Every time I see Dutch Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders interact with America, I am struck anew by how deeply he confounds us. We aren't used to hearing the truth, particularly about Islam, expressed by a politician -- of all people! -- who not only says what he's found to be true, but also acts on it.
For this same reason, however, by Islamic decree (Fatwa), Wilders has been "marked for death," which is the title of his terrific new book. "Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me" (Regnery Publishing, $27.95) informs and inspires in an elegantly concise but also comprehensive volume. Including an excellent foreword by Mark Steyn, "Marked for Death" is the best single book on Islam and its impact on the West -- a book every American should read.
After all, Wilders, a Dutchman with great affection and admiration for the USA (especially the First Amendment and Ronald Reagan), has written this book for us. Many chapters open with an epigraph on liberty by an American president, almost as if Wilders wants to explain his devotion to liberty in our own terms, while gently reminding us to be true to our best ideals.
More instructively, Wilders, for eight years a political prisoner of Islam requiring round-the-clock security to avoid assassination, quotes from the anti-Islamic writings of our presidents John Quincy Adams and Teddy Roosevelt. Both men warned against the dangers that Islam poses to liberty and Christianity. These writings will jolt the postmodern reader, alerting us that we are reading something society outlaws as taboo: criticism of Islam.
In 1916, Roosevelt observed: "Wherever the Mohammedans have had a complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared" (ditto Judaism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism ...). Roosevelt rejected as "naive" the notion that "all religions are the same." Some religions, he explained, "give a higher value to each human life, and some religions and belief systems give a lower value." Our "social values," including equality before the law, exist "only because the Christians of Europe (did) what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do -- that is, to beat back the Moslem invader."