Below is the prepared text of the speech given by Geert Wilders earlier today in Melbourne, Australia:
Speech by Geert Wilders
Tuesday February 19, 2013
Finally, I am here.
I am very happy to be in your beautiful and magnificent country, Australia.
400 years ago, the Dutch were the first Europeans to discover Australia. They named this land after their own and called it New Holland. So, here I am today, a visitor from the Netherlands, with a message from the old Holland to the New Holland.
I am here to tell you how Islam is changing the Netherlands and Western Europe beyond recognition. We are in the process of losing our culture, our identity, our freedom.
I am also here to warn Australia about the true nature of Islam. It is not just a religion as many people mistakenly think; it is primarily a dangerous totalitarian ideology.
I am here to warn you that what is happening in my native country might soon happen in Australia too, if you fail to be vigilant.
And I am here to advice you on how to turn the tide of Islamization. Inform people. Confront them with the truth. Don’t be afraid to speak. Use your right of free speech.
Because if you do not use it, you will lose it. And find and elect politicians who are not afraid to speak the truth about Islam.
Before I start, allow me to thank the Q Society for inviting me to your country. Thank you Debbie, Andrew, Ralf, and all the other volunteers for making this visit possible. Debbie never booked so many conference rooms in her life as in the past few weeks, and never had so many cancellations. Debbie, you are my hero. You have had a very hard time. But I bet you think twice about ever inviting me to Australia again.
The Q Society and its volunteers embody the courage for which Australians are known in Europe.
We, Europeans, owe our freedom in part to the thousands of young and brave Australians who fought, and died, at Passchendaele and at Gallipoli.
These Australians — your fathers and grandfathers — persevered against all odds.
And so did the Q Society, despite the efforts of the governing establishment to discourage my visit.
First, Chris Bowen, the then federal minister of Immigration, had me wait five long weeks for a visa, forcing us to postpone my visit from October to February.
Then, the minister implicitly warned people to stay away from my speeches by writing a newspaper article in the Australian saying that I was a fringe figure from the far-right.
Western Australia’s premier Colin Bartnett went as far as to tell the media that I am “not welcome” in his state. I wonder how many public figures in the world have already been told that they are not welcome in Western Australia. Trying to find this out, I googled the words “not welcome in Western Australia.” Guess what? Only two items popped up: “Geert Wilders” and “US nuclear base.”
Private enterprises followed the example by boycotting my visit, declining the booking of venues, turning down adds, and refusing banking services.
But the Q Society did not give up.
Thank you also to La Mirage here in Melbourne, where we are gathered today, for making this evening possible.
So, here I am, with a message that your political leaders do not want you to hear.
But first, let me tell you who I am and how I live.
I am an elected politician from one of the oldest democracies in the world. I am the leader of the Party for Freedom, the largest Dutch opposition party. We have almost 1 million voters in a country that is known for its tolerance. I am not a fringe figure; I am not far-right either. Political opponents brought me to court, accusing me of hate speech and discrimination. But the court in Amsterdam after an ordeal that lasted 2 years cleared me of all charges.
Earlier, I have spoken in the premises of the United States Congress, the British House of Lords, the Danish Parliament and other government premises. I participated in conferences in the U.S. and Canada, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere, with people none of which belong to the far-right.
For the past 9 years I have been living under round the clock police protection. Wherever I go, plainclothes policemen go with me. I live in a government safe house, bulletproof and safer than the National Bank. I wish I had their money. Earlier my wife and I have even lived in army barracks and prison cells just to be safe from assassins.
Why do I need this protection? I am not a president or king, I am a simple parliamentarian.
I have been marked for death. I was placed under police protection in November 2004 when the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was slaughtered in broad daylight because he had criticized Islam. A few hours later, the police found a letter written by van Gogh’s assassin threatening to kill me and my colleague Ayaan Hirsi Ali as well. We, too, had been critical of Islam, especially through our work in parliament.
