To the Editor
While Chris Green’s article “Islamophobia on tour: Wilders comes to Britain” (March 6) told us about Geert Wilder’s resemblance to Mozart it offered no explanation for labeling his message as Islamophobia.
Since the Independent is a serious newspaper I hope your readers may expect a follow-up article that seriously addresses the substance of Mr. Wilders’ message. He warns about the changing face of Europe with its fifty-four million Muslims who wish to impose their way of life rather than integrating into their adopted countries many of whom openly advocate a worldwide caliphate and see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to the countries in which they live.
The importance of Mr. Wilders’ message would be heightened if the Independent avoids such an in-depth discussion for fear of violent retaliation, as Felix Droste, of Droste Verlag publishing is reported to have told Der Spiegel last week “After the Muhammad cartoons, one knows that one can’t publish sentences or drawings that defame Islam without expecting a security risk”.
or see article below
A year after his first attempt, the Dutch politician finally brought his message here.
By Chris Green
Saturday, 6 March 2010
When the far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders came to the UK to promote his brand of Islamophobia last year, he made it only as far as Heathrow before being unceremoniously turned away and flown back to his native country.
Yesterday, after a wait of more than a year, he returned to screen his anti-Islamic film in the House of Lords, but unlike his earlier visit, which provoked a storm of debate about the right to free speech, this time few people seemed to notice.
The politician’s flowing locks of swept-back blond hair have led some to nickname him Mozart. So it was unfortunate that Mr Wilders was forced to address the world’s media yesterday in a tiny room with a piano prominently displayed in one corner.
On the wall behind him was a portrait of Peregrine Bertie, the Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, whose 18th-century wig bore more than a passing resemblance to Mr Wilders’s hairstyle. The Duke’s expression remained calm throughout, a remarkable feat considering the events which unfolded in front of him.
The hot and cramped venue was selected for two reasons: its proximity to the House of Lords, where Mr Wilders had finally succeeded in screening his controversial short film Fitna, and its security. Only one person from each media organisation was permitted, and all bags were searched.
Here, under the watchful eyes of his three earpiece-wearing bodyguards, the 46-year-old leader of the Freedom Party told a tense and sometimes heated press conference that Islam was a “fascist ideology” and that the Prophet Mohamed was “a mass murderer, a barbarian and a paedophile”. He said: “I have nothing against Muslims, but I have a problem with the Islamic ideology, which I believe is a totalitarian ideology to be compared with other totalitarian ideologies like communism or fascism. I believe Islam is a violent and dangerous religion and even a retarded culture. I think we should stop the Islamisation of our society. Islamism and democracy are incompatible. The more Islamism we have, the more freedom we will lose and this is something worth fighting for.”
He added that if his party was elected at the Netherlands’ general elections in June, he would attempt to halt all further immigration of Muslims into European countries, and would deport Dutch citizens with Moroccan or Turkish parentage “as soon as possible”.
Mr Wilders’ film Fitna, an Arabic word meaning “strife”, is an incendiary anti-Islamic piece of propaganda which the Dutch Prime Minister once said served “no purpose other than to offend”. In the 15-minute movie, sections of the Koran are read out alongside footage of the 11 September terrorist attacks. Disturbing images of lynchings and executions are shown, as is the beheading of the British civil engineer Ken Bigley in Iraq in 2004. No facts or figures are quoted other than a graph showing the increase in the number of Muslims living in Europe over the past century. Even to be sitting in front of the cameras in central London marked an important victory for Mr Wilders, who is awaiting trial in his home country for discrimination and fomenting hatred. If convicted, he faces 16 months in prison, but the trial has been suspended until after the Dutch elections, at which his party is tipped to become the second-largest in parliament.
He has been waiting to screen his film in this country for more than a year. In February 2009, he was detained at Heathrow and ordered to return to the Netherlands. The then Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, used EU laws to prevent his visit, describing Mr Wilders as an “undesirable person” whose presence would “threaten community harmony and therefore public safety”. But his ban was overturned at an asylum and immigration tribunal, allowing Mr Wilders to claim a victory for free speech and misquote George Orwell.
