Tag Archive | "Islamophobia"

The Centre for I$raHell and Jewish Affairs: Stoking Islamophobia and Defending Racism


NOVANEWS
Image result for Islamophobia LOGO
By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice 

Would a farmer ask a fox to help design a security system for her free-range chickens?

A group that stokes Islamophobia and defends an explicitly supremacist organization shouldn’t be part of a Public Consultation on Systemic Discrimination and Racism in Québec. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) should be removed from the “list of selected organizations” for this important initiative.

While groups participating in the just launched consultation are supposed to “develop concrete proposals to combat systemic discrimination and racism”, last summer CIJA campaigned aggressively against a Green Party of Canada resolution calling on the Canada Revenue Agency to revoke the charitable status of an explicitly racist organization. The Green’s motion described the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) “discrimination against non-Jews in Israel through its bylaws which prohibit the lease or sale of its lands to non-Jews.” Owner of 13 percent of Israel’s land – mostly seized from Palestinians in 1948 – the JNF systematically discriminates against the 20% of non-Jewish Israeli citizens. JNF racism is not the all too common ‘personal’ or even ‘structural’ variety, rather a legalistic discrimination outlawed in Canada six decades ago.

CIJA and the JNF Canada often work together and sponsor each other’s events. Additionally, JNF Canada CEO Lance Davis previously worked as CIJA’s National Jewish Campus Life director.

Beyond defending racist land-use policies in Israel, CIJA has stigmatized marginalized Canadians by hyping “Islamic terror” and targeting Arab and Muslim community representativespapers, organizations, etc. In response to a truck attack in Nice, France, last year CIJA declared “Canada is not immune to … Islamist terror” and in February they highlighted, “those strains of Islam that pose a real and imminent threat to Jews around the world.”

In a bid to deter organizations from associating with the Palestinian cause or opposing Israeli belligerence in the region, CIJA demonizes Canadian Arabs and Muslims by constantly accusing them of supporting “terror”. Last week the lobbying arm of Canada’s Jewish Federations said it was “shocked” Ottawa failed to rescind the charitable status of the Islamic Society of British Columbia. CIJA alleges that the Vancouver area mosque supports Hamas, which the federal government considers a terrorist organization but Palestinians (and most of the world) consider a political/resistance organization.

In 2014 CIJA pushed to proscribe as a terrorist entity Mississauga-based IRFAN (International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy). The Jewish group’s press release about the first Canadian-based group ever designated a terrorist organization boasted that “current CIJA board member, the Honourable Stockwell Day … called attention to IRFAN-Canada’s disturbing activities nearly a decade ago.”

In the early 2000s pro-Israel groups and the Conservative Party accused a charity that supported thousands of orphans in a dozen countries of working for Hamas. But, a Canada Revenue Agency audit failed to substantiate the claim. As the two-year audit was about to wrap up at the end of 2004, Stockwell Day and the Canadian Coalition of Democracies (CCD) held a press conference where they accused IRFAN of being a front for Hamas, which prompted a defamation suit (CCD eventually retracted the allegation while Day was protected by parliamentary privilege).

When Day’s Conservatives later took power the CRA renewed their investigation of IRFAN in what appeared to be an effort to prove that Muslim Canadians financed “Hamas terror”. In 2011 the CRA revoked the group’s charitable status, claiming “IRFAN-Canada is an integral part of an international fundraising effort to support Hamas.” A big part of the CRA’s supporting evidence was that IRFAN worked with the Gaza Ministry of Health and Ministry of Telecommunications, which came under Hamas’ direction after they won the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. The Canadian organization tried to send a dialysis machine to Gaza and continued to support orphans in the impoverished territory with the money channelled through the Post Office controlled by the Telecommunications Ministry.

This author cannot claim any detailed knowledge of the charity, but on the surface of it the charge that IRFAN was a front for Hamas makes little sense. First of all, the group was registered with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank when the Fatah-controlled PA was waging war against Hamas. Are we to believe that CRA officials in Ottawa had a better sense of who supported Hamas then the PA in Ramallah? Additionally, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) viewed the Canadian charity as a legitimate partner. In 2009 IRFAN gave UNRWA $1.2 million to build a school for girls in Battir, a West Bank village.