Ayaan has since left for America, but I continue to candidly express my views about Islam in the Dutch Parliament and in the public debate around the world.
But it is not I who am important here. What is at stake is the defense of our freedom.
Only two weeks ago, a good friend of mine, Lars Hedegaard, a journalist from Denmark, survived an assassination attempt. A foreigner tried to shoot him through the head. Why? For the simple reason that Lars is critical of Islam.
Europe has become a dangerous place for those who criticize Islam. So many people rooted in a culture entirely different from our own Judeo-Christian and humanist tradition have entered Europe that now Europe’s identity and its culture are in danger.
Australian tourists visiting our major European cities today can still see the postcard views of the Eiffel tower, Buckingham Palace and the Amsterdam canals, but if they are not careful and walk too far, they risk entering a dangerous Islamic ghetto.
Islam has creating a parallel society within our cities. Shortly before her death in 2006, the
well-known Italian author Oriana Fallaci wrote: “In each one of our cities, there is a second city, a state within the state, a government within the government. A Muslim city, a city ruled by the Koran.” — end of quote.
The Islamic presence is changing the outlook and the character of Europe. In some urban neighbourhoods, Islamic regulations are already being enforced. Women’s rights are being trampled. We are confronted with headscarves and burqas, polygamy, female genital mutilation, honor-killings.
Five years ago, Michael Nazir-Ali, the Anglican bishop of Rochester, England, who is himself of Muslim descent, already warned for Islamic no-go zones. “Those of a different faith or race may find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them and even the risk of violence,” he said.
Last month, a group called Muslim Patrol posted a video on YouTube showing how they control an entire neighborhood of the British capital London. They intimidate people, force women to cover up, harass gays, confiscate alcohol, and forbid non-Muslims to walk past the local mosque.
Two years ago, a high ranking German police officer admitted that no-go zones outside police authority are proliferating all over Germany. We can witness this phenomenon all over Europe.
I used to live in Kanaleneiland, a suburb of Utrecht which, during the 20 years that I lived there, transformed into a very dangerous neighborhood for non-Muslims. I have been robbed. On several occasions I had to run for safety.
The same transformation has happened in parts of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and other cities, in the Netherlands, as well as in cities in Belgium, Germany, Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden and other countries.
In August 2011, a Dutch newspaper sent its war correspondent — yes, you heard right, its war correspondent — to the Dutch city of Helmond to investigate reports that Islamic thugs were harassing local residents. His article detailed terrible abuses suffered by the non-Muslim population, including the sexual harassment of young girls. The locals complained that the police are afraid of the thugs.
In France, the authorities have drawn up a list of 751 so-called “sensible urban areas.” These are the lost territories of the French Republic, even though a staggering 5 million people, or 8 percent of the total French population, live in them.
In Brussels, the capital of the European Union, 25 percent of the population is Muslim. The city has several predominantly Islamic districts. Police officers entering these neighborhoods have been shot at with Kalashnikovs. Three years ago, the police union acknowledged that there are boroughs in Brussels which — I quote — “officers do not dare enter in uniforms.” End of quote.
In my own country, Moroccans are the largest ethnic group among Islamic immigrants. Almost every week there are incidents with Moroccan youths. In the Netherlands, 65 percent of all the Moroccan boys between 12 and 23 years have already been arrested at least once by the police.
The list of violent incidents involving Moroccans, whether occurring in our streets, our schools, our shopping malls or on our sports fields, is endless. But the victims are almost never Moroccans or Muslims.
I am not exaggerating. I tell it like it is.
Two years ago, Germany’s Family Minister Kristina Schröder advocated — I quote — “an open debate about racist Muslims.” End of quote.
Last September, Jean-Francois Copé, the former French Budget Minister under president Sarkozy, also pointed out that — I quote “racism is growing in our cities.”
Copé, too, was referring to the surge of Islamic violence against ethnic Frenchmen.
Islam has brought us jihad: intimidation, violence.
