Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby had an interesting interview last week with Geert Wilders, the Dutch Parliamentarian whose film Fitna juxtaposes Quranic verses with images on Islamist terrorism.
Wilders was in the U.S. to screen Fitna and defend his ideas, something the British government would not allow him to do. Credit Jacoby for going at several of the seeming contradictions in Wilders' ideology, especially his ardent support for free speech while simultaneously calling for the Quran to be banned. An example:
Q: With an outlook like this, don't you effectively exclude any Muslim from being an ally?
A: I am not excluding anybody. I don't even want Muslims from the Netherlands to leave my country. I'm not a [Jean-Marie] Le Pen. I want to help people be educated, be part of our society, get a job, respect our values. But it can never be possible on the basis of their violent ideology called Islam.
Q: Doesn't that contradict your defense of free speech?
A: Holland is not an Islamic country. I wouldn't want to have a system like in Saudi Arabia or Iran. Their ideology [says] to beat women, to kill Jews, to kill homosexuals. You can say, "Well, isn't that freedom of speech?" I want us to have more freedom of speech. But there is one red line - incitement of violence.
Q: You've said that under Dutch law, the Koran should be banned. Were you being rhetorical, or did you mean it literally?
A: I meant it. But you have to know the Dutch context for that. In the '70s, "Mein Kampf" was banned, and the left was so pleased. I am now proposing a ban on a book that is even worse than "Mein Kampf." And I'm not the first one - Winston Churchill compared "Mein Kampf" to the Koran in the 1950s.
Click here to read the entire interview.