Speech given recently by Dutch fim maker Geert Wilders MP at Columbia University
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege and a great honor for me to speak at this fine academic institution, which gave the world so many Nobel Prize winners. As a Dutchman, I am proud that your first Nobel laureate, in 1906, was of Dutch descent: The youngest President of the United States: Theodore Roosevelt.
I thank Columbia University for inviting me, and I also thank the US border police for allowing me to enter this great country of democracy, liberty and free speech. Ladies and gentlemen, today, the dearest of our many liberties is under attack all throughout Europe. Free speech is no longer a given. What we once considered a natural element of our existence, our birth right, is now something we once again have to fight for.
I would not qualify myself as a free man. 5 years ago I lost my personal freedom. Since then I am under 24-hour police protection. In addition some people tried to rob my freedom of speech: A Dutch Islamic organization tried to stop the appearance of my documentary 'Fitna'. Because of 'Fitna' the most radical Dutch imam claimed 55.000 Euros in compensation for his hurt feelings. The State of Jordan is possibly going to issue a request for my extradition, to stand trial in Amman. I have been charged in France.
In my own country, the Netherlands, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal overruled the decision of the Dutch public prosecutor not to prosecute me. So, now I have to stand trial in my own country, next January.
But, it is not about me. I am not the only European who fights for freedom of speech, there are so many more: The Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard made a Muhammad-cartoon and all of a sudden we were in the middle of the so called 'Danish cartoon crisis'. The Italian author Oriana Fallaci had to live in fear of extradition to Switzerland because of her book 'The Rage and the Pride'. An Austrian politician, Susanne Winter, was sentenced to a suspended prison sentence because she spoke bluntly about the prophet Muhammad. The Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot was arrested by 10 police men because of his drawings. And the Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh was brutally murdered in the streets of Amsterdam by a radical Muslim.
Last February, I was invited by 2 brave members of the British House of Lords - Lord Malcom Pearson and Baroness Caroline Cox - to show 'Fitna' in the British Parliament. But upon my arrival at Heathrow airport I was denied entry into the UK, on grounds that I would threaten community harmony and therefore public security. Of course that was a ridiculous and politically motivated claim by the UK government. I was allowed to show 'Fitna' and deliver a speech in the US Senate, in New York, in Florida, in California, in Copenhagen, in Rome, in Jerusalem and next month in the Senate of the Czech Republic. But the British government refused my entrance into the UK, a fellow EU-country. Well, I think it was a splendid American idea, back in the 18th century, to kick the British out.
Last week, my appeal against the refusal by the British government, took place in London; and I won. Freedom finally prevailed! A UK Court ruled that the decision of the British Home Secretary to ban me was unjust, illegal and a violation of freedom of speech. Fortunately the British judges are a lot wiser than the British government. So, last Friday I went to London and met with my friends Lord Pearson and Baroness Cox and we agreed to show 'Fitna' in the House of Lords, next March. But let me tell you what also happened during our press conference. A Muslim mob demonstrated outside, shouting: "Shariah for the Netherlands", "Enemy of Islam Geert Wilders deserves capital punishment", "Freedom go to hell" and "Islam will dominate the world". Welcome to Europe today!
You can see all this for yourself on YouTube. This is exactly what we are fighting against. And it gets even worse. A few days ago British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported that an Islamic group indeed launched a campaign to impose Shariah law in Britain, they will meet later this month in London for a procession to demand the full implementation of Shariah law. Before I want to speak about Islam, I first would like to say this: I have nothing against Muslims. There are many moderate Muslims. The majority of Muslims in our Western countries are law abiding people, who want to live a peaceful life. I know that. Therefore, I make a clear distinction between the people and the ideology, between Muslims and Islam.
What is happening in Europe should not come as a surprise. The reality is that where Islam roots, free speech dies. There is not a single Islamic country in het world where people are really totally free to say what they think. Ever since the so called prophet Muhammad ordered his men to kill the poet Asma Bint Marwan, the brave woman who warned her people against this murderous cult, radical Muslims think they have a license to kill anyone, who dares to criticize Muhammad's word or actions. Free speech is Islam's enemy. Islam is a threat to the Europe of Socrates, Voltaire and Galileo. As I said, there are many moderate Muslims. But there is no such thing as a moderate Islam. Islam's heart lies in the Koran. The Koran is an evil book that calls for violence and murder - Sura 4, Verse 89 and Sura 47, Verse 4 -, terrorism - Sura 8, Verse 60 - and war - Sura 8, Verse 39. The Koran describes Jews as monkeys and pigs - Sura 2, Verse 65 / Sura 5, Verse 60 and Sura 7, Verse 166. It calls non-Muslims liars, miscreants, enemies, ignorant, unclean, wicked, evil, the worst of creatures and the vilest of animals.
