Special to WorldTribune.com
By Geert Wilders
Geert Wilders spoke at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado on July 1. The following is the complete transcript of his speech.
Thank you, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen, for inviting me to the Western Conservative Summit. It is always a pleasure to come to America. I was here a few weeks ago to meet with my dear friend, congresswoman Michele Bachmann, to talk about Islam and the threat to America and Europe.
I know that I come at a sad moment. Many of you have been affected by the enormous wildfires raging not far from here. Thousands have been evacuated and some of them are even staying in this hotel. Few things are as terrible as losing your homes. I want to express my deepest sympathy with all the people affected by this disaster. And I want to offer my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the fires.
I am impressed by the solidarity and the help which the people of Denver extend to the victims. You live in a great and generous city. Denver is also privileged to be the home of Colorado Christian University and the Centennial Institute with its motto “Faith, family and freedom”. Your motto shows that you have your priorities right. Faith, family and freedom are the pillars of our Judeo-Christian civilization and need to be defended.
I feel honored to have been invited to address you today about the situation in Europe and in particular in my own country, the Netherlands. This situation serves as a warning to what might happen in America if you fail to be vigilant. As U.S. President Andrew Jackson said: “Remember, my fellow citizens, that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.”
But first, let me start by introducing myself. I am one of the 150 members of the House of Representatives in the Netherlands, a small country of almost 17 million people in Western Europe. I am the leader of the Party for Freedom. My party is the third largest of eleven parties represented in the Dutch parliament.
Perhaps many of you think that life for this politician in the Netherlands resembles the life of the members of your own Congress. Unfortunately, that is not the case. For the past eight years I have been living under 24 hour police protection. Wherever I go, plainclothes policemen go with me. I live in a government safe house, heavily protected and bulletproof.
I am driven every day from the safe house to the Dutch parliament in armored police cars with flashing blue lights.
I have not walked the streets on my own in the past eight years. When I occasionally go to a restaurant or a movie theater, the police will have to check everything first. My wife and I have lived in army barracks and prisons cells just to be safe from assassins.
Why do I need this protection? I am not a president or a king; I am a mere parliamentarian.
I have, however, been marked for death for criticizing Islam. I was placed under police protection in early November 2004 when an Islamic fanatic murdered th Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh because he had criticized Islam. Van Gogh was slaughtered in broad daylight in the streets of Amsterdam. A few hours later, the police found a letter written by the assassin threatening to kill me as well.
What have I done, you might ask, to deserve those death threats? I have candidly expressed my views about Islam.
My views, in a nutshell, are that Islam, rather than a religion, is predominantly a totalitarian ideology striving for world dominance. I believe that Islam and freedom are incompatible.
Some people do not want to hear this message. That is why they threaten to murder everyone who states this truth.
I am not the only one who has been marked for death. The British author Salman Rushdie, the Scandinavian cartoonists Kurt Westergaard and Lars Vilks have all been victims of assassination attempts.
However, if you really love freedom, you have to speak the truth. If not, we will fall victim to Islam, like earlier the people in the Middle East, North Africa, Persia, India and Indonesia fell victim to it. That is why I spoke, why I speak and why I will continue speaking, whatever the consequences: I do not want Europe nor America to become Islamic.
Before I continue I want to make clear that I do not have a problem with Muslims. There are many moderate Muslims. I always make a distinction between the people and the ideology, between Muslims and Islam. There are many moderate Muslims, but there is no such thing as a moderate Islam.
There is only one Islam and it is a dangerous ideology. It is intolerant, it is violent. It should not be tolerated, but should be contained.
In Europe, we are experiencing that if Islam becomes stronger in a society – even when the majority of Muslims are moderates – a society becomes less free and more intolerant of non- Muslims.
Former congressman Tom Tancredo, a native and inhabitant of this great city, whom I visited in his office in Washington in late 2008, once said referring to Miami: I quote “Look at what has happened to Miami. It has become a Third World country. You would never know you’re in the United States of America. You would certainly say you’re in a Third World country.”
The same applies to Europe: Certain parts of our inner cities no longer look like Europe. They look like suburbs of Cairo, Rabat, Algiers, Damascus or Mecca.
