Europe Moving Away from Freedom of Speech

WFT is a Finn who writes from time to time for Europe News. He published an article a few days ago about the EU’s Framework Decision, which threatens to curtail free speech in the name of “community harmony” — i.e., not offending Muslims.

We’ve written about the Framework Decision here before, and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff talked about it at the FDI event last week. However, WFT feels that the issue could do with more exposure. He says:

The Framework Decision on which Austria and Finland are basing their law-proposals is EU-wide and affects the whole of Europe, as it will be implemented in EU countries at the end of this year. Austria has been on the map on GoV, but Finland — which along with Austria is on the front lines of this war — has been less prominent, and the consequences for Europe of the EU-mandated law upgrade also perhaps not covered as much.

We’re happy to oblige. Below is the entire article that was originally published at Europe News.

EU Skull-Dragon

Europe Moving Away from Freedom of Speech

This is a follow-up to the article of November 3rd last year Finland moving away from Freedom of Speech. Less than three months later, the title of that piece is more true than ever. But unfortunately it doesn’t stop there — hence the gloomier title in this piece.

Previously I wrote that “along with Austria, Finland is moving away from Freedom of Speech”, because of the similarities between the court-cases of the Austrian politician, Susanne Winters, and the Finnish politician, Jussi Halla-aho: Both of them politicians who have been charged, and sentenced, for publicly expressing a political opinion, in which they connect Islam with paedophilia.

Sadly the similarities between Austria and Finland go far beyond these two individual court-cases, as both Austria and Finland seem to be eagerly in the front line of what seems to be a campaign to basically end freedom of speech in Europe.

Both Austria and Finland are proposing a law which seems to be intended to end Freedom of Speech in these countries not gradually, but on the spot.

Both of these proposals have gained attention only recently, although at least the Finnish law proposal has been well on it’s way since summer 2009, when Finnish Minister of Justice Tuija Brax set out a committee to get the Finnish laws concerned with preventing racist and xenophobic crimes in the internet, up to date.

And what caused this sudden need to update these laws in Finland?

One might expect a long story about growing racist tendencies in Finland, or something else that sounds as alarming, but actually the answer is surprisingly dry: The actual reason is the EU Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA [pdf] (or, in Finnish 2008/913/YOS) which is, in short, about …combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.

Unfortunately, at least those who are in Finland, need to know the name of yet another document, namely the Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, made in Strasbourg in 2003, which, in short, is about criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems.

Based on these two documents, the committee came out with the 116-page long law proposal, which, in fact, is a direct attack against the fundamental values of Freedom of Speech, and so, against the fundamental values of democracy:

If the proposed changes into the law will be made, the looseness of the definitions of racism and xenophobia will allow the state to prosecute virtually anybody about virtually anything.

Because both of the law proposals have come to my attention only very recently, I won’t go into the details of either one. But concerning the Finnish proposition, what can generally be said is that the main focus of this proposition is on racist or xenophobic statements, rather than actions.
– – – – – – – –
The main concern of the proposition is clearly the racist and xenophobic statements in the internet, but concerns are also stated about politicians, journalists, artists, and even scientists.

If the law passes, it doesn’t matter if you are a scientist publishing a scientific study, an artist displaying your art, a journalist reporting about relevant issues in society, a politician stating your political opinion, or just a regular citizen writing in the internet — anything you do that is not completely in harmony with the multicultural agenda might be seen as racism and xenophobia, and you’ll have good chances to be charged.

And while you’re holding that lovely thought about the very possible near-future scenario of everyday-life Finland, keep in mind that the proposed maximum sentence for a racist or xenophobic crime will be up to four years of imprisonment.

And by near future, we’re talking this year. If everything goes as planned, this proposition will be implemented and fully functioning before summer, or latest at fall.

The bad news is that this not just about Finland or Austria: All the countries in the European Union are bound to update their laws according to the Framework Decision by 28. November this year.

What it means is that after November, a racist or xenophobic motivation will be a legal factor in the courts of all the EU-countries and so, by the end of this year, thought-crime will be reality in Europe.

Sure, intention has been a factor in the law for ages, but concerning actions, not statements.

Concerning actions, an intent might make the charges more serious — like in the case of deliberated murder — but here we are talking about something completely different: In the Finnish law proposal, racist motivation becomes a crime in itself.

It means that even if you would have a website or a blog where you simply collect news about Islam and display them publicly, if you are seen to have a racist motivation in doing that, it becomes a crime.

