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One problem with Geert Wilders

Reader comment on item: Why I Stand with Geert Wilders

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Feb 1, 2010 at 09:26

While I also stand with Mr. Wilders, I will add that he made a tactical mistake in calling for a ban on the Qu'ran.

Never ban a book--even if it is Adolf Hitler's _Mein Kampf_ or similarly twisted work, and you are Europeans who have just survived World War II and the Shoah. Only punish those who act on its worst suggestions. In my life, I have read scads of books, articles, plays, and the like for which I have no sympathy. I cannot for a minute agree with the central motifs of the Qu'ran--the prophethood of Muhammad, subjugation of non-Muslims, etc.--but I have still read it (in translation--我不会阿拉伯文).

It is my hope that Wilders has now come to appreciate the importance of freedom of speech and the press for a functioning polity (in the Aristotelian sense of rule by the majority for the public good). And I also hope that we in the USA stand firm for the First Amendment. If anything, Mr. Wilders' plight has convinced me that our founders did us a great service by writing the First Amendment into our constitution.


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