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According to Dutch politician Geert Wilders it is 4 minutes to twelve when it comes to the ‘threat of islamization’ in Europe. Geert Wilders spoke at a conference organized by the Danish Free Speech Society (agenda) which was held in the Danish Parliament Sunday June 14 2009 as I have learned from Balder Blog. Also Dutch blogs report about (HERE and HERE) as do several other blogs (HERE and HERE) and Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant and a Danish report.
As usual Wilders states that he has nothing against Muslims and that the majority of Muslims are law abiding citizens. Nevertheless he sees the influx and demographical developments as a problems as he stated in an interview with Danish television. According to him Islam doesn’t want to assimilate or integrate but wants to submit, dominate society and that Islam, shari’a, has nothing to do with freedom and the rule of law.
Muslims are not a majority yet, and its not only migration or demography according to Wilders but when 20, 30, or 40% of the population is Muslim, society will change, it will cost ‘our freedom’, it will be a change for the worse: crime, intolerance, beating of gays are mentioned by him as an example. It is an argument that resembles that of the video Muslim Demographics which is a call to action against Islamization.
Wilders is very vague about the number of Muslims that constitute a problem in his vision: ‘enormous’, ‘tens of millions’, ‘a lot’. Wilders claims that in The Netherlands 1/3 of the Muslims wanted to install shari’a, in the UK 40% wanted to install shari’a and the Islamic caliphate and the same numbers would apply to Sweden and Denmark. According to Wilders, as soon as they become stronger, become a majority, it will be too late. Something he also tried to show in his propaganda film Fitna (ENG / DUTCH)
For the Netherlands the numbers are not correct by the way. There is no reliable research that shows that indeed 1/3 of the Muslims wanted shari’a to be installed here. The number 1/3 came up in a, questionable, research about a Muslim party. The research is not clear. First of all they do not state what is meant with shari’a (following God’s will? a codified law? only family law as is the case in some Muslim countries?) and second the numbers are not clear. According to that particular research 30% of the people who want a Muslim party feel that the party should be based upon shari’a. Another number that is mentioned is 52% (of the people who want that party) and in another part 50% feels there should be such a party and of those 50%, 10% feels such a party should be based upon shari’a. You follow it? I don’t. The British number probably applies to a research from the Sunday Telegraph in 2006 but also this poll has its problems. In general one could state that no research that does not ask its respondents what shari’a means according to them, is valid, simply for the reason that you do not know what you measure and therefore what the outcomes signify.
If people start to think about Shari’a and Jihad they will be send away, Wilders stated. It’s a red line according to him, if you cross it you will be send away the same day. Asked, again, how many people this concerns he goes on about crime statistics. According to him, in Kopenhagen, 80% of the crimes is committed by immigrants, mainly Muslims. In the Netherlands it is the same according to him. Although the numbers among migrants are indeed high in the Netherlands we tend to forget that it is still only marginal group that is involved in crime (see the report here, look for the English summary on page 83). What is certainly a problem is the high rate of police contacts among migrant youth as been stated recently by professor Bovenkerk, which still is not to say that we have an ethnic (or even religious) problem, in particular because the number pertain to second generation male migrants and not to first generation and/or female migrants. Moreover, committing crimes, even when they are serious, is something qualitatively different from talking about and inspiring to establish shari’a (I don’t think many of the Moroccan-Dutch criminals would very much like shari’a) or talking and/or engaging in a violent jihad.
Wilders has a message to those Muslims he regards as a problem: If you don’t abide we will send you away the same day and we will stop immigration from Muslim countries. given the fact that above he stated that it is also about thinking about shari’a and jihad, it is clear that he is not only talking about acts of transgression by people but also about thought he deems to be transgressive.
For the complete interview see:
The short introduction (in Danish)
[flashvideo filename=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzOKi9DySfE /]
And the complete interview in English with Danish subtitles:
[flashvideo filename=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-akx0O7sUfA /]
Below the complete text of the speech given by Wilders:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you, Danish Free Press Society, again for inviting me to speak to you here in Copenhagen. It is good to be back in Denmark. Thank you, my friend, Lars Hedegaard.