The problem is that the provisions in the Koran are not restricted to time or place. Rather, they apply to all Muslims, from all times. Apart from the Koran, there is also the life of Muhammad, who fought in dozens of wars, who spread Islam with the sword, sold imprisoned women and children as slaves, who was in the habit of decapitating Jews and who married and consummated the young girl Aisha before she was ten years of age. The problem is that, too many `Muslims, Muhammad is 'the perfect man', whose life is the model to follow. But the facts show that the so called Prophet was not a perfect man but a murderer and a pedophile. And inspired by him jihadists with the promise of a carnal paradise slaughtered innocent people in Washington, New York, Madrid, London, Amsterdam, Bali and Mumbai. Ladies and gentlemen, some time ago an interview was held in France with the French Muslim student Mohamed Sabaoui, who said the following, and I quote: "Your laws do not coincide with the Koran, Muslims can only be ruled by Shariah law", and "we will declare the town of Roubaix an independent Muslim enclave and impose Shariah law upon all its citizens, and "we will be your Trojan Horse, we will rule, Allah Akbar". End of quote.
Make no mistake: Islam has always attempted to conquer Europe. Spain fell in the 8th century. Constantinople fell in the 15th century. Vienna and Poland were threatened, and now, in the 21st century, Islam is trying again. This time not with military armies, but through migration and demography. For the first time in world history there are dozens of millions of Muslims living outside the Dar al-Islam, the Islamic world. Europe now has more than 50 million Muslims. It is expected that one fifth of the population of the European Union will be Muslim within 40 years.
In 1974 no one took the Algerian President Boumédienne all too serious when he said to the UN general assembly: "One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere of this planet to burst into the northern one. But not as friends. Because they will burst in to conquer, and they will conquer by populating it with their children. Victory will come to us from the wombs of our women". End of quote. And Libyan dictator Gaddafi said: "There are tens of millions of Muslims in the European continent and the number is on the increase. This is the clear indication that the European continent will be converted to Islam. Europe will one day be a Muslim continent". End of quote.
Indeed Gaddafi is telling the truth here, through the Islamic concept of migration - called Al Hijra - Europe is in the process of becoming Eurabia. In Europe churches are emptying out, whereas mosques are shooting up like mushrooms. Muhammad is the most popular name among boys in many European cities. Medieval phenomena as burkas, honor killings and female genital mutilation are becoming more and more prevalent. In the UK, by now 85 Shariah law courts are active, the same country where Islamic organizations asked to stop the commemoration of the Holocaust, and a minister is pleading to change the Red Cross logo, because it might offend Muslims.
In Austria, history teachers avoid teaching on the Austrian wars against the Islamic invaders. In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire. In Norway, children are made to sing Islamic songs as "Allah Akbar" and "Little Muslim, do you pray?" In Belgium, a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims, because he was drinking during the Ramadan. Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II.
The rise of Islam also means the rise of Shariah law in our judicial systems. In Europe we have it all: Shariah testaments, Shariah mortgages, Shariah schools, Shariah banks, as I said in the UK there are even 85 Shariah courts. Islam regards Shariah law to be above all man-made laws, including our constitutions. As you know, Shariah law covers all areas of life, from religion, hygiene and dietary laws, to dress codes, family and social life and from finance and politics to the unity of Islam with the state. Shariah law does not recognize free speech and freedom of religion. According to Shariah law, killing apostates is a 'virtue', but the consumption of alcohol is a crime. The introduction of Shariah law elements in our societies creates a system of legal apartheid. Shariah law systematically discriminates groups of people. I never understood why the leftish and liberal politicians are ignoring all this. Historically they were the ones fighting for the rights of women, gays, non-believers and others. All groups that would be the first to pay a high price if and when Islamic values would become dominant. Their silence is frightening.
