption and grace

BOOK REVIEW Gripping tale of Europe's darkest chapter

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS:
Geert Wilders' agenda in Australia examined


by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, March 2, 2013

Prominent anti-Islam campaigner and Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, recently conducted a short speaking tour of Australia’s eastern states. His visit to the country was sponsored by the Q Society of Australia Inc., which is campaigning against the “Islamisation” of Australian society.

Wilders heads the Party for Freedom (PVV), the third largest party in Holland, which has 15 seats in the 150-seat Dutch parliament. The PVV derives its support from its opposition to Islam, its opposition to the European Union, and opposition to the financial austerity program introduced by the present government of Holland.

In his public statements, Wilders has claimed repeatedly that Holland is being taken over by Islam, and that other countries, including Australia, face the same fate.

In a speech given in the Dutch parliament, he said, “Islam is the Trojan Horse in Europe. If we do not stop Islamification now, Eurabia and Netherabia will be just a matter of time.”

What is the reality? The population of Holland is about 15 million, so the Muslim population comprises about 6 per cent of the total. Most have lived in Holland for many years.

Some have lived there since before World War II, when Holland’s empire included what is now Indonesia, and Suriname in South America. Both countries have significant Muslim populations.

Many people were encouraged to come from Morocco and Turkey in the 1960s and 1970s to fill labour shortages in Holland, and subsequently settled. More recently, thousands of refugees have been admitted from countries like Bosnia, Iraq and Iran.

It is a fantasy that Holland is in danger of being taken over by Muslims, just as it is a fantasy that Australia and the US, where Muslims comprise about two per cent and one per cent of the respective populations, are being taken over by them.

Globally, birth rates in most Muslim countries are falling. After one generation, the average birth rate of Muslim migrants in Europe is almost as low as that of native Europeans — below replacement level.

Further, most European Muslims vote Social Democrat.[1] Polling shows that European (and American) Muslims are as opposed to violence and terrorism as the rest of the population, and they are more satisfied with their adopted countries than are native-born Europeans.[2]

One of Geert Wilders’ demands is that there should be no more mosques in Holland. To put this in perspective, KASKI, the Dutch research centre on religion and society, has published figures on its website showing that there are 2,600 Protestant and Baptist churches, and 1,400 Catholic churches in Holland. There are 400 mosques, which reflects Muslims’ proportion of the population.

Wilders’ statement that ideally the Party for Freedom would like to ban mosques in the country altogether, and that “Every mosque that we can stop is a victory”, displays fierce intolerance of the religious views of others and is incompatible with the free society which he purports to support.

Wilders’ response is to claim that Islam is a “fascist ideology”. This treats every Muslim as an extremist and potential terrorist, and accuses moderate Muslims of guilt by association with the small proportion of Muslims who preach violence.

Holland has become increasingly secular and polarised since World War II, with the proportion of Dutch people who are Christians declining from an overwhelming majority to around 40 per cent. Over half the population now declare that they have no religion.

While Christianity has declined, the number of Muslims in Holland has increased, as has street crime associated with the immigrants. This is the reason Islam and immigration have become highly divisive issues.

Pim Fortuyn, a politician who criticised Islam and called for an end to immigration from Muslim countries, was assassinated by an environmental activist in 2002, and Theo van Gogh, a film director who had produced a short film critical of the treatment of women in Muslim countries, was assassinated by an Islamic extremist in 2004.

These assassinations prompted attacks on mosques and reprisals against Christian churches, although the churches were in no way involved in the controversy.

Geert Wilders has been repeatedly threatened by Islamic extremists, and has a 24-hour bodyguard.

While Wilders says he wants to preserve the Western Christian culture of Holland, he actually represents what is destroying Western civilisation.

Born a Catholic, he is now an agnostic, like most of his fellow countrymen. He and his party also support same-sex marriage,[3] euthanasia and abortion,[4] all of which have been legalised in Holland.

The real danger to the future of Holland lies not in the small Muslim population, but in the abandonment of Christianity by the majority and their adoption of intolerant secularism.

Both Pope Benedict[5] and Australia’s Cardinal Pell[6] have called on Christians to work with moderate Muslims. This is sensible culturally and politically.

Most Muslims in the West have sought to escape the violence of their homelands, and their communities are turning over to authorities Jihadists planning attacks on Western targets.[7]



Endnotes

[1]        Simon Kuper, “The end of Eurabia”, Financial Times (UK), September 9, 2011.
URL: www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/1c825298-d8f7-11e0-aff1-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2M48QTd6p

[2]       Doug Saunders, “10 myths about Muslims in the West”, Huffington Post, September 10, 2012.
URL: www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-saunders/10-myths-about-muslims-in_b_1864589.html

Doug Saunders, The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West? (New York: Random House, 2012).

Fawaz A. Gerges, “Al-Qaida today: a movement at the crossroads”, OpenDemocracy, May 14, 2009.
URL: www.opendemocracy.net/article/al-qaida-today-the-fate-of-a-movement

Fawaz A. Gerges, The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

[3]     Robin Pascoe, “With friends like Wilders, does the coalition need enemies?”, DutchNews.nl, November 17, 2011.
URL: www.dutchnews.nl/columns/2011/11/dutchnewsnl_with_friends_like.php?action=results&poll_ident=197

Staff writer, “Wilders pulls out, film premiere scrapped”, DutchNews.nl, March 24, 2010.
URL: www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/03/wilders_pulls_out_film_premier.php#.UR2vYHuFbi0.email

[4]      For Geert Wilders’ support for abortion and same-sex marriage, see:

Huib Riethof, “LA [Los Angeles] Wilders sanctification movie aborted: Yes, we CAN!”, Huib’s Blog (Brussels), March 24, 2010.
URL: http://huibslog.huibs.net/journal/2010/3/24/la-wilders-sanctification-movie-aborted-yes-we-can.html

[5]       “Benedict tells Muslim leaders dialogue not an option, but a necessity”, Catholic News Agency (CNA), September 25, 2006.
URL: www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/benedict_tells_muslim_leaders_dialogue_not_an_option_but_a_necessity/

Maria Mackay, “Pope tells Germany’s Catholics to talk with Muslims”, Christianity Today, November 11, 2006.
URL: www.christiantoday.com/article/pope.tells.germanys.catholics.to.talk.with.muslims/8283.htm

[6]      Tess Livingston, “The future holds lasting alliance with Islam: Pell”, The Australian, November 1, 2012.
URL: www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/the-future-holds-lasting-alliance-with-islam-pell/story-e6frg6nf-1226507858632

[7]    Charles Kurzman’s Muslim-American Terrorism website.
URL: http://kurzman.unc.edu/muslim-american-terrorism/

Charles Kurzman, “Muslim-American Terrorism Since 9/11: An Accounting”, eight-page report prepared for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (North Carolina: Duke University, University of North Carolina and the Research Triangle Institute [RTI International]), February 2, 2011.
URL: http://tcths.sanford.duke.edu/about/documents/Kurzman_Muslim-American_Terrorism_Since_911_An_Accounting.pdf

Charles Kurzman, “Muslim-American Terrorism: Declining Further”, 10-page report prepared for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (North Carolina: Duke University, University of North Carolina and the Research Triangle Institute [RTI International]), February 1, 2013.
URL: http://tcths.sanford.duke.edu/documents/Kurzman_Muslim-American_Terrorism_final2013.pdf




























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