And last but not least, I thank the Danish border police for having allowed me into the country.
Ladies and gentlemen, last week was a tremendous week. My party, the Dutch Freedom Party, came second in the Dutch elections for the European Parliament!
In many cities, including Rotterdam and The Hague, we even managed to become the largest party!
Meanwhile here in Denmark, the Danish People’s Party again performed very well, which is excellent news for Denmark. I congratulate Pia Kjærsgaard and Morten Messerschmidt on their party’s victory. Marvellous news!
There is more good news these days. In Europe the socialists – or social democrats, as they prefer to call themselves – lost nearly everywhere: in the Netherlands, in Belgium, in Germany, in Austria, in France, in Spain, in Italy and, perhaps best of all, in the United Kingdom. The greatest coward in Europe, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, suffered a tremendous blow at the hands of the British electorate. Serves him right!
I will not terribly miss Jacqui Smith, the British cabinet member that worked so hard to have me refused in the UK because of my film Fitna. It is rather ironic that her career-ending was somehow film-related, as it turned out the British taxpayer had to pay for the porn-movies her husband rented. At least, we cannot say she is a movie-hater as such. Just her taste is a little bit selective.
Why is it good news that the socialists lost by such a margin?
Let me answer this myself. It’s good news because socialists are the most inveterate cultural relativists in Europe. They regard the Islamic culture of backwardness and violence as equal to our Western culture of freedom, democracy and human rights. In fact, it is the socialists who are responsible for mass immigration, Islamization and general decay of our cities and societies. It are the socialists who are responsible for the fact that cities such as Rotterdam, Marseille and Malmö seem to be situated in Eurabia rather than in Europe. And they are even proud of it.
Our Western elite, whether it are politicians, journalists or judges, have lost their way completely. All sense of reality has vanished. All common sense has been thrown to the wind. They take all efforts to deny the things that take place in front of our eyes, and deny everything that is so obviously seen by everyone else.
They won’t stand firm on any issue. Their cultural relativism affects absolutely everything up to the point where they no longer see the difference between good and evil, or between nonsense and logical common sense. Everything is pushed into a grey area, a foggy marsh without beginning or end. The only moral standard they still seem to apply is the question whether or not it is approved by Muslims. Everything Muslims disapprove, they disapprove too.
And so, the voters have had enough. Because they of course realise that Europe is going in the wrong direction. They know that there are enormous problems with Islam in Europe. They are well aware of the identity of those who are taking them for a ride, namely, the Shariah socialists.
As for those present here today, I’m sure everyone knows how intractable the problems with Islam are in Europe, given that Muslims are over-represented in crime rate figures as well as in social benefit statistics. Of course, this is not to say that there aren’t many Muslims of good will who are decent, law-abiding citizens. But facts are facts.
According to the Dutch Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, mass immigration has to date cost the Dutch taxpayer more than one hundred billion Euros(1). According to the Danish national bank, every Danish Muslim immigrant costs the Danish state more than 300,000 Euros. A Swedish economist has calculated that mass immigration costs the Swedish taxpayer twenty-seven billion dollars annually. In Norway a warning has been issued to the effect that the proceeds from North Sea oil will have to be spent entirely on mass immigration, while in France official figures have been published suggesting that mass immigration is reducing growth in the French economy by two-thirds. In other words, mass immigration, demographic developments and Islamization are certainly partly causes of Europe’s steadily increasing impoverishment and decay.
Ladies and gentlemen, you may know of the Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels, who recently said that Muslim integration in the West is simply impossible(2). Now, that is not a novel idea. A certain Frenchman said pretty much the same thing in 1959. I quote, “Those who recommend integration must be considered pea-brained even if they are scholars and scientists. Just try mixing oil and vinegar. Then shake the bottle. After a moment the two substances will separate again. Do you really believe French society could absorb ten million Muslims, who would be twenty million tomorrow and forty million the day after? In fact, my own village would no longer be Colombey-les-deux-Églises but would rather come to be known as Colombey-les-deux-mosques.”