Then there is the phenomenon of nonviolent jihad. The rise of Islam also means the rise of Islamic sharia law in our judicial systems. In Europe, we have sharia wills, sharia schools, sharia banks. The introduction of elements of sharia law in our societies creates a system of legal apartheid. Sharia law systematically discriminates between groups of people.
Britain now has official sharia courts. One of these courts settled the inheritance of a man whose estate had to be divided between his children. It gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with the Koranic pronouncement that a woman is only worth half a man. This is a disgrace. In our civilization, men and women used to be treated as equals before the law. In contemporary Europe, this is no longer the case.
Sharia law also affects our fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of speech. Sharia law forbids criticism of Islam. This is considered blasphemy. The penalty is death.
That is why I have been marked for death. That is why people like me and Lars Hedegaard are in so much trouble; that is why three years ago a man with an axe tried to chop the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard to pieces; that is why we, and Salman Rushdie and others are living in hiding. Because if you criticize Islam, you pay a very high price.
This brings me to the second major topic of my speech. The nature of Islam.
Is it not strange that we, who are not Muslims, are punished by Islam for breaking Islamic rules? Religious rules do not apply to people who do not belong to a specific religion, do they? Indeed, a religion — every religion — should be voluntary. Yet, Islam imposes its rules on everyone.
Why does sharia law alter our Western secular legal system in such a dramatic fashion? The answer is that rather than a religion, Islam is a totalitarian political ideology which aims to impose its legal system on the whole society.
Islam is an ideology because it is political rather than religious: Islam is an ideology because it aims for an Islamic state and wants to impose Islamic Sharia law on all of us.
Islam is totalitarian because it is not voluntary. It orders that people who leave Islam must be killed.
Contrary to all the other religions — real religions — Islam also lays obligations on non-members.
Your fellow Australian, the theologian Mark Durie has said — I quote: “Islam classically demands a political realization, and specifically one in which Islam rules over all other religions, ideologies and competing political visions. Islam is not unique in having a political vision or speaking to politics, but it is unique in demanding that it alone must rule the political sphere.” — end of quote.
We can see what Islam has in store for us if we watch the fate of the Christians in the Islamic world, such as the Copts in Egypt, the Maronites in Lebanon, the Assyrians in Iraq, and Christians anywhere in the Islamic and Arab world. The cause of their suffering is Islam. Indeed, the only place in the Middle East where Christians are safe to be Christians is Israel. Israel is also the only democracy in the Middle East, a beacon of light in an area of total darkness. We should all support Israel.
My friends, I always make a distinction between Muslims and Islam. Most Muslims are moderate, but the ideology of Islam is dangerous. The moderates are the captives of a totalitarian system. If only they could liberate themselves from the Islamic culture of fatalism and apathy, then the most beautiful things could happen to them and the whole world.
I have travelled the Islamic world extensively. I have visited countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia. I was overwhelmed by the kindness, friendliness and helpfulness of many people there. They are often good people, but they are the captives of Islam. These people are not free; they live under the yoke of Islamic sharia law. If they leave Islam, they sign their own death verdict.
Thirty years ago, I travelled from Israel to Egypt. This trip made a huge impression on me. Israel and Egypt are neighbours, with the same climate, the same natural riches, similar resources, the same potential. And yet Egypt is poor, while Israel is wealthy.
Freedom is the key to prosperity; and Islam deprives people of it.
However, as long as Islam remains dominant, there can be no real freedom.
Just look at what is happening in the Arab countries. The so-called Arab Spring quickly degraded into a freezing Arab Winter. The situation of women and non-Muslims, such as Christians, worsened dramatically.
In Islamic countries, democracy does not lead to freedom. Islam keeps people entrapped in a mental prison. A survey by the American Pew Center found that even though 59 percent of Egyptians prefer democracy to any other form of government, 84 percent want the death penalty for apostates.
Despite the presence of many moderate Muslims, the growing Islamic presence in Europe is causing huge problems. Europe’s Islamic lobby is increasingly assertive.
