Wilders denies Islam a religion
Geert Wilders makes few public appearances. Source: Flickr
Far-right Dutch populist Geert Wilders has said Islam is a totalitarian ideology, not a religion, and should not be covered by the Netherlands’ constitutional commitment to freedom of religion.
The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) leader said although Islam had many of the trappings of religion, it had more in common with totalitarian ideologies like communism and fascism.
“Not only is the Quran more full of anti-Semitism than Mein Kampf – another terrible book – ever was, but one token of proof of totalitarianism is that you are not allowed to leave. That’s the proof of totalitarianism,” Wilders said in an interview recorded in January.
“Islam as an ideology does not allow freedom. Look at almost all the countries in the world where Islam is dominant – you see a total lack of civil society, of rule of law, of freedom for journalists, women, Christians or even somebody who wants to leave Islam, an apostate.
“You are allowed to leave Christianity or Judaism and become an atheist or the follower of another religion; you are not allowed to leave fascism, you are not allowed to leave communism. And still today in Holland, in Germany, in the Arab world, the penalty is death if you want to leave Islam.
“That kind of thinking, that kind of violence within an ideology is something that we should not import.”
He claimed his objection was to Islam itself, not to Muslims.
“I believe that Islam and freedom are incompatible. I’m not talking about people.
“I was many times in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Jordan and I found very friendly, nice and often very interesting people. So I don’t have a problem with Muslims, as some people believe.
“But I believe that the Islamic ideology is very dangerous.”
Wilders has pulled out of a different television news interview on Nieuwsuur because he “doesn’t like it”.
He was withdrawn from numerous scheduled broadcast debates. Wilders cancelled all public engagements last week after it was revealed that a member of his security team had connections with Moroccan gangsters. His withdrawal from Nieuwsuur, however, was not security-related. Wilders would “only do things we like, and this isn’t something we like”, his party spokesman said. Nieuwsuur has been interviewing party leaders in the run up to the election on March 15.