This quote, you guessed it, is from none other than the former French President Charles de Gaulle.
Now, I do not know whether Sennels and De Gaulle were right in their conclusion that Muslims are incapable of integrating into other cultures. I think in reality we do see Muslims on individual level assimilating into our societies. But what I do know is that very many Muslims do not want to integrate. Again, the facts don’t lie: four in ten British Muslim students want Sharia law to be implemented, while one-third of British Muslim students are in favour of a worldwide caliphate. Seven out of ten Spanish Muslims consider their self a Muslim first, instead of a Spanish citizen. One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks, half of Dutch Muslims admit to ‘understanding’ the 9/11 attacks(3). Seven out of ten youth prisoners here in Copenhagen are Muslim. In 2005, 82% of the crimes in Copenhagen were committed by immigrants, many of them muslim. More than half of the Danish Muslims think that it should be forbidden to criticise Islam and two out of three Danish Muslims think that free speech should be curtailed.
Some time ago an interview was held in France with the French Muslim student Mohamed Sabaoui(4), who said the following, and I quote:
“Your laws do not coincide with the Koran, Muslims can only be ruled by Shariah law.
We will declare Roubaix an independent Muslim enclave and impose Shariah Law upon all its citizens.
We will be your Trojan Horse, we will rule, Allah akbar.”
End of quote.
Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake: Islam has always attempted to conquer Europe. Spain fell in the 8th century, Constantinople fell in the 15th century, even Vienna and Poland were threatened, and now, in the 21st century, Islam is trying again. This time not with armies, but through the application of Al-Hijra, the Islamic doctrine of migration and demography(5).
Unfortunately, the Al-Hijra doctrine is very successful. For the first time in world history there are dozens of millions of Muslims living far outside the Dar al-Islam, the Islamic world. Al-Hijra may be the end of European civilization as we know it: The second Dutch city, Rotterdam, will have a non-Western majority within 3 years. Europe has now more than 50 million Muslims(6), it is expected that this will be doubled in just 20 years. By 2025, one third of all European children will be born to Muslim families.
As I said, many of those Muslims in Europe would like to implement Shariah Law in our judicial systems. As you know, Shariah law covers all areas of life, from religion, hygiene and dietary laws, to dress code, family and social life and from finance and politics to the unity of Islam with the state. For some crimes, horrific, barbaric punishments are prescribed, such as beheading and the chopping off of opposite limbs. In Shariah Courts no woman may become judge. Shariah Law does not recognize free speech and freedom of religion. Polygamy and killing an apostate are ‘virtues’, but the consumption of alcohol is a crime. This is the sick Shariah Law in a nutshell, and it is unbelievable and unacceptable that the cultural relativists allow Shariah banks, Shariah mortgages, Shariah schools and unofficial – and in Britain even official – Shariah tribunals in Europe.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are of course shocking facts, figures and statements. However, they are not particularly surprising to anybody who has some knowledge of the Koran and knows who Muhammad was.
In this connection, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to very briefly discuss the essence of Islam, and let me come straight to the point: Islam is not so much a religion as, first and foremost, an ideology; to be precise, like communism and fascism, a political, totalitarian ideology, with worldwide aspirations.
Of course, there are many moderate Muslims. However, there is no such a thing as a moderate Islam. Islam’s heart lies in the Koran. The Koran is an evil book that calls for violence, murder, terrorism, war and submission. The Koran describes Jews as monkeys and pigs. The Koran calls upon Muslims to kill the Kaffirs, the non-Muslims(7).
The problem is that the injunctions in the Koran are not restricted to time or place. Rather, they apply to all Muslims, in any period. Another problem is that Muslims also regard the Koran as the word of Allah. Which means that the Koran is immune from criticism.
Apart from the Koran, there is also the life of Muhammad, who fought in dozens of wars and was in the habit of decapitating Jews with his own sword. The problem here is that, to Muslims, Muhammad is ‘the perfect man’, whose life is the model to follow.
