Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Islam, Europe & Democracy.

Geert Wilders is a Dutch politician and an elected Parliamentarian, he is a member of the Party for Freedom and is probably best known for his merciless criticism of Islam. Wilders considers himself to be a libertarian and has named Margaret Thatcher as his greatest political role model. He is opposed to cultural relativism and has referred to Islamic culture as a retarded culture in the past. Wilders produced a short film, which depicts Islam as a fascist ideology, he called the film Fitna and he released the film in 2008. In his own words Fitna is "a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization and a push for Leitkultur".

Fitna is an Arabic word, which is difficult to translate, and is considered to be an all-encompassing word referring to schism, secession, upheaval and anarchy all at once. Leitkultur is a German concept and can be translated as "guiding culture" or "mainstream culture". The culture Wilders is referring to consists of the values and traditions of Judeo-Christianity, Humanism and Liberalism. In 2009, Geert Wilders was invited to Britain by the House of Lords for a viewing of his film Fitna and a debate on social inclusion.

Lord Nazir Ahmed is a member of the House of Lords and is the first Muslim life time peer of the United Kingdom. Most of his political activities relate to the British Muslim community, as well as the International Islamic community. In the past, he has openly criticised the British government for it's over aggressive Foreign Policy and the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

Lord Ahmed was appalled by the decision to give Salman Rushdie a knighthood and stated that "It's hypocrisy by
Tony Blair who two weeks ago was talking about building bridges to mainstream Muslims, and then he's honouring a man who has insulted the British public and been divisive in community relations." He went on to say in regards to Rushdie "This man not only provoked violence around the world because of his writings, but there were many people who were killed around the world. Forgiving and forgetting is one thing, but honouring the man who has blood on his hands, sort of, because of what he did, I think is going a bit too far."

Lord Ahmed was sent with Baroness Warsi to Sudan in 2007, to meet with President Omar al-Bashir, to secure the relase of Gillian Gibbons. Their meeting was successful in securing a pardon for Gibbons, a school teacher who had been arrested for blasphemy after naming a teddy bear Muhammad. In 2009, when Geert Wilders was due to make his appearance in the House of Lords, Lord Ahmed threatened to lay siege to the House of Lords, with a force of 10,000 Muslims, if anti-Islamist Dutch MP Geert Wilders was allowed to speak at the House. Lord Ahmed later denied the allegation, whilst Wilders was denied entry to the United Kingdom and has been banned from entering in the future.

Silencing Wilders simply because he holds anti-Islamic views is counter-productive, in regards to furthering integration between the Muslims and non-Muslims of Great Britain, and will probably generate more Islamophobia in the long term future. Fascist Nick Griffin and his racist thugs will no doubt latch onto Lord Ahmed's behaviour for propaganda. Their argument that Islam is incompatible with democracy and therefore has no place in British society, will win over even more people. Well, Britain is technically not a democracy it is a polyarchy. A polyarchy is a system in which the ruling elite of a nation is divided into two or three factions - which have some differences but fundamentally adhere to the same ideology - whilst the rest of society is kept ignorant, fragmented and distracted. In elections the ignorant and distracted masses are given a choice between two or three people who basically have the same policies. So, even if Islam is incompatible with democracy, that is irrelevant because Britain is no democracy. Lord Ahmed may have intended to defend his religion from criticism, but the methods he used to accomplish his end ultimately tarnished Islam as much as the Sudanese teddy bear controversy and the controversy over Muhammad cartoons have done.

Do you really want these people running the United Kingdom?

Banning Wilders and his Fitna from Britain - in an attempt to pacify a man, who was not elected, who is meant to represent British Muslims, and he is threatening violence - implies that the film has a formidable argument; that British Muslims are incapable of peacefully defending Islam. This is utterly insulting to British Muslims and it annoys me that no one is angered by actions like this. Actions that perpetuate the myth that Muslims are intolerant and violent bigots. If we continue to feed this delusion, we in turn feed the propaganda machine of fascist groups like the BNP, we've already got a member of the BNP sitting on the London Assembly like a turd on grass. But how many turds will we let land on our grass before we take a stand and say "No more"?

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