Friday, November 19, 2004



Dutch radical rightist Geert Wilders has
given an interview
on AP in which he apparently proposes a five-year halt to non-Western immigrants and also claims that "If you chose radical Islam you can leave, and if you don't leave voluntarily then we will send you away. This is the only message possible."

"Sending back" people of dual nationality who committed crimes has been brought up in Dutch politics some years ago - but never quite seriously. After all, if you have a Dutch passport, you're entitled to the same treatment before the law as anyone else. But here, Wilders does not even refer to criminal behaviour - just "radical islam". So I'm not sure where Wilders wants to go with this. One cannot eject people from the country on the basis of their ideas alone - unpleasant as those ideas may be. The reason is, of course, that any repressive action against a singular political ideology leaves all political ideologies unprotected - left, right and centre, islamic, christian and atheist.

In Iran, meanwhile, a 14-year old boy has been reported to whipped to death after having broken Ramadan fast. Unfortunately, this seems to be far from an unique occurrence in Iran. In August, a 16-year old girl was hanged for "acts incompatible with chastity", whatever that may be.

Thanks to Butterflies and Wheels for keeping the world informed of disheartening news like the above.


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