"Until now I was only in it to uphold freedom of speech. With that I mean: 'When there is a tendency to muzzle speech with violence, or threats of violence, you ought to stand up for the person who wants to say his part, even if you don't agree with him, or them, or don't understand what he is talking about.'[...] Islam is the new religion immigrated from different nations with different cultures and the struggle to adapt them to our secular society is a hard one. Politicians ignored the integration question for 30 years and left the immigrants out to dry. That's why some people are still living within their old traditions and groups and some even don't speak Dutch. Especially women from Islamic cultures who are kept in the house. This is an important and difficult debate where the groups involved can feel insulted, but I also think it needs to be dealt with. I don't think Wilders has the right way to do it, but I support his freedom to make some havoc about it that this debate can be addressed publicly." (Marc Gartmann)
The Nations in the European Union are largely responsibility for their own "immigrant problems" - something that they refuse to acknowledge, just as they refuse to discuss the hard issue of what should be expected of immigrant communities, as well as what the immigrant communities can expect from their adopted Societies. This is true about ALL immigrants to the various European Nations. This refusal has given intellectual birth to people like Geert Wilders and his ideas.
The resentment that he directs at the Muslim Immigrants should rightfully be directed at the Dutch Government. In my opinion, the only Nation in EU that has a successful history of dealing with their immigrants and their racists is Finland. What has Finland done that makes me say this?
1. They have realized that their Society has limits, and that it cannot accommodate immigrants in their thousands.
2. Made sure that the immigrants they have accommodated are properly taken care and integrated from day one of their stay.
3. Worked closely and parallel with the Immigrant Communities and the Finnish Society they have been inserted in to avoid misunderstandings and resentments.
4. Consistently seen immigrants as resources and positive additions to Society, that have something to give, rather than take.
5. Treat immigrants and non-immigrants equally in terms of expectations and privileges.
This can only be accomplished if and when a society honestly looks at its resources, the needs of its citizens, both new and old, and fit them to each other and add them up to make sure they do not out-weigh each other.
In a few words - Finland has, compared to most other nations in the EU, a very restrictive, but realistic immigration policy that takes into consideration both Society as a whole and the Immigrants. Finland has also consistently been criticized as being less willing to receive immigrants. If only the rest of the EU had emulated Finland's example! Then we would not have had the problems that we see in England, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, France or Italy.
As for the debate that Marc is pointing to as crucial and tough. One reason that it is so difficult to initiate and have is that it has become politically incorrect (i.e racist) to want to limit the influx of immigrants or have expectations of those immigrants that is allowed in. It's good to be liberal, but if a nation is so liberal that it can no longer see its own limitations, financially, socially and culturally, it is no longer healthy.
To deny cultural differences out of fear of being labeled racist and then react negatively when those differences comes back to bite you in the ass is just another form of racism.
Geert Wilders, and I agree with Marc that he is not Racist, is just the top of an iceberg, and his criticism of elements of Islam, that don't merge well with Dutch Society is not only warranted but necessary. His methods are not acceptable, but his criticism should be.
Is it racist to expect people to learn the language in their new country?
Is it racist to expect that people try and become versed in the social and cultural codes of their new country, and learn how to apply them?
Is it racist to expect that people obey the laws of the country they adopt?
I really don't think so. The failure to have those expectations of immigrants is the root of all immigrant problems in Europe and it's a root that has been growing by the minute since the mid 60's. Now we reap the fruits, in the form of the Arab European League and Geert Wilders.