I’m on the way back to the Jihad Watch offices from the Facing Jihad conference, which was held at the Menachem Begin Center in Jerusalem on Sunday. I served as Master of Ceremonies for the conference, which featured presentations by John Lewis, Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch, Daniel Pipes, and others. Pamela Geller covered the conference on Twitter and has more coverage at Atlas Shrugs (where I got the photos above, and she has others there also) — with, I believe, some videos and more yet to come.
The highlight of the day was a screening of Geert Wilders’s film Fitna, receiving its Middle East premiere. Wilders delivered this address after the film.
Thank you very much.
It’s a privilege for me to be here in this beautiful city Jerusalem, the capitol of the only democracy in the entire Middle East. When I was a teenager I lived some years here in this city and after that I visited Israel more times than I can count. Israel: the only country in the region with a functioning parliament, a rule of law and free elections. The only country in the region that shares the values of our Western societies, in fact is one of the foundations of our Judeo-Christian identity.
We are here to voice our concern over the growing Islamisation of the West. We do this in this city, the city of David. The city that, together with Rome and Athens, symbolizes our ancient heritage.
Perhaps a few of you may be new to Jerusalem, yet, Jerusalem is not new to any of you. We all carry Jerusalem in our blood, in our genes. We all live and breathe Jerusalem. We talk Jerusalem, we dream Jerusalem. Simply because, the values of ancient Israel have become the values of the West. We are all Israel, and Israel is in all of us.
This city is the capital of a democracy under threat. Israel is under siege, like the Jewish community in the Land of Israel is under siege for over a century now. Israel with all its glory and splendour is unique, and its history unparalleled. Yet, Israel’s security situation is not unique, and neither is its enemy.
Samuel Huntington writes it so aptly: “Islam has bloody borders”. Israel is located precisely on that border. This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, just like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan, Lebanon, and Aceh in Indonesia. Israel is simply in the way of the Islamic advance. Just like West-Berlin was during the Cold War.
Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other places to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Therefore, the war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Thanks to Israeli parents who see their children go off to join the army and lie awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and have pleasant dreams, unaware of the dangers looming.
At present the front-line of jihad runs not just through the streets of Tel Aviv and Haifa, but through the streets of London, Madrid, and Amsterdam as well. Jihad is our common enemy, and we better start Facing Jihad before it is too late.
Therefore, if we voice our concern over the Islamisation of the West, we have to do it here, where our civilization borders on Islam. Where jihadists fire Qassams into civilian homes in Sderot and Ashkelon, and where a doctor like Aryeh Eldad is characteristic of our civilization by treating terrorists the same way as he treats the Israeli victims. I salute Professor Eldad for his work for humanity, and for his patriotism. And I thank him for hosting this conference in this great city. Aryeh I am proud to be your friend.
I will say a few things about the Islamisation of Europe and my film Fitna. I will use some examples from the Netherlands, because they are indicative for the situation on the continent.
The mass migration to the Netherlands continues full-speed ahead. Currently, a staggering number of new immigrants arrive every year, many of them Muslim, often uneducated, if not illiterate. Bringing along with them the local customs of the mountains and deserts of backward Islamic countries. Thousands and thousands of Muslims arrive in the Netherlands every year, while already one million Muslims are living in our tiny country.
There are many problems concerning this massive influx: immigrants are overly represented in social benefits and crime statistics and the overall costs are staggering. The financial costs of mass immigration in the Netherlands exceeds 100 billion euro’s.
But what we have to fear most is the creeping Islamisation, the stealth jihad. Because every Islamic neighbourhood, every Islamic shop, every mosque, every Islamic school, every burqa, every veil is regarded by many Muslims as building blocks towards a larger goal, towards domination.
This is in fact the essence of the problem. Not crime, not even the financial burden. The biggest problem is the demographic development, and the way it influences our society at large. Immigration from Muslim countries and the demographics will result in the Eurabia that the brave Bat Ye’or is warning about. It will become reality if we don’t act now.
A decade and a half ago, a then unknown American politician used the following slogan in his political campaign: “it’s the economy, stupid.” From now on the motto of my party will be: “it’s demographics, dumbo”.
More than forty years ago a British politician gave a famous speech. He stated that, looking into the future, he saw “˜rivers of blood” as a result of the uncontrolled influx of immigrants. Enoch Powell’s speech was the starting point of a debate on mass immigration in Europe. As usual, the leftist establishment labeled him an extremist and his career went down. But the British people loved him, and supported Powell. London’s dock workers took him to their hearts, marching by the thousands in support of Mr. Powell.
Looking back, I share Enoch Powell’s alarmist views on mass immigration, but “˜rivers of blood” is not something I see happening. We will not face civil war. Our political elite is trying to make us believe that the influx of Muslim immigrants is similar to the waves of immigration that took place centuries ago. Or they say that “Christianity developed towards modernity, and therefore Islam will do the same”.
