HOW refreshing to read Geert Wilders’s politically incorrect but dispassionate views (“Islamification of Western societies threatens everyone’s freedoms”, 18/2).

Describing Islam as a “totalitarian political ideology” clarifies a key issue we face in the democratic world. Totalitarianism is always associated with repression and curbs on freedoms to associate and criticise behaviour and customs. Any religion that imposes its law above the state and breeds fear in non-compliants, prevents acceptance of any other culture. Until moderate Muslims shake off that ideological yoke, they will continue to face difficulty assimilating in democratic cultures such as Australia.

We have a proud history of resettling immigrants. Those from Islamic backgrounds remain the exception because the rule of Islamic ideology conflicts with our laws, customs and values. It is not the host country that is out of step.

Carlo Bongarzoni, Clontarf, NSW

THE opposition to Geert Wilders manifests a disturbing totalitarian mentality. There is nothing to be afraid of in ideas. Wilders has been allowed into this country and is as entitled as any of the demonstrators to express views which will find their level of acceptance or rejection.

Like the opinions expressed by, say, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Christopher Hitchins, what Wilders has to say about malignant Islamic extremism will quite rightly strike a responsive chord with many.

Fair-minded people would then balance that against the fact that many Muslims are well-integrated here, have as much right to practise their faith as those of other religions and desire only to live out productive, peaceful lives.

Ron Sinclair, Bathurst, NSW

I HAVE lived in Muslim-majority provinces in India prior to the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan, and I can assure James Miller (Letters, 20/2) that Islam is indeed sexist, discriminatory, medieval and totalitarian.

Islam allows for no separation between church and state. The Koran cannot be reinterpreted in the light of modernism or the Enlightenment – it is unalterable word of Allah.

Islam allows a man to have four wives, it does not allow a woman to have four husbands. Islam requires a rape victim to produce four male witnesses to the crime, otherwise she can be punished as an adulteress and perhaps stoned to death.

Islam does not allow apostasy – those who convert to another religion or atheism can be sentenced to death.

I had many Muslim girlfriends during my education in India. The teachers tried, with little success, to encourage their parents to allow them to complete their education instead of being taken out of school when they reached puberty and married to men they did not know.

This is still happening to girls in Afghanistan, Pakistan and many Middle East Muslim countries.

Babette Francis, Toorak, Vic