“Let us Face the Reality…”

Below is a video of the opening debate of the KVHV (Catholic Higher Students Association) chapter Ghent, October 11, 2009

At the table are:

  • Filip Dewinter (fraction leader Vlaams Belang)
  • Mieke Van Hecke (managing director VSKO, Flemish Catholic Education Board)
  • Prof. Dr. Em. Urbain Vermeulen (Islamicist and classic Arabic, University of Laken/Louvain and the University of Ghent, Deputy Secretary General of the UEAI, European Union of Arabists and Islamicists)
  • Moderator: Ivan De Vadder (VRT, Flemish Radio and Television broadcaster)
  • Jean-Marie Dedecker (party chairman LDD, List Dedecker)
  • Prof. Dr. Johan Leman (professor Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities,
  • former director CGKR, Center for Equal Chances and Combat against Racism)
  • Karim Hassoun (chairman AEL, Arab European League)

Many thanks to our Flemish correspondent VH for the translation and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitles:

A full transcript is below the jump.
– – – – – – – –
Islam and Europe #4

00:02 [Ivan de Vadder]
Karim Hassoun, chairman AEL, what do you
think is the place of Islam in Flanders, …

not to limit the question, but this is maybe
the most concrete one.

00:14 [Karim Hassoun]
No, I do not know if my neighbors realize
nor the does society realize …

that Islam has been part of the society
already for over 40 years …

one reason being the migration of cultural
minorities from the Islamic world to Europe …

but historically Islam has been part of
European society for centuries.

There are two important points in this:
the historical presence of Islam, on the one hand —

if you take a look at Andalusia, Spain.
The Ottoman empire in the history of Europe …

has had a major civilizing influence
for European society.

I think here in the audience of students,
it is important to realize that Islam in history,

and its evolution, has also made significant
contributions for example to philosophy …

to the Enlightenment, the people knew
here in the 17th and 18th century…

the Enlightenment, in which the secularization
of society, and the separation of dogmatic religion

from political power, which is
necessary, because I believe in a secular society,

in which religion should indeed have no power,
should not exercise political power…

maybe we can come back to this later …

but the important thing is, that for instance philosophers
such as Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd,

known with the Latin name Averroes,
because one tries to mask the Arab link a little

by giving the name a Latin connotation,
but those are the sources of, for example, …

an important priest and scholar like
Thomas Aquinas, who has inspired…

and who also on the one hand brought questions
in the religious thinking in Europe,

And in the thirteenth century that was
a forerunner of what eventually became

the Enlightenment period with as its climactic point
the French Revolution.

This on the one side… Thus Islam has been part
of Europe for centuries and has also

made its contributions to very many
positive things in European society,

certainly in the sciences and in literature
and in philosophy.

On the other hand, I think it is also important that
— I already heard three opinions here —

but on two things I want to respond to the previous
speakers … Mr. Vermeulen has not described Islam,

he has given an interpretation of Islam,
his interpretation of Islam as there are a thousand …

there exist hundreds of interpretations of Islam.
This is his interpretation and his vision on the Islam.

I did not come here for a debate
about Islam, because I find that useless,

I find it pointless, it is not important, and is
a debate that Muslims must have among themselves.

They must among each other decide what can
and cannot accord with the Islamic rules of law…

Just as the Christians do, just as the Jews do.
As a society we must work towards a society

in which we can go together through that door.

So that is the important question
that we one should ask here.

Can one create a society model in which Muslims,
non Muslims, Christians, Jews, and atheists together

in one and the same Flanders, can go through
the same door, in which Muslims

enjoy the same rights as citizens, in which
that citizenship finally forms the backbone,

of a model of society in which there is respect,
and the various communities are left in their dignity…

and I think those are most important challenges
for today and not to … I am will not let myself

be tempted here to a substantive debate
on what is Allah, what is haram,

what’s in Islam, what’s in Christianity.
I had been expecting that for one thing,

and I can tell you, in five minutes time
I can give two alternatives from texts of the

Old and New Testament that are quite outrageous
matters, that would not be tolerated …

if one were to proclaim those opinions
here in Flanders today.