In a sign of how the campaign against IRFAN stigmatized a marginalized group, the CRA’s findings were used to smear the 2012 edition of the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference in Toronto because IRFAN was one of 17 sponsors of one of the largest Muslim gatherings in North America.

While quick to attack Arabs and Muslims’ support for “terror” or “anti-Semitism”, CIJA clams up when explicit Jewish Islamophobia is brought to their attention. In 2012 the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) asked for CIJA’s help with an aggressively anti-Muslim textbook used at Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School in Toronto. It described Muslims as “rabid fanatics” with “savage beginnings”, but CIJA refused to respond.

In a more recent example of the group stoking anti-Muslim sentiment, CIJA aligned itself with the backlash against the term “Islamophobia” in bill M-103, which called for collecting data on hate crimes and studying the issue of “eliminating systemicracism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.” CEO Shimon Fogel said the “wording of M-103 is flawed. Specifically, we are concerned with the word ‘Islamophobia’ because it is misleading, ambiguous, and politically charged.” It takes chutzpah for a Jewish community leader to make this argument since, as Rick Salutin points out, anti-Semitism is a more ambiguous term. But, Fogel would no doubt label as anti-Jewish someone who objected to the term anti-Semitism as “misleading, ambiguous, and politically charged”.

An initiative promoted by committed anti-racist campaigners, the Public Consultation on Systemic Discrimination and Racism in Québec is important. It should not include a group that stokes Islamophobia and defends an explicitly supremacist organization.

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International Travel to Banned Muslim Countries: US Immigration Halts Former Prime Minister of Norway at Airport


Kjell Magne Bondevik

Former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, photographed here after attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo in December, was stopped by US immigration officials when he landed in the US on Wednesday. They questioned him for an hour about a stamp in his diplomatic passport showing that he’d been in Iran. PHOTO: NRK screen grab

Norway’s national commercial television channel TV2 reported Thursday night that Bondevik had traveled to the US to attend the annual prayer breakfast involving various religions that’s traditionally held after the inauguration of a new US president. Bondevik is an ordained minister and former leader of the Christian Democrats party, and has served both as Norway’s foreign minister and prime minister.

He told TV2 he was stopped at the airport’s border control and questioned for around an hour.

“They began to ask me why I had been in Iran and what I was going to do in the US,” Bondevik told TV2. “They shouldn’t have had any reason to fear a former prime minister who has been on official visits to the US several times.”

Bondevik wound up a target, however, of the new ban ordered by US President Donald Trump on entry into the US for all citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. All refugees have also been banned from entering the US for the next four months, while Syrian citizens and refugees have been banned indefinitely.

As a former prime minister, Bondevik remains entitled to a diplomatic passport. That didn’t stop the US border agents from placing him under suspicion. Bondevik said he had also traveled to the US with the same passport containing the same stamp from Iran last year without being stopped or questioned.

“It seems as though when the name of one of the banned countries comes up, they now put up the barbed wire,” Bondevik said. “It was entirely unnecessary suspicion. I became quite provoked.”

Bondevik, who has worked for years on peace and reconciliation efforts around the world, said he can understand the fear of terror, “but you shouldn’t treat entire groups of people in this manner. I have to admit I fear the future (with Trump as president). There’s been a lot of progress in the world the last few decades, but this gives great cause for concern, along with the authoritarian leaders we see steering other large countries.”

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War and Islamophobia: The Attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City


quebec canada-mosque-shooting

The tragic Jan. 30th attack on worshippers at a Quebec City mosque has gripped all of Canada. Thousands of decent Canadians, from all walks of life, have taken it upon themselves to demonstrate their outrage at this heinous crime, and to show solidarity with muslim Canadians. We congratulate the organizers of the well-attended and quickly-organized Hamilton demonstration, and hope that we can work together as a community to end the islamophobia that led to the criminal attack in Quebec.