This is why Jihadists slaughtered innocent people in Washington, New York, Madrid, Amsterdam, London and Mumbai.
Now is clear why Winston Churchill, in his book ‘The second world war’, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Literature, compared the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’. Now is clear why the famous Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, in 1936 said, and I quote, “It is impossible to understand national socialism unless we see it in fact as a new Islam, its myth as a new Allah, and Hitler as this new Allah’s prophet.” Now is clear why Heinrich Himmler was an admirer of Islam. And now is clear why President Obama, who last week, in Cairo, said that Islam has a tradition of tolerance, should be sent back to school.
Just like communism, fascism and nazism, Islam is a threat to everything we stand for. It is a threat to democracy, to the constitutional state, to equality for men and women, to freedom and civilisation. Wherever you look in the world, the more Islam you see, the less freedom you see. Islam is a threat to the Europe of Bach and Michelangelo, Shakespeare and Socrates, Voltaire and Galileo.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is one Western country that has been forced to fight for its values since the very first day of its existence: Israel the canary in the coal mine. Let me say a few words about that wonderful country.
Like Bosnia, Kosovo, Nigeria, Sudan, the Caucasus, Kashmir, southern Thailand, western China and the south of the Philippines, Israel is situated exactly on the dividing line between Dar al-Islam, the Islamic world, and Dar al-Harb, the non-Islamic world. It is no coincidence that it is precisely this dividing line where blood is flowing. All those conflicts concern the Jihad, Jihad in the spirit of the barbarian Muhammad.
Islam forces Israel to fight. The so called ‘Middle East conflict’ is not at all a conflict about land. It is not about some inches of land in Gaza, Judea or Samaria. It is a conflict about ideologies, it is a battle between freedom and Islam, a battle between good and evil, to Islam the whole of Israel is occupied territory. To Islam Tel Aviv and Haifa are settlements too.
Israel is the only democracy in the entire Middle-East. Israel is an oasis of enlightment, whereas the rest of the Middle-East is covered by the black veil of the night. This is no coincidence, in 1939 Winston Churchill said about the Jews in what is now called Israel: “They have made the desert bloom”.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am very much in favour of a two-state solution. One Jewish state called Israel including Judea and Samaria and one Palestinian state called Jordan.
Ladies and gentlemen, wherever Islam and cultural relativism, advocated by Shariah-socialists, come together, freedom of expression is threatened. In Europe in particular, freedom of expression is at risk. As you may know, I am being prosecuted in the Netherlands for expressing my opinion, while being banned from the United Kingdom for the same reason. But, of course, this whole matter is not only about me. There is an ongoing Jihad against free speech in the whole of Europe. In Austria, for example, a lady politician was prosecuted for having spoken the truth about Muhammad. The truth, mind you! We have also had the Danish cartoon crisis; not to mention the threats and/or killing of people as Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, Oriana Fallaci and my brave friend Wafa Sultan. In the Netherlands a cartoonist was arrested by no fewer than ten policemen for having made some drawings! I could go on, but I won’t because it would make you sick.
Ladies and gentlemen, I strongly suggest that we should defend freedom of speech, with all our strength. Free speech is the most important of all our many civil rights. Free speech is the cornerstone of our modern free societies. Without free speech there is no democracy, no freedom. It is our obligation to defend free speech. It is our obligation to preserve the heritage of the British Magna Charta and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man. It is our obligation to defend the American Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human rights protect the freedom of individuals but they do not protect ideologies. I propose two things:
I propose a boycott of the UN Human Rights Council. Annually this Council adopts resolutions that attempt to kill free speech and the concept of human rights. Let there be no mistake about it, the UN Human Rights Council is a threat to free speech in the West.
I propose to repeal all hate speech laws in Europe. These laws enable radical Muslims to silence those critical of Islam. Free speech should be extended instead of restricted in Europe. We should consider laws comparable to the American First Amendment.
