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War Over Wilders

by Bruce Bawer

….Hard facts: not all that long ago, the Netherlands was a well-nigh idyllic little country. Now it’s a nightmare in the making. Almost everyone acknowledges this now. But why is it a nightmare in the making? Be careful answering that question, or you’ll be sorry. Yes, a majority of young Dutch Moroccans have police records – but if you speak this raw truth flat-out, without cloaking it in the usual euphemisms and qualifications and reassurances, you’ll be branded a bigot. Yes, many Dutch Muslims have gone to Syria to be jihadists, and a poll last year of Dutch Muslims showed that almost three-quarters of them regard such people as heroes – but, again, if you choose to communicate this fact to others, you’d damn well better be exceedingly careful how you go about doing it. Put your foot even slightly wrong, and suddenly you won’t be a good guy criticizing the bad guys – you’ll be a racist. And the second you misstep, the armies will be lining up to condemn you and to demonstrate their own virtue by dropping the relevant, important, and thoroughly grim facts about the subject at hand down the memory hole and proclaiming inanely: “We are all Moroccans!”

“We are all Moroccans!” This sort of nonsense is now commonplace. Recently, in Sweden, after some guy was accused of pulling off a Muslim woman’s head covering, non-Muslim women across the country expressed support for the alleged victim by tweeting pictures of themselves in veils: look at us, we love Islam! Three years ago, in Norway, after one lunatic slaughtered dozens of Labor Party youth members purportedly because he opposed Muslim immigration, politicians and royals rushed to mosques to declare their solidarity with Muslims: look, we’re not Islamophobes, like that mass murderer! Now, a Dutch politician makes a less than ideally formulated comment about Moroccans and thousands of his countrymen waste no time lining up to say: “We are all Moroccans!” It’s the ultimate multicultural compulsion: to prove that one isn’t racist – and assert that someone else is.  And thereby replace the real, tough, uncomfortable issue with a fake issue, a non-issue, a BS issue, that provides the multiculturalist with a delicious frisson of self-righteousness.

In a speech on March 22, Wilders explained in detail what he had meant by the “fewer Moroccans” line. His party platform calls for “a three-stage approach” to the Islamic immigration issue: “limiting immigration from Islamic countries, including Morocco”; “promoting re-emigration” to Muslim countries; and “deporting criminal Moroccans by revoking their Dutch passports, if they have dual nationality – and most have – and sending them back to the country of their other nationality.” In answer to the question “why did I refer to Moroccans in particular?”, Wilders said he’d done so “because Moroccans are at the top of the list of over-representation in crime and welfare dependence. Moroccan youths younger than 23, more than 60% of them are known to the police and the judicial system. Moroccans are 22 times more frequently guilty of violent crime such as mugging and robbery. They are seven times more likely to be on welfare. These are facts that I haven’t made up, but these are facts that I have to make known or I might just as well not have gone into politics. I went into politics to state things like this, and to propose solutions.”

And that’s the bottom line. Your typical high-level European politician – say, oh, Jens Stoltenberg, the recently dethroned prime minister of Norway who was just named head of NATO (an organization for whose founding values he has never shown particular enthusiasm) – plainly went into politics not to face up to hard truths or put his life on the line for freedom, but so that he could eventually end up as, well, head of NATO, or as a jet-setting big shot at the UN or EU or World Bank. Yes, Wilders stumbled with his line about “fewer Moroccans,” but on a European landscape crowded with empty-suit politicians who don’t really stand for anything except for their own careers, whose approach to Islam and immigration is to recite facile multicultural mantras, and whose only real qualification for anything is that they never, ever offend (precisely because they strenuously skirt the topics that matter the most), Wilders is the real thing: a brave, selfless man determined to steer the ship of state through turbulent waters safely into port. The Dutch would be fools to throw him overboard.

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