Rolf Krake is a Danish Gates of Vienna correspondent who lives in Brussels. He was present last Thursday in Antwerp when the “Cities Against Islamization” project was launched. Below is his report.
Note: A member of Vlaams Belang has written to Robert Spencer and confirmed that the BNP was not invited to the Cities Against Islamization initiative. That makes four separate sources which have refuted the latest accusation aimed at Vlaams Belang.
The European Initiative “Cities against Islamization”
by Rolf Krake
Antwerp the 17th of January 2008
At the international press center in Antwerp the project “Cities Against Islamization” was initiated and presented by Filip Dewinter of the Flemish independence party Vlaams Belang, along with Heinz Christian Strache from the Austrian Freedom Party FPÖ, Marcus Beisicht from Pro Köln, Karsten Propp from the Republikaner Partei in Germany, and Robert Spieler from Alsace D’Abord.
Invited to the presentation by Vlaams Belang were Adriana Bolchini Gaigher from the Osservatorio del Diritto Italiana e Internazionale and Lisistrata in Italy, Heinrique Ravelo from Tierra y Pueblo in Spain, and Rolf Krake from Denmark. Other representatives from the respective founding parties were present.
TV and journalists mainly from Belgium, Austria, and Germany were also there when the newly founded European movement ‘Cities Against Islamization’ was presented, with its logo styled like traffic sign showing a red-barred Mosque, along with its talking points.
Cities Against Islamization
- Resists the multicultural ideology which results in a situation where Western European Muslims publicly live in accordance with their own values. That leads to the institutionalization of the religion.
- Resists the institutionalization of Islam, the official recognition of Islam, the subsidizing of Islamic associations, Koran schools, imams, etc. The institutionalization of Islam will lead to the creation of an Islamic socio-political group which will slow down the integration of the Islamic community.
- Is opposed to concessions by policy makers towards Islam which have resulted in Western values and standards being suppressed more and more, in favor of Islamic costumes and values, which are frequently incompatible with our Western values, standards, and way of life.
- Believes that individual freedom of religion, including Islam, must be assured at all times. However, freedom of religion cannot be an alibi for introducing undemocratic or discriminatory customs or acts.
- Resists the introduction of Sharia law as a replacement for the European rules of law.
“Cities Against Islamization” affirms that since the Renaissance the West in general and Europe in particular have renounced all religious dogmas and replaced the standards resulting from them by standards and legal rules that are based on a multitude of sources like ancient classics, Judaeo-Christian values, humanism, the ideas of enlightenment, nationalism, liberalism, etc.
As a result of this evolution our civilization is now characterized by a respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms. Our civilization is moreover based on values like the separation of church and state, democracy, freedom of speech, equality of men and women, etc.
On the other hand, at the beginning of the 21st century the cities of Western Europe are confronted with substantial Islamic minorities which are not in the least assimilated and which concentrate in constantly expanding ghettos. This is the result of an overly lax immigration policy implemented by various authorities.
“Cities Against Islamization” concludes that the Islam is more of a social order rather than a religion. This social order is based on the Sharia (the Islamic religious laws, as recorded in the Koran and the Hadith) and the Ummah (the Islamic religious community), and is at odds with the entire body of values and standards which are part of our European society.
“Cities Against Islamization” also concludes that at least some of these Muslims prefer the Islamic religious laws to our civil laws. Within the Muslim population there is moreover an inclination towards radicalization which is expressed in a growing hostility to our Western civilization and the values underlying it.
Mosques function as a catalyst for the Islamization of entire neighborhoods, since they, as central authorities, emphasize a strict observance of Islam. In doing so they restrain the further integration of Muslim societies.
Here is my account of the event.
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The press conference took place in the international press center where the talking points and conclusions were presented in Flemish, German, and English by Filip Dewinter of VB and Heinz Christian Strache of FPÖ. Also present as well were senators from VB and members of the city council of Antwerp, in which VB is the biggest political party with over a third of the votes.
After the press conference everyone gathered in front of the city hall across from the press center on the Grote Markt which is the central square of Antwerp, where we were lined up with the barred-mosque logos for the press.
