National Post wimps out — a commenter at SDA notes:
“The Post has edited ‘a 7th-century Bedouin taking what is claimed to be divine dictation…’ to ‘a 7th-century prophet?’ Hmm.”
Yet the real Geert Wilders speaks softly and thoughtfully. It turns out that he’s travelled to dozens of Muslim nations. He knows more about the Islamic faith and what it means to ordinary people than do most of Islam’s most ardent Western defenders.
Nor do I believe that Mr. Wilders is a bigot — a least, not in the sense that the word usually is understood.
It’s easy to see why many Europeans casually jump to the conclusion that Mr. Wilders is a hatemonger. He wants to halt non-Western immigration to the Netherlands until existing immigrants can be integrated, and he wants to deport any foreigner who commits a crime — the same sort of policies as those advocated by genuine xenophobes.
But even so, his insistence on the proper distinction between faith and ideology is an idea that deserves to be taken seriously. For it invites the question: If we permit the excoriation of totalitarian cults created by modern dictators, why do we stigmatize (and even criminalize) the excoriation of arguably similar notions when they happen to be attributed to a 7th-century Bedouin with supernatural visions?
It’s a good question. And as far as I know, Geert Wilders is the only Western politician taking it seriously.