The title refers to how Muslim jihadists regard him — as a target. Wilders got that distinction by warning Europe about the threat hostile Islam poses to all the rights we hold dear, starting with freedom itself. (See my 2008 VDARE.com article Geert Wilders’ Campaign to Save the West.)
His production of the 17-minute film Fitna in 2008 got the Muslims’ attention, and not in a good way. The film took writings from Islamic holy texts and illustrated them with Muslim behavior in modern life. You can watch Fitna online. As a result of his honesty, Wilders must live with 24/7 security to protect his life from Muslims who are bent on killing him.
Wilders gave a little talk on Monday about his book and the experiences that led up to it.
Geert Wilders Speech, Gatestone Institute, New York, April 30, 2012
I am happy to be in New York again, even though in my country today it is Queen’s day, a national celebration. This is why I am wearing my orange tie.
Thank you, Nina, for organizing this event and giving me the opportunity to address all of you. It is always good to be among friends. It is an honor to be here in the presence of so many people who care for the preservation of freedom in our civilization.
It is great to be in America, the beacon of liberty, the land of the free, the land where people are still allowed to speak freely. I know what I am talking about. I was acquitted after a legal ordeal that lasted almost 3 years. I had been brought to court for criticizing Islam.
Though at the end of the day I was acquitted, the court case had been a disgrace. It was a time-, money- and energy-consuming nightmare. This charade that happened in the Netherlands for the last few years could not have happened in your great country, where the First Amendment guarantees people the freedom to express their opinions.
The first Amendment is what we need in the Netherlands and Europe.
I am in New York for the release of my book “Marked for Death”. It explains why Islam is the largest threat to freedom which the world is currently facing. It argues why Islam is a totalitarian ideology rather than a religion. It reveals how Islam has already profoundly changed Europe in the last decades. It exposes the cultural relativism which has affected Europe so deeply that many in Europe refuse to stand for liberty and prefer to appease Islam.
As you know, people who speak out like myself and I pay a steep price for speaking these truths. Apart from legal attempts to silence me, there are also the threats by radical Muslims to kill me. I have been living under permanent police protection for almost eight years now. People like me pay this price for speaking the truth about Islam. But I do not regret one word. I see it as my duty to warn the West.
I have traveled widely in the Islamic world. I have read the Koran. I have studied the life of Muhammad. It made me realize that Islam is primarily a dangerous ideology rather than a religion. This is the truth. This violent ideology wants to impose Islamic sharia law on the whole world, including us the Kafirs, the non-Muslims. This inhumane ideology is also outspokenly anti-Semitic.
This ideology also harms Muslims. Islam believes that everything men have to know can be found in the Koran. As such, it is hostile to all forms of innovation. But without innovation there can be no progress and people cannot prosper.
Many people unfortunately are blind to the true nature of Islam. They are blind because they do not realize what Islam is and mistakenly believe that it is a religion just like any other religion.
I have written my book to inform them.
Islam fails four major tests that religions should fulfill:
1 Adherence to a religion must be a personal choice;
2 no religion should demand that those who leave it be killed;
3 a religion must never mandate the subjugation of those who do not belong to it;
4 a religion must be in accord with basic human rights.
I have also written my book because I am not a defeatist. The West is able to defeat totalitarian Islam just as it defeated Nazism and Communism in the past.
My book is dedicated to freedom. It is inspired by many freedom fighters, from previous generations but also people from our age. As it happens, two people, whom I refer to in the book, are present in this room here today: Andy Bostom and Ibn Warraq.
Fortunately, we are not alone in the fight for freedom. We are in the company of heroes and friends. This gives us the strength to continue.
In order to defeat Islam so, we must do four things.
The first and most important is to speak the truth, always and everywhere also about islam. Like the Americans, the people in the Netherlands and other European countries desperately need a First Amendment.
That will allow them to tell the truth about Islam and Muhammad. In doing so we will expose this dangerous ideology and its founder. We must encourage Muslims to leave Islam and to choose for freedom and prosperity.
Secondly, we have to believe in the superiority of our Western values. If we do not believe in our own Western values, we will not be prepared to defend them. That is why we have to end the biggest disease in the world today, the cultural relativism which pretends that all cultures are equal. This is simply not true. Our Judeo-Christian and humanist civilization is far superior to any other civilizations like the barbaric Islamic civilization. We should not be afraid to say so. It is more free, more democratic, more tolerant than any civilization the world has ever seen.
Thirdly, we must stop the Islamization of our societies, by restricting immigration from Islamic countries, and expelling those who violate our laws and commit violence. If you respect our laws you are welcome to stay; if you don’t you do not belong here and we will send you packing.
