Feb 20, 2013

Wilders from the inside, where mouths are ‘more dangerous than guns’

Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders spoke in Melbourne last night. Shakira Hussein, a Muslim, attended for Crikey -- she found it weird and at times menacing.

Shakira Hussein — Writer and academic in multiculturalism

Shakira Hussein

Writer and academic in multiculturalism

I toyed with the idea of wearing a Pakistani shalwar kameez to last night’s lecture by visiting Dutch anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders before deciding to go ethnic-lite — trousers and a short-sleeved shirt covered by a long translucent Malaysian blouse and a scarf draped over my shoulders.

It wasn’t easy to get into the venue, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, even though I’d arranged to attend as a journalist for Crikey. Every few metres, a Q Society volunteer would stop me to ask for my photo ID and media registration form — always an interesting facial expression as they took in the name “Hussein”.

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19 thoughts on “Wilders from the inside, where mouths are ‘more dangerous than guns’

  1. Holden Back

    So, not much about his support for gay marriage?

  2. Warren Joffe

    I wouldn’t want to spend too much time on listening to Wilders of fighting Islam but then I was a bit of a free rider when the Cold War was being won rhetorically as well as physically or economically. However it does seem to be reasonable to use the word “totalitarian” about Islam and to take a second look on the basis that we don’t feel comfortable with too many totalitarians in our midst or in positions of power anywhere, especially if they have oild or nuclear weapons. The Catholic Church is a failed and almost harmless totalitarian organisation. But plenty of powerful Muslims haven’t given up on Islam’s totalitarian claims and aims. That is worth having someone speak the truth about, especially when the Prophet’s moral character was on a par with Hitler’s and he is given such overwhelmingly important status. Should we expect Shia and Sunni to have the long term effect on each other that the Protestant Reformation set off in the mutual enmities of Catholic and Protestant. Well, it’s a start, maybe, but how long do we have to wait, especially when Saudi Wahabism is backed by such huge wealth and Yemen and Saudi Arabia are still both increasing their populations fast by natural means – which means more and more of those particularly dangerous creatures: young men with too little to occupy their time. Time to recruit a few Gurkhas? Not yet perhaps, but Europe may have to go back to them, or a Foreign Legion…..

  3. AR

    Not sure if it was Anthony Eden, or SuperMac at his most patrician, but one of them remarked in the sunset of Raj & Empire that “.. Britain would be Greece to Amerika’s Rome”, serving to ameliorate its excess (something bLIAR claimed)but the similarities between Rome & USofA keep recurring.
    The certain way for a barbarian to become of Roman citizen was to serve in the Legions – similarly it was always possible to fast track US citizenship by joining up.
    This promise was a social adhesive but when armies became only mercenaries, the regime is heading for trouble.

  4. Electric Lardyland

    I’m not sure if I really believe these Q Society people and their claim that they support Australian values. I mean, if they actually valued Australia and Australians so much, why did they feel it necessary to import a bigoted idiot from the Netherlands? I mean, surely we’ve got many homegrown knuckle-dragging, delusional morons, who would only be too happy to go on a ranting tour of the nation.

  5. Gavin Moodie

    Maybe members of the audience were elated at having their anti elite and anti Islam feelings affirmed and expressed.

  6. mikeb

    It’s a pity that the religion of Islam is confused with the politics of Islam. I’m no supporter of Wilders form of commentary but I remember a doco from SBS about the impact of Islamic migration in Holland. A migrant was being interviewed about her attitude to the traditional Dutch way of life and politics – i.e. agnostic, tolerant and liberal. She did not like the Dutch attitude to life and morals and wanted a move to Sharia law in an Islamic state. I can’t remember the exact words but it was this comment that stuck in my mind – “this is our Country now”.

  7. Patrick Brosnan

    I heard a an interview with a Q person on RN. Very soft. The Q ratbag was claiming Shari law in Australia. Actually used the conviction of someone for genital mutilation as an example of how Sharia was present in Australia. Not even two brain cells to rub together.

  8. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    WarrenJ, if you mention Hitler in any discussion of politics or religion you are wasting everyone’s time. So last century. Anyone who considers Islam, the entire religious faith, to be like a monolithic, take-no-prisoners religious crusade, must be stuck in a George Bush fundamentalist Christian guns and money eunuch-led bubble. Neither faith can hold a candle to Democracy for shallow, perverse extremism.

  9. Christopher Nagle

    Oh how very civilized Shakira is. And yes, Wilders sounds a bit wild in his statements, until you start to think about what his happening to Christian minorities in Muslim countries around the world. Ir was no co-incidence that there were Copts at the meeting. They get a lot of stick from Muslims in their home countries.

    I have friends who are connected to the Christian community in Iran. They are having a terrible time.

    I think Shakira that your article is extremely partial in its presentation of opposition to Islam. And that will become obvious when the Muslim community gets a bit bigger. You may find it won’t be quite so reasonable and will feel emboldened to demand things like Sharia law.

    Over my dead body Shakira

  10. Charles Edwards

    What a sniggering, patronising account. That you considered wearing a shalwar kameez – why? To deliberately incite looks and comment so you sit sit back smugly and snigger some more? And the suggestion that the man with white hair threatened you! Paranoid much! He was probably an older conservative traditional Aussie man, a bit paternalistic as they sometimes are, and seeing you with a stick and patting you on the shoulder genuinely concerned for your welfare. You don’t know which and you shouldn’t assume. That you went with a biased mind instead of an open mind to report on this in your role as a journalist is quite worrying. And is it really necessary to make a point about the age of the lady on the door and derogate her with the term “door-bitch”? The people attending this event peacefully, as is their democratic right, were jostled, hassled and loudly insulted by the rentacrowd of student types which are wont to turn out at the drop of a hat to complain about the rights of certain sections of society whilst trampling (literally sometimes) on the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association of the people attending these meetings.

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