English blogs and columns

For an overview of my Dutch and also English and Arabic media appearances please click here.

As of September 2, 2014, a series titled “Messages from the Islamic State” appears on the site of ThePostOnline. Based on interviews with bloggers, especially Abu Ibrahim al Raqawi, insights are given in the bizarre ins and outs of the Islamic State. Al Raqawi is one of the administrators of the Facebook page and site Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently which reports  -usually in Arabic- on the horrors of IS in its capital Raqqa (located in Syria).

Click here for part 1 of the series on “Children and Education in the Islamic State.”

Click here for part 2 of the series on “Women in the Islamic State.” 

Click here for part 3 of the series on “Christians in the Islamic State.”

Click here for part 4 of the series on “Islamic State also needs to be governed”

 

28 February 2014 “Jewish Integration Example for Muslims” on: DutchNews.

November 2013 Populist parties in Europe: Marine le Pen visits Geert Wilders (November 2013)

Front National (FN) leader Marine le Pen’s visit to Party For Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders in The Hague will not harm the PVV. Instead, it will be a win-win situation for both the PVV and the FN.

The visit fits neatly into the ideology of the PVV, as outlined by member of parliament and party ideologue Martin Bosma in his book “The Fake Elite of the Counterfeiters” (2010), especially with regard to an included quote by his leader Geert Wilders: “This is exactly why we are here. Even if we lose all but one seat in parliament, this is our task.”

The near fatalism captured in this quotation is what drives the PVV and explains its often bizarre antics. All means are justified to reach their one goal: a Dutch society without Islam, without the euro and without Europe. Or, as Wilders previously expressed it (also recorded by Bosma): “You may have heard that the Group Wilders is a one-issue movement, a club with only one point on its agenda. That is correct. Our issue is freedom.” And in Wilders’ eyes this freedom is primarily negative, or, as Bosma puts it, “We will speak out against Islam, against the multicultural project and in favor of stopping immigration from Muslim countries.”

Influence, but no executive power

It is precisely because of its missionary and almost fatalistic character that the Party For Freedom — which better can be called a movement — is not interested in executive power. That is only a hassle. Instead, the PVV attempts successfully to influence public opinion while remaining comfortably in the opposition.

In the polls, the PVV is continually the largest or second-largest political party in the Netherlands, while reports on the increase of racism in Dutch politics are continuously ignored. However, the PVV doesn’t want to be part of the government. Rather, it feeds the people quietly and less quietly with xenophobia and hatred and takes every opportunity to achieve its goal.

Marine le Pen’s visit

Marine le Pen’s visit last Nov. 12 provided such an opportunity. Of course, Wilders knows that there is at least a hint of anti-Semitism to her Front National, while he is an ardent supporter of Israel, and that her stance on homosexuality differs vastly from his own, equally being in favor of it. However, the FN will function well in the PVV’s mission against Islam.

The rationale behind this is simple. Together with the FN and other populist parties, the PVV is trying to breach the walls of the European fortress. Parties like the PVV are gaining popularity all over Europe. That provides great opportunity — do not underestimate the disruptive effect of populist parties in EU member states individually and in the European Parliament (EP) collectively.

And what about the FN’s anti-Semitism and its stance on gay rights? Suppose that the PVV agenda is realized and Europe falls to pieces. Then the PVV gets her way with a new Dutch and Islam-free nation state and Wilders will have nothing to do with Marine le Pen and her FN anymore. The latter may create a new independent France in any way they like and the PVV and its resurrected nation state will have nothing to do with them. That is also the reason why Wilders can reassure his pro-Jewish American financiers: the end, getting rid of Islam, justifies the means, collaboration with the anti-Semitic FN.

The proposed collaboration between the PVV and the Belgian Flemish Interest (VB), as recently discussed by leaders Geert Wilders and Filip de Winter, is facing similar issues. For example, the two parties differ in their stance on gay marriage and Wilders abhors the wind of World War II collaboration surrounding the VB. But here too, the end justifies the means, as is the case in the cooperation between the PVV and the FN.

The cooperation with the Front National and similar parties such as the Flemish Interest is a win-win situation for all parties involved.

The poison of xenophobia

But it’s not a win-win situation for the countries of Europe. Both the FN and the PVV distribute an extremely evil ideology of xenophobia. And, as our violent history teaches us, once that poison enters the bloodstream of Europe, it is difficult to get it out again.

Also, if the FN and the PVV with other similar parties originating from at least seven member states of the Union succeed in obtaining at least 27 seats, they are allowed to form a fraction and as such they are given considerable administrative support and as well specific rights in the European Parliament. This will inevitably lead to more negative voices against Muslims in Europe and against Turkey and its possible membership in the union. Mainstream political parties will undeniably be influenced by the mindset of the new populist block and harden their position towards Turkey.

