Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Principled Man

Followers fall
blinded by kings
lost in the lie of the land.
Are you the one
sworn to be true?
Are you a principled man?

-- Steve Taylor, A Principled Man

Geert Wilders is one of the bravest men I know of in Europe today. He's a Dutch politician, founder of the Freedom Party, and the most famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) critic of Islam in the West today. His short film about Islam, Fitna, caused considerable controversy (though he did little more than allow the Koran and Muslims to speak for themselves regarding the nature and goals of Islam) and has led to his indictment in the Netherlands.

For over 4 years, Wilders has lived under guard. As a visible critic of Islam, his life is constantly in jeopardy from followers of the "religion of peace" who have repeatedly demonstrated that they will kill people who criticize their religion. In Europe, however, most of the establishment seems committed to ignoring this very prominent characteristic of their growing Muslim populations. They are are so committed to this delusion that they are trying to arrest Wilders for challenging it.

The irony is amazing, actually. The self-proclaimed forces of tolerance -- claiming to act in the interests of truth and non-discrimination -- are using the threat of force to try to silence the free speech of a Dutch citizen for the crime of not lying, all in service to probably the most violent and intolerant religion in the world. Unfortunately, there's no joke here. The Netherlands (and the UK, which refused Wilders entry to make a speech about Fitna at Parliament, ostensibly because he'd incite hatred among Muslims) have effectively ruled that criticism of Islam is illegal. For those of us who thought such laws were limited to nations like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, this is a very troubling development. It's a capitulation, actually. It's the culmination of the self-hatred and denegration of the West that's characterized Western Liberalism (especially in Europe) over the past 50 years. And it will destroy us, if we don't stop it.

Wilders recently visited New York City (and, thanks to the freedom of speech we still enjoy here in America, he was allowed in) where he gave a speech about Islam and his struggles to speak truthfully about it. The speech is masterful: impassioned (but not desperate), forceful, self-confident. The words are those of a man at peace with himself, even in the midst of terrible struggles (and under 24/7 security protection, effectively denying him the enjoyment of a normal life).

I've included some excerpts below, but you should really read the speech in its entirety.

As you might know, I will be prosecuted, because of my film Fitna, my remarks regarding Islam, and my view concerning what some call a ‘religion of peace’. A few years from now, I might be a criminal.

Whether or not I end up in jail is not the most pressing issue; I gave up my freedom four years ago. I am under full-time police protection ever since. The real question is: will free speech be put behind bars? And the larger question for the West is: will we leave Europe’s children the values of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem, or the values of Mecca, Teheran and Gaza?

This is what video blogger Pat Condell said in one of his latest you tube appearances. He says: “If I talked about Muslims the way their holy book talks about me, I’d be arrested for hate speech.” Now, Mr Condell is a stand-up comedian, but in the video he is dead serious and the joke is on us.


Today, I come before you to warn of a great threat. It is called Islam. It poses as a religion, but its goals are very worldly: world domination, holy war, sharia law, the end of the separation of church and state, slavery of women, the end of democracy. It is not a religion, it is a political ideology. It demands your respect, but has no respect for you.

There might be moderate Muslims, but there is no moderate Islam. [Emphasis mine. -- PHG] Islam will never change, because it is built on two rocks that are forever, two fundamental beliefs that will never change, and will never alter. First, there is the Quran, Allah’s personal word, uncreated, forever, with orders that need to be fulfilled regardless of place or time. And second, there is al-insal al-kamil, the perfect man, Muhammad the role model, whose deeds are to be imitated by all Muslims. And since Muhammad was a warlord and a conqueror we know what to expect. Islam means submission, so there cannot be any mistake about it’s goal. That’s a given. It’s fact.


This all culminates in a third coming-together: [neither] the left nor Islam is in favor of criticism. In fact, given the opportunity, they would simply outlaw it.

Multiculturalism is the left’s pet project. It is actually their religion. Their love of it is so great, if you oppose it, it must be hate. And if you say it, it is labeled hate speech. Now here is something the [left and] Islam can agree on.

This is the essence of my short introduction today: where the left and Islam come together, freedom will suffer. [Emphasis mine. -- PHG]

My friends, make no mistake, my prosecution is a full-fledged attack by the left on freedom of speech in order to please Muslims.


I suggest to defend freedom in general and freedom of speech in particular. I propose the withdrawal of all hate speech legislation in Europe. I propose a European First Amendment. In Europe we should defend freedom of speech like you Americans do. In Europe freedom of speech should be extended, instead of restricted. ... As George Orwell once said: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”.


Our enemies should know: we will never apologize for being free men, we will never bow for the combined forces of Mecca and the left. And we will never surrender. We stand on the shoulders of giants. There is no stronger power than the force of free men fighting for the great cause of liberty.

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