Tag Archives: Geert Wilders

The Norway massacre and the nexus of Islamophobia and right-wing Zionism

This article originally appeared in Mondoweiss, and was also picked up by AlterNet.

Details on the culprit behind yesterday’s massacre in Norway, which saw car bombings in Oslo and a mass shooting attack on the island of Utoya that caused the deaths of at least 91 people, have begun to emerge.  While it is still too early for a complete portrait of the killer, Anders Behring Breivik, there are enough details to begin to piece together what’s behind the attack.

Although initial media reports, spurred on by the tweets of former State Department adviser on violent extremism Will McCants, linked the attacks to Islamist extremists, it was in fact an anti-Muslim zealot who committed the murders.  An examination of Breivik’s views, and his support for far-right European political movements, makes it clear that only by interrogating the nexus of Islamophobia and right-wing Zionism can one understand the political beliefs behind the terrorist attack.

Breivik is apparently an avid fan of U.S.-based anti-Muslim activists such as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes, and has repeatedly professed his ardent support for Israel.  Breivik’s political ideology is illuminated by looking at comments he posted to the right-wing site document.no, which author and journalist Doug Sanders put up.

Here’s a sampling of some of Breivik’s comments:

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No Surprise Here: Palin’s PAC Tied to Islamophobic Dutch Writer

Mother Jones magazine reports on an “incendiary Dutch journalist” named Joshua Livestro who is apparently working on Sarah Palin’s political action committee (emphasis mine):

Not surprisingly, Livestro’s views skew to the right. He helped to found the Edmund Burke Foundation, a right-wing Dutch think tank created to push back against progressive politics in the Netherlands. In one manifesto, citing the number of Muslims in the Netherlands, the foundation warned of ethnic conflict and said the country’s borders should be closed. In the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland, Livestro once wrote that the gruesome photos depicting detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib resembled little more than an out-of-control frat party; he complained that Abu Ghraib critics were “cry-babies” exaggerating the episode’s signficiance. On his blog, Livestro similarly quipped that the CIA’s torture techniques—with the exception of waterboarding—were milder than the hazing methods of fraternities.

Livestro founded the Edmund Burke Foundation along with a fellow Dutch journalist named Bart Jan Spruyt, who went on to advise the virulently Islamophobic Dutch politician Geert Wilders.  Spruyt accompanied Wilders on a trip to the United States in 2005, the purpose being for Wilders to publicize here “what is happening to his country because of the rise of radical Islam and why he is promoting a moratorium on non-western immigration.”  (Spruyt has now distanced himself from Wilders.)

It’s no surprise that Palin would be tied to an anti-Muslim Dutch writer.  Palin has stoked bigotry against Muslims herself, from referring to the president as Barack Hussein Obama to calling on “peaceful Muslims” to “refudiate” the “Ground Zero mosque” to defending Franklin Graham, who once called Islam a “very evil and wicked religion.”  She’s also the hero of the Tea Party, a right-wing movement that’s no stranger to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment.

Race and religion-baiting of President Obama and Muslims will be par for the course if/when Palin runs for president in 2012.

 

 

American Neocons and Zionists Embrace Far-right Dutch Pol Geert Wilders

Match made in heaven: Far-right blogger Pam Geller and Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Photo: atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com

Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician, wants to bring his noxious brand of Islamophobia into mainstream American politics.  It looks like he’s succeeding, and prominent figures on the American right are actively courting him.

He has already had his voice heard and amplified by anti-Muslim blogs like Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch.  And on September 11, Wilders told a crowd gathered to protest the Muslim community center near Ground Zero that “New York, rooted in Dutch tolerance, will never become New Mecca…In the name of freedom: No mosque here!”

Ferry Biedermann, a correspondent for Dutch and international media in the Middle East, provides details (emphasis mine) on some of the American allies Wilders has in a piece in Foreign Policy titled “Mainstreaming Hate”:

Not that long ago, both American Democrats and Republicans were considered rightwing by Dutch, and indeed European, standards. No longer. Wilders sometimes makes the likes of Fox News host Glenn Beck, anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller, and even the most extreme fringes of the Tea Party crowd look like moderates — and the comparison is not a random one. Several Dutch media outlets have delved into ideological and financial ties between Wilders and American archconservatives such as David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, and Jim DeMint. In an article this May, the respected Dutch NRC newspaper reported that Horowitz had brought Wilders over for a “conservative conference in California” at the end of 2009, attended by DeMint and Liz Cheney, among others. It also quotes Pipes as saying that he had gathered a “six-figure sum” to support Wilders…

Some Dutch analysts warn that it is a mistake to “blacken” Wilders’s name too much or lump him with fascism or Nazism. “For one, he’s not anti-Semitic,” says Alfred Pijpers of the Clingendael Institute of International Relations in The Hague. Israeli officials have indeed privately commended him as “a friend of Israel.” Pijpers says that Wilders has more in common with the Tea Party activists in the United States than with any old-style European right-wing party

Here are some of Wilders’ political positions concerning Muslims and Islam:

He has called for a “head rag tax” on women wearing headscarves. He favors banning the Quran, wants to close Muslim schools but not equivalent Christian or Jewish ones, wants to force immigrants to sign “assimilation contracts,” and wants to include the “Judeo-Christian character” of the state in the constitution.

This should be a scandal in American politics, especially because people who have political power, such as Jim DeMint, a senator from South Carolina, are tied to Wilders.  This Foreign Policy piece further underscores the troubling ties that bind together Zionism, American neoconservatism and Islamophobia.

UPDATE:  I should have added in links to these excellent pieces by Ali Gharib, a blogger at the Inter Press Service’s LobeLog: Dutch MP Geert Wilders and U.S. Allies Tied to European Far Right and Frum Whitewashes Dutch Islamophobe.