John Simpson of the BBC, “Doing My Best to Make Sense of a Crazy World”

In the Telegraph, John Simpson, a journalist since 1966 with the BBC, and its World Affairs editor since 1988, upon whom all sorts of awards have been lavished, writes a more-in-sorrow article about Aung San Suu Kyi. What interested me was not his denunciation of her, or his complete disregard of how the Buddhists in Myanmar see the threat of Islam, but a statement he made about how, during World War II, the Rohingya had fought the Japanese. This of course puts them in a good light. But what actually happened is that the retreating British forces gave weapons to the Rohingya, on the assumption — or perhaps the promise — that they would use them against the Japanese. They did not. Instead, they used the weapons in 1942 to massacre tens of thousands of Buddhists, members of the Rakhine ethnic group, in Northern Rakhine State. The Buddhists then retaliated, and thus began decades of inter-communal, and intermittent, violence.

Despite fifty years as journalist specializing in foreign affairs, apparently John Simpson could not be bothered to find this out, though a minute’s googling would have produced that information. He was determined to denounce Aung San Suu Kyi, taking her to task for her refusal to say exactly what the U.N., and the O.I.C., and the BBC, and John Simpson himself, thought she should say. Her failure to condemn her fellow Buddhists outright, because she knew their history of conflict with the Rohingya, including that 1942 massacre, and the repeated attempts of the Rohingya to join the Northern Rakhine State to Pakistan, beginning in 1946 with an approach made to Mohammed Ali Jinnah even before Partition, and because she understood the Buddhists’ fears of the seeming unstoppable Muslim presence in Europe, and their long memories of how Islam effaced Buddhism in India — all this was beyond Simpson’s knowledge or understanding or sympathy. His mind was made up: Aung San Suu Kyi could only be either a prisoner of the Burmese military or a “monster.” Nuance is not John Simpson’s strong suit.

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Geert Wilders and the Suicide of Europe

Even if the Dutch politcian Geert Wilders had won and if the Party for Freedom (PVV) he established eleven years ago had become the first party in the country, he would not have been able to become the head of the government. The heads of all the other political parties said they would reject any alliance with him ; they maintain this position to this day.

For years, the Dutch mainstream media have spread hatred and defamation against Wilders for trying to warn the Dutch people – and Europe – about what their future will be if they continue their current immigration policies; in exchange, last December, a panel of three judges found him guilty of “inciting discrimination”. Newspapers and politicians all over Europe unceasingly describe him as a dangerous man and a rightist firebrand. Sometimes they call him a “fascist“.

What did Geert Wilders ever do to deserve that? None of his remarks ever incriminated any person or group because of their race or ethnicity. To charge him, the Dutch justice system had excessively and abusively to interpret words he used during a rally in which he asked if the Dutch wanted “fewer Moroccans.” None of Wilders’s speeches incites violence against anyone; the violence that surrounds him is directed only at him. He defends human rights and democratic principles and he is a resolute enemy of all forms of anti-Semitism.

His only “crime” is to denounce the danger represented by the Islamization of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe and to claim that Islam represents a mortal threat to freedom. Unfortunately, he has good empirical reasons to say that. Also unfortunately, the Netherlands is a country where criticism of Islam is particularly dangerous: Theo van Gogh made an “Islamically incorrect” film in 2004 and was savagely murdered by an Islamist who said he would kill again if he could. Two years earlier, Pim Fortuyn, who had hoped to stand for election, defined Islam as a “hostile religion” ; he was killed by a leftist Islamophile animal-rights activist. Geert Wilders is alive only because he is under around-the-clock police protection graciously provided by the Dutch government.

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Will the Dutch Protect their ‘Decadence’ from Islamic ‘Redeemers’?

General elections in the Netherlands are over, but now begins a much bigger campaign: who will defend the famous Dutch freedoms?

Only in the Netherlands is it conceivable that a politician such as Geert Wilders, a brave maverick who for 13 years, 24 hours a day, has lived under police protection; held rallies while wearing a bulletproof vest; moved from one secret location to another one and was guarded as if he were an Asian potentate. The country has already had two political assassinations related to Islam: the politician Pim Fortuyn, and the filmmaker, Theo van Gogh. Another Dutch MP at the time, Ayaan Hirsi Ali — whose name, with Wilders’s, was next on the hit-list pinned with a knife to van Gogh’s corpse — ended up fleeing to the United States. Only Wilders’s protection, generously provided by the Dutch government, has so far avoided a third political murder.

In the Netherlands, the philosopher Baruch Spinoza became the prophet of tolerance, Karl Marx investigated capitalism and John Locke penned his “Letter on Tolerance”. The mainstream media has claimed that Wilders’s rise and the new “populist” shift of Prime Minister Mark Rutte (who, in January, told immigrants to “act normal or leave“) has been a betrayal of that Dutch tolerance. Exactly the opposite is true.

It is from this tolerance that hard Dutch liberalism gets the will to fight against intolerance. Tolerating the intolerant does not sound like the way to have tolerance continue. This is how the Dutch multiculturalists turned their great legacy upside-down. The Dutch see themselves as “Enlightenment fundamentalists“, upholding the values of Enlightenment — even in the Islamic world.

The question now is: will the Dutch defend these freedoms or instead gradually dismantle them? Dutch Minister of Justice Piet Donner recently suggesting introducing Islamic sharia law into the Netherlands by democratic means.