We wish that we could say we are surprised at the Jan. 30 incident. However, like many other organizations, the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War has been warning, for the past fifteen years, about the dangers posed to our society by the permanent condition of the “War on Terror.”

The military interventions, waged by George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama in predominantly muslim countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Syria have all required the demonization of entire governments, and by extension, the peoples of those countries. Some U.S. and Canadian political figures and commentators who helped to destabilize entire regions (the Middle East and North Africa), have at the same time cynically capitalized on the resulting violence and refugee crises by raising fears about an entire religion, namely, Islam.

It’s time to recognize that successive Canadian governments and the corporate media apparatus have consistently promoted war and violence as an acceptable tool for remaking whole regions. It is in these conditions that ‘lone-wolf’ attacks occur. The powerful state and corporate media, through their blanket slander of whole countries and religions, help to put hostile islamophobic ideas inside vulnerable minds.

In a time where social stability and institutions are fraying apart, when the march of progress has seemingly ended, when people have nothing to look forward to other than war, cutbacks, and joblessness, misguided individuals will use the ideas that the powerful have handed them – that muslims are dangerous, that killing is acceptable, that violence will be rewarded – and try to turn them into practice. In doing so, they are following a template that has been created for them from above.

It is possible to build a better world. First, we need to throw off the idea that the U.S., through NATO and various other bodies, should be managing the affairs of Europe, Africa or the Middle East. Those governments have to give up their ambition of empire. They need to respect international law and sovereignty. They have to recognize the principle of national self-determination and respect people’s democratic rights to determine their own country’s destinies.

The abandonment of these concepts has led to a culture of lawlessness, violence, and impunity that we now see reflected in this tragic vigilante action in Quebec. If our governments act like gangsters, than our citizens will too. Canada can tag alongside the U.S. like the goons in a Mad Max movie, or it can follow an independent, peaceful, and humane foreign policy.

In order to build a foreign policy that reflects the vision among many Canadians for a more just and peaceful world, many of our elected representatives will have to reawaken the concept of a “political opposition” to this war agenda. When will the opposition political parties in Canada take a stand against the war agenda?

We call for the Canadian government to:

– re-establish diplomatic relations with Syria and Iran;

– end its punishing economic sanctions against Syria, Iran, and Russia;

– bring home all Canadian troops and military equipment from Syria and Iraq, Ukraine and all other frontier states bordering Russia;

– terminate the arms deal with Saudi Arabia;

– withdraw from the “Friends of Syria” Group of Countries (which organized the proxy war against Syria);

– quit NATO and join the Non-Aligned Movement instead;

– develop an independent, peaceful, and humane Canadian foreign policy.

For more info: Ken Stone at 905-383-7693 or at kenstone@cogeco.ca

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Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America


NOVANEWS
 
religion

This article was first published May 1, 2013. 

Terrorism Is a Real Threat … But the Threat to the U.S. from Muslim Terrorists Has Been Exaggerated

An FBI report shows that only a small percentage of terrorist attacks carried out on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 were perpetrated by Muslims.

Princeton University’s Loon Watch compiled the following chart from the FBI’s data:

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2005, According to FBI DatabaseTerrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2005, According to FBI Database

According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%).  These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion.  These were not terrorists who happened to be Jews; rather, they were extremist Jews who committed acts of terrorism based on their religious passions, just like Al-Qaeda and company.

(Loon Watch also notes that less than 1% of terror attacks in Europe were carried out by Muslims.)

U.S. News and World Report noted in February of this year:

Of the more than 300 American deaths from political violence and mass shootings since 9/11, only 33 have come at the hands of Muslim-Americans, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. The Muslim-American suspects or perpetrators in these or other attempted attacks fit no demographic profile—only 51 of more than 200 are of Arabic ethnicity. In 2012, all but one of the nine Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered were halted in early stages. That one, an attempted bombing of a Social Security office in Arizona, caused no casualties.