As the Muslim population is concentrated in urban areas, many European cities have very large Islamic concentrations. We are confronted with headscarves and burkas, polygamy, female genital mutilation, honor-killings.
During the past three decades, Europe made a fatal mistake. It allowed millions of people from Islamic countries to immigrate into Europe. So many people rooted in a culture entirely different from our own Judeo-Christian and humanist tradition have entered Europe that our heritage, our freedoms, our prosperity and our culture are in danger.
Perhaps, many Americans still believe that Europe is the place they know from a tourist trip or from their grandparents’ stories. This Europe is on the verge of disappearing.
“In each one of our cities” wrote the Italian author Oriana Fallaci shortly before her death in 2006, “there is a second city, a state within the state, a government within the government. A Muslim city, a city ruled by the Koran.”
Perhaps many Americans see immigration as something which is inherently good for a country, since it contributed so much to the United States. But while most of the former immigrants to the United States came from Europe, a continent with the same Judeo-Christian roots as America, Europe’s contemporary immigrants do not share our common roots. On the contrary, the islamization of our society is undermining our Western Judeo-Christian values.
I am not just talking about the threat of terrorism or violence; there is also the phenomenon of non-violent jihad. Europe’s increasingly assertive Islamic lobby has successfully pressured European politicians into implementing pro-Islamic policies and adopting elements of Islamic Sharia law.
The number of people who organize their lives according to Islamic requirements is growing, especially among young people. Among 15-year-old German Muslims, 40 percent consider Islam more important than democracy. Among Muslim university students in Britain, 40 percent support Sharia. One in three of those students consider it legitimate to kill in the name of Islam.
The rise of Islam also means the rise of sharia law in our judicial systems. In Europe we have sharia wills, sharia schools, sharia banks. The introduction of elements of sharia law in our societies creates a system of legal apartheid. Sharia law systematically discriminates groups of people. I will give you some examples.
Britain has official sharia courts. One of these courts settled an inheritance dispute involving a man whose estate had to be divided between his children. It gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with the Koranic pronouncement that a woman is only worth half a man.
In my own country, the Netherlands, sharia is being applied – I know that it is hard to believe but sadly it is true – by the Dutch courts.
This is a disgrace. In our civilization, men and women are treated as equals before the law.
Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake: Islam is also coming for America. Indeed, it has already arrived. Your country, too, is facing a stealth jihad – an Islamic attempt to introduce sharia law bit by bit. Islam demands separate campus housing for Muslims; Islam demands that women have separate hours in gyms and swimming pools; schools are banning Christmas celebrations and are taking pork off their cafeteria menus to avoid offending Muslim students. And courts – even in America, we have seen an example in Florida – have begun to apply sharia law.
Be aware that this is only the beginning.
If we do not stop the Islamization, we will lose everything: our identity, our culture, our democratic constitutional state, our freedom and our civilization. In Europe we are already losing the right to free speech, the right to criticize Islam.
What we need, my friends, is a spirit of resistance. Resistance to evil is our moral duty. This resistance begins with expressing our solidarity to all Christians, all Jews, all non-Muslims, all Muslim apostates, all people, who are the victims of Islam.
We can see what Islam has in store for us if we watch the fate of the Christians in the Islamic world, such as the Copts in Egypt, the Maronites in Lebanon, the Assyrians in Iraq, and Christians elsewhere, such as the brave Christian people in Nigeria. Almost every day, churches are arsoned and Christians are assassinated in Islamic countries. Even in so-called moderate countries such as Turkey and Indonesia, Christians face discrimination and humiliation on a daily basis.
The cause of all this Christian suffering is Islam. Rivers of tears are flowing from the Middle East, where there is only one safe haven for Christians. Indeed, the only place in the Middle East where Christians are safe to be Christians is Israel. This is why Israel deserves the support of Christians worldwide. Israel is the canary in the coal mine. If Israel cannot exist in peace, none of us can.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It is a safe haven for everyone. It is a beacon of light in an area of total darkness. If Israel falls, we, too, will feel the consequences. As a matter of fact Israel is fighting our fight. Mothers in the West can sleep safely because Israeli mothers at night worry about their sons in the army.
We all are Israel. We should all support Israel because Islam’s so-called “holy war” against Israel is a war against all of us.
