by Jeffrey Imm
A great man once warned that we “cannot sit idly by” and “not be concerned about what happens” in other places as injustice happens, equality is crushed, and liberties are threatened. He told us that: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
But just a few days after the United States’ annual honoring of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and courage in defying supremacism, another man in another part of the world in another era, was being charged once again with inciting hatred for defying another supremacist ideology. That man was Geert Wilders, a legislator in the Netherlands, who has dared to defy the ideology of Islamic supremacism. Mr. Wilders has challenged Islamic supremacism because of its leaders’ threats against humanity, because of Islamic supremacism’s goals to conquer the Earth, and because of Islamic supremacism’s refusal to acknowledge the inalienable human rights of equality and liberty.
Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not fear to recognize that this problem dealt with the identity-based supremacist ideology of “white supremacy,” so Geert Wilders has also not feared to address the identity of those who would promote an Islamic supremacy. Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged whites, so Geert Wilders has challenged Islam. Defying any supremacist ideology requires the honesty to name the problem, so that humanity can find a solution. Whispering among ourselves in the dark in the face of a brutal supremacist ideology will only ensure that no one can gather the courage to light the first candle of wisdom to help humanity find the answers we desperately need.
In the case of Geert Wilders, a court was repulsed by his comments comparing Islamic supremacism’s beliefs to those expressed in Hitler’s Mein Kampf. That court was not repulsed by the daily calls for killing Jews by Islamic supremacists. That court was not repulsed by the antisemitic hate that is regularly channeled in the Islamic supremacist media. That court was not repulsed by the regular calls for the destruction of Israel by Islamic supremacists. That court was not repulsed by the references to the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion promoted in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf within the very charter of the Islamic supremacist Hamas organization, a group defended by protestors in the Netherlands over the past few weeks. That court was not repulsed by other Netherlands politicians defending calls for an intifada against Israel, while Amsterdam crowds called for “Jews to the gas.”
Closing its eyes and plugging its ears to the reality around it, the Netherlands court extended an accusation against Geert Wilders of inciting hate for defying an Islamic supremacist ideology that is itself based on hate. Like those who charged Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with inciting hate for defying white supremacism, no doubt they believe that if they just silence this one man – they will set an example to others causing “friction and unrest.” No doubt they hope to persuade those who would defy supremacism that they need to find a more “realistic approach” and accept “forbearance” of the supremacist cause. We have seen such tactics to silence defiance to supremacism before. We have seen them in 1963 in Alabama. We have seen them in the decades of covenants of security by nations that have harbored and tolerated Islamic supremacism around the world. We have seen them in the United Nations where Islamic supremacist groups seek to silence dissent and free speech against such supremacism. We have seen them in the halls of Congress in the United States in our present day, by those lobbying for “engagement” and “reconciliation” with Islamic supremacist organizations and leaders. Now we see them in the nation of the Netherlands by a court that seeks to turn a blind eye to the incitement of hatred throughout its nation by Islamic supremacists and instead focuses its blame on Geert Wilders, a leader of freedom who would dare defy such supremacism.
We know these tactics, and we know the frightened people behind them. We know those who would sell out their values and principles to totalitarian ideologues for the hope that they can declare “peace in our time.” We know how much they dread acknowledging the reality that appeasement of supremacist ideologies will never quench the endless thirst for equality and liberty in humankind. We know how supremacists desperately cling to the lie of their superiority, for without it, they must acknowledge the harsh reality that their society is built on a hopeless delusion. We know how much the frightened people just desperately want to be left alone, and not be forced to have to face the difficult decisions that a world of mutuality must make to recognize the inalienable human rights of equality and liberty.
Most of all, we understand the frightened people, because even though we oppose their tactics, we know that they are fellow human beings, and because if our fate had been different they could have been us.
But our destiny is different and our future is based on who we are, not what we fear. Our destiny is not to live a lie of supremacism, but to embrace the truth of humanity’s inalienable right of equality. Our destiny is not to depend on the whims of the merciless, but to extend our courage of equality and liberty to the hopeless and the helpless. Our destiny is not to find solace by cowering in a dark corner, but to shine a torch of truth even in the darkest night. Our destiny is not to ignore Islamic supremacism’s war on equality and liberty, but to stand ready to defend these human rights.
We have not sought out conflict, but we have been challenged to prove the courage of our convictions. In the struggle of promoting equality and liberty against Islamic supremacism, we have been handed the responsibility to prove our dedication to humanity’s inalienable rights. The decision over whether we will defend the principles of freedom or submit to the lie of Islamic supremacism is more than a war of ideas – it is a measure of our generation’s willpower and resolve.
It is more than a debate by learned individuals referencing documents, organizations, actions, people, and history. It is more than an argument of who, what, where, and when. It is more than debating those who live in denial over the threat of Islamic supremacism, more than debating those who believe equality and liberty are merely relative values, and more than debating those who believe that humanity has no purpose or value at all.
Most of all, the fight for equality and liberty is a struggle to protect humanity’s very identity in freedom, and a commitment to preserve and protect our inalienable human rights for the helpless, the hopeless, those without a voice, and for the next generation. It is a test to see if the flame of courage in our hearts will burn bright against the darkness of a supremacist ideology that seeks to envelop our civilization.
It is a challenge to see if we really believe that all men and women are created equal and that all human beings have the inalienable right of liberty, or if those are just words on a piece of paper.
It is a defining moment in history – not just for free speech, not just for a free press, not just for freedom of conscience, and not just for equality among all people.
It is a defining moment in history for determining who and what we are as a free people.
History will remember our choices. Will we stand as free men and women responsible for equality and liberty? Or will our resolve be blown away by those who can’t see the gathering storm around humanity?
It is our choice, our destiny, our legacy – the outcome will define our identity.
But as for me, I say, that those who live in free lands and who cherish equality and liberty, have no real option for the survival of our society in this war of ideas. We cannot steal away quietly and hope that someone else will pick up the shield.
We must realize that we are all Geert Wilders now.
If we accept the silencing of him, then we know they will silence one of us next, and then another, and another, and another… until our defiance to Islamic supremacism and our commitment to equality and liberty is reduced to a handful of voices, then a whimper, then a whisper, and then not at all. That is a silence that we cannot accept, a defeat that we cannot stomach, a surrender we cannot live with.
This battle chose us because it knew who and what we are, the sons and daughters of free men and women who lived, fought, and died for the inalienable human rights of equality and liberty we hold so dear and that is fundamental to our identity.
It chose us because it could see within our society of freedom a light of courage that could shine around the nation and around the world – to the darkest places, to the most rejected places, and to the most hopeless places. It chose us because it knew what that light could mean to those oppressed by Islamic supremacists, what that light could mean to those who lived in fear of Islamic supremacism’s brutality and terror, what that light could mean to those who had given up for a chance to have equality and liberty in their generation. It chose us because it knew we had no choice – that as free men and women responsible for equality and liberty we are compelled to defend such inalienable human rights – because we cannot accept a world, a humanity, and a future without them.
Those who would silence us, those who would threaten us, those who would terrorize us – you have no power over our commitment to the inalienable human rights of equality and liberty. Your efforts to block the light of resistance by the sentinels of equality and liberty are as hopeless as trying to block the rays of the sun from reaching the very Earth itself. Your efforts to divide us, crush us, and silence us – will only strengthen our resolve and our commitment. Silence one of us and another will take his place, and another, and another, and another.
We are all Geert Wilders now.
We Fear No Evil.
[Postscript – see also Sources documents for references, additional reading, and background information.]