Wired reported the same month:

Since 9/11, [Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, writing for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and National Security] and his team tallies, 33 Americans have died as a result of terrorism launched by their Muslim neighbors. During that period, 180,000 Americans were murdered for reasons unrelated to terrorism. In just the past year, the mass shootings that have captivated America’s attention killed 66 Americans, “twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11,” notes Kurzman’s team.

Law enforcement, including “informants and undercover agents,” were involved in “almost all of the Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered in 2012,” the Triangle team finds. That’s in keeping with the FBI’s recent practice of using undercover or double agents to encourage would-be terrorists to act on their violent desires and arresting them when they do — a practice critics say comes perilously close to entrapment. A difference in 2012 observed by Triangle: with the exception of the Arizona attack, all the alleged plots involving U.S. Muslims were “discovered and disrupted at an early stage,” while in the past three years, law enforcement often observed the incubating terror initiatives “after weapons or explosives had already been gathered.”

The sample of Muslim Americans turning to terror is “vanishingly small,” Kurzman tells Danger Room. Measuring the U.S. Muslim population is a famously inexact science, since census data don’t track religion, but rather “country of origin,” which researchers attempt to use as a proxy. There are somewhere between 1.7 million and seven million American Muslims, by most estimates, and Kurzman says he operates off a model that presumes the lower end, a bit over 2 million. That’s less a rate of involvement in terrorism of less than 10 per million, down from a 2003 high of 40 per million, as detailed in the chart above.

Yet the scrutiny by law enforcement and homeland security on American Muslims has not similarly abated. The FBI tracks “geomaps” of areas where Muslims live and work, regardless of their involvement in any crime. The Patriot Act and other post-9/11 restrictions on government surveillance remain in place. The Department of Homeland Security just celebrated its 10th anniversary. In 2011, President Obama ordered the entire federal national-security apparatus to get rid of counterterrorism training material that instructed agents to focus on Islam itself, rather than specific terrorist groups.

Kurzman doesn’t deny that law enforcement plays a role in disrupting and deterring homegrown U.S. Muslim terrorism. His research holds it out as a possible explanation for the decline. But he remains surprised by the disconnect between the scale of the terrorism problem and the scale — and expense — of the government’s response.

“Until public opinion starts to recognize the scale of the problem has been lower than we feared, my sense is that public officials are not going to change their policies,” Kurzman says. “Counterterrorism policies have involved surveillance — not just of Muslim-Americans, but of all Americans, and the fear of terrorism has justified intrusions on American privacy and civil liberties all over the internet and other aspects of our lives. I think the implications here are not just for how we treat a religious minority in the U.S., but also how we treat the rights & liberties of everyone.”

We agree. And so do most Americans. Indeed – as we’ve previously documented – you’re more likely to die from brain-eating parasites, alcoholism, obesity, medical errors, risky sexual behavior or just about anything other than terrorism.

Kurzman told the Young Turks in February that Islamic terrorism “doesn’t even count for 1 percent” of the 180,000 murders in the US since 9/11.

While the Boston marathon bombings were horrific, a top terrorism expert says that the Boston attack was more like Columbine than 9/11, and that the bombers are “murderers not terrorists”.  The overwhelming majority of mass shootings were by non-Muslims.  (This is true in Europe, as well as in the U.S.)

However you classify them – murder or terrorism – the Boston bombings occurred after all of the statistical analysis set forth above. Moreover, different groups have different agendas about how to classify the perpetrators  (For example, liberal Mother Jones and conservative Breitbart disagree on how many of the perpetrators of terror attacks can  properly be classified as right wing extremists.)

So we decided to look at the most current statistics for ourselves, to do an objective numerical count not driven by any agenda.

Specifically, we reviewed all of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil as documented by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2012). Global Terrorism Database, as retrieved from http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd.

The START Global Terrorism Database spans from 1970 through 2012 (and will be updated from year-to-year), and – as of this writing – includes 104,000 terrorist incidents.  As such, it is the most comprehensive open-source database open to the public.