Unfortunately, however, if we really wish to combat the Islamization of Europe effectively, we will have to do more than guard or extend freedom of speech. In this regard it is my firm conviction that we will have to take the following measures:
First, we will have to end all forms of cultural relativism. For this purpose we will need an amendment to our constitutions stating that our European cultural foundation is Judeo-Christian and Humanistic in nature. To the cultural relativists, the Shariah-socialists, I would proudly say, “Our Western culture is superior to Islamic culture.” Or to quote Wafa Sultan when she compared the Western culture with islam: “It’s not a clash of civilizations, it’s a clash between barbarity and reason”. I fully agree with her.
Second, we will have to stop mass immigration from Muslim countries and promote voluntary repatriation.
Third, we will have to expel criminal foreigners and, following denaturalisation, criminals with dual nationality. I have a clear message to all mulsims in our societies: if you subscribe to our laws, values and constitution you are very welcome to stau and we will even help you to assimilate. But if you cross the red line and commit crimes, start thinking and acting like jihad or sharia we will expell you the same out of our countries.
Fourth, we will have to close down all Islamic schools for they are fascist institutions, to prevent any further indoctrination of young children with an ideology of violence and hatred.
Fifth, we will have to close down all radical and forbid the construction of any new mosques, there is enough Islam in Europe. Besides that, as long as Christians in Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia are treated in the scandalous ways they currently are, and as long as no permission is given for churches to be built or bibles to be sold in, for example, Saudi Arabia, there should be a mosque building-stop in the West.
Sixth, last but not least, we will have to get rid of all those cowardly so-called leaders. We enjoy the privilege of living in a democracy. Let’s use that privilege by replacing cowards with heroes. Let’s have fewer Chamberlains and more Churchills. Lets elect real leaders.
In short, ladies and gentlemen, my mian message of today is that we have to start fighting back. No defence, but offence. We have to fight back and demonstrate that millions of people are sick and tired of it all and refuse to take any more. We must make it clear that millions of freedom-loving people are saying ‘enough is enough’.
Ladies and gentlemen, Europe is at the crossroads once again. We either choose the road to darkness or the road to freedom.
My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. My generation does not own this freedom, we are merely its custodians. We cannot strike a deal with Mullahs and imams. We cannot surrender and give up our liberties, we simply do not have the right to do so.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the winning mood! Cultural relativists and Shariah-socialists are losing, freedom loving people are winning. Things are changing for the better.
Ladies and gentlemen, and I leave you with this: We will never give in, we will never give up, we will never surrender, we have to win, and we will win!
Thank you very much.
I cannot go over all the claims he made in his speech, for the simple reason I do not have time for that. But there a few serious flaws I want to mention (the numbers below correspond with the numbers in the speech):
1. The 100 billion euro costs of migration is based upon a report that can be read HERE. The report estimates the costs of migration (among things) based upon constructed profiles in which the profiles of future migrants is based upon the age profiles of native citizens and socio-economic characteristics of current migrants p. 68-72):
Figure 4.4 also provides the opportunity to assess the effects of the immigration of families. A few examples are worked out here. The first is a family with a husband and wife aged 25 and the characteristics of the non-Western immigrants. The family has two children, aged 0 and 5, whose characteristics correspond to the average of those the Dutch and non-Western residents. It can be calculated from the data in figure 4.4 that the family carries a negative net contribution of 230,000 Euros (minus 43,ooo Euros for each of both parents and minus 68,000 Euros for the 0 year old child and minus 76,000 Euros for the 5 year old child) and thus forms a substantial burden to public finances. Even if the parents have the average of the non-Western and Dutch characteristics, and the children have the ‘Dutch’ characteristics the total lifetime contribution is negative (minus 48,000 Euros). A positive contribution requires that the social and economic characteristics of the family of immigrants almost fully equal those of the average Dutch residents. If all members of the family have the Dutch characteristics the total lifetime
contribution amounts to 76,000 Euros, and if the parents are ‘highly performing’, the contribution rises to 226,000 Euros.