Now, I am fighting their fight. I fight to protect those groups. I fight against the Islamization of our societies and therefore for the protection of the rights of women, homosexuals, Christians, Jews, apostates, non-believers and kafirs: the non-Muslims. I want to protect these victims for Shariah law. And we all should. If we ignore the problem it will not go away, if we don't act now, Shariah will be implemented more en more, slowly but gradually and that would mean the end of freedom of speech and democracy in Europe. This is what is at stake, nothing less than our freedom and democracy.
And please make no mistake: Islam is also coming for America. Last July, during a conference in Chicago, organized by Hizb-Ut-Tahrir, the international movement aiming to create an Islamic state under Shariah law across the world, the American imam Jaleel Abdul Adil promised to fight "until Islam becomes victorious or we die in the attempt". When asked: "Would you get rid of the United States Constitution for Shariah?" he answered: "Yes, The Constitution would be gone".
America is facing a 'stealth Jihad', the Islamic' attempt to introduce Shariah law bit by bit. Allow me to give you a few examples of Islamization in the United States: Muslim taxi drivers at Minneapolis airport refused over 5,000 passengers because they were carrying alcohol; Muslim students are demanding separate campus housing; Muslim women are demanding separate hours in gyms and swimming pools; schools are banning Halloween and Christmas celebrations - indeed, schools are taking pork off their cafeteria menus to avoid offending Muslim students. Ladies and gentlemen, be aware that this is only the beginning. If things continue like this, you will have the same problems as we are currently faced with in Europe. It is my opinion that Islam is more an ideology than a religion. To be precise, Islam is a political, totalitarian ideology, with worldwide aspirations, just like communism and fascism, because like those ideologies Islam does not intend to assimilate in our societies but wants to dominate and submit us all. In Islam there is no room for anything but Islam. I think the great Winston Churchill was fully right when he, in his book The Second World War, called Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf the new Koran of faith and war.
But, ladies and gentlemen, Islam is not the only problem. There is a second problem, a problem that is called cultural relativism. Our entire Western elite, whether they are politicians, journalists or judges, has lost its way. Their sense of reality has vanished. Those cultural relativists believe that all cultures are equal. They think that the Islamic culture is equal to our culture which is based on Christianity, Judaism and Humanism. Our culture adheres to freedom, human rights and the equality between men and women and not to violence and hatred.
To the cultural relativists, I proudly say: Our Western culture is far better than the Islamic culture. And we should be proud of that and defend it. Unlike most countries where the Islamic culture is dominant, we have a rule of law, a democracy, a functioning parliament, freedom of speech and a constitution that protects us against the government. It is clear that not everyone sees the danger. I quote a prominent American, who recently won a Nobel Prize: "Throughout history, Islam had demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance", and "Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism, it is an important part of promoting peace", and "We celebrate a great religion, and its commitment to justice and progress". End of quote. I strongly have to disagree with this assessment. Islam has nothing in common with tolerance or peace or justice!
President Obama also celebrated the fact that when the first Muslim-American was elected to Congress, he took the oath using the same Koran that one of the Founding Fathers - Thomas Jefferson - kept in his personal library. It is interesting to know that Thomas Jefferson in 1801 was about to wage war against the Islamic 'Barbary' states of Northern Africa to stop the pillaging of ships and enslavement of more than a million Christians. The ambassador of these Muslim nations told Thomas Jefferson and John Adams that Muslims find the justification for their slaughter and enslavement of kafir in the Koran. Now I ask you, dear friends, could it be that Thomas Jefferson did not keep a copy of the Koran because he admired Islam but because he wanted to understand the ruthless nature of his enemies?
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe in democracy, I believe in the American people and the choices it makes, and normally, as a politician from Holland, I would never judge your President. But these remarks of President Obama, do not only affect America, but Europe too. I am afraid that President Obama's remarks could be a turning point in history. I fear that serious geo political changes are looming, changes that will alter our foreign policies, our view on free speech, changes that will alter the West, our way of life, and for the worse and not for the better.
In a matter of fact, it is already happening right now. Recently the United States joined Egypt in sponsoring an anti-free speech resolution in the UN Human Rights Council. You know that council that itself is an insult to human rights since the worst human rights offenders of the world like Cuba, Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan are members. The Obama-administration and Europe supported a resolution to recognize exceptions to free speech to any negative religious stereotyping. This appeasement of the non-free Arab world is the beginning of the end. An erosion of free speech and your own First Amendment. This UN resolution is an absolute disgrace.