We counted up the number of terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims.  We excluded attacks by groups which are obviously not Muslims, such as the Ku Klux Klan, Medellin Drug Cartel, Irish Republican Army, Anti-Castro Group, Mormon extremists, Vietnamese Organization to Exterminate Communists and Restore the Nation, Jewish Defense League, May 19 Communist Order, Chicano Liberation Front, Jewish Armed Resistance, American Indian Movement, Gay Liberation Front, Aryan Nation, Jewish Action Movement, National Front for the Liberation of Cuba, or Fourth Reich Skinheads.

We counted attacks by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Black American Moslems, or anyone who even remotely sounded Muslim … for example anyone from Palestine, Lebanon or any other Arab or Muslim country, or any name including anything sounding remotely Arabic or Indonesian (like “Al” anything or “Jamaat” anything).

If we weren’t sure what the person’s affiliation was, we looked up the name of the group to determine whether it could in any way be connected to Muslims.

Based on our review of the approximately 2,400 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil contained within the START database, we determined that approximately 60 were carried out by Muslims.

In other words, approximately 2.5% of all terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1970 and 2012 were carried out by Muslims.*  This is a tiny proportion of all attacks.

(We determined that approximately 118 of the terror attacks – or 4.9% – were carried out by Jewish groups such as Jewish Armed Resistance, the Jewish Defense League, Jewish Action Movement, United Jewish Underground and Thunder of Zion. This is almost twice the percentage of Islamic attacks within the United States.  If we look at worldwide attacks – instead of just attacks on U.S. soil – Sunni Muslims are the main perpetrators of terrorism.  However: 1. Muslims are also the main victims of terror attacks worldwide; and 2. the U.S. backs the most radical types of Sunnis over more moderate Muslims and Arab secularists.)

Moreover, another study undertaken by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism – called ”Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism in the United States” – found:

Between 1970 and 2011, 32 percent of the perpetrator groups were motivated by ethnonationalist/separatist agendas, 28 percent were motivated by single issues, such as animal rights or opposition to war, and seven percent were motivated byreligious beliefs. In addition, 11 percent of the perpetrator groups were classified as extreme right-wing, and 22 percent were categorized as extreme left-wing.

Preliminary findings from PPT-US data between 1970 and 2011 also illustrate a distinct shift in the dominant ideologies of these terrorist groups over time, with the proportion of emerging ethnonationalist/separatist terrorist groups declining and the proportion of religious terrorist groups increasing. However, while terrorist groups with religious ideologies represent 40 percent of all emergent groups from 2000-2011 (two out of five), they only account for seven percent of groups over time.

Similarly, a third study by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism Religion found that religion alone is not a key factor in determining which terrorists want to use weapons of mass destruction:

The available empirical data show that there is not a significant relationship between terrorist organizations’ pursuit of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) weapons and the mere possession of a religious ideology, according to a new quantitative study by START researchers Victor Asal, Gary Ackerman and Karl Rethemeyer.

Therefore, Muslims are not more likely than other groups to want to use WMDs.

* The Boston marathon bombing was not included in this analysis, as START has not yet updated its database to include 2013 terrorist attacks.  3 people died in the Boston attack.  While tragic, we are confident that non-Musliims killed more than 3 during this same period.

We are not experts in terrorism analysis.  We would therefore defer to people like Kurzman on the exact number.  However, every quantitative analysis of terrorism in the U.S. we have read shows that the percent of terror attacks carried out by Muslims is far less than 10%.

Postscript: State-sponsored terrorism is beyond the scope of this discussion, and was not included in our statistical analysis.  Specifically, the following arguments are beyond the scope of this discussion, as we are focusing solely on non-state terrorism:

  • Arguments by  University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole that deaths from 20th century wars could be labeled Christian terrorism

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Facing Trial for Hate Speech, Islamophobic Dutch Politician Hopes to Ride Trump’s Tide


Geert Wilders, founder and leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom and currently on trial for hate speech, during day two of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 19, 2016. (Photo: Damon Winter / The New York Times)

Geert Wilders, founder and leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, during day two of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 19, 2016. (Photo: Damon Winter / The New York Times)

Dutch politician Geert Wilders — a poster boy for promoting Islamophobia in Europe and the United States — has been on trial for alleged hate speech against Moroccans since October 31. The Dutch court is expected to deliver its verdict tomorrow.