“Even if you don’t subscribe to my views, I’m able to come here and to speak out my mind,” he said. “Like George Orwell once said, the right of freedom is especially to listen to somebody who says something that you do not want to hear.”
He was invited to Britain by Lord Pearson, the leader of the UK Independence Party, and the cross-bencher Baroness Cox, who said they did not subscribe to Mr Wilders’s views but felt it was important he was given the chance to air them. Lord Pearson described Mr Wilders as “a very great man” who lived with the constant threat of assassination.
But the Ukip leader was forced to admit that only six MPs and peers had attended the screening, and that most of the audience had been made up of parliamentary staff. “Don’t forget it’s Friday,” he said. “The important thing about this debate is that it took place.”
On his way to face the media, Mr Wilders drove past protesters against British far-right groups such as the English Defence League (EDL) and the British National Party (BNP). Their placards read: “EDL + BNP = Nazi racist thugs”. Jonathan Dodds, a 26-year-old student, said: “There’s been a huge rise of far-right groups across Europe, which is extremely alarming. That we’re giving a platform to fascists like this is scary.”
But there can be no denying that Mr Wilders is a far more impressive speaker than other far-right party leaders. After 45 minutes of questioning he had not come close to being ruffled. And shortly after Lord Pearson declared: “We’re got to go, we’re going to be late for lunch”, the politician known as Mozart climbed into his bulletproof car with his bodyguards and set off once more for the House of Lords.
It was, if nothing else, a virtuoso performance but one that may well have been avoided had Britain allowed his entry in the first place.
Not welcome: Banned from Britain
*Since 2005 hundreds of people who promote hatred, terrorist violence or serious criminal activity have been banned from entering the UK. In May last year the Government published a list of 16 “least wanted” people.
*Those excluded in recent years include religious extremists, neo-Nazis, animal rights activists, rap artists and lifestyle gurus. But banning people based on their political views is rare.
Fox News.com http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,563380,00.html
German Publisher, Fearing Muslim Retaliation, Cancels Honor-Killing Novel
Friday, October 09, 2009
By Maxim Lott
A German book publisher has canceled a novel about Islamic “honor killings,” fearing that the book would offend the Muslim community and put him in danger. Critics of the decision call it a cowardly move, but others say the publisher is simply being responsible.
The publisher of the book, which was to have been titled “To Whom Honor is Due,” has indicated that he withdrew the book after an expert on Islam warned that some of the passages could spark violent retaliation from Muslims.
“After the Muhammad cartoons, one knows that one can’t publish sentences or drawings that defame Islam without expecting a security risk,” Felix Droste, of Droste Verlag publishing, told the German newspaper Der Spiegel last week. He referred to a series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that were published in Denmark in 2005 and sparked deadly violence across the Muslim world.
Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are forbidden in Islam.
This new controversy comes on the heels of Yale University Press’ refusal to print the cartoons that were published in Denmark in a new book that details the controversy surrounding them.
It also recalls other recent incidents: In 2008, Random House pulled The Jewel of Medina, a book about one of Muhammad’s wives, and in 2006 a German theater cancelled a play in which Muhammad gets beheaded.
Gabriele Brinkmann, the author of “To Whom Honor is Due,” has been speaking out about the cancellation of her book.
Its a scandal for a publisher to tuck its tail between its legs. This is anticipatory obedience,” Brinkmann said, according to the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung.
But Droste Verlag spokeswoman Nora Tichy pointed to statements by Droste that were published Wednesday, in which he said he was primarily motivated by a desire to respect all religions “whether Christianity, Islam or Judaism.” He said he still plans to release a book that involves an honor killing next year, but that it will not contain controversial passages such as one in the cancelled book in which a chracter says “You can shove your Koran up your
That passage, said Ibrahim Hooper, director of communications for the Council of American Islamic Relations, would offend Muslims. But while he would prefer to see the book go unpublished, he said Droste has every right to release it.
