Theo van Gogh (1957-2004)
The following is a speech Geert Wilders delivered in Copenhagen today, the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Theo van Gogh on the streets of Amsterdam for criticizing Islam.
I am happy to be in Copenhagen again.
It is always a pleasure to return to this wonderful city – the home of my good friend and fellow freedom fighter, the Danish hero Lars Hedegaard.
It is always a privilege to be in the capital of the brave Danish people.
And it is always an honor to be a guest of your great organization.
The Danish Free Press Society is a beacon of light. For Denmark, for Scandinavia, for the whole of Europe, and for the entire West. Your staunch defense of civil liberties, such as freedom of speech, serves as an inspiration for many, including myself and my party.
On a moment like this, when the free world is in mortal danger, an organization such as the Danish Free Press Society is needed more than ever.
Exactly ten years ago, today, my fellow countryman Van Gogh fell as a martyr of free speech.
I remember that morning very well. The press came to my office to ask for a reaction, but hardly anyone could believe that what had happened was really true. We all realized that the Netherlands would never be the same again. Unfortunately few lessons have been learned since that horrible day in 2004.
Islam claims that Muhammad was a prophet. But Muhammad was not a prophet; Theo van Gogh was a prophet.
Van Gogh saw what was coming. He spoke out forcefully against the danger of Islamization.
He had also just made a short movie, together with my then colleague Ayaan Hirsi Ali, about the plight of women in Islamic society. The movie was called “Submission.”
That is why he was murdered. His assassination should have been an alarm bell.
Van Gogh warned us in a strong language, as clear as the colors that his great-granduncle Vincent used when painting his landscapes.
He was a brave man. When he realized the danger of Islam, he did not run like a coward.
He would have hated to see how our freedom of speech has been restricted in the ten years since his death.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, the more Islam we get, the less free our societies become. Not only because of the islamization but also because of the weak appeasers who call themselves politicians.
We are no longer allowed to crack jokes or draw cartoons if Islam feels insulted by it.
If you do so, your life is in danger, as Kurt Westergaard and Lars Vilks can testify. You might even get arrested, as happened a few years ago with the Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot.
Sure, the charges against Nekschot were later dropped. But if you value your life and if you prefer to avoid trouble, it is better not to do anything that might remotely insult Islam.
We are no longer allowed to tell statistical truths, as Lars Hedegaard experienced, when he referred to rape figures in Islamic families.
A murderer came to Lars’s door and the state authorities persecuted him for so-called hate speech. Sure, the Supreme Court eventually acquitted Lars. But if you value your life and if you prefer to avoid trouble, it is better to keep quiet.
We are no longer allowed to refer to scientific and historical research, as my friend, the brave Austrian human rights activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, experienced.
In a seminar on the historical figure of Muhammad, she mentioned that he had a crush on little girls and had sex with a 9-year old. That is the truth.
But Elisabeth was convicted, and her conviction was even upheld by the Appeals court. Once again, it is better to remain silent if you want to avoid trouble.
But Theo van Gogh did not remain silent. And neither did Kurt and Lars and Elisabeth and Robert and the Danish Free Press Society, and my party, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, and so many other freedom fighters in the West.
We speak out. We will never be silent. Because we love our country. Because we love our freedom. Because we refuse to live in slavery.
Because we believe that without liberty, life is not worth living.
Liberty and human dignity, that is what we stand for.
We are the torchbearers for freedom. We are the torchbearers for democracy.
We are the torchbearers for a civilization that is far superior than any other civilization on earth.
Last Summer, my home town, The Hague, witnessed scenes which brought back memories of the darkest period in our history, the Nazi era.
Sympathizers of the Islamic State paraded in our streets. They carried swastikas, they carried the black flags of ISIS. They shouted “Death to the Jews.”
Instead of rounding up these hatemongers, the authorities did nothing.
When we warn against Islam, the authorities call it hate speech and bring us to court. But when the grim forces of hatred march down our streets, the police look on and do not interfere. It is a disgrace. It is a scandal. It is intolerable.
Islam is waging a war against the free West.
Indeed, we are at war. Only fools can deny it. Islam has declared war on us.
America and its allies are currently bombing the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
My party supports this offensive. I am glad that Dutch and Danish F16s participate in it and that our two nations stand shoulder to shoulder in this endeavor. We should liquidate Abu Bakr Al-Bagdadi and the other criminals who are leading the Islamic State.
But we have to do more than that.
Far more important than fighting Islamic State abroad, is the fight to preserve our own security in our own countries, in the Netherlands, in Denmark, in all the other European and Western countries. It is our homes that we must defend.
It is just to bomb the Islamic State in the Middle East. But our first priority must be to protect our own nations, our own freedoms, our own people, our own children, here, at home.
Recently, the Dutch authorities prevented some forty jihadis to leave our country, when they attempted to go to Syria to fight in the ranks of ISIS. Their passports were seized and they were sent home instead of jailed. These criminals now walk our streets and make them unsafe.
You may have heard that the jihadis who recently murdered soldiers in Canada were also people whom the authorities had previously prevented to leave for Syria and who were not arrested but allowed to go free on the street.
Blocking the exodus of those who want to wage Jihad elsewhere and not detain them is sheer stupidity.
Keeping them here as free people means that they will hit us here.
We must hasten their exit instead of preventing it. But we must never allow them to return. Therefore, we must reinstate national border controls.
Nothing is more important than first protect our own countries from the Jihadis.