As Professor Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University yesterday so rightfully stated in the newspaper USA Today, and I quote: "Criticism of religion is the very measure of the guarantee of free speech - the literal sacred institution of society" - end of quote. That the weak leaders of my own continent Europe supported such a terrible resolution does not come as a surprise to me. But it's a sad thing that for the first time in history, the American administration has taken a leading role against our right to free speech.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is one Western country that has been forced to fight the forces of jihad for its values since the very first day of its existence: Israel, the canary in the coal mine. Let me say a few words about that wonderful country. I had the privilege of living in Israel. However, in Europe being pro-Israel makes you an endangered species. Israel is a beacon of light in an area - the Middle East - that is pitch black everywhere else. Israel is a Western democracy, while Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt are medieval dictatorships. I am very much in favor of a two-state solution. I mean Churchill's 1921 two-state solution, when Palestine was partitioned in a Jewish and an Arab part. Arab Palestine is now called Jordan, and therefore, there is already a Palestinian state. With eighty percent of the population having roots on the other side of the Jordan, there is no doubt Jordan is truly the state of Palestine.
The so-called 'Middle East conflict' is not about land at all. It is a conflict about ideologies; a battle between Islam and freedom. It is not about some land in Gaza or in Judea and Samaria. It is about Jihad. To Islam the whole of Israel is occupied territory. They see Tel Aviv and Haifa as settlements too. Islam forces Israel to fight, and Israel is not just fighting for itself. Israel is fighting for all of us, for the entire West. Just like those brave American soldiers who landed in Sicily in 1943 and stormed the Normandy beaches in 1944, young Israeli men and women are fighting for our freedom, our civilization.
Ladies and gentlemen, Europe ought to fully back Israel to the hilt in its relentless fight against those that threaten it, whether it is Hezbollah, Hamas or a nuclear Iran. Also, because of its history, Europe certainly has the moral obligation to prevent at all cost another Holocaust against the Jewish people. But most important of all: Israel is fighting the jihad that is meant for all of us. So we all should defend Israel. We all are Israel.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is good news also! Europe might slowly be awakening. More and more people are fed up with cultural relativism and politicians ignoring the negative effects of mass-immigration and the creeping Islamization of Europe. During the European elections last June the worst cultural relativists, the socialists, lost nearly everywhere: In the Netherlands, in Belgium, in Germany, in Austria, in France, in Spain, in Italy and, perhaps best of all, in the UK. But, my party, the Dutch Freedom Party was the winner in the recent elections for the European Parliament. Right now, in the polls, we even are number 1. If there would be elections in the Netherlands tomorrow, whether you like it or not, I could very well become the next Prime Minister of The Netherlands.
Ladies and gentlemen, time is running out, we need to act. As I already said, we need less Islam, and more freedom. We have to protect our most important right, our right to free speech. We have to protect our liberties. That is why I propose the following measures, measures to preserve our freedom:
- First. We have to end all forms of cultural relativism. For this purpose we need an amendment to our Western constitutions stating that our cultural foundation is the Judeo Christian Humanistic culture, and not Islam./font>
- Second. We have to stop the mass immigration from Muslim countries. Because more Islam means less freedom.
- Third. I have a clear message to all Muslims in our societies: If you subscribe to our laws, our values and our constitutions you are very welcome to stay and we will help you to assimilate.
- But, if you cross the red line and commit violent crimes or the implementation of Shariah law and start practicing jihad, you are not welcome anymore, then we will expel you if possible the same day.
- Fourth. We have to strengthen our laws regarding freedom of speech. In Europe we urgently need some kind of American First Amendment. And we have to resist UN-resolutions that intend to weaken our right of free speech in another attempt to appease the Islamic world.
- Fifth, last but not least. We have to elect brave leaders. Real leaders. We enjoy the privilege of living in a democracy. Let us use that privilege by replacing weak leaders with heroes. Let us have fewer Neville Chamberlains and more Winston Churchills! In short, ladies and gentlemen, my main message of today is that we have to start fighting back. No defense, but offence. We have to fight back and demonstrate that millions of people are sick and tired of losing, of giving in, of appeasing. We must make clear that millions of freedom loving people are saying: enough is enough.
Ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with this: I will never give in nor give up. And we should never surrender nor compromise about freedom, the most important right we still have in our free western societies. We have to win, and I am confident: we will win! Thank you very much.