Friday, February 16, 2007

Leviathan (I)

In The Netherlands Freedom's Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders is this week once again at the centre of things. Not content with 24/7 personal protection and escaping last week's suicide attack, he caused great uproar this morning in Parliament by his endeavour to table a Motion calling for the newly formed cabinet to delay instating two junior Ministers of Turkish and Moroccan descent, pending parliamentary acceptance of an act initiated by the previous Cabinet against Government Ministers carrying dual nationality.

The new left-leaning House is likely to vote the proposal down. But the Parliamentary dust-up either highlights just how monstrously our anti-democratic Leviathan has already fledged, or that there could be some obscure piece of parliamentary procedure by which the Speaker is entitled to retaliate if the integrity of members is put in question.

Earlier this week Wilders hit the press, venting the opinion that if the Prophet Mohammed were living in the Netherlands today, he would have to be deported from the country. And if Muslims want to stay in the Netherlands, they must tear up and throw away half the Koran. Nasr Joemann, secretary for the Contact Organisation for Muslims and Government, said he planned to raise the 'demonizing' of Islam with the new Cabinet. While calling it counter-productive, he said nevertheless not wanting to react to the content, as it cannot be taken seriously.

While the botched suicide attack on Wilders lays bare the security risk of radical - or not yet so radical - Muslims in the military one wonders if Government Ministers with dual citizenship, albeit junior ones, aren't potentially an even bigger hazard to national security. The November election campaign showed just how far the Turkish government is willing to go to influence matters abroad. Reason for Wilders to table the motion that he did.

But the Socialist House Speaker has declared it out of the order. M.P.s sharply criticized it, upon which the Speaker took the decision that outraged Wilders, calling into doubt her impartiality as a Speaker. The two would-be junior Ministers are technically still M.P.s and as such are under oath and above suspicion of any disloyalty.

Apart from being in itself significant that a people's representative's motion is trashed by the Speaker, it could also be the start of a so-called cordon sanitaire against Wilders by the new centre-left House. The political isolation of an anti-immigration party has been done very unsuccessfully for years to a Flemish separatist party.

~ Continued in Part II ~

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