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Geert Wilders visit

I support the right of Geert Wilders to visit Australia.  He is not a racist and is not encouraging violence. He is opposed to the ideology of Islam which he sees as totalitarian.  In a democracy we are entitled to hear these views particularly because they are not without merit. If violence occurs in response to the Wilders visit it is the result of intolerance towards his views not from his views themselves.  Cultural relativism is an unconvincing basis for ethics because it does not deal satisfactorily with those who are themselves intolerant and certain groups within Islam are obviously intolerant of anything non-Islamic.  There is evidence of widespread bigotry and intolerance in Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.  Punishing certain sexual practices or an exit from Islam with death, rejecting the notions of a pluralist democracy and treating women as property are instances of bigoted intolerance.  Refusing to accept democratic rule by non-Muslims (as decreed under the the so-called Cairo declaration) is potentially inconsistent with pluralist democratic ideals and should be firmly rejected as a reasonable ethic anywhere.  It is as wrong in Saudi Arabia as in Australia.

I do not agree with Wilders’ view that we should generally oppose the migration of Muslims to Australia although I don’t think Australia has got a good deal from the Muslim migrants it has received from some Middle East countries such as Lebanon. This has less to do with their religion than their recent history. The vast majority of Muslim migrants to Australia make very good citizens  partly because they do not accept the ideology of the fanatics. I see no reason to be prejudiced against Muslim migrants who accept the notion of living in a non-Islamic pluralist democracy if we are to have an active migration program.  The bigots and fanatics are, of course, unwelcome.

5 comments to Geert Wilders visit

  • Jim Rose

    At least we can look Malaysia in the eye on visas etc for trouble-making MPs?!? (I like Xenophon by the way. keeps them honest. He always means the best)

    Policing the borders for people with extreme views does not seem to be a role for a democratic government. There are character tests such as criminal convictions and security assessments.

    It would be unusual for MPs with a clean criminal record sheet and a commitment to democracy to fail such tests.

    There are some rather unreconstructed communist MPs in parliaments as far apart as Greece and Japan. Should we ban them?

    A few Greek Golden Dawn MPs who might fail the character test. Enough of them like a ruck.

  • Savvas Tzionis

    Your last paragraph is quite well put. Unfortunately we only ever hear the two extreme views.

  • derrida derider

    So Muslim bigots are not welcome but anti-Muslim bigots are?

    While I have a harsher view of Wilders’ views and motives than yours, though, I think preventing his entry would be both morally wrong (he doesn’t preach violence) and probably counterproductive. By all means let him in to speak but I’ll cheer on those who peacefully heckle him.

  • Mel

    The difference, DD is that the anti-Muslim bigots are not throwing bombs or attempting to replace democracy with something as rancid as shariah law and a caliphate.

  • …..obviously you haven’t read the Koran. Killing anyone who is non-muslim as the Koran requires goes against everything you have said and is bad for Australia. The Australian way of life will be destroyed by Islam and so the more that we are warned about it, the better.

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