Toronto - Veteran BBC reporter John Sweeney recently sat down with controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders and did it brilliantly, shining a light on Wilders core, albeit skewed beliefs.
Toronto – Veteran BBC reporter John Sweeney recently sat down with controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders and did it brilliantly, shining a light on Wilders core, albeit skewed beliefs.
If one was to find him or herself tasked with interviewing Geert Wilders, the BBC’s John Sweeney’s latest interview with the Dutch politician would be a handy primer. Sitting down with the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV), Sweeney asked Wilders some pointed questions and made a few points of his own.
Wilders has earned his growing popularity by espousing ideas like cultural equality as a modern-age disease. For Wilders, Islam’s ideology and the concept of freedom are “incompatible.”
Sweeney began the interview asking Wilders why he never mentioned the shooting down of flight MH17, widely believed to have been done by Russia, when he spoke of terrorist acts in Europe. There were 193 innocent Dutch but Wilders never talks about it and terrorism in the same breath. Sweeney wanted to know why.
That seemed to signal Wilders to begin a rant-anew about the “Islamisation” of Europe. “We are facing an existential problem here,” he said. “If we allow to open our borders… If we allow to ignore the problems we are facing today, let alone later on in the century, with the demographic situation in Africa, we will cease to exist.”
In the past, Wilders has compared Islam to communism and fascism, which led BBC veteran Sweeney to bring up the “America first,” “Germany first” agendas and asked if we aren’t harkening back to the dark days of 1939. Wilders responded by claiming these are just convenient fears some politicians, not him, are using to score political points.
Cultural Relativism is “the Biggest Disease Europe Has Faced in Decades”
Un-phased, Sweeney then asked him if he was a believer in the politics of identity, to which Wilders replied, “People are equal… ideologies, values are not equal… religions are not equal.”
Sensing himself on a roll, Wilders continued, “People who believe that all cultures are equal are the proof of the biggest disease Europe has faced in the last decades.”
He elaborated, saying that allowing Muslims entry to the country without requiring them to integrate and assimilate represented “the worst thing that has happened to us.”
Never a fan of the European Union, which he considers to be just another form of Totalitarianism, Wilders promoted his much-used argument that the Islamisation of Europe will lead to a complete eradication of European society as we know it. “that does not work,” he said, “and I want it to be stopped… point.”
Simple questions, delivered in a pointed way, back up with interruptions where necessary and then space to let Wilders incriminate himself. That is the effective way to conduct an interview with this man and others like him.
Although Geert Wilders and his PVV party have seen a recent surge in their popularity, they are not expected to win the election.
Sweeney concluded his report saying that despite this prediction, Wilders is still accomplishing something. “… he’s changing the face of what was once the most liberal country in Europe, into something quite different.”