It has successfully pressured European politicians into implementing pro-Islamic policies, institutionalizing sharia practices, adopting anti-Israeli positions, and restricting freedom of speech under the pretext that telling the truth about Islam is a hate speech crime.
In the Netherlands, we have prison cells with arrows on the floor directing towards Mecca; prisons where only halal food is served; Islamic lawyers who do not have to rise when the judge enters the courtroom; schools that close on Islamic holidays; works of art that are removed from public buildings because they might offend Islam; separate swimming hours, separate theatre performances, separate courses for men and women; nurses in homes for the elderly who are exempt for treating men because Islam forbids women to touch men; etcetera.
Islamic and pro-Islamic groups drag people to court simply because they exercise their legal right of freedom of speech. This is called legal jihad. People like myself, Lars Hedegaard in Denmark, and countless others from Canada to Austria have been subjected to endless time, energy and money consuming trials for speaking the truth.
To understand the nature of Islam, one also has to understand its founder, Muhammad, the author of the Koran. It is uncomfortable for people to speak about it, but we must because he is the example of 1.5 billion people. According to Islam, Muhammad is the perfect man whose life must be imitated. The consequences are horrendous and can be witnessed on a daily basis.
Islam presents Muhammad as the role model to 1.5 billion people. Fortunately, the majority of them do not follow this example. The fact that Islam presents him as the model man obliges us, however, to talk about his character and the things he did.
Islamic texts such as the Sira, Muhammad’s biography, and the Hadiths, the descriptions of Muhammad’s life from testimonies of his contemporaries, show that he was the savage leader of a gang of robbers from Medina. Without scruples they looted, raped and murdered.
The sources describe orgies of savagery where hundreds of people’s throats were cut, hands and feet chopped off, eyes cut out, entire tribes massacred. An example is the extinction of the Jews in Medina in 627. Muhammad himself participated in chopping off their heads. The women and children were sold as slaves. As you know, Muhammad married the 6 year old girl Aisha whom consummated when she was 9 years old. In our countries today, such a pedophile would be sent to jail for a very long time.
Islamic violence does not spring from social and political grievances, as politically-correct sources claim. Islamic violence springs directly from Islam and Muhammad’s example.
Because Muhammad lied and cheated in order to advance Islam, some followers feel entitled to do the same. Islam even has a word for this kind of lying. It is called taqiyya.
Because Muhammad spread Islam through acts of terror, some of his followers do the same.
Because Muhammad established an Islamic state, some of his followers see it as their duty to do the same.
Because Muhammad had his critics and the critics of his Islamic state murdered, some of his followers regard it as their duty to kill everyone who speaks his mind about Muhammad and Islam.
It is no coincidence that all the Islamic states in the world demand that freedom of speech be curtailed and that criticism of Islam and its prophet be forbidden. And yet, it is our duty to speak out and tell the truth.
Anyone who voices criticism of Islam and Muhammad is in grave personal danger. And whoever attempts to escape from the influence of Islam and Muhammad risk the death penalty. We cannot continue to accept this state of affairs. A public debate about the true nature and character of Muhammad is badly needed how uncomfortable it might be to some people.
Understanding Islam and Muhammad, also learns us important lessons about our present situation. That is the third major topic I want to address: the lessons for Australia.
It is important that you realize that in our present days Islam is spreading predominantly through the method of immigration from Islamic countries. Muhammad himself conquered Medina through the method of immigration. Or Hijra as it is called in Islam.
Hijra is an instrument of jihad. It is an instrument that Islam uses to dominate the free world.
So, in order to stop Islamization, we should stop as we try to do in the Netherland where my party sees it as its first priority to stop immigration from Islamic countries. Enough is enough.
I realize that this may be a difficult message in a country such as Australia. Your country was built on immigration. Over one in four of Australia’s 22 million inhabitants were born overseas.
They came to Australia from many countries and continents. They were welcomed because they contributed. They have strengthened Australia.
