A brave speech by a brave man. Geert Wilders in New York last September on America as the last man standing
Wilders has been a member of the Dutch parliament since 1998. Trained as a lawyer, his first film Fitna, only 16 minutes long, became the subject of world-wide controversy before it was even seen.
Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, described Fitna thus
The main part of it features a series of quotations from the Qur’an, followed by scenes of violent acts committed by Muslims.
The core objection to the film was that it linked Islam with violence.
And that points up the odd myopia of virtually all of the objections to Fitna. It was not Geert Wilders, but the many Muslims he shows in his film, who link Islam with violence. And that link has already been made innumerable times around the world — by Islamic jihad warriors, not by non-Muslim “Islamophobes.” Omar Bakri, once the leading jihadist in Britain but now in exile from the Sceptered Isle, even went so far as to say that with a few small edits, Fitna “could be a film by the Mujahideen.”
On January 21, 2009, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ordered the criminal prosecution of Geert Wilders for insulting Islam. Some say he went too far when he likened the Koran to Mein Kampf. For Americans, who enjoy an almost absolute freedom under the First Amendment, it's hard to conceive anyone being criminally charged for political speech, especially in a western democracy.
As someone remarked, Wilders is under 24 hour police protection because of threats on his life by violent Islamists, yet Wilders is criminally charged for expressing his opinion on violent Islam.
Bruce Bawer had this to say about the charge.
But Wilders—who for years now has lived under 24-hour armed guard—would not be gagged. Thus the disgraceful decision to put him on trial. In Dutch Muslim schools and mosques, incendiary rhetoric about the Netherlands, America, Jews, gays, democracy, and sexual equality is routine; a generation of Dutch Muslims are being brought up with toxic attitudes toward the society in which they live. And no one is ever prosecuted for any of this. Instead, a court in the Netherlands—a nation once famous for being an oasis of free speech—has now decided to prosecute a member of the national legislature for speaking his mind. By doing so, it proves exactly what Wilders has argued all along: that fear and “sensitivity” to a religion of submission are destroying Dutch freedom.
Here's what Geert Wilders said last September
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 danger I see looming is the scenario of America as the last man standing. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe. In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe?
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 neighbourhoods. 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. 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 in many cases no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity. In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighbourhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves.
Dear friends, liberty is the most precious of gifts. 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.
This is not the first time our civilization is under threat. We have seen dangers before. We have been betrayed by our elites before. They have sided with our enemies before. And yet, then, freedom prevailed.