SPIEGEL Interview with Geert Wilders 'Merkel Is Afraid'

AFP

Part 3: 'Was The Head Rag Tax Just A Bad Joke?'


SPIEGEL: You say that you are not an extremist. And yet, at the same time, you have called for an annual €1,000 "head rag tax" for women who wear headscarves?

Wilders: I was not able to win over a majority in parliament for this. I am interested in the big picture, but again and again it is this proposal that is picked out in public.

SPIEGEL: Was the whole "head rag tax" business a bad joke?

Wilders: No, not a joke, just one proposal among others. Don't forget, we support a minority government which would not be in power without us. And this means that there will soon be a ban in Holland on wearing the burqa and an enormous reduction in immigration. We are very successful.

SPIEGEL: What will happen to the Dutch Muslims? Those who refuse to adapt will be sent back in the future?

Wilders: No, not sent back -- unless they are criminals.

SPIEGEL: The new Dutch minister for immigration, Christian Democrat Gerd Leers, fairly recently referred to you as the "embodiment of common Internet muckrakers." Have you confronted him about this?

Wilders: If I did not speak with people who call me names, I could not engage in politics. I had a good conversation with him. I am interested in the results that this coalition government can achieve with our support -- I see this from a purely business perspective. If the government keeps its promises, that's good. If not, the government will have a problem.

SPIEGEL: Aren't you sometimes ashamed of the hatred that you sow?

Wilders: I don't sow hatred. I only use the democratic options in parliament.

SPIEGEL: That's what the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) claimed when they joined a coalition government in Vienna 10 years ago. EU sanctions were the result. Nothing comparable has happened in Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. It seems as if right-wing populism has become socially acceptable in Europe.

Wilders: The EU would do well to get used to the idea. My party will not be the last to emerge here. The Danish People's Party has supported a minority government for the past nine years, and no one in Europe is complaining about it.

SPIEGEL: You have vehemently spoken out against Turkey joining the EU. How does the Dutch government view the pre-accession process leading to EU membership for the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, which both have large Muslim populations?

Wilders: This is dealt with in the coalition agreement. But my party rejects any form of EU expansion. We will vote against all additional candidates, including Croatia. In this case, the government will have to seek its majority elsewhere. Above all, we will vote against accepting Turkey -- a neighbor, yes; a member of the family, no. If it were not for the army, the Islamists would rule with no counterbalance thanks to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party. And some day we would have a Trojan Islamic horse in the EU -- and an external border with criminal states like Syria and Iran.

SPIEGEL: That is something that never existed before Geert Wilders arrived: a one-man party that has a say in the fortunes of an EU member state. You are the only member, the party chairman, parliamentary floor leader, chief ideologist and treasurer of the Freedom Party (PVV), which you founded. Will things stay that way?

Wilders: We will soon discuss within the parliamentary faction whether we should accept additional party members. The idea is to keep the wrong people from holding our party hostage.

SPIEGEL: Isn't it really the case that your party is fighting the wrong battle -- in the name of a Western civilization that is noticeably suffering from an aging population, demographic decline and disaffection with political parties?

Wilders: The demographic development is in fact negative. I read the other day that in England last year the most commonly chosen first name for a boy was Mohammed. I have nothing against Muslim babies. But if Mohammed is now the new favorite name of the English, we have a problem. Europe has to rise up and, with united forces, tell the Islamic world: Enough is enough, we will defend ourselves with democratic means.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Wilders, we thank you for this interview.

Interview conducted by Walter Mayr and René Pfister. Translated from the German by Paul Cohen.