The trial concerns a 2014 political rally at which Wilders asked the audience whether they wanted “more or fewer Moroccans in this city [The Hague] and in the Netherlands.” When the crowd started chanting, “Fewer, fewer!” Wilders replied, “Well, we’ll arrange that, then.” As a result of his comments, thousands of citizens filed hate-speech complaints against Wilders. Dutch prosecutors then filed charges against him.

As the head of the far-right Dutch Party For Freedom (PVV), Wilders has crafted a pernicious message based on fear of the “threat” of Muslim immigration, an appeal to Dutch cultural chauvinism and Euroscepticism that resonates with many Dutch voters.

During the past several years, Wilders has also delivered numerous alarmist speeches in the United States, warning American audiences of what he sees as an increasing threat of Islamic influence and Sharia law in Europe and the US.

Wilders’ visits to the US reflect the mutually reinforcing relationship between the white supremacist far right in Europe and in the United States. Just as Wilders helped pave the way for Trump’s ascension by stoking Islamophobia in the US, Trump’s victory in the 2016 US election has helped to legitimize far-right white nationalist parties — like the one Wilders leads — in Europe.

Wilders’ Efforts to Stoke Islamophobia in the US

In 2009, Wilders appeared before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and stated, “Our Western culture based on Christianity, Judaism and humanism is in every aspect better than Islamic culture.” Later in 2009, he was honored at the Freedom of Speech Summit in South Florida, where he claimed the Qur’an was an inspirational tool for “jihadists all over the world to slaughter innocent people.” In 2010, Wilders was charged with inciting racial hatred against Muslims in the Netherlands. He was acquitted of those charges, but often references them to portray himself as a martyr of “politically correct” speech before audiences in the US.

In a 2011 speech at the Cornerstone Church in Nashville, Tennessee, Wilders claimed Europe “has changed beyond recognition” because of mass immigration, and he ranted against “cultural relativism” and the “ideology of multiculturalism.” Wilders said, “America is facing a stealth jihad, the Islamic attempt to introduce sharia law bit by bit.” Wilders played an influential role in convincing Tennessee lawmakers to develop legislation that banned Sharia law that year. In a 2012 speech before the Gatestone Institute, Wilders stated one of the most important things needed to “defeat Islam” was “to speak the truth, always and everywhere about Islam.” Wilders added, “Like the Americans, the people in the Netherlands and other European countries desperately need a First Amendment.”

In a 2015 op-ed in The New York Times, Wilders stated that the European migration crisis “is an existential crisis that is leading to the dilution of national identity and the loss of security at the moment when the European Union has also robbed member nations of their sovereignty and the right to conduct their own asylum policies.” Wilders also proposed various forms of direct democracy promoting “the opinions of ordinary people” as a counterforce to entrenched political elites, who, he claims, “have lost touch” with the citizenry.

In July 2016, Wilders was invited to the Republican National Convention, where he opined about the “evils” of open borders and “cultural relativism; the biggest disease in Europe today.” He continued, “We have no real leaders in the Western world any more, we have appeasers,” and he claimed if Islam is “to be planted” on a nation’s soil it will “harvest” Sharia law.

In September 2016 Wilders and Frauke Petry, the chair of Alternative für Deutschland met with Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa to share ideas on how to restrict immigration and the “increasing Islamic threat.” After their meeting, King sent a tweet to Wilders that stated, “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.” Wilders, a frequent contributor to the white supremacist and US-based Breitbart News Network, wrote in September 2016 about the lack of assimilation by immigrants to the Netherlands, and how the Dutch are being “colonized” and “Islamized.” Wilders concluded with a harrowing prognosis concerning immigration in Europe: “Extinction is not an option! Freedom or Islam. You cannot have it both ways. There is no middle way.”

