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Las week Glenn Beck began dedicating a portion of his evening broadcasts to heroes who faced enormous odds, yet still managed to forge ahead in realizing their goals. From an in-depth interview with embattled rocker, Ted Nugent, to providing a platform to former NSA whistle-blowers, Beck will continue to pay tribute to those who have paid a high price for simply being good citizens. On Wednesday, the theme continued with a man who is leading the charge against the Islamization of Europe, Dutch MP Geert Wilders. For those unfamiliar with the staunchly pro-Israel, anti-radical Islam politician, below is brief profile.
An abiding love for Israel
Born in the city of Venlo on the German border, Wilders was raised Catholic. During World War II, his father, fearing the impending Nazi encroachment, fled the area and refused to ever set foot in Germany again -- not even forty years later. Carrying his father's sentiments into the next generation, Wilders once expressed in an interview that while serving in the military, he felt joy over not having to share an encampment with Germans during a joint exercise. This perhaps gives one an inkling of Wilders' aversion to those who have in the past exhibited a propensity for violence and subjugation.
Full of wanderlust, a young Wilders dreamed of traveling to Australia, but due to the high cost ended up visiting Israel instead. He remained there approximately two years. While in Israel, Wilders reportedly volunteered at a moshav (similar to a kibbutz, but where there are private, rather than communal landowners) and worked with other Jewish families. He later traveled to neighboring Arab countries only to be appalled at the lack of democracy he saw.
It was during these formative years that Wilders' views on Israel and the Middle East were formed. In fact, from that point on, Wilders considered Israel a second home and forged a sense of solidarity with the embattled Jewish State. He has since traveled to Israel an estimated 50 times and has been outspoken in his condemnation of the tiny nation's numerous enemies.
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Wilders believes Palestinians have no claim to any portion of Israel because their true home is actually situated in Jordan. During a rousing speech delivered in Tel Aviv in December of 2010, Wilders credited Israel as being "an immense source of inspiration" for him and said he was "proud to stand with Israel." He added:
I am grateful to Israel. I will always defend Israel. Your country is the cradle of Western civilization. We call it the Judeo-Christian civilization with good reason.
Friends, Israel is not to blame for the situation in the Middle East. The problem is Islam’s rejection of Israel’s right to exist. Only last month, Fatah concluded its convention in Ramallah by declaring its blatant refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
He went on to explain that the problem lies with Western leaders' "refusal to understand that Israel is the West’s canary in the coalmine."
"If the Jews are denied the right to live in freedom and peace, soon we will all be denied this right. If the light of Israel is extinguished, we will all face darkness. If Israel falls, the West falls. That is why we are all Israel."
Views on Islam
Outside of his affection for Israel, Wilders is perhaps best known for his criticism of radical Islam and his efforts to thwart the Islamization of the Netherlands. Based on his belief that the Quran harbors the same essential message as Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf," Wilders has called for a nation-wide ban on the Quran and has supported the deportation of convicted criminals who are Muslim. He has also argued that immigration from Islamic countries into the Netherlands be halted. In an interview with the Guardian, Wilders explained that Islam "is something we can't afford any more in the Netherlands."
He clarified that he is not an advocate of hate-speech, rather, he merely seeks to be honest. "I want to be honest. I don't hate people. I don't hate Muslims. I hate their book and their ideology."
Wilders, who rails against moral relativism, came to his conclusions on the Quran and Islam after studying its numerous texts and suras (Islamic sacred verses). What he says he found was an ideology full of vitriol that rewards abuse and murder, rather than love and tolerance. To warn fellow his Dutch, and on a broader scale, world citizens (particularly members of government) of the growing threat, Wilders produced a short movie on Islam titled, "Fitna." Al Qaeda put a fatwa on the Dutch MP as a result.
Wilders' outspokenness eventually drew accusations of hate-speech, a charge for which he was formally tried in court in the Netherlands. The case lasted from 2010 to June 2011, when he was found not guilty. He has even been banned from entering countries like England for his views. And Wilders' recently released book, "Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me," will surely draw equal scorn within Islam and indeed the progressive world.
He has fought for a 1st amendment in Europe so that hate-speech laws across Europe could not apply to simply speaking the truth about a particular contingent.
Under constant threat of death, Wilders has, for years, been forced to live under 24-hour police protection. He must often keep a residence separate from his family for their protection and has even been relegated to sleeping in army barracks for safekeeping. He told the Guardian about his lack of freedom and privacy and admitted that if he said he was not afraid, he would "be lying.
Disengaging from the EU
One of Wilders' lesser-known crusades -- especially leading up to the Dutch parliamentary elections in September -- is his push to disengage the Netherlands from the European Union and the eurozone. After the fallout in Greece and the tidal wave felt across Europe, Wilders believes that through national sovereignty, rather than "bureaucrats in Brussels," the Dutch can "determine our own rules, like who comes into the country, immigration and have our own currency.”
"Without it we cannot defend our identity and fight against Islamization."
He also seeks to reintroduce the Dutch guilder and gear the election toward the disintegrating economy. While economists may dispute his claim that the cost of Euro-membership outweighs the benefits, public opinion is reportedly on Wilders side when it comes to his opposition to austerity.
Interview with Glenn Beck
During his Wednesday evening broadcast, Beck interviewed Wilder -- the "most threatened politician in the Netherlands...and even the world" -- to delve deeper into his thinking and discern where Europe might be headed.
According to Wilders, Europeans are starting to "wake up" to the effects mass immigration has had on their country. With what he considers a disproportionate immigrant community comprising mainly Muslims from North Africa, Wilders said citizens "don't feel safe in their on neighborhoods...and on their own streets." He noted that these immigrants largely do not work and are ultimately a demographic that engages in crime at higher levels than do others in the community.
Wilders also told Beck that his political party became the third largest in the Netherlands because its message resonates with everyday people. He said that his party would not have garnered 15% of the vote if it advocated racism or violence in any way. "Parties like mine are respectful parties that work in a democratic way," he said.
Beck asked if one can be Muslim and not be an extremist or a danger to the west. Wilders answer was complex, but essentially he believes that it is a contradiction to be a moderate Muslim because the Quran is riddled with verses that call for violence and the Prophet Muhammad himself committed murder in the name of Allah. Conversely, Wilders said that he distinguishes between the ideology and the religion and that while he doesn't believe in Islam, he believes in people and their power to choose freedom.
As the conversation turned to the crisis in Europe, Wilders noted the EU is a "big mess" and has less support than ever from its own people. He predicted the EU is months away from collapse and reiterated his desire to disengage from the eurozone in an effort to provide more stability to the Netherlands.
Below are portions of the powerful interview. We strongly urge you to watch and share.