College Republicans Go For A Dutch-Flavored Controversy

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Ah, fall. The falling leaves, the earlier sunsets, and the inevitable campus controversies. And just when it looked like Columbia might escape a fall controversy, the Columbia Republicans have stepped up to the challenge, bringing strident anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders to campus on October 21st, at 8 p.m. The event is being cosponsored by CPU, CIRCA, CUIRF, as well as the campus chapters of the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (a faculty group) and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

“Wait,” most readers are saying, “who?” Well, Wilders is the head of the Party for Freedom, a right-wing party particularly noted for its hardline views on immigration and Islam; far from being a fringe movement, the party finished 2nd, with 17% of the vote, in the recent EU elections. His anti-Islam film Fitna has received international condemnation, with most countries refusing to allow its airing. For more, let’s kick it over to the smart people at the Economist: “[Wilders] has publicly questioned the loyalty of two cabinet members with dual nationality (ie, Turkish and Moroccan as well as Dutch). He called a third minister “barking mad” because of her liberal integration policies. And he has demanded a ban on immigration from Muslim countries. Mr Wilders might seem just a provocateur. But his power lies in the rhetoric that he uses to contrast such liberal notions as gay rights and female emancipation with the image of an intolerant and anti-modern Islam…Polls show that the Dutch rate freedom of speech as one of their most important values—and many see Mr Wilders as its champion.”

The CUCR, for its part, is pitching the invite on the grounds of free speech (the subject Wilders has been invited to speak on), saying the “Columbia University College Republicans has found his silencing by the governments in Europe to be a gross violation of free speech.” Somehow, though, we think the whole “anti-Islam” thing just might come up during the Q&A, and that’s when we recommend breaking out the popcorn.


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  1. urrgggg  

    Bwog! Start sniffing - what's up with CULPA?!?

  2. muslim  

    when do tickets go on sale??? or when are they available at tic?

  3. who is the president  

    of the College Republicans?

  4. oy...  

    This is a perfect example of chaos breeding more chaos.

    On one side of the debate we have some politician who makes a controversial film...no problem there, except for the details that this person is a racist populist who, while criticizing Islam, holds funraisers to promote a war with Iran, and has graciously recommended a Dutch version of Guantanamo for illegal immigrants. http://www.nu.nl/algemeen/1290138/wilders-wil-nederlandse-versie-guantanamo.html

    On the other side of the debate we have Jordan who want to punish him for blasphemy (http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL015190420080701) Apparently Islam is a religion of peace, and if you don't like it, there's always the death penalty.

    It's batshit crazy...who was it that invited him again?

  5. wtf  

    i heard columbia (as in the university) didn't even want to host him

  6. It's a tragedy that  

    that this man has been censored, even if he is hateful and closed-minded. But there’s a big difference between letting a man speak his peace and spew his bile and giving him funding, promotions, a podium, and all manner of support to do so.

  7. ...  

    i like the photograph. the whacky blonde hair and jacket-that-looks-like-a-lab-coat makes him kinda reminiscent of doc brown from back to the future. the totally cheesy old school round orange windguard on the mic add to the absurdity.

    but hey, at least this is more interesting than ann coulter. i'm glad to see that the republicans have figured out how to reach beyond our pop culture and into that of other countries when choosing their intellectually bankrupt shock speakers.

  8. You know....  

    He can have his freedom of speech, but he's kinda stupid for not knowing what "slander" and "libel" are.

  9. SettleDown

    If you all think this guy is batshit crazy (maybe he is), why don't you go to the event and hear what he actually has to say. The murderous lunatic Ahmadinejad gets a podium at Columbia, so why can't Wilders?

  10. Yes!!  

    Geert is Awesome. Finally someone who speaks the truth on the "religion of peace".

  11. HamMAd  

    I see you are already become an asshole

  12. Anonymous

    As a Dutch national, I have to say that the situation in The Netherlands, and even western-Europe in general are quite different than in the USA. Geert Wilders really has a valid point that we need to discuss the growth of Islam in Europe, and how to maintain our freedom at the same time. People calling this man racist or crazy, obviously dont know the situation, and are blinded by their own stupidity.

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