Did former leader in Geert Wilders’ Party succumb to Philippe Petain syndrome?

His name is Arnoud Van Doorn. Until recently, he was a leader in the anti-Islam political party founded by Geert Wilders. He also was a producer for the controversial film Fitna.

Now, he is a convert to Islam.

Via the Saudi Gazette (h/t DW):

Former Dutch Islamophobe and a former leading member of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ party Arnoud Van Doorn visited the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to pray and say sorry for becoming part of a blasphemous film.

Doorn was among the Freedom Party leaders who produced the blasphemous film, Fitna. Last month he reverted to Islam after an extensive study about the religion and the Prophet (peace be upon him).

He said that the worldwide outrage against the film made him study about the Prophet (pbuh) and that eventually led to his conversion.

He headed for Makkah to perform Umrah after meeting the two imams of the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Ali Al-Hudaifi and Sheikh Salah Al-Badar, who enlightened him on how to lead the life of a good Muslim and confront challenges facing Islam in the West.

A member of the Dutch parliament and The Hague City Council, Doorn announced his decision to accept Islam on his Twitter profile. He also posted a tweet in Arabic declaring that “there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet.”

He allegedly said the following to Al-Jazeera:

“According to some people I am a traitor, but according to most others I have actually made a very good decision.”

That quote, coupled with with Doorn’s decision to fight a threat to his nation before betraying it is very reminiscent of World War I French hero, Henri-Philippe Petain, who was called out of retirement in World War II to help lead France in its fight with the Nazis. Petain essentially did then what Doorn is doing now.

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Via First World War:

In 1940, at the age of 83, he headed the Vichy government of France during the Second World War, from 11 July 1940 until 20 August 1944. Petain established a Fascist-oriented government that became notorious for its collaboration with the Third Reich. Ruling with German approval, Petain’s government passed anti-Semitic laws, rounding up French, Spanish and Eastern European Jews for deportation to German concentration camps.

For his collaboration he was sentenced to death for treason following the war, on 15 August 1944, a sentence that was commuted to life imprisonment by Charles de Gaulle, who had served as a junior officer in Petain’s regiment at Charleron in August 1914.

One can only speculate on the motives of Doorn but there can only be a few reasons for a swing that dramatic – from fighting for his country to aligning with forces that want to destroy it.

Odds are quite good that, like Petain did before him, Doorn is choosing sides based on which side gives him the best chance at self-preservation.

Petain was wrong.

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