I am sitting with Geert Wilders, leader of the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom, and the news has just flashed that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Canadian convert to Islam who terrorized Ottawa on Wednesday, had previously had his passport lifted by the Canadian government as an officially designated “high-risk traveler.”
That means that before Zehaf-Bibeau put a bullet through the heart of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a young reservist standing guard with an unloaded rifle at the Canadian war memorial, and before Zehaf-Bibeau rushed into parliament where, thankfully, he was gunned down by security before he could murder again, Canadian authorities had already identified him as someone likely to join the jihad in the Middle East. In fact, so likely was Zehaf-Bibeau to join a jihadist group such as ISIS that Canada did what many Western governments are now doing in the name of counter-terrorism: they took Zehaf-Bibeau’s passport away.
“That’s the same as the other one!” Wilders notes energetically, referring to Martin Couture-Rouleau, also an Islamic convert and “high-risk traveler,” who drove his car into two Canadian soldiers in Quebec earlier in the week, killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. Couture-Rouleau, who was shot dead at the scene of his crime, had had his passport taken from him in July when he was arrested at the airport before he could travel to Turkey.
In other words, but for good Canadian police work, it looks as if both of these Islam-inspired murderers would have left Canada and disappeared into the bloody maw of the Islamic State. Phew — that was close?
No, that was insane. Such a policy, which the Dutch government also follows, frustrates Geert Wilders to no end.
“Let them leave,” says Wilders. “Let them leave, or detain them. I find it incomprehensible that Western governments stop people who want to leave to fight for jihad in Syria or Iraq.” Let them go and never let them return, Wilders says, or, with sufficient evidence, detain them. While the West combats the Islamic State, he points out, “nothing is being done to make our own countries safe.”
But not doing anything domestically–anything, that is, that protects our liberties at home from the encroachments of Islam and its body of repressive, supremacist, and misogynistic laws known as sharia–perfectly describes the Western response in the post-9/11 era. It is such policies of appeasement that Geert Wilders has been combating for more than a decade as a Dutch MP and also leader of the Party for Freedom.
The critical problem for the West is that with the advance of sharia comes the retreat of freedom. We can see signs all around: less freedom of religion (see armed guards at Jewish institutions), less freedom of speech (remember the Danish cartoons?), less freedom of movement (security gauntlets all over.). As Wilders has put it so often, the more Islam you have in a society, the less freedom there is.