How are we to remain a democracy if a large part of the growing Muslim population is in favour of introducing sharia law? How is Amsterdam to remain the gay capitol of Europe if gays are regularly beaten up by non western immigrants, often Muslims? How are the Jewish communities of Europe to survive with a growing presence of an ideology that is so blatantly anti-Semitic? How are we to remain a centre of cultural and scientific excellence if Islam opposes art, and academic exploration? How are we to remain an open and tolerant society if we are faced with part of the Muslim community favouring self-segregation and showing no desire for assimilation? How can we look to the future with confidence, when a large part of the population turns to a seventh century desert for answers?
These are the questions the multiculturalists don’t want to answer.
Instead of providing leadership our political elite fooled us by using our own principles against us. I will give you five examples.
First. Our tolerance is used as an argument to bring in more Islam, to bring in more Muslims, and a way to tell us that we should not criticize their Islamic culture, if you do you are labeled intolerant and racist.
Second. Democracy. A growing Muslim electorate is too hard for politicians to resist, so they give in to their grievances and demands to win their vote. Before long sharia law will be introduced, legally and democratically, by means of majority vote. The former Dutch Minister of Justice once said that sharia law could be part of the Dutch legal system if a two third majority of the population would be in favour of it.
Third. Our religious freedom is utilized by an ideology that has no plans whatsoever to play by our rules, yet demands the same rights our traditional religions have had for centuries;
Fourth. Our welfare state that once was the envy of the world, now functions as a magnet for a lot of non-Western immigrants, dreaming of a cushy life in wealthy Europe.
Fifth. Our open borders came to symbolize our open mindset, an example of our cosmopolitan hospitality. But now we have lost control of our borders and we can’t even keep track of who is entering our countries, let alone prevent them from entering.
Our Western principles are hollow if they are not accompanied by a desire to sustain our culture and our civilization, based upon knowing who we are and where we come from. We are not from Saudi-Arabia. We are not from Iran. We come from Rome, Athens and Jerusalem. That makes our civilization special, and certainly worth preserving.
In spite of all that, the political elite are still madly in love with their pet project, the multicultural society, as they call it romantically. Apparently they don’t live in the neighbourhoods that are turning Islamic. They will tell you “they are nice people. I don’t see the problem?” The Muslim immigrant’s demands sound reasonably to them, like: “let us have an extra-large mosque”.
It is very difficult to remain optimistic in the face of the growing Islamisation of Europe. The tide is turning against us. We are losing on every front. Regarding the demographics, Islam is gaining momentum. The ruling elite is even proud of the Muslim immigration. After all, this way they can show everyone that they are not racists. Academia, the arts, the media, trade unions, the churches, the business world, the entire political establishment have all converted to the suicidal theory of multiculturalism and cultural relativism.
Cultural relativism is the biggest disease modern day Europe suffers from. Not all cultures are equal. Our Western culture is better than the Islamic culture. In the words of the brave Dr. Wafa Sultan: “It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality”. Indeed also here in Israel you are not fighting a territorial war, it’s not about territory it’s about ideology. The Islamic ideology does not seek cooperation or assimilation but aims for submission and dominance over non-Muslims. There is no moderate Islam, there will never be a moderate Islam. There might be moderate people who call themselves Muslim, but there is no moderate Islam.
Leftist journalists and leftist politicians hasten themselves to label anyone critical of the Islamisation a “˜right-wing extremist”. The entire establishment has sided with Islam. Leftists, liberals, and Christian-Democrats are now enslaved to Islam. They are Dhimmi’s. Lenin once labelled ignorant people that unknowingly aided his cause “˜useful idiots”. Well, the West is now full of these “˜useful idiots”, and they are even proud of it.
Now some words about my film Fitna.
I felt I had the moral duty to educate people about Islam and the Islamisation of Europe. The duty to make clear to everyone that the Koran stands at the heart of what some people call terrorism but is in reality jihad. I wanted to show that the problems of Islam are at the core of Islam, and do not belong to its fringes.
I have warned against the dangers of the Koran and Islam in numerous interviews, opinion articles, speeches and of course parliamentary debates, but pictures often say more than words. That is why I made Fitna.
Fitna is a documentary that shows what is being done in the name of Islam. Without placing all Muslims into the same category, I think I have succeeded in showing that the Koran is not some dusty old book, but that it is still used today as a source of inspiration for, and justification of hatred, violence and terrorism across the world.
A few weeks ago the world has once again seen what Islam is capable of. In Mumbai, jihadists separated Muslims from non-Muslims, according to a witness in a Belgian newspaper. The non-Muslims, the Kaffirs, were subsequently shot. The terrorists also went straight for the tiny Jewish centre in Mumbai, where, according to reports made to an Indian news website, they horribly tortured Jewish people before brutally murdering them.