The city of Antwerp is noted for its Spanish colonial architecture surrounding Grote Markt and its richly ornamented ancient buildings. We were shown around the city hall, where the first stone was laid the 27th of January 1561 by Cornelius Floris. One couldn’t help being amazed by the architecture, paintings and statues.
When dwelling on such beauty, one floats away with images and realizes how rich our Western civilization is. Art, architecture, industry, and innovation interacted in a city such as Antwerp. For as long as history remembers it has been an important trade city where various European cultures are represented through merchants, traders, visitors, artists, and artisans. The result is a rich free-thinking and industrious Flemish-Dutch culture.
After leaving the city hall we went on an excursion by bus with the press and their camera crews to the Muslim ghettos in the Borgerhout district of Antwerp, with Filip Dewinter acting as our tour guide throughout the trip. We sat out in front of a radical mosque with links to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. The mosque was equipped with security cameras covering the streets from all angles.
Filip Dewinter asked, “Who needs such security in a place of worship? One can only draw his own conclusions.”
Uniformed and plain-clothes police were positioned throughout the streets in the neighborhood and we were all closely looked after.
During a walk of approximately 500 meters, we passed eight mosques of various sects and radical degrees, culminating with the largest, the Pakistani “Noor Ul Haram”‘ which is very fundamentalist in its strict Sharia teachings.
The excursion of course caught the attention of the inhabitants in the neighborhood and they accompanied us as well, though many were for their own reasons camera-shy given the TV crew and the journalists. The event was peaceful and orderly, with everyone basically taking a stroll and engaging in small talk.
The smiling but attentive Flemish police officers were in stark contrast to the French police officers at the “Tiananmen Square incident” in Brussels during the 9-11 demonstration, in which the socialist mayor of Brussels Freddy Thielemanns ordered the police to attack some of the very same people present. The 9-11 events sparked protests from the Czech foreign minister, who compared it to the methods of the former Communist regime, and raised concerns about the direction of the EU.
This clearly indicates the division in Belgian politics, in which the Flemish Independence Party is calling for a Flemish Republic and independence. A large majority of the Flemish population wants an independent Flanders. The political structure of Belgium is mildly puzzling for a non-Belgian, and deserves a longer explanation than I can give here. To further get into the details of the move towards Flemish independence I can recommend reading the articles in the Brussels Journal and Paul Belien’s book A Throne In Brussels.
One can hope to see a Flemish Republic in 2008.
After the Mosque “Noor Ul Haram” we returned to the bus and drove around for a few blocks in the neighborhood of Borgerhout. We continued on foot down a busy street where merchants sold everything from fruit to Islamic apparel, and where there were Quranic and religious bookstores, tea houses etc.
We then went to a traditional Flemish pub which had existed for decades in the neighborhood, and tasted there some of the excellent Belgian beer.
Filip Dewinter spoke to the local residents and merchants along the promenade, and as the leader of Belgium’s second-largest party, was of course known to everyone. From the Islamic community there was a feeling that the neighborhood was theirs, as someone noted. There was a tranquil sort of self-confidence, but at the same time we were closely observed. It was a little less eerie than the mosque streets a few blocks away, but still one can draw his own conclusions
In Antwerp there are already thirty-seven mosques and yet there are demands for big mega-mosques which have to be higher than any existing church or cathedral in each city. The same is true throughout other European cities such as Rotterdam with its six-story minarets, and also Köln, London, Vienna, etc.
There were still a few Flemish locals living in Borgerhout but they are all slowly moving away to other areas of Antwerp. Many of the people we encountered in the pub were pensioners, with very few if any young people. There were many youths of Islamic origin in the neighborhood, however.
After the pub we were picked up again by the bus and went first for a little gathering before the annual new year’s celebration of the Flemish Independence Party.
The new year’s celebration started with Filip Dewinter giving an excellent speech, followed by Heinz Christian Strache with an speech of equal quality. I estimate that there were 400 to 500 attendees; the place was packed. It was also the Flemish Independence Party’s 30th anniversary.
Filip Dewinter spoke about how we are stronger by being together in Europe and in creating alliances and working together with other popular parties throughout Europe.
Each attendee was offered his or her specially-printed symbolic “Identity Card of The Flemish Republic”. As many were made as could be printed out non-stop.
