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Ban Koran like Mein Kampf, says Dutch MP

Link: Ban Koran like Mein Kampf, says Dutch MP - Telegraph.

Meinkampf_2KoranCommman This article illustrates several points about contemporary European politics. First, the irony that a "Freedom Party" should call for the banning of a book. In the second half of the 20th Century, "Progressive" Socialism was so much the accepted norm that the very idea of "freedom" became tarnished. Freedom was the opposite of the community control required to implement the Socialist Dream. Freedom was selfish. Freedom was bourgeois. In such circumstances, it was easy for people who opposed Socialism to adopt the word as a mere provocation, much as the Race-driven Statists of the BNP usurped our flag in the face of the "internationalism" of the Class-driven Statists of the British Left.

Secondly, once you start to ban books there is an inevitable progression by analogy to the banning of more. In the aftermath of the horrors of WWII (much worse for the Continental Europeans than for Britain and America) it must have seemed a "no-brainer" to ban the book that started it all. Part of me cynically suspects that Mein Kampf is banned to conceal how obvious Hitler's intentions were. We needed to pretend that German voters did not know what they were doing when they elected Hitler. Without that pretence, reconciliation would have been harder. However, I am sure that the overall intent of the ban was good. Yet, as this Dutch MP illustrates, it is easy to argue that other books are "just as bad." Indeed, judged in a detached fashion, the Koran may be worse. Certainly it has the potential to prove more lethal. A religious book is inherently more dangerous than a secular text as it appeals to faith, rather than reason.

Thirdly, the article illustrates the dangers facing Europe in retreating from multiculturalism. Nowhere was more "liberal" than the Netherlands on such issues. But the assassination in the street of Theo Van Gogh had a radical effect. The Dutch have realised, more quickly than less liberal nations, that their post-war consensus was a crock. Now the problem is to adjust its ideological position without swinging to the other extreme.

For me, all books are sacred. A book is a repository of knowledge, thought, beauty or even wisdom. Mein Kampf is a book that everyone should read in order to understand European history and to appreciate the dangers facing even the most civilised nation. Germany was, and is, Europe's most civilised nation. What could happen there, could happen anywhere. Certainly no-one who reads it can remain politically complacent. It was wrong to ban it, not least because any such ban leads inevitably to calls, like this one, for more. The more dangerous a book - and these, together with the Communist Manifesto, are the three most dangerous books in history - the more important it is that it is read by good people; not just by the evil and the vulnerable.