This means that in the most negative scenario the future costs of migration will be 230,000 euro for every non-western household. It does not say it pertains to current migrants and if we can come with that conclusion. Even if that would be the case, which it isn’t, Wilders takes the most negative contribution (minus 230,000) euros and extrapolates that to existing non-western households in the Netherlands. But also here he is sloppy: there are 224,500 of these households. Let’s include the households with one non-Western partner (85,000) that the total number becomes 309,000. 230,000 * 309,000 = 71,070,000,000. This is still considerably less than 100 billion. And I probably don’t even have to mention that not all of these people in the non-western category are Muslims.
2. Sennels’ interview can be read HERE. Based upon that interview it is very clear that Sennel has a completely flawed idea about culture. There is no such thing as a ‘Muslim culture’ just as there is no such thing as a ‘Christian culture’. The cultural repertoires of Muslims in West Africa are very different from those of Muslims in the Middle East or Europe. Furthermore his research is on Muslims with a crime sheet which indeed very probably will generate a positive image about ‘Muslim culture’. And how does explain the differences between first generation and second generation migrants?
3. More than half of Dutch Muslims indeed showed understanding the attacks of 9/11 but the majority at the same rejected the attacks.
4. Mohamed Saboui probably does not exist. in 1996 (!) Phillipe Aziz wrote the book ‘Le paradoxes de Roubaix’. It quickly appeared that the book had many false claims such as about the Islamic majority of Roubaix (which it hadn’t) and also about Mohamed Sabaoui ‘young sociologist at the University of Lille‘. The University of Lille released a statement in which they stated that Mohamed Sabaoui was never registered at the university.
5. If there is such a thing as a Al-Hijra doctrine, it is not about populating non-Muslim terroritories but about migration from non-Muslim terroritories to countries regarded as ‘Islamic’ or a spiritual withdrawal from a hostile society. Wilders probably based this idea upon Khilafa or Kingdom which argues from a Christian perspective that Islam is a violent and false religion.
6. Note that it is estimated that 15-20 million Muslims live in Europe. So when Wilders talks about tens of millions what does he mean? That he doesn’t even know the number of Muslims?
7. On his link between the Quran-(moderate)Muslims-violence and intolerance see the part about Fitna.
Ahh, there are more people claiming Wilders has a problem with algebra. The Dutch minister for Integration for example also stated that there are no more than 20 million Muslims in the Europe. Wilders refutes this by claiming that there 54 million Muslims. His source is a report from the Zentral-Institut Islam in Germany that indeed gives a number 53 million Muslims. However in this number the Muslims from Russia (27 million) and the Balkan countries are included. Russia does not belong to the EU and moreover these are mainly native citizens to which country are they going to be send away if they engage with the wrong practices and thoughts?
In his rebuttal Wilders also refers to researches that show that 40% of British Muslims want to introduce sharia, 32% of Muslim students deem killing in the name of religion can be justifiable, 33% of them want a global Caliphate and 35% of the French, 25% of the Spanish and 24% of the British Muslims do not clearly speak up against suicide attacks in the name of Islam. Let’s have a closer look at these researches.
The first two are based upon an article in the Sunday Telegraph and can also be found in other newspapers such as the Daily Mail. The reports in the newspapers are based upon research by the Centre for Social Cohesion. Layscience has done some thorough reading on the original report and states this:
The Disgusting Misrepresentation of British Muslims | The Lay Scientist
Let’s take the two big assertions made in the opening paragraphs of the Daily Mail article. The headline reads: “One third of British Muslim students say it’s acceptable to kill for Islam,” while the second paragraph states that, “40 per cent want to see the introduction of Islamic sharia law in Britain.” Now let’s see what the two questions actually asked were:
“How supportive, if at all, would you be of the official introduction of Shari’ah Law into British law for Muslims in Britain?
