In times of universal crisis, there is a great need for great men and great women to stand up and be counted. For example, when the Cold War was at its peak, it seems that three world leaders were providently raised up to withstand the menace of Soviet imperialism. Thus Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II together helped to bring an end to this global threat.
Fortunately other heroes seem to come on the scene in times of national emergency or international challenges. When universal deceit prevails, such brave men and women act as prophetic voices. With the twin challenges of militant Islam and a West that seems hell-bent on bowing in subservience to it, a number of fearless individuals have risen to the occasion.
One of them is Dutch politician Geert Wilders. The 46-year-old Dutchman has been a tireless and outspoken critic of Islamism and the cowardice of the West. He has courageously spoken out on the dangers we face, not only from militants without, but appeasers within.
He even produced a short film last year called Fitna. It minces no words in exposing the radical agenda of the Islamists, and how the heart of Islam (the Koran, the hadith, and the life and example of Muhammad) all feed into the Islamist practices and objectives.
And for his troubles he has been a hunted man. But it is not just the angry Muslim world that wants his scalp. Western appeasers are also after him. Indeed, last week a Dutch court ordered the criminal prosecution of Wilders because of his “hate speech”. The Amsterdam Court of Appeals has said his statements are "insulting," and that they "substantially harm the religious esteem" of Muslims.
I will leave it for others to determine whether his film is indeed hate speech. But his recent speeches have certainly been clear-cut as to how he regards the Islamist threat. A few paragraphs from various recent speeches are worth reproducing here. Consider his thoughts on how Europe is faring:
“All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighbourhoods 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 neighbourhoods, 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, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, 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.”
Take Holland for example: “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 their country of origin.”
Other parts of Europe are also in crisis: “The history of the Holocaust can in many cases no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity. In England sharia courts are now 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 from the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya, Israel.”
And Europe seems to be standing idly by as all this happens: “It is very difficult to be an optimist in the face of the growing Islamization of Europe. All the tides are against us. On all fronts we are losing. Demographically the momentum is with Islam. Muslim immigration is even a source of pride within ruling liberal parties. Academia, the arts, the media, trade unions, the churches, the business world, the entire political establishment have all converted to the suicidal theory of multiculturalism. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as ‘right-wing extremists’ or ‘racists’. The entire establishment has sided with our enemy. Leftists, liberals and Christian-Democrats are now all in bed with Islam.”
And Israel is only the tip of the iceberg: “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 places to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Therefore, the war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Thanks to Israeli parents who see their children go off to join the army and lie awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and have pleasant dreams, unaware of the dangers looming. At present the front-line of jihad runs not just through the streets of Tel Aviv and Haifa, but through the streets of London, Madrid, and Amsterdam as well. Jihad is our common enemy, and we better start Facing Jihad before it is too late.”
He concludes one speech with these words: “We need a new way of thinking, a new paradigm, to defend our liberties. Just reiterating our devotion to tolerance and democracy is not good enough, as we are Facing Jihad. . . . If we don’t fight the Islamization we will lose everything; our cultural identity, our democracy, our rule of law, our liberties, our freedom. We have the duty to defend the ideas of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem. The ancient heritage of our forefathers is under attack; we have to stand up and defend it. A century and a half ago, on the other side of the world, a young President said exactly what I mean. This is what Abraham Lincoln said in 1862, and I leave you with that: ‘The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise – with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country’.”
Fortunately a few other concerned voices have been raised. This is what Melanie Phillips said about the court attack on Wilders: “So the inevitable has now come about in the teetering civilisation of Europe, and it has happened first in the Netherlands. One of the supposedly most liberal societies on the planet wants to criminalise someone for telling the truth.”
She concludes her Spectator article this way: “This is a defining moment for Europe. It is when people have to decide what side they are on. All those ‘human rights’ supporters who tell us endlessly that we can only defend our society against terror if we remain true to its values now must decide whether they are going to defend Geert Wilders against the attempt to criminalise him for exercising his freedom to speak in defence of life, liberty and western liberalism – or whether they are going to run up the white flag in the face of Islamist totalitarianism enforced by its already enslaved western dupes.”
And today in the Australian Janet Albrechtsen offers a similar warning: “The Netherlands – often lauded as the home of Western civility – has mistaken tolerance for anesthesia. Eager to filter out jarring, uncomfortable views, putting us to sleep with consensus and anodyne niceness, Dutch authorities have strayed far from the true value of freedom of expression. They have forgotten progress rarely occurs without controversy. The best ideas – including those that are uncomfortable or even, at first glance, outlandish – are the ones that prevail when tested in the furnace of opposition.”
She asks who in fact is threatening violence?: “The Dutch appeals court said that the prosecution of Wilders is justified on the grounds that his film was inciting violence. But it turns out that the only violence incited by Fitna, released on the internet in March 2008, was not against Muslims but by Muslims against the West. In other words, the phrase “inciting violence” has been rendered meaningless, stretched to stifle views that merely offend.”
Concludes Albrechtsen, “The Netherlands is a striking example of how a noble quest to produce a tolerant society can be hijacked by social engineers opposed to free speech. With our myriad vilification laws, Australia needs to heed the lessons from the Dutch before we make the same disastrous blunders.”
But Australia is not heeding these lessons at all. In fact, it is going in the same direction. We already have had two Christian pastors dragged up to a Victorian tribunal simply for quoting from the Koran. And with a push for a Bill of Rights and an inquiry into religious freedom, things will only get worse.
Would that Australia and the rest of the West had more men with backbone like Wilders. But they are few and far between. Most of our politicians, leaders and elites are far too interested in Political Correctness and appeasement to take a stand. So that leaves it to you and me. And if we won’t stand up and be counted, who will?