Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me is the first book authored by Dutch MP and political maverick Geert Wilders, a man whom Western authorities, as well as militant Islamists and their allies – a plethora of socialist, “anti-Zionist” and “anti-racist” organizations – have worked tirelessly to silence.
Oddly, while many of these organizations claim to be “anti-fascist,” they appear to be curiously ignorant of the historical links between the Nazis and the Muslim Middle East. One might even get the impression that they are keen to hide this connection.
As Wilders points out (pp. 42-44), top Nazi leaders, including head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, expressed admiration for Islam, and appeared to lament that fact that Germany had adopted Christianity instead. Johann von Leers, an important Nazi propagandist, even converted to Islam after World War II, when he had fled to Egypt, and continued his anti-Jewish propaganda efforts for his adopted country.
At 217 pages (excluding footnotes), Marked for Death is a relatively quick, and certainly fast-paced read, that is challenging and thought provoking from beginning to end.
The book’s chapters are divided, loosely, by theme, from Wilder’s short movie, Fitna – and the hysterical reaction of some politicians and media to it – to the relative lack of liberty and the gender and religious apartheid of contemporary Muslim-majority states – many of which Wilders visited as a young man, and some of which have seen regime change as a result of the “Arab Spring”/”Islamist Winter.”
Few, if any, of Wilders’s detractors will read his book. But they will all characterize it as hate-filled. In fact, whether one agrees with is assessment of Islam or not, the underlying theme is one of human dignity and liberty. (Wilders is Pro-America, pro-Israel, pro-gay rights and women’s rights, pro-liberal democracy and free speech.)
Among the lesser-known subjects he explores is the plight of both European and African slaves under Muslim rule. African slaves were routinely castrated, with nine out of ten men dying within days as a result. The “Caliph of Baghdad included 7,000 black eunuchs and 4,000 white ones,” Wilders points out (p. 102). “The largest slave rebellion in history happened in southern Iraq between 868 and 883 [AD],” he also notes. “Involving over 500,000 black slaves, the revolt lasted fifteen years it was finally suppressed by large Arab armies” (p. 101). Even today, Iraq’s nearly two million Black inhabitants are discriminated against and treated as second-class citizens – except, of course by the Western media and anti-racist campaigners, who ignore them altogether.
Wilders also looks at female genital mutilation, honor violence against, and the honor killings of, Muslim girls and women.
Although Wilders is not shy about his opinion of Islam – which he regards as completely antithetical to liberty – the narrative of Marked for Death flows relies heavily on real life examples, and flows, uncomfortably for the reader, from one anecdote to the next. Indeed, there seems to be at least one endnote for every paragraph, so that every statement and claim can be judged and verified by the reader. No doubt well aware of the negative reaction with which it will be greeted by political opponents, Wilders has made sure to draw from credible sources, including the statements of imams and politicians, as well as the mainstream media.
Wilders goes someway into sharia (Islamic law), the Koran, and classical Islamic concepts, but, unlike many pundits, he does not belabor the issue.
Muslim reformers such as Irshad Manji and traditionalists such as Hossein Nasr would undoubtedly strongly disagree that the religion, as presented by Wilders, is the only way to interpret it, or the only way that it has been interpreted and practiced. Alternative views about Islam, its history and doctrines – from Sufism to modern, political Islam, are available to us, and easily accessible. Nevertheless, the authors of even these works would, and generally do, acknowledge that Islamists and fundamentalist Muslims – Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradwai, one of the world’s most popular Muslim clerics – do, today, interpret Islam essentially as Wilders describes.
There is now a fairly long list of books on Islam and Islamism. Wilders may be wrong in presenting his findings as concerning a monolithic, unchanging, and unchangeable Islam, rather than radical Islamism. However, impeccably sourced, Marked for Death probably illustrates more clearly than any other the extent to which the Islamist movement has got a foothold in the West – most especially in “elite” circles, authorities, and governments in Europe – and the affect it is having.
Whether one ultimately agrees or disagrees with Wilders, Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me is a hard-hitting, frank and important contribution to the conversation about Islam and the West today.
The opinions of this maverick politician would be worth hearing and weighing up even in less tumultuous times. A number of people and organizations have tried very hard to deny us our right to hear what Wilders has to say. That fact alone makes Marked for Death an essential read for any thoughtful person living in the West today.