There had been much talk throughout the day and evening and there are some striking conclusions which all shared to various degrees.
Given the dogma of minds tutored by Political Correctness, it is ironic that the popular parties are the ones speaking out against the actual racism practiced against non-Islamic minorities. I was not surprised to see Asians, Jews and Blacks as members of Vlaams Belang at the party.
These other minorities want to be part of and take part in society, and not be treated as “victims” against their will. Their reactions are simply natural. In particular the Jewish community is suffering from the anti-Semitism no one dares speak about, which comes from people of Islamic background and from the radical left.
It was also not surprising that Robert Spencer’s The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam was among the books on display and for sale to the attending members and invitees.
Another conclusion drawn by an untutored mind is to stand for democratic principles, freedom of expression, equality, just law, treatment based on merit, industriousness, free markets, patriotism, a separation of church and state, rational thinking, and the rule of law. What has become “right-wing” today is what was mainstream in the 1980s and considered common sense.
Someone also raised an important point, quoting the former SPD chancellor Helmut Schmidt that Multiculturalism can only exist in a totalitarian state such as the former Soviet Union.
The USSR consisted of various nations and ethnic minorities such as Mongols, Kaukas, Georgians, Chechens, etc. The Soviet carbon copies in Eastern Europe were all oppressed under the iron fist of Communism — Budapest 1956, Prague 1968, ethnic cleansings, gulags, labor camps, slave labor, mass executions, state-induced famines, the arrest of political dissidents, censorship, and collective thinking all wrapped in the “glory of Communism”. Marx’s paranoid and twisted universe created fascinating mind traps for naïve utopian intellectuals and “progressive movements” withdrawing their minds from the uncomfortable reality. Thinking and dealing with reality could only mean emancipation for many under such spells.
The twisted self-hating Marxoid mind of Noam Chomsky is such an example. How else could he be mentioned with praise in the latest Bin Laden speech?
The Popular parties all through Europe have grown in size. People have lost faith in both Labor and Conservatives after they rebuked the Pakistani-born bishop voicing the issue of “no-go zones”. They certainly can’t accuse him of any racism.
Gerard Batten, MEP for the United Kingdom Independence Party, is running for Mayor in London against the Grand Mufti of Multiculturalism, Ken Livingstone, in the upcoming elections.
In Switzerland the Popular party got 29% of the votes. In Denmark too the Popular party gained too in the latest elections.
One can speculate where it might lead if a popular party were to gain power in an election or join a coalition which is opposed to the EU and the supposedly scrapped constitution — which has now been signed as a treaty and is in fact 94% unchanged in content.
As the Czech President Vaclav Havel put it (as reported in the Brussels Journal):
When I look back at the last half a century, I see two different stages of the European integration process, with two different integration models. At the beginning the liberalization model prevailed. The first stage was characterized by inter-European opening-up, by the overall liberalization of human activities, by the removal of barriers at the borders of the countries as regards the movement of goods and services, of labor and capital, and of ideas and cultural patterns. Its main feature was the removal of barriers and the continuation of intergovernmentalism.
The second stage, which I call the harmonization model, is defined by centralization, regulation from above, harmonization of all kinds of ‘parameters’ of the political, economic and social system, standardization of conditions of production and consumption, homogenization of human life. Its main feature is unification orchestrated from above and the birth of supranationalism.
I am in favor of the first model, not of the second. I know, of course, that in reality we will always have the mixture of both models but the question is which one is the dominant one. There can be no doubt about where we are now. My position is clear. I am convinced that the unification of decision-making at the EU level and the overall harmonization of all kinds of societal “parameters” went farther than was necessary and more than is rational and economically advantageous.
Mr Klaus stressed that the nation-state “is an unsubstitutable guarantor of democracy (opposite to all kinds of ‘Reichs,’ empires and conglomerates of states).”
The Czechs are enjoying their new-found freedoms and obviously reject any such measures which remind them of the “previous regime”. Anything smelling of the thought-controlled Political Correctness is more easily rejected by the Czechs and other Eastern European states, knowing full well what suffering a totalitarian supranational power creates.
We should listen to them when they raise such concerns.
