Nov 30 2009
Dutch MP Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party has said it wants a referendum on the building of minarets similar to the one held in Switzerland. Mr Wilders expects the Dutch to ban new minarets just like a 57.5 percent majority of Swiss did.
The minarets are not the problem, the Muslims are.
The referendum result is hailed as a breakthrough by the opposition MP. “It’s the first time that people in Europe have stood up to a form of Islamization.”
Other nationalist parties in Europe are taking a similar line to the Netherlands’ Freedom Party. Mario Borghezio, a Euro-MP for Italy’s Northern League (Lega Nord) called for a referendum in Italy, saying “The flag of a courageous Switzerland which wants to remain Christian is flying over a near-Islamised Europe.” RNW.NL
Jim Prevor, at the Weekly Standard, discusses the national identity point. The larger question, though, is whether a nation is any more than a geographic entity. If some Parisian Rip Van Winkle wakes up one distant morning and finds himself in a nation that speaks Arabic, where the people are Muslim, food is by law halal and the government follows Sharia law. Is that fellow still, in any meaningful sense, in France?
Is it simple racism for, say, the Dutch to want their nation to stay Dutch — not just in terms of geography — in terms of language, food, religion, government, architecture and all the things that make up a culture?