During this dramatic week in Tallahassee, Delray Beach Rep. Adam Hasner starred as either the House Majority Leader or an evil "robot," depending on your perspective. It's astonishing that during pressure-packed negotiations, an eminent statesman like Hasner found time to bolt back home to huddle with one of the Western world's most racially divisive politicians, Geert Wilders. A member of Dutch parliament, so far this year Wilders has been charged with hate speech in the Netherlands and barred entry into the U.K., where he'd planned to show his anti-Islam film, Fitna.
Surely, the elected official who represents hard-working, peace-loving Americans in Delray Beach and Boca Raton doesn't share Wilders' virulent strain of anti-Islam paranoia... does he? In the interest of relieving anxiety for some of the concerned constituents in his district, as well as the millions of Floridians affected by his politics, Juice submits to Hasner the open letter below:
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Dear Rep. Hasner,
Seriously? Geert Wilders? I mean, I know you're term-limited in the House, but surely you've considered a run for Senate, maybe Florida CFO? And yet by sharing a stage with Geert Wilders... well... it leaves one wondering whether you share his view that Muslim people are an inferior culture. Can you please clarify your positions on some of Wilders' most controversial statements and policies?
If I accidentally mischaracterized a position of Wilders', please feel free to correct the record; you know him better than I do. Also, before you begin writing us your answers, please be mindful of how very generous are the protections in the U.S. for freedom of speech. You do not need to equivocate on our account, nor worry about the sensitivities of our readers. You are entitled to your opinion, no matter what that may be. Tell us how you really feel.
- Wilders has advocated banning immigrants from Islamic countries. Do you support this policy for the U.S.?
- Wilders has called for the repeal of hate-speech laws in Europe. Do you support this policy in the U.S. even though it may increase the threat that synagogues are painted with swastikas? Or that the homes and churches of minorities might be covered with racial slurs?
- Wilders has likened the Qur'an to Hitler's Mein Kampf. One can imagine how moderates who practice Islam and for whom that book is a sacred text object to the implication that they harbor genocidal fantasies like Hitler's. So would you like to assure them that you do not suspect them of this?
- Wilders has said that Islam is a "culture of barbarism." Do you share this view?
- In prepared remarks this week, Wilders referred to you as a "friend." Would you call him a "friend" too?
- Wilders has called Islam the "ideology of a retarded culture." Does that sound about right to you?
- In the Netherlands, Wilders has called for the elimination of mosques and for the deportation of Muslim immigrants. Do you believe this is a just policy? Do you support its adoption in the U.S.?