Keeping our own national identities is what is keeping us Europeans together because we share all our own rights, liberties, and democracies. We have our shared values, full stomachs, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, our own interests and curiosities and the freedoms taken for granted which we have forgotten to fight for. Democracy is an ongoing battle, as Churchill once said.
I came to the striking conclusion some time ago that the Flemish Independence Party and what they stand for is actually what is good and represents the core values for me and my own country of origin, Denmark, and so is an independent Flanders.
With a supranational state, and a totalitarian one in particular, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it will spark a Balkanization down the road. It was no big deal when Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to my general knowledge not a fly has been slapped in any negative way between the two states. But that division happened just after the fall of the Communist regimes and before the EU had beefed itself up to today’s measure and size with a mind-boggling bureaucracy and Eurocratic regulations, and with a lot more power.
Ironically the EU has promoted Belgium as a “model showcase for the EU”, merging Flemish and Walloons through a labyrinthine bureaucracy, the result of a long history of senseless paper-shuffling, with everything in three languages. Bear in mind that Belgium came into existence by accident in 1830, resulting in the birth of a handicapped child with a mixed set of Napoleonic and Dutch laws that often conflict or overlap, and… well, draw your own conclusions.
No wonder they have got close to a thousand different beers. One can only speculate as to what extent that fact has kept the country united, and not the bureaucracy. Belgians are a lovely bunch when left undisturbed by nonsense, like the rest of us basically; if people are left to pick and choose on full stomachs everything is sweet.
Without the long-lost “proletariat” the Socialists have to invent their own, and that has become the focus of the Socialist left’s policy. And so we have the artificially created “victim” status of a particular group of immigrants hating the West — which suits the Left’s frustration at no longer having the USSR as the glorious paradise and alternative to Capitalism ‘illuminating’ their ‘imaginations’ — with arguments against the evil USA and the little Satan, the Zionists.
To make people into non-thinking beings requires indoctrination in the notion of ‘Cultural Relativism’, one of the pillars of Multiculturalism and Politically Correct thinking. And to rationalize that all this is true, we then have to introduce Orwellian-style obscenities such as “All Numbers are Equal”, “Unequal Numbers are Unfair” and indirectly make everyone guilty on equal terms. That is one of the perverse strokes of genius inflicted by Political Correctness.
Firm believers in the dogma of Political Correctness prevent others from thinking, as well as avoiding thinking themselves.
As much as we Europeans are different as nations, we share even more. Among those things are our rights to be different; that is also what makes us Europeans and brings the shared richness, progress, innovation, the evolution and greatness of Western Civilization.
Recent history from the last century shows that totalitarianism and supranationalism have always resulted in one disaster or another. With just a moment of reflection, even to the untutored mind it becomes all too clear: if we do not break the chains of illusions and utopian fantasies, we are heading down the fast lane of a new form of totalitarianism. It is not without reason that the EU is sometimes referred to as the EUSSR.
The EU has outdone itself over the years with free trade, open markets, and liberties which helped create prosperity for citizens and businesses. But it has emerged as a supranational power ran by a huge number of unelected Eurocrats and through regulations cloaked with doublespeak and lacking in transparency. It is now moving towards dictating a common foreign policy on behalf of the member states, and with the record of the EU such a notion is anything but reassuring.
Opposing certain ideologies is no longer acceptable, and the only remaining xenophobia allowed is anti-Americanism. It is acceptable to say that Americans are fat and obese with no culture and stupid, and when doing so one will receive loud applause from the lefties. Try to apply the same to the Chinese or the Eskimos, and the Politically Correct Brigade’s scream would be loud and long.
Political Correctness is responsible for paralyzing man into fear, apathy and submission — the chains of tyranny — which again serves the purpose of the totalitarian state, with group-think and collectivist principles immediately shutting down any opposition.
As Heinz Christian Strache said in his speech “‘Wann die verträder — Sind die verräder!” (“When the representative becomes the traitor!”)
We have seen it before.
Thus Political Correctness and the ideologies which produced Political Correctness and benefit from it are the main issues to combat. Such Political Correctness is being against ourselves and — boiled down to two things — being against freedom of expression and freedom of thought.
A defense of freedom of expression and freedom of thought is desperately needed in opposing Islamization and preserving our democratic values, our long fought for freedoms, our wonderful cultures, and Western Civilization.