And fourthly, we must reassert our national identities. The nation-state enables self-government and self-determination. This insight led the Zionists to establish Israel as the homeland of the Jews.
Zionism teaches us one of the most important lessons which the modern world needs today. Theodor Herzl argued that a Jewish state would facilitate “a new blossoming of the Jewish spirit.” Today, we need our own respective nation-states to preside over a new blossoming of our own Western spirit.
Our nations are the homes in which freedom and democracy prospers. This is true for the Netherlands. This is true for America. This is true for Israel.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It is a beacon of freedom in an unfree region, a beacon of life in a place of darkness. If Israel falls, the West falls.
Mothers in the West can sleep safely because Israeli mothers at night worry about their sons in the army. Their fight is our fight. We should support it.
Israel is, indeed, a vital outpost of Western civilization. That is why Islam conditions the faithful to hate the Jewish state and to view its destruction as an imperative. It is our duty to stand with Israel.
All these arguments are made in my book, in which I also explain how we can defend freedom and oppose Islamization and cultural relativism in a non-violent and democratic way. In fact, that is what my party, the Party for Freedom, is doing in the Netherlands.
When I began to speak out against Islam 10 years ago, two things happened. Extremist Muslims from the Netherlands and all over the world marked me for death, but Dutch people came to me to express me their support. In 2010, we became the third biggest party in the Netherlands. Though the PVV did not become a coalition partner in the Dutch government, for almost two years we supported a center-right minority government in return for measures to roll back Sharia in Holland, stop the Islamization process, and counter cultural relativism.
The Dutch government even had the audacity to speak out against the powerful OIC, the Organisation of Islamic Conference. The OIC is an international organization of 57 Islamic countries, most of them barbaric tyrannies.
This OIC constitutes the largest voting bloc in the United Nation. It had criticized the fact that Dutch judges had acquitted me of all charges in my court case. But the Dutch government made it clear to the OIC that freedom of speech will not be muzzled in the Netherlands. It told the OIC very bluntly: “The Dutch government dissociates itself fully from the request to silence a politician.” Never before had a European government had the courage to confront the OIC in such a forceful way.
Unfortunately, last week, the Party for Freedom decided to end its support for the government. As you can imagine, this was a difficult decision for us, given the many things also on the subject of islamization that we were still to achieve. Unfortunately, however, previous Dutch governments – as governments elsewhere in Europe – have signed away a significant part of our own sovereignty to the EU, the European Union, a supranational institution run by unelected and undemocratic bureaucrats.
The EU controls our borders and decides over most immigration rules. The EU also imposes a policy of austerity on our country.
When the government, in order to comply with the EU rules, decided to raise taxes and slash the budget at the expense of the citizens rather than by trimming the government, my party had no other option but to bring the government down and we did so last week.
We are now heading for elections, which will be held on September 12th. Our electoral campaign will focus on the need to restore our national sovereignty, because without our sovereignty we cannot defend our identity and fight against islamization.
My friends, we continue our efforts. Our opponents have not been able to bully me. They have not been able to silence me. They shriek and yell, but we will never give in. One of my favorite presidents Ronald Reagan once said: “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted.” Reagan was right. The future belongs to us.
In 2008, I released Fitna, a documentary about the true message of the Koran. Tomorrow, I release my book. I wrote it to inform people and also to encourage freedom loving Muslims to leave Islam. And to see islam for what it really is.
I wholeheartedly support those who struggle for freedom in the Islamic world. The Arab, Turkish, Iranian, Pakistani, and Indonesian people have tremendous potential. If they could liberate themselves from the yoke of Islam, if they would stop taking Muhammad as a role model, and if they get rid of the hateful Koran, they would be able to achieve amazing things.
As I say in my book – my message to them, to all the muslims all over the world, is clear: “Fatalism is no option, Inch’Allah is a curse; Submission is a disgrace. Free yourselves. It is up to you.”
I receive hundreds of emails from all over the world. From people in Islamic countries, and from people in Western countries begging for help. They, too, want to fight for freedom and stop the Islamization process. We have to advise and help.
I leave you with another Reagan quote: “We need to act today, to preserve tomorrow.” Indeed, my friends, there are so many things which we can do. Things which we must do. But we can do them only if we can count on each other. You can count on me. I spoke, I speak, I shall continue to speak. I hope I can continue to count on your support.
We are fighting for the future of our children, the survival of the Western spirit, the preservation of our liberty and democracy, our Judeo-Christian and humanist heritage.
We must be brave and save our heritage and our own constitution. The West is in danger, but we can still prevail. Even when we are insulted, even when we are harassed and intimidated, even when we are marked for death – we must stand up for our values, tell the truth and never ever be silenced.