Pushing the Overton Window, inshallah

'I don't hate Muslims. I hate Islam,' says Holland's rising political star:

A TV addict with bleached hair who adores Maggie Thatcher and prefers kebabs to hamburgers, Geert Wilders has got nothing against Muslims. He just hates Islam. Or so he says. 'Islam is not a religion, it's an ideology,' says Wilders, a lanky Roman Catholic right-winger, 'the ideology of a retarded culture.
He shrugs off anxieties that his film will trigger a fresh bout of violence of the kind that left Van Gogh stabbed to death on an Amsterdam street and his estranged colleague Ayaan Hirsi Ali in hiding, or the murderous furore over the Danish cartoons in 2005.
For more than three years, Wilders has been paying for his 'honesty' by living under permanent police guard as the internet bristles with threats on his life. He has lived in army barracks, in prisons, under guard at home. 'There's no freedom, no privacy. If I said I was not afraid, I would be lying.'

I wonder if the term 'retarded' doesn't translate well into English from Dutch? It makes Wilders sound like a somewhat angry child. All that being said, if Wilders' film project debuts (a depiction of scenes from the Koran) it will result in violence. And I would be willing to bet that more Muslims will die from the chaos that will break out in Muslim countries than non-Muslims; though Wilders probably has a decent chance of not expiring from natural causes. I was in rural Bangladesh when the Rushdie Affair broke and it was really strange having to deal with adults as a child when they kept badgering you about why Americans and Westerners were accusing Muhammed's wives and Muslim women in general of being prostitutes (not sure that my 7 year old brother even understood the details of what prostitution was until one enraged dude did a stupid pantomime). Remember, 5 people died in riots between Muslims and Hindus in India which were triggered by Jerry Falwell calling Muhammed a terrorist. Cause and effect are definitely Western logocentric constructs! In any case, I remember back in 2002 when Pim Fortuyn was campaigning and how he was depicted as a neo-Fascist. The cultural outlook in much of Europe has certainly changed a great deal; Wilders party looks like it's going to make some gains. Unlike Wilders I don't believe that the the Koran necessarily has a strong causal relationship to the regressive tendencies in Muslim cultures today; those tendencies exist though and Muslims themselves justify it via their interpretation of their religion. The current equilibrium needs a shock.


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Wilders, a lanky Roman Catholic right-winger

I believe only secular atheists can have freedom of speech against religions and not certainly this person.

I believe only secular atheists can have freedom of speech against religions and not certainly this person.

LOL. spoken like a canadian!

LOL. spoken like a canadian!

Convergent evolution? Anyway, not much help.

'Retarded' may have been used in its original, technical sense: held back, slow to develop.

Its use as a descriptor especially for inborn mental impairment, and then as an insult, probably doesn't translate as well.

By Caledonian (not verified) on 18 Feb 2008 #permalink

It appears that the word used was 'achterlijk' which can mean both 'backward' and 'stupid, retarded'

The current equilibrium needs a shock? Retarded is accurate, but sounds a bit déclassé? Churchill had one classy shock in 1899 already. Well worded and comprehensive: the news of yesterday. Neutered three years later. History repeats as farce.