The martyr mentality heard in Wilders’ claim: “This is why we are here. Even if we lose all but one seat in parliament, this is our task,” makes it clear that we are dealing with ruthless and sacrificial politicians that carelessly and deliberately open one Pandora’s box after the other. Marine le Pen’s visit to The Hague is only the most recent and undoubtedly not the last example.

This column appeared in Today’s Zaman as well

 

“Islam the largest disease that struck our country” (April 2013)

In an opinion piece written by the Dutch Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders and Party for Freedom Member of Parliament Joram van Klaveren on ThePostOnline, both state that “Islam is the largest disease that has struck our country, i.e. The Netherlands, the last 100 years.”

If you read what they write, you will, after at least experiencing a certain “surprise” on their statement, notice the adjective in the superlative form: ‘largest’. Both MPs are not talking about, and that was possible as well, the ‘worst’ disease or the ‘deadliest’ disease. They use the adjective ‘large’ and they do not do that for nothing. The superlative of the word ‘big’ sounds in one way or another neutral, the superlatives of ‘bad’, ‘worst’ and ‘deadly’, ‘deadliest’ have a much more negative impact.

With the use of the word ‘largest’ you could still perceive the statement as if it wants to compare Islam with, say, an epidemic like the flu. Now each year people die from the flu, but never in large numbers. So if Islam is a disease like the flue, it can affect you, but the illness won’t last. Unless of course if you are struck by the Spanish flu, that, less than 100 years ago, in 1918, went around the world. That was not an epidemic; it was a pandemic that struck the world mercilessly.

If we speak of the ‘largest’ disease in terms of numbers, we can also think of cancer. That disease is the number one killer in the Netherlands. Many people die annually from this devastating disease, and although we put much money in combating it and studying it, this disease remains the main cause of death in our country.

Anyway, when we speak of ‘large diseases’, we do not cheer up.

And that is, of course, the intention of the statement. Both Party for Freedom MPs choose deliberately for the equation of Islam with a disease to show how they think about Islam: it is a disease.  And diseases, the examples above tell it all, are never fun. The flu is annoying and cancer is a disaster.

So, Islam is annoying and disastrous as well; yes, even more annoying and disastrous than influenza and cancer. Because, as both state, “Islam is the largest disease that struck our country the last 100 years”.

In the writings of party ideologue Martin Bosma and Geert Wilders himself, Islam is equated with totalitarian ideologies like fascism, Nazism and communism. The Party for Freedom sees Islam as a totalitarian ideology. If you call Islam a disease, may other totalitarian ideologies therefore be called diseases as well? I would think so. May I, applying this reasoning, then conclude that the Party for Freedom considers the suffering that we have undergone under German Nazism (1940-1945) less of a disease than Islam?  German Nazism that decimated the Jewish community in the Netherlands. That bombed the Dutch cities of Rotterdam and Middelburg to ruins. The Germans that plundered our country. Well, the story is well known. But all of that would then be less ‘large’ than the disease of Islam.

Would Islam be a large disease, and would we already have been infected with it, I notice

that its consequences not really outweigh the drama of the Spanish flu and the tragedy of Nazism. Actually I see nothing around me that points to any infection. At this point both men obviously won’t agree with me. They will say that Islamization infects us without us noticing it, that basically everyone adjusts to Islam without realizing it. It is an insidious bacterium, Islam.

So far I have used in my text a somewhat ironic tone, as if I take the Islam-is-a-disease-a-large-one-yes-the-largest statement not seriously. And I would do that if I did not know that the people who claim this, take the statement very very seriously. Because let’s face it, how do we possibly get infected? That can only happen if we come into contact with Islam, and that is in 99% of cases with the carriers of the Islam bacterium: the Muslims. And they cannot help it. They are Muslims and thus bearers of Islam and thus carry the bacterium that is called Islam.

Now it becomes really unpleasant. Because posing the question of how we should destroy this bacterium is equal to answering the question. We have to fight the bearers of Islam: the Muslims so that they do not infect us any more. I would not know another way of how to fight it.

Therefore, the statement that Islam is the ‘largest disease’ that struck our country in the last 100 years is, in random order, an insult to Muslims and an insult to the history of our country.

For those interested in the ideology of the Dutch Party for Freedom, see my analysis of it in my book “The Speck in Your Brother’s Eye. The Alleged War of Islam against the West” Contact me through this site for a free copy (PDF).