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."
John Quincy Adams wrote that Muhammad "poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war as part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST; TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE."
The capital letters are Adams', by the way, and the source Wilders draws from is "The American Annual Register of 1827-28-29," where Adams published unsigned essays in 1830 (listed in Lynn H. Parsons' annotated bibliography of Adams' works) in between his tenure as president and his return to Congress.
In our day, it's not hard to imagine that both Adams and Roosevelt would also be "marked for death" for criticizing Islam. They, too, would experience daily life as a Kafkaesque exercise in staying alive inside a state security bubble. So would others Wilders brings to our attention, including Winston Churchill, Aldous Huxley, Andre Malraux and Alexis de Tocqueville, all of whom freely discussed Islam's strangling effect on individual liberty, the jewel in the crown of Western civilization.
Today, however, with liberty shrinking in direct proportion to Islam's rising influence in the West, Wilders' voice is one of few to make itself heard. Why? Wilders points to the entrenchment of cultural relativism, an ideology that rises from the ashes of Judeo-Christian-humanism to promote, as interchangeable, all other cultures, religions, creeds, over our own.
This self-crushing ideology, as Wilders lucidly explains, permits business as usual to include, for example, regarding the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest bloc in the United Nations, as a normal diplomatic partner. But the OIC promotes Shariah (Islamic law), a supremacist, misogynist and totalitarian system. As opposed to other U.N. member states, the OIC adheres to a discriminatory, Shariah-rights document known as the Cairo Declaration. This Islamic rights document negates the United Nations' 1948 declaration on universal human rights. Until OIC member states revoke the Cairo Declaration, Wilders writes, Western nations should demand they be barred from the U.N.; conversely, the West should stop funding the U.N. until it ejects Shariah-supremacist members.
A never-never plan? Only until we enact it. Back in 2007, Wilders introduced a measure in the Dutch parliament to cut aid to OIC states adhering to the Cairo Declaration and minimize bilateral relations.
As noted above: Wilders says what he believes and acts on it. How confounding. Read his book and learn how we can do it, too.