So in that sense it is meaningless to talk about
where Islam is now, and what is and what is not.

It is important that we talk about citizenship,
we talk about how cultural minorities …

and how one can give religious minorities
the same opportunities in society.

Because I hope the debate will go in that direction.
Because it is a public debate about exclusion,…

racism, and discrimination, on which a number
of right-wing, extreme right-wing …

populist parties live on, and lie in wait for,
to stir up things and to systematically exclude …

a community, and push from the system.
But we possibly will get back to that later here.

04:59 [Ivan de Vadder]
I now want the two politicians to have their say…

05:24 [Urbain Vermeulen, interruption]
Mr. [Johan] Leman has spoken and said
that he is talking about Muslims …

That is correct, isn’t it?

I have by way of introduction — someone
had to start here — discussed Islam.

Have talked about its behavior …

There is a monseigneur here who says
it is my interpretation …

That actually is someone who even if he were
one of my students would not have passed.

That is the opinion of 500 years of
scientific research on Islam!

That is the way it is, and nothing else!

Sir, I just told you that you are talking
nonsense … Let me continue …

When al-Andalus is spoken of,
and the Ottoman Empire, then it is better …

because when it is about tolerance and
multiculturalism, then when possible …

it is better remain silent in all languages,
that is including Arabic …

After three generations…

For one is obliged at every moment,
everybody has the duty to make remarks …

After three generations, in al-Andalus,
Christianity had disappeared!

And look what one now says again here.

That is to make someone forget!

But I may get back on that later, okay?

07:26 [Ivan de Vadder]
Okay, now Filip Dewinter.

07:29 [Filip Dewinter]
I am here as a politician, not as an Islamologist,
nor as an anthropologist, which means I have

a strong political opinion about Islam. I will therefore
not — as Madam Van Hecke and Mr. Leman did —

will not tell you multicultural fairy tales,
but will try to limit myself to reality.

Islam is a medieval rigid ideology bent on the
establishment of a theocratic society. That is the reality.

I do know, as I already have participated in many
debates as a result of the book Insh’Allah, …

The Islamization of Europe, that I wrote together
with Muslims — that Muslims will never talk about

the nature and essence of Islam. That should
never be discussed, but we must talk about

exclusion, racism, empowering, and things like that,
but never about the true nature of Islam.

I am not an Islamologist, but one thing I do know
is that the Koran should be interpreted literally,

because the Koran is the word of Allah, written down
by Muhammad, and nothing may be changed in it,

and it must be applied literally. That is great difference
with the Bible of course, where there has been …

an evolution, the enlightenment, etc., the separation
of church and state, something that Islam does not know,

… and never will know.

Now you also force me to talk about history,
I like to hear it, the great enrichment of Islam in Europe,

but let us face the reality, in which we have two
Islamic invasions behind us. Where

we pushed back one in 732 at Poitiers,
Charles Martel, …

and we did that again in 1683,
the 11th of September, …

does that say anything to you?
September the 11th … ?

This is no coincidence of course,
but it is the reality ….

September 11 and 12, 1683, when the Polish King
John III Sobieski finally pushed back the Turks,

again, Islam, to where they belong, and that is
on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea.

09:42 …

10 thoughts on ““Let us Face the Reality…”

  1. Oh brother. The Muslim guy in the beginning is trying to tie himself into a virtual pretzel with his take on Islamic history in Europe and the Enlightenment. It would be funny if it were not so ridiculous.

  2. I’m never sure what to think about “Muslims” like Karim Hassoun.

    Should I be happy that there is a Muslim who wants a secular state and the people to live together in peace (if he isn’t just lieing)?

    Well what he wishes for contradicts the Koran, so it isn’t Islam. So he is no Muslim. Why doesn’t he quit his religion completely?

  3. Should I be happy that there is a Muslim who wants a secular state?

    Why, of course!