In March 2008, I released Fitna, a 15 minute documentary about the Koran and the threat of Islamization in the Netherlands. While at that time I was invited by Senator Jon Kyl to show Fitna to colleagues in the US Senate, the screening of my movie was banned by the European Parliament. The British government even barred me from entering the United Kingdom on the day that I was invited to show Fitna in the House of Lords.
Later in 2008, leftist, liberal and Islamic organizations in the Netherlands brought me to court over Fitna. They accused me of group insult and incitement to hatred and discrimination. I was prosecuted for merely stating my opinion about Islam. Fortunately, I was acquitted on all charges, but the legal ordeal lasted almost three years. Imagine a member of parliament having to deal with a court case for 3 years. That is an enormous cost of time, energy and money. The court ultimately acquitted me because I had criticized Islam, not Muslims, and because, as an elected politician participating in a public debate, I was entitled to greater freedom of speech than everyday citizens.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, it is important that we realize how the West got into the present situation.
It is partly our own fault because we have foolishly adopted the ideology of multiculturalism. I use the term “multiculturalism” to refer to cultural relativism. This is the biggest disease of politically correct Europe and even America today. This is the crazy idea that all cultures are equal. Of course they are not. Our culture based on Christianity, Judaism and humanism is far better, far superior to the Islamic culture. We should not be afraid but proud to say so.
Cultural relativism is weakening the West day by day. Government leaders, lawyers, judges, churches, trade unions, media, academia, charities – all of them are blinded by political correctness and are condoning Islam. As a result of cultural relativism a little bit of the free West dies each day.
Multiculturalism is a disaster. Multiculturalism has been such an enormous catastrophe because it has been a tool to promote Islam – an ideology that threatens our core values, such as tolerance.
Multiculturalism made us open our borders to those who cannot be assimilated; it made us tolerate the intolerant, and now intolerance is annihilating tolerance. We should, in the name of tolerance, claim the right not to tolerate the people who are intolerant to us anymore; we should, in the name of self-preservation, not allow those who refuse to assimilate to our values to enter our countries anymore.
My dear friends, I am not a pessimist. We can still turn the tide – even in Europe – if we act today.
There are four measures that we must take.
First, we must tell people what is at stake. In Western Europe freedom of speech is being restricted at the demand of adherents of Islam and their collaborators. If Christianity is insulted it is considered a form of art, if Islam is insulted it is hate crime.
There is reason for concern if the erosion of our freedom of speech is the price we must pay to accommodate Islam. There is reason for concern if those who deny that Islam is a problem do not grant us the right to debate the issue and speak the truth.
This is our first and most important obligation: Defend the right to speak what we see as the truth. That is why we in Europe need to follow America’s example and introduce a European First Amendment. But once we have the right the speak the truth, we need to use that right. The latter is also a message to you in America: Speak the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, even when it’s not politically correct, even if we receive death threats. The truth cannot be compromised.
Second, we must end cultural relativism. We should not be afraid to say who we are and to know who we are not. We must proudly proclaim that our Judeo-Christian values are far better and superior than the Islamic values.
Third, we must stop the islamization process. More Islam means more intolerance, more Sharia and less freedom. We must stop immigration from Islamic countries, we must expel criminal immigrants, we must forbid the construction of new mosques. There is enough Islam in the West already.
Fourth, we must take pride in our nations again. We must demand that immigrants accept our values, and not the other way round. What we call home is more than a place on the map. It is our belonging to a community of values, a community of ideas and ideals.
My friends, you and I, Americans and Europeans, we belong to a common Western culture. We share the values and ideals of our common heritage. In order to preserve our nations and our homes, in order to pass our heritage on to our children, in order to survive, we must stand together. Otherwise we will be submerged in the uniform Nation of Islam. That is what we do not want to happen.
Indeed, We must defend our own civilization. Ronald Reagan said that “the future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted.” And Reagan was right. We must be brave, or we will be swamped by totalitarianism.
It is a constant struggle to preserve our faith, our family, our freedom.
But we owe it to our children.
That is why we must stand firm.
We will not submit to Islam. Never.
We will survive with our own Judeo-Christian heritage.
We will defend our freedoms.
We will speak the truth.
Because we stand for the truth.
And the truth will set us free.