Dutch right-wing politician and staunch critic of Islamic religion, Geert Wilders spoke at at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver last weekend issuing his usual warning that Europe and the United States are at risk of being taken over by the Islam religion -- a religion that Wilders has said is not really a religion, but an "ideology of a retarded culture," according to The Guardian.
At the Summit, Wilders also repeated his point of view that he has nothing against Muslims, that he understands that there are "many moderate Muslims," it's just Islam that he's got a problem with. "I have a problem with Islamic tradition, culture, ideology," Wilders told The Guardian in 2008, "Not with Muslim people."
Wilders may think there are some moderate Muslims, but that does not change his position on their mosques -- Wilders thinks that the construction of new mosques ought to be banned in the West. A position he has held for some time and one that he repeated at the Western Conservative Summit.
Although Grantham told the Colorado Statesman that he agrees with Wilders that there are some Muslims that "we would call moderate," Grantham maintained that the "philosophical underpinnings" of the "culture of Islam" are a problem and even "antithetical to the American way."
Grantham also agreed that a Wilders' proposal of a ban on new mosque construction was worth considering, saying to the Colorado Statesman:
You know, we’d have to hear more on that, because, as he said, mosques are not churches like we would think of churches. They think of mosques more as a foothold into a society, as a foothold into a community, more in the cultural and in the nationalistic sense. Our churches — we don’t feel that way, they’re places of worship, and mosques are simply not that, and we need to take that into account when approving construction of those.
Wilders clearly stirs up a lot of controversy for his extreme point of view on Islam. In May 2012, Imam Abdullah Antepli, Muslim Chaplain at Duke University wrote for The Huffington Post that although he believes that the facts fail to support Wilders "wild assertions of a clash between Islam and the West," he sees Wilders rhetoric as potentially dangerous.
"What is very troubling is the increasing support and popularity of Mr. Wilders and people like him in Europe and North America," Antepli wrote. "The message and the fear culture that they are trying to promote are regretfully becoming more and more mainstream. This only shows clearly that Western world is increasingly loosing its health and immunization against the various viruses of hate, exclusion and intolerance. One can only hope and pray that the Western world is still healthy and strong enough to overcome and heal from this pathology over time."
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