We write from time to time about European politicians and parties — notably Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom in the Netherlands — that are standing up against the Islamization of Europe. The left and liberal MSM, both here and in Europe, are quick to label these politicians and their parties “far right” or “fascist.” Unfortunately, one hears the same thing from people who should know better.
There are, indeed, some nationalist European politicians and parties that deserve these labels. Jean-Marie Le Pen in France and Jorg Haider in Austria come to mind. On the other hand, as Soeren Kern, writing in the Brussels Journal, shows, Wilders and his party are plainly not “far right” or “fascist.” Neither, for example, is the Danish People’s Party.
In Europe, the far right and the fascists are anti-semitic. But Wilders’ Party for Freedom and the Danish People’s Party are vehemently pro-Israel (Wilders spent part of his youth in Israel and visits it regularly). As such, they stand largely alone in Europe where anti-semitism has become respectable on the left and where the major parties range from hostile to lukewarm when it comes to Israel. As Kern puts it:
[W]ith few exceptions, the only genuine European supporters of Jews and Israel are on the political right-wing. Indeed, in the bigger scheme of things, Jews have much more to fear from the European left than they do from the European far right.
Beyond questions relating to Jews and Israel, the Party of Freedom is essentially a libertarian, and in some respects a traditional liberal, party. As A. Millar (also in the Brussels Journal) notes, in the last elections its platform called for defending women’s rights and protecting gays from street violence. These planks fit seamlessly with the party’s anti-Islamization thrust, since Islamization poses a clear threat to women’s rights and the safety of gays. (Millar points to an incident last year in which fashion model Mike Du Pree was dragged from the catwalk and assaulted by ten Muslim youths, shocking the Netherlands). Given the threat the Islamists pose to women, gays, Jews, and freedom in general, they are the true fascists in modern Europe, with their enablers running not far behind.
Wilders takes some positions with which I do not agree; for example, banning the Koran. But his general position with respect to Muslims in Dutch society is reasonable, not extreme. He opposes mass immigration, especially from Muslim countries, and wants Muslims to assimilate into a Dutch society.
The left will, of course, lump all conservative European parties together and demonize them. For all of these parties — and especially the Party of Freedom with its recent electoral success in the heart of Western Europe — pose a threat to the hard-left, multicultural agenda. But those who reject that agenda have a responsibility to study a given party in its own right before condemning it.
The stakes in Europe are too high to subscribe mindlessly to any aspect of the left’s narrative.