Most of the Western media stick to naming the culprits as being members of “˜separatist movements”. In doing so, they are missing the main point and are unjustly ignoring the Islamic nature of the terror attacks. After all, if it is a conflict about borders, why are they killing Jews in Mumbai? Why, in a city of tens of millions, find the jihadists the shortest way to the only rabbi in town — in order to kill him and his wife? Why are Israel’s enemies always shouting “Allah hoe-Akbar” and “kill the Jews” if all they want is peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding? Maybe, I”m just guessing, is it because they have an ideology that tells them to kill Jews, to kill unbelievers, and to advance Islam until there is world domination. Islam, after all divides the world in a dar-al-Harb, and dar-al-Islam. Islam is a totalitarian ideology full of hate, violence and submission.
From the day the plan for my short film was made public it caused quite a stir, in the Netherlands, in Europe and across the world. First there was a political uproar, with government leaders across the continent in sheer panic. The Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs called on me to abandon my film project. The Minister of Justice let it be known that post hoc criminal proceedings could be initiated if the movie was shown. The Dutch government investigated the possibility of having Fitna banned in advance. The Dutch branch of the Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir declared that the Netherlands was due for an attack. Internationally there was a series of incidents. The Taliban threatened to organize additional attacks against Dutch troops in Afghanistan and a website linked to Al Qaeda published the message that I ought to be killed, while the Grand Mufti of Syria stated that I would be responsible for all the bloodshed after the screening of the film.
In Afghanistan and Pakistan the Dutch flag was burned on several occasions. Dolls representing me were burned as well. The Indonesian President announced that I will never be admitted into Indonesia again, while the UN Secretary General and the European Union issued statements in the same cowardly vein as those by the Dutch government. I could go on and on. It was an absolute disgrace, a sell out. It was treason to our Western principles, it was treason to freedom of speech, it was treason to liberty itself. My own government was not defending me, but became my worst enemy in the process.
Because of Fitna the State of Jordan is currently litigating against me. Jordan wants to prosecute me for blasphemy, demeaning Islam and slandering the Prophet Muhammad; violations of the Jordanian Penal Code, even though the alleged violations did not even occur in Jordan. As you all know, Jordan is a non-democratic country, without an independent or impartial judicial system and without a strongly developed civil society. According to a recent study by Human Rights Watch, torture is a routine and widespread practice in Jordan.
Jordan’s attempt to prosecute me is an infringement on the sovereignty of my country, the Netherlands. It is an infringement on freedom of speech. Jordan’s attempt is in fact a hostile act towards freedom itself.
If Jordan succeeds in prosecuting a democratically elected member of a Western parliament, what kind of precedent would that set? But its not about me. The principle is not Geert Wilders. If you look at the press and the rest of the political elite in the Netherlands, nobody cared. Nobody gived a damn. This was the worst thing. A nondemocratic country like Jordan cannot use the international or domestic legal system to silence anyone. If this starts, if we allow this, we can get rid of all parliaments, and we should close down every newspaper, and we should shut up and all pray to Mecca five times a day.
But there is some hope. For instance there is some hope with the middle class workers. Underneath the empty bravado of the elite, the middle class worker, the average Joe, is starting to realise that there is something terribly wrong with Islam. In the Netherlands, sixty percent of the population considers mass immigration to be the worst mistake since the second world war. And an equal sixty percent sees Islam as the number one threat to our national identity. But the Freedom Party is the only political party in the Dutch parliament that shares their view.
And there is hope that political parties critical about the Islamisation of the West are gaining momentum all over Europe, are getting stronger. And we will work together with common legislation, with common initiatives, perhaps even with a common group in the European parliament as defenders of the West, defenders of our culture, defenders of our identity, defenders of our freedom.
We need a new way of thinking, a new paradigm, to defend our liberties. Just reiterating our devotion to tolerance and democracy is not good enough, as we are Facing Jihad. We need a new set of goals and ideas. We need new leaders. And we should always remember where we come from. We all come from Jerusalem.
Let me wind up. The essence of my short speech today is that Europe is in the process of Islamisation, and that we need to fight it. Because if we don’t fight the Islamization we will lose everything; our cultural identity, our democracy, our rule of law, our liberties, our freedom. We have the duty to defend the ideas of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem. The ancient heritage of our forefathers is under attack; we have to stand up and defend it.
A century and a half ago, on the other side of the world, a young President said exactly what I mean. This is what Abraham Lincoln said in 1862, and I leave you with that:
The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise “” with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
(Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862)
It is five to twelve. Freedom must win, we have to win and we will win.