The “hard liberal” Dutch tradition goes back to Pim Fortuyn, a homosexual proud of the supposed “decadence” of his country, its tolerance, and the freedoms it offers. As the late British journalist Alexander Chancellor wrote:

“The Muslim fanatics berate the West for its decadence, and many in the west guiltily agree that they have a point, but Fortuyn did not think so. He crusaded on behalf of what many would regard as decadence, and was so concerned for its survival”.

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What Was Behind the Trial of Geert Wilders?

Much has been made of the 2016 populist revolt in the West, beginning with Britain’s June 23 decision to leave the European Union, and culminating with the victory of president-elect Donald Trump on November 8. The narrative of change is understandably seductive, but has recently been dealt successive blows by the domestic circumstances that so characterize European politics.

Despite traditions of liberty being placed at the heart of the successful Trump campaign, the promise of a new economic approach also enabled him to cross the line on election day.

The Brexit vote similarly took place under a referendum that allowed Britain’s voting populace to defy the stated preference of the majority of their elected parliamentarians.

The most disturbing recent development on the European continent, however, was Friday’s conviction of Geert Wilders on two charges, “inciting discrimination and insulting a minority group,” for asking supporters whether they wanted “fewer Moroccans” in the Netherlands, at a small public rally in a bar in The Hague, on March 19, 2014.

This “hate speech” case against Wilders similarly pits popular alarm over the consequences of mass migration plus a principled politician who for years — in the face of threats against his life, has agitated for genuine change — against an untrustworthy, politicized legal system which appears at odds with both Wilders and popular alarm. Several Dutch Labour Party politicians, who said far more damaging things about Moroccans than Wilders did, yet were never prosecuted:

  • “We also have sh*t Moroccans over here.” — Rob Oudkerk, a Dutch Labour Party (PvDA) politician.
  • “We must humiliate Moroccans.” — Hans Spekman, PvDA politician.
  • “Moroccans have the ethnic monopoly on trouble-making.” — Diederik Samsom, PvDA politician.

Although Wilders’s trial clearly appears an orchestrated miscarriage of justice, it is arguably not helpful to view the basis for his prosecution through an absolutist defense of freedom of speech, intuitively understandable to Americans. No constitutional equivalent of the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from passing laws abridging the freedom of speech, exists in Europe.

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The Dutch Death Spiral: From Paradise to Bolshevik Thought Police

A country whose most outspoken filmmaker was slaughtered by an Islamist; whose bravest refugee, hunted by a fatwa, fled to the U.S.; whose cartoonists must live under protection, had better think twice before condemning a Member of Parliament, whose comments about Islam have forced him to live under 24-hour protection for more than a decade, for “hate speech.” Poor Erasmus! The Netherlands is no longer a safe haven for free thinkers. It is the Nightmare for Free Speech.

The most prominent politician in the Netherlands, MP Geert Wilders, has just been convicted of “inciting discrimination and insulting a minority group,” for asking at a really if there should be fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. Many newly-arrived Moroccans in the Netherlands seem to have been responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime there.

Paul Cliteur, Professor of Jurisprudence at Leiden University, who was called as an expert witness, summed up the message coming from the court: “It would have been better if the Dutch state had sent a clear signal [to terrorists] via a Dutch court that we foster a broad notion of the freedom of expression in the Netherlands.”

Here are just a few details to help understand what Wilders experiences every day because of his ideas: No visitors are allowed into his office except after a long wait to be checked. The Dutch airline KLM refused to board him on a flight to Moscow for reasons of “security.” His entourage is largely anonymous. When a warning level rises, he does not know where he will spend the night. For months, he was able to see his wife only twice a week, in a secure apartment, and then only when the police allowed it. The Parliament had to place him in the less visible part of the building, in order better to protect him. He often wears a bulletproof vest to speak in public. When he goes to a restaurant, his security detail must first check the place out.

Wilders’s life is a nightmare. “I am in jail,” he has said; “they are walking around free.”

The historic dimension of Wilders’s conviction is related not only to the terrible injustice done to this MP, but that it was the Netherlands that, for the first time in Europe, criminalized dissenting opinions about Islam.

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Sybaritic West Surrenders to Islamists

Omar Mateen did not choose the Pulse gay nightclub because it had few security guards or because it was an easy target. He could have targeted a supermarket or a school. No, Mateen chose Pulse because it is a nightclub, where he slaughtered 49 “infidels” and wounded 53 more.

Before murdering 2,977 people, the leader of the 9/11 terrorists, Mohammed Atta, along with four of the other hijackers, made several trips to Las Vegas during the summer before the attack, where they were entertained by dancers in nightclubs.

Fifteen years later, there was another country, another jihadist cell, another nightclub. Salah Abdeslam was dancing in a nightclub in Brussels with his brother, Brahim, and flirting with a blonde woman. A few months later, Brahim blew himself up in Paris at a concert in the Bataclan Theater. Nightclubs haunt the Islamist imagination with their mix of alcohol, sexual promiscuity, drugs and music. ISIS labelled Paris “the capital of prostitution and obscenity.”

The London nightclub Tiger Tiger, located between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, was the target of a terror plot in 2007. Last February, the French intelligence service foiled a plot to attack swingers’ clubs in Paris. Places such as Les Chandelles, which boasts a “fascinating journey into the heart of sensuality,” or the Overside, which offers 250 square meters “dedicated to pleasure.”

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