    And then announce your happiness that a truly moderate Muslims has been found. Shout it from the rooftops! Send fan mail! Praise him in the newspapers. Finally, after all that seeking and searching, false starts and vain hopes, a true moderate Muslim has been found.

    I’m dead serious.

  4. But Henrick, the “moderate Muslim” on this panel is so bizzarely ignorant of both European history and of Islam (or, as was pointed out by Isley, lying), of what help can he be to us?

    Junker, over at Celestial Junk (link below) has written that the peaceful (moderate) Muslims are simply irrelevant. He says: “The fact is, that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is, that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority” and it is cowed and extraneous.”

    Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant

  5. 03:36
    enjoy the same rights as citizens, in which
    that citizenship finally forms the backbone,

    of a model of society in which there is respect,
    and the various communities are left in their dignity…

    Reads like he is advocating an islamic Europe.

  6. filthykafir: But Henrick, the “moderate Muslim” on this panel is so bizzarely ignorant of both European history and of Islam (or, as was pointed out by Isley, lying), of what help can he be to us?.

    Regretably, about the only function that such a MINO (Muslim In Name Only), like Karim Hassoun can serve is to be a martyr for so-called “moderate Muslims” when the fanatics that actually control Islam get wind of his blashphemy and execute him for it.

    In all sincereity, I simply cannot believe anything he is saying. Either it is pure taqiyya or he is totally delusional about Muslims being any sort of productive component in a pluralistic society. Whether he is lying or not is almost irrelevant compared to the tremendous danger involved in believing a single word that this man says.

    There is not a single culture on earth where Muslims peacefully coexist within another society. Wherever Muslims are found, there is incessant violence and constant agitation for the implementation of increasing levels of shari’a law.

    None of the foregoing can possibly be construed as any pursuit of peaceful coexistence. Islam will not tolerate it and throughout its entire existence has always debased all non-Muslims who lived within its domain. With clockwork precision, the exact same thing is happening now in Europe and, regardless of the disinformation being spewed by Karim Hassoun, can only be viewed as being identical with Islam’s historical practice of jihad and forcible submission.

    Any alternative interpretation per force is a form of suicide. The only variants of that suicide is whether it is slow or fast. At best, Harroun’s delusional spewings represent a form of slower suicide for anyone insane enough to believe him.

  7. But Henrick, the “moderate Muslim” on this panel is so bizzarely ignorant of both European history and of Islam (or, as was pointed out by Isley, lying), of what help can he be to us?

    I don’t think Karim Hassoun is moderate. Going through the misrepresentations of history shows him praising Islam (and thus Muhammad) for a lot of stuff that is not deserved, not at all. I don’t trust him when he says he wants a secular state. This looks like deception, not moderation – placing any trust here seems wrong.

    But then, let’s keep searching! Let’s keep up the hope of finding a moderate Muslim, even in face of another frustration! The Left has been telling us for years on end that moderates exist. They don’t make things up, do they?

    Do they..?

  8. There are no “interpretations of Islam”- in fact, Islam is to be taken literally, straight up, undiluted. Allah decided and the believer has to follow his orders and thereby emulate Muhammad, the meshugga profit pretender.

    No. Cheap taqiyya, the guy is a fraud like the whole cult. Not to be taken seriously. One should laugh him in the face and ridicule him!

  9. What a load of pure crap the Turkish dude says at that speech on the link above! I’m Eastern European. Eastern Europe is pretty much European, not some part of Africa-Eurasia. And Islam and the Ottoman Empire has been the 2nd biggest issue in my country’s history, the first one being communism. Islam or the Ottomans had absolutely no benefit to Romania.

    And yes, I’m glad I’m Eastern European right now. I can speak my mind. I can wear a tshirt outdoors that say that I’m fed up with gangs of immigrants raping the women of my country, gender of which I’m part of. Luckily, we have no immigrants and luckily I’m not Swedish. It’s pretty disgusting how cultural Marxism is destroying Europe and the US. Diversity is the biggest garbage ever. Unity is the thing that drives people to progress and growth.

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