Dutch immigrants, like countless immigrants from other countries, have helped to turn Australia into what it is today. Australia is home to over 300,000 people of Dutch descent.
These Dutchmen never caused any problems because they did not bring along an ideology which prohibits friendship with non-Dutchmen, which commands them to hate non-Dutchmen, and to submit or kill non-Dutchmen.
My countrymen did not come to impose their own culture upon the non-Dutch Australians; they assimilated into Australian society and, in doing so, they enriched it.
Today, Europe, too, is confronted with millions of immigrants. Unfortunately, many of these immigrants are not strengthening nor enriching our societies, because many of them refuse to assimilate and they create a parallel society within our nations. A very large number of these immigrants have moved to Europe from Islamic countries. Europe is in the middle of an Islamization process, driven by immigration from North Africa, Turkey, the Middle East and other parts of the Islamic world, such as Somalia.
The Islamic countries belong to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It is the largest voting bloc and the biggest Israel haters in the United Nations. In 1990, it adopted the Cairo Declaration on human rights in Islam, in which human rights is bound by Sharia law. It also calls for the death penalty for people who leave Islam or insult Islam, Muhammad or the Koran.
There is a second priority which we have in our party platform. This is to counter Sharia or Islamic law in our own country.
Let me explain. When people move to another country, they integrate, they blend in, they assimilate. That is the natural order of things.
When immigrants from Islamic countries settle in Western countries, they move from an unfree society to a free society. People always prefer freedom over tyranny. That is human nature.
In the normal order of things, immigration from Islamic countries would weaken Islam.
Their contact with Western freedoms, would lead Islamic people to abandon Islam. However, through the creation of a Sharia-based parallel society — we see it happen all over Europe, be careful that it does not happen in Australia — Islam manages to continue its control over its captives.
Islamic societies — including Islamic enclaves in the West—exert tight social control that is indicative of the totalitarian character of Islam.
My friends, I am here to warn Australia. Learn from the European lesson. The more Islam you get into your society, the less civilized it becomes and the less free.
How did the Europeans get into their present situation? It is partly our own fault because we have foolishly adopted the ideology of cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is far worse than multiculturalism. Cultural relativism is the biggest political disease that we face in our countries today.
I am proud to say — I do not care whether people like it or not — that our culture which is based on Judeo-Christian and humanist values such as liberty, democracy and tolerance, is far better than the Islamic culture. I am proud of it.
We should not close our eyes to the fact that all over Europe and Australia, new mosques and Islamic centers are under construction. In any major city in Europe you will encounter halal shops and women in headscarves and burkas.
Two years ago, there was the case of Carnita Matthews, the Islamic convert in a burka, who escaped a jail sentence in New South Wales because the authorities could not prove that she was the person in a burka making a false statement to the police.
Open the pages of our newspapers and you will read horrific stories of women being trampled, female genital mutilation and honor killings in our own back yards.
We have to speak out, because it is the only tool we have got. We stand for our convictions, but we never use violence. We abhor violence. The reason why we reject Islam is exactly Islam’s violent nature. We believe in democracy.
We cherish the tradition of Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Jelena Bonner, Lech Walesa and Ronald Reagan. These heroes defeated a totalitarian ideology by the power of their conviction and by using no other means than their words.
As the ex-Muslim and Islam-critic Ali Sina said: “We don’t raise a sword against darkness; we lit a light.” So it is. We lit the light of the truth. And the truth will set us free. The truth that while Muslims can embrace freedom, Islam cannot.
Let no one tell you that Islam respects freedom. Freedom and Islam are incompatible.
Let no one tell you that Islam is a religion of peace. Islam is an ideology of violence.
Let no one tell you that you should tolerate the intolerant. We should not tolerate the intolerant and start becoming intolerant to those who are intolerant to us.
We should stop the building of new mosques. Enough is enough.
We want no more immigration from Islamic countries for we have enough Islam already.
