Europe’s Man of Destiny is Geert Wilders, the 35-year-old leader of Holland’s tiny Freedom Party. He has provoked the world Muslim community in order to draw the violent jihadists out of the tall grass, and he seems to be succeeding. Call what Wilders has done nasty but necessary, and blame Europe’s so-called mainstream leaders for abandoning their posts, and leaving the standard in the hands of a young man with the courage to grasp it. At the moment the Dutch government is quaking over the consequences of a 10-minute film that Wilders plans to release in April denouncing the Koran.
Thus far, the authorities of Europe have made clear that they will do nothing to prevent the murder of a prominent citizen. If Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose plea to the European Parliament made headlines, can expect no help from the authorities when her life is at imminent risk, what succor can the anonymous victims of Islamist violence expect?
I am ashamed to say that it did not become clear to me that Wilders has taken the only appropriate course of action until I read carefully the Archbishop of Canterbury’s now-infamous "sharia" speech. Stripped of casuistry, he proposed that Muslim women subject to forced marriages, genital mutilation, or domestic violence should be handed over to Muslim religious courts, rather than be offered the protection of English Common Law. To my knowledge, this is the first time that one of Europe’s spiritual leaders has proposed to abandon innocent victims to their fate.
Archbishop Dr Rowan Williams, to be sure, has a point. But he should have stated plainly what he really thinks. What he wanted to say is more or less: "To protect a few hundred or a few thousand colored ladies, the English state will have to put its big boots on, kick down the doors of Muslim homes, trample through Muslim living rooms, tear up the fabric of Muslim communities, and disrupt the social order. Why not turn such cases over to religious courts and wash our hands of them?" I reiterate: this is satanic hypocrisy.
If decent and well-meaning men like Dr Williams are so afraid of communal violence as to abandon the founding principles of common law and Judeo-Christian ethics, it is long past time to debate the fine points. Blessed are the pre-emptors, for they will get on with it.