“Obviously it’s offensive. The question is do they have the right to publish it, and the answer is yes,” Hooper said.
“Now, they also have the right not to publish. That’s really something that should be up to the publisher. And we would hope that [the decision] would be based on good faith and respect for others and not due to potential violence.”
But Nonie Darwish, the author of “Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law,” said the publisher had every right to be afraid.
“The publisher is being realistic in their fear of retaliation from Muslims,” Darwish told FOXNews.com. “I cannot blame the publishing company. I blame Western governments, [the] legal system and police who are not protecting the infidel West from the danger of Islamic assault on Western civilization.
“I am often amazed by Muslims who are offended by criticism of Islam but at the same time curse and encourage jihad and violence against Jews, Christians and non-Muslims. If Muslims want respect from others they must remove the tons of commandments to violence against others.”
But Hooper, calling Islam a religion of peace, said critics like Darwish exaggerate the meaning of the book’s cancellation.
“I would disagree with the statement that Islam is a violent religion,” he said. “Come on. There is a cottage industry of Muslim-bashers and hate-mongers, on both the Internet and talk radio, who seize on every opportunity to falsely portray Islam as a religion of violence. This is just another example.”
Dr. Phyllis Chesler, author of several books, including “The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom,” said cancelling the book is not an isolated case.
“[M]ost academic and mainstream publishers wont even consider books that might offend Islamists or Muslims,” she said. “The West has, so far, given in and censored its writers and artists in order to avoid being sued or bombed. Appeasement will get us nowhere. ”
Hooper said that any violence the publishers worried about had been committed by people who misused Islam.
“Unfortunately there are any number of incidents around the world that falsely use Islam as justification for inappropriate actions. That’s something that we have to deal with. But that doesn’t mean that we have to accept the smears and defamation of Muslim bashers.”
‘In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe?’
Here is the speech of Geert Wilders, Chairman, of the Party for Freedom, the Netherlands, at the Four Seasons, New York, introducing an Alliance of Patriots.
Thank you very much for inviting me.
I come to America with a mission. All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe.
First I will describe the situation on the ground in Europe. Then, I will say a few things about Islam. To close I will tell you about a meeting in Jerusalem.
The Europe you know is changing.
You have probably seen the landmarks. But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration.
All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighborhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It’s the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead.. With mosques on many street corners. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity.
These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighborhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city.
There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe. With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.
Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam, Marseille and Malmo in Sweden. In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighborhoods. Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities.
In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims.Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear ‘whore, whore’. Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin.
In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin.
The history of the Holocaust can no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity..In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighborhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels, 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. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya, Israel. I could go on forever with stories like this. Stories about Islamization.
A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live in Europe.
Now these are just numbers. And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate. But there are few signs of that. The Pew Research Center reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France. One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favor of a worldwide caliphate. Muslims demand what they call ‘respect’. And this is how we give them respect. We have Muslim official state holidays.
The Christian-Democratic attorney general is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey.
Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behavior, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots. Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieus. I call the perpetrators ‘settlers’. Because that is what they are. They do not come to integrate into our societies; they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam. Therefore, they are settlers.
Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighborhoods, their cities, their countries. Moreover, Muslims are now a swing vote not to be ignored.
The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet. His behavior is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized. Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Gandhi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem. But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages – at the same time.
Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. If it is good for Islam, it is
good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad.
Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its essence Islam is a political ideology. It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means ‘submission’. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies.
This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam’s territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan, Lebanon, and Aceh in Indonesia. Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.
The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. 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 venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.
Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination.
If they can get Israel, they can get everything. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a ‘right-wing extremists’ or ‘racists’. In my country, the Netherlands, 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat. Yet there is a danger greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America – as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem.
My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. All throughout Europe, American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish. My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its custodians. We can only hand over this hard won liberty to Europe’s children in the same state in which it was offered to us. We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future generations would never forgive us. We cannot squander our liberties. We simply do not have the right to do so.
2010-2-6 11:46 AM