If you are a criminal immigrant you should be expelled! If immigrants do not commit crimes, they are equal to anyone else. But if they commit crimes, they should be sent packing.
Very often, the appeasers are the governments who are afraid of Islamic radicals threatening violence and riots against anyone who dares to confront their intolerant ideas.
What we are witnessing today is how freedom dies. It dies because the political elite is cowardly unwilling to defend it. We must not accept that.
Indeed, my friends, we must change course.
We must struggle every single day against the rising tide of Islamization, even when our opponents brand us as extremists, even when they take us to court, and threaten to kill us, we should continue speaking the truth.
If we do not oppose Islam, we will lose everything: our freedom, our identity, our democracy, our rule of law, and all our liberties.
We must end the disease of cultural relativism and proudly proclaim: Our Western culture, based on Judeo-Christian and humanist principles, is far better than the Islamic culture. Only when we are convinced of that, will we be willing to defend our own identity.
You must demand that immigrants accept Australia’s values, and not the other way round.
We must support the persecuted Christians in the Islamic world. We must also stand with Israel. Israel is in jihad’s frontline. Because by helping Israel to survive, we help ourselves.
But most important of all — and this is the final message of my speech — most important of all, we must defend freedom of speech. Everything else depends on it.
We cannot correct our mistakes if we are not allowed to talk about them.
There is reason for concern if the erosion of our freedom of speech is the price we must pay to accommodate Islam. There is something badly wrong if those who deny that Islam is a problem do not grant us the right to talk about the issue.
Public discussion should not be stifled by threats; On the contrary, public discussion should be promoted. And everyone should be allowed to freely express his opinions. That is why Europe and Australia are in desperate need of an equivalent of America’s First Amendment which guarantees us a maximum of freedom of speech.
Friends, there is hope if we overcome our fears and begin to speak the truth.
If we remain silent, we are certain to go from defeat to defeat; But if we speak the truth, we will be able to turn the tide and it will be our first victory of many.
Yes, my friends, there is hope. But only if we outgrow our fears and dare speak the truth.
As Ronald Reagan said “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted.”
The future freedom of Australia, the liberties of your children — they depend on you.
The ANZAC spirit helped keep Europe free in the past; the ANZAC spirit will keep you free in the future. Be as brave as your fathers, and you will survive.
There is hope because we are not alone. We still speak for the majority. While the elite has largely fallen for cultural relativism, the people have not.
In my country, the Netherlands, 56 percent of the population see Islam as the biggest threat to our national identity.
In Britain, a survey last month showed that the public regard immigration as the biggest issue facing British society.
In Germany, 64 percent hold that Islam is violent and 70 percent that it is fanatical.
In France, 74 percent are convinced that Islam is intolerant and not compatible with French society.
These people are not wrongheaded, they are not extremists; they stand for decency, common sense and liberty. We must speak on their behalf. We must encourage them. We must tell them not to give up and not to lose heart.
My friends, always remember that our voice is the voice of liberty; it is the voice of liberation.
Let us defend our own freedoms. And let us support Muslims — and especially the suppressed Muslim women — who want to free themselves from the yoke of Islam.
Let them join the worldwide community of freedom, renounce Sharia and Islam. And be free, as we are free.
It would be good if Muslims leave Islam for Christianity or atheism or whatever they want, as long as it is not Islam.
Friends, though we live thousands of miles apart, we — Australians and Europeans — belong to a common civilization. We share the ideas and ideals of our common Judeo-Christian and humanist heritage. We must help each other in the struggle for this heritage, because Islam is a threat to Europe as well as to Australia.
If we want to preserve our nations — our homes — and our freedoms and pass them on to our children, we must stand together, shoulder to shoulder, with Israel and the other nations in the West.
We have to rely upon each other and help each other in the struggle against a common adversary. We must stand together. Otherwise we will be swept away by Islam.
I believe, my friends, that we will stand together, that we will stand firm, that we will not submit, and that we will survive. Why?
Because we stand for the truth.
And the truth will prevail.