Let us restore our liberties, such as freedom of speech.
Let us defend our culture. Let us protect our people.
Let us make our nations free and safe again.
Let us be brave.
That is what we must do; that is our duty.
Let me ask you: Do our authorities actually do this?
They fail to do their duty.
They fail to act accordingly.
They even lie to us.
Everyday, we hear Western leaders repeat the sickening mantra that Islam is a religion of peace.
Whenever an atrocity is committed in the name of Islam, whenever someone is beheaded in Syria or Iraq, Barack Obama, David Cameron, my own Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and many of their colleagues rush to the television cameras to tell the world that it has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. How stupid can you be.
Fortunately, the eyes of ever more people are opening to this reality.
In my country, a poll last June, showed that 65% of the Dutch are convinced that the Islamic culture does not belong to the Netherlands.
In France, 74% find Islam incompatible with French society.
In Britain, fewer than one in four think that following Islam is compatible with a British way of life. In Germany, over two thirds of the population think negatively about Islam.
Even in the Czech Republic, a country with hardly any Islamic population, almost two-thirds consider Islam a threat to society and 90% are afraid of it. And in Denmark 92% of your citizens believe Muslim immigrants should adopt Danish customs.
With every new terrorist crime, with every new attack, with every new beheading, it becomes clear to ever more people what the true nature of Islam is.
With every Islamic assault on our values, more and more people realize that Islam wants to conquer the world, that it is prepared to kill or enslave anyone who refuses to submit. And that it is ready to commit the biggest atrocities to achieve this goal.
My friends, we are gathered here today, because we are neither prepared to collaborate with evil, nor to appease it.
We say No to Islamic censorship. And No to the politicians who fail us.
During the past ten years, I have been living under constant police protection.
As you know, I am not the only one who has to live through this ordeal. Several people in this room are in the same situation. Our friends Lars and Kurt even came to stand eye to eye with fanatics who tried to slaughter them.
Of course – I repeat it wherever I go – of course, there are many moderate Muslims. I believe in moderate people, but I do not believe in a moderate Islam. There is only one Islam – the Islam of the Koran, the Hadith and the life of Muhammad, who was a terrorist and a warlord.
But even though there are many moderate Muslims, it is wrong to think that the moderates are a majority. They are not. A poll in the Netherlands gave shocking results. It is hard to believe, but almost three quarters of the Muslims in my country say that Dutch Muslims who go and fight in Syria are heroes. Can you believe it? Heroes!
And over two thirds of the Islamic population in the Netherlands consider the religious rules of Islam to be more important than our own democratic laws.
Equally terrifying was an article yesterday in the Dutch press stating that Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of Theo van Gogh, is still considered a hero today by hundreds of Dutch Muslims.
A few years ago, I called on Muslims to liberate themselves from the yoke of Islam, to choose for freedom. I wholeheartedly support Muslims who love freedom. So, I told them “Free yourselves. Leave Islam.” I still stand by this appeal. But this does not blind me to the present reality.
You may have heard that I will probably be brought to court again soon.
Three years ago, I was taken to court on hate crime charges. The court case lasted almost two years. Fortunately, I was acquitted.
But now, the Dutch judiciary is going after me again because I asked Dutch voters whether they want more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.
Moroccans are the largest Islamic population group in the Netherlands. In The Netherlands the Moroccan problem is the problem of Islam.
I referred to Moroccans, not because I have anything against Moroccans but because they are overrepresented in the Dutch crime and welfare statistics. They also account for three quarters of all Dutch Muslims who leave for Syria to wage jihad. No-one in the Netherlands wants more Moroccans.
As I said, our leaders still refuse to defend our freedoms because they are either cowards or appeasers. This is why the task of defending freedom has now fallen on us. On you, on me, on ordinary citizens.
To this end, I have established the International Freedom Alliance IFA.
We want IFA to be the shield of all those who refuse to submit to Islamic tyranny.
The mission of IFA is to stop the Islamization of non-Islamic countries and to fight for the preservation of our freedom and democracy.
We want to stand firm. We want to preserve our civilization for our children and grandchildren. Because there is nothing more precious than liberty and freedom. But it has a price. And the price can be high. Sometimes a man must give all he can.
Our political leaders may fail us. But we, my friends, we will not fail.
There is a path we shall never choose, and that is the path of submission.
This is why we say: Yes to freedom! No to tyranny!
IFA aims to be a network of resistance fighters in all the countries threatened by Islam.
Friends, I have good news from the Netherlands.
Today, the popularity of my party, the Party for Freedom, is at a high. An opinion poll published this morning shows that we have by far become the largest party in the Netherlands, with almost 20 per cent of the vote. 1 out of 5 Dutchmen would vote PVV today.
The policies that we stand for are also getting more popular than ever.
We want to stop all immigration from Islamic countries.
We want to stimulate voluntary re-emigration to Islamic countries.
We want to expel all criminals with dual citizenship and deprive them of their Dutch nationality.
We want to de-islamize our nation.
Dear Friends, there is a lot of work to do. We, the defenders of freedom and security, have an historic duty.
Our generation has been entrusted with a huge task: To oppose Islam and keep the flame of liberty burning.
I say it without exaggeration: the future of human civilization depends on us. Now is a time when everyone in the West must do his duty. We are writing history here.
So, let us do our duty.
Let us stand with a happy heart and a strong spirit.
Let us go forth with courage and save freedom!