In the summer of 2016, Wilders released the platform of the PVV Party that he hopes will catapult the PVV into the ruling coalition in the March 2017 Dutch Parliamentary election. The PVV proposes to “de-islamize the Netherlands” by closing the Netherlands borders and not allowing any future immigrants from Muslim countries to enter the country; shut down centers for asylum seekers; forbid the wearing of the veil at public functions; close all Mosques and Muslim schools and ban the Qur’an.

The PVV also threatens to implement “preventative incarceration of radical Muslims.” The platform stresses, “The Netherlands will reclaim its independence” and leave the European Union, install direct democracy and binding referenda, lower rents, cut appropriations for foreign aid, increase spending for defense and police, and lower income taxes.

In a September poll, the PVV had fallen in the polls and was in a dead heat with the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). However, a November 30, 2016, meta-poll shows the PVV gaining between 27 and 31 seats (18 percent to 21 percent of the vote) in the 150-seat Dutch parliament to the VVD’s 24 to 28 seats.

It is possible Wilders’ increase in the polls may be related to his current trial over hate speech. Wilders has conveyed the message that he is carrying on a valiant struggle for free speech and that he represents the voice of ordinary Dutch citizens who are not being listened to by governing elites.

On November 23, Wilders gave a final statement before the court. In his statement he claimed he was a victim of an overzealous “witch hunt” by political elites and told the judges to “not forget that, when you judge me, you are not just passing judgment on a single man, but on millions of men and women in the Netherlands.”

Wilders and Trump — Shared Politics

The term “post-fascism” — as specifically defined by political philosopher G.M. Tamás — is useful in describing the politics that unites Wilders and US President-elect Donald Trump.

Tamásuses the term “post-fascism” to describe a growing political movement that utilizes institutionalized electoral procedures and support for the global capitalist order to undermine citizenship rights of targeted groups in democratic societies. Post-fascist politicians consolidate their power through populist appeals to channel the social malaise, resentment and disillusionment of voters who feel abandoned by the political establishment. They advocate an extreme form of white supremacist identity politics in which closing national borders to protect the “purity” of “cultural heritage,” withdrawing from transnational institutions and agreements to protect national sovereignty, and rejecting the politics of austerity become central aspects of the political agenda. Post-fascist political parties rely on autocratic-style executive power, draconian laws to restrict immigration and racist political discourse, including anti-Semitic and Islamophobic rhetoric.

Post-fascist movements have utilized social media as an effective tool to provide cross-national electoral strategizing and the development of a coherent and increasingly unified populist message. Social media outlets like Twitter, Reddit, YouTube and Facebook have provided a digital commons for extremist political ideology and an echo chamber for those who are susceptible to its racist, anti-immigrant and pro-nationalist messages.

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential election may turn out to be a seminal event in legitimizing post-fascist political movements in Europe. His campaign pledge to restrict Muslim immigration in the US resonates with post-fascist parties in Europe.

Trump’s “America First” sloganeering and populist rhetoric echoes that of Wilder’s PVV platform. Like Wilder, Trump has capitalized on being an antiestablishment politician who has rebelled against entrenched political elites who he claims are out of touch with common people. His selection of Steve Bannon of Breitbart News as a key White House strategist certified that Trump’s anti-minority and anti-immigrant campaign messages would be part of his vision as president. As The Daily Beast reported, Bannon is now situated to expand the Breitbart brand into the heart of European politics. It is likely that the post-fascist movement will benefit from this expansion, strengthening existing links between right-wing extremists in the United States and Europe.

It may not be a coincidence that Wilders’ turnaround in the polls occurred not long after Trump’s electoral victory. Wilders was ecstatic about Trump’s victory.

A day after the US election, Wilders was interviewed by RT News and stated, “I believe the historical event of yesterday will have an enormous effect on European politics … look at America, what America can do, we can do as well.”

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