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cyberrifles 11/09/2010
1. Adolf instead of Mohammed
I bet if the most chosen first name for babies was Adolf the world would scream. The most chosen first name in England is Mohammed and everybody is afraid to speak. They are afraid to offend anyone.
BTraven 11/10/2010
2.
When he thinks our culture is better than the Islamic one why did he proposed an annual “€ 1000 head rag tax” for women who dare to wear headscarves? That sounds quite strange to me. A culture of which he correctly thinks that it is superior to the condition in most Muslim countries, exceptions only confirm the rule, he can do without such derogatory measures. Why does he not regret those women who have decided to wear scarves? Would it not be more appropriate to express one’s sympathy for them? Showing sympathy plays an important role in Christianity. In theory it is even part of its definition. The problem I have with Wilders is that with his attempt to stigmatise the symbols, we think that an headscarf is an expression of being a religious Muslim, of Islam, people were affected and discriminated, too.
Arne 11/12/2010
3. no titles
Zitat von BTravenWhen he thinks our culture is better than the Islamic one why did he proposed an annual “€ 1000 head rag tax” for women who dare to wear headscarves? That sounds quite strange to me. A culture of which he correctly thinks that it is superior to the condition in most Muslim countries, exceptions only confirm the rule, he can do without such derogatory measures. Why does he not regret those women who have decided to wear scarves? Would it not be more appropriate to express one’s sympathy for them? Showing sympathy plays an important role in Christianity. In theory it is even part of its definition. The problem I have with Wilders is that with his attempt to stigmatise the symbols, we think that an headscarf is an expression of being a religious Muslim, of Islam, people were affected and discriminated, too.
Wilders proposed this tax in connection with referring to the jizya, the islamic extra tax for non believers. In fact, now there is no tax but a ban for the Burka in the Netherlands. Henryk M. Broder suggested western countries should use the principle of reciprocity when dealing with Islam, because of inherently dicriminating passages - if minorities are respected and tolerated in a country, immigration into a country where the minority is suddenly the majority will not cause problems.
Paris1789 11/17/2010
4. False accusations of racism against Sarrazin
Quote: "You are familiar with Thilo Sarrazin's book. Do you share his opinion that there are genetic reasons for the "inferiority" of certain ethnic groups?" This is defamatory and illegitimate deformation of what Sarrazin really said and wrote. Sarrazin never said that any ethnic group was inferior due to its ethnically determined genetic code. First the Spiegel should not omit the fact that genetic issues are just a complement to his analysis and not necessary for the validity of his main arguments, of which none has anything to do with genetics and even less with racism, as the Spiegel implies. I cannot to analyse the whole genetics topic here at length, instead I refer to Mr. Erich Weede Professor emeritus of Sociology at the University of Bonn, who published a comment on October 8th 2010 in the FAZ saying that Sarrazins statements about class specific reproduction rates and migration are undeniable and that accusations of racism against Sarrazin are completely unfounded. The only statement with respect to ethnic groups that can be attributed to Sarrazin, says Prof. Weede, is that “Sarrazin considers Jews and East Asians more intelligent than Germans, that he deems more intelligence better.” With regards to the false accusation of racism, it should be aknowledged that Mr. Hans-Ulrich Wehler, known as a leftist intellectual and a mastermind of Social Democracy in Germany, defended Sarrazin in an article published on the October 7th 2010 in the weekly German newspaper “Die Zeit“ and called Sarrazin’s book the “…pleading for reform of a positively passionate social democrat” which “hits the mark”. “Die Zeit“ presented Wehler” as “most significant social historian of the present” and who, as stated by Jürgen Kaube in the reputable daily newspaper „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“ (FAZ) is “completely unsuspicious of right wing populist inclinations”. The emphasis on the genetic issues Sarrazin discussed in his book while misrepresentig what he really wrote are just a strategy, to discredit him and cover up one (among others) of his main statements, that high crime rates and bad performance school among muslim immigrants compared to Germans as well as non-muslim immigrant groups is linked to Islam. He did not make statements about muslims in general.
BTraven 11/19/2010
5.
Zitat von ArneWilders proposed this tax in connection with referring to the jizya, the islamic extra tax for non believers. In fact, now there is no tax but a ban for the Burka in the Netherlands. Henryk M. Broder suggested western countries should use the principle of reciprocity when dealing with Islam, because of inherently dicriminating passages - if minorities are respected and tolerated in a country, immigration into a country where the minority is suddenly the majority will not cause problems.
Many thanks for the hint. I have heard about it but I would never have come to the conclusion that Wilders’ proposal of introducing a “head rag tax” could be the counterpart to the jiza a tax non-Muslims were obliged to pay in Islamic states. As far as I have found the tax is not demanded anymore. The last time it was charged was in the nineteenth century (see link). I think it’s inappropriate to resort to that tax as prove to justify Wilders’ demand. An introduction of the “head rag tax “ in the Netherlands had only caused countries like Saudi-Arabia to dig up the jiza. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jizya
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