Very supportive 21%
Fairly supportive 19%”
Not only do The Mail conveniently drop the modifier “for Muslims” in the opening paragraph, but they’re not even reporting the question that was actually asked, and the question that was asked is very open-ended. To me, that question asks “if officials wanted to introduce some or all aspects of Shari’ah law into the UK for Muslims only, would you support their move?” That’s a fundamentally different question from “do you think Shari’ah law should be introduced into the UK. It may seem like wordplay, but wordplay is critically important in understanding results from polls like this, and how they can be misinterpreted.
Is it ever justifiable to kill in the name of religion?
Yes, in order to preserve and promote that religion 4%
Yes, but only if that religion is under attack 28%
While the Mail’s headline is technically not a lie, it is clearly a substantial manipulation of the truth. Of the 32% that said it was acceptable to kill in the name of religion, 87.5% said “only in self-defense”, while the tiny remainder said yes to an answer that includes the confusing conflation “preserve and promote”. I’m curious to know what percentage of Christians would give similar answers, and what proportion of human beings in general if we substitute “religion” for “philosophy” or “way of life”. Would you be willing to fight an opponent to the death to protect your family’s way of life from attack?
The numbers about the support for suicide attacks are based upon a report by Pew Research Center. We can see something strange there. The question asked (or at least the headline given above the table) is Support for Suicide Bombing. And then, which I think refers to the question that has been asked: Violence against civilian targets in order to defend Islam can be justified…(sometimes, rarely, never). But that is not by definition the same as support for suicide bombing. When we take a look at the questionnaire it become clear. The question is:
ASK MUSLIMS ONLY:
Q.29 Some people think that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are
justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies. Other people believe that, no matter what the
reason, this kind of violence is never justified. Do you personally feel that this kind of violence is
often justified to defend Islam, sometimes justified, rarely justified, or never justified?
It is problematic to ask about suicide bombing AND other forms of violence because a question should be clear unequivocal; this one is not. There is a report in which suicide bombing is explicitly asked. This report about the Muslim world shows a striking and continuing decrease in acceptance of suicide bombing and other forms of violence in the defense of Islam.
We can, and perhaps should, be alarmed about the large numbers supporting violence against civilians but the problem here is also that we do not know how these numbers compare to non-Muslims supporting violence against civilians. In a report on Salon.com by Glenn Greenwald we can see an attempt to make such a comparison as a reaction against a Pew Research claiming that some US Muslims support suicide attacks. (The article by Reuters on this issue also features the numbers used by Wilders). Greenwald bases his findings on the Program of International Public Attitudes by the University of Maryland.Large number of Americans favor violent attacks against civilians – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com
One of the questions they asked was whether “bombings and other types of attacks intentionally aimed at civilians are sometimes justified”? Americans approved of such attacks by a much larger margin than Iranians — 51-16% (and a much, much larger margin than American Muslims — 51-13%):
A rather substantial 24% of Americans thought that such attacks are justified “often” or “sometimes,” while another 27% thought they were justified in rare cases. By stark contrast, only 11% of Iranians think such attacks are justified “often” or “sometimes,” with a mere further 5% agreeing they can be justified in rare cases. Similar results were found with the series of other questions regarding violence deliberately aimed at civilians — including women, children and the elderly. Americans believed such attacks could be justifiable to a substantially higher degree than Iranians.
As Kenneth Ballen noted in The Christian Science Monitor in February of this year, Americans express greater support for “attacks against civilians than any major Muslim country except for Nigeria.” Make of that what you will — and its meaning is debatable — but those are just facts.
Based upon the above we can conclude that Wilders adequately uses newspaper reports on the particular researches but that these reports are highly flawed (to say the least) as in the case of Centre for Social Cohesion or problematic and vague as in the case of the Pew Research.This I think justifies the following conclusion based upon (and slightly altered in italics) Greenwalds assertion:
Yet by manipulating the polling data and failing to discuss it comparatively, an impression is quickly solidifying, as intended, that there are throngs of scary and threatening jihadist Muslims — both in our midst and around the world — waiting to launch suicide attacks on us, and that necessitates the euphemistic Wilders’“wake-up call.”
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