Now, one might think that example above is not really correct, since Islam is not a race, but don’t worry, that’s of course been taken care of.

The Framework Decision states that if going against a religion is seen as an excuse to go against the ethnicity of a certain group, it becomes a racist crime: In other words, if you criticize a religion whose majority is composed of people who are ethnically not white, it may set off the racist-alarm.

Oh yeah, and you don’t even need to wait for somebody from this religion or ethnical group to actually get offended, as it is also stated in the Framework Decision that the state should be eager to find and prosecute these cases on its own, on the grounds that people who are subject to racist crimes are “often particularly vulnerable and reluctant to initiate legal proceeding”.

So, although Austria, Finland, and now Holland have all shown unusual vigor in using their legal system to muffle politicians who are criticizing Islam, rest of Europe might not be too far behind.

As always with vague laws, the question is of course how these laws will be implemented.

Considering the politically correct atmosphere in Europe and the western world in general, the answers that come to mind are not very optimistic.

New Book by Srdja Trifkovic: “The Krajina Chronicle”

Srdja Trifkovic has published a new book, The Krajina Chronicle: A History of Serbs in Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia. Readers who are interested may order it using the PayPal/credit card button at the Balkan Studies site.

The publisher’s announcement includes the following information:

The Krajina Chronicle: A History of Serbs in Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia
by Srdja Trifkovic, with an Afterword by Michael M. Stenton

Srdja Trifkovic: The Krajina Chronicle

This pioneering work takes the reader through more than half a millennium of the rich and tragic history of the Krajina Serbs. They endured an attempt to exterminate them in 1941-45 that horrified even the Germans. Most recently they were ethnically cleansed from Croatia, aided and abetted by the Clinton Administration. Dr. Trifkovic ably shines the light of truth on this, a crime that is still largely ignored in the West.

Doug Bandow, former Special Assistant to President Reagan

Dr. Trifkovic has written a long overdue history of the Serbian warrior farmers who for centuries formed the first line of defense against Islamic incursions into Europe. It is a story of heroism and tragedy. It ends with mass expulsion of the Krajina Serbs in 1995 from their ancestral lands, abandoned by their fellow Serbs in Belgrade and former allies abroad. This excellent book is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the often complex and violent history of the Balkan powder keg.

James Bissett, former Canadian Ambassador in Yugoslavia, Chairman of The Lord Byron Foundation
– – – – – – – –

This comprehensive study provides the best explanation yet of the fact ignored by most media and Western governments during the 1990’s Balkan upheavals: that rather than being bent on conquering the lands of other peoples, the Serbs in what is today’s Republic of Croatia were actually trying to hold on to their historical native soil. It casts light on one of the most egregious violations of human rights that continues to be ignored by the “international community” — the right of the ethnically cleansed Krajina Serbs to return to their homelands.

— Col. Dr. Ronald Hatchett, Schreiner University, Kerrville, Texas

This book brings together in one short volume episodes of European and South Slav history which are known only in fragmentary form.

— From the Afterword by Dr. Michael Stenton, Royal Naval College Britannia, England

Published February 2010. Perfect Binding. 250pp with maps and over 100 illustrations ISBN 978-1-892478-10-8 Price $20

Comment of the Day

The following comment appeared today, but it was on an old Modoggie post, so most readers probably missed it. Normally I would have deleted it, since it included an insulting phrase, but the commenter has something valuable to say which our readers deserve to know about.

To help make sure that his important sentiments gain wide exposure, here’s what Athar & Farooq had to say:

You Are so idiot.
What Are You Shown In These Pictures. It is just Your Foolish Thoughts.
I Requst That You Read Islamic Books Like Quran Then I hope you not do like this…

What could one possibly add to that, except [sic]?

[Post ends here]

Then and Now: Part Six

Fortuyn poster #2

Rehearsal With Pies

The sixth video in our series about Pim Fortuyn and Geert Wilders concerns a pie attack on Mr. Fortuyn which served as a dress rehearsal for his assassination, which occurred a few short weeks after the incident. The official and semi-official campaign against Pim Fortuyn strikingly resembles the current campaign against Geert Wilders, right down to the stock descriptive phrases and the iconography on the left-wing posters. Like Mr. Fortuyn, Mr. Wilders, despite the campaign against him, is immensely popular with the voters and threatens the time-hallowed oligarchy that runs political affairs in the Netherlands.

Our Flemish correspondent VH has compiled a report about the 2002 pie attack on Pim Fortuyn. Along with the video, he has translated an abridged version of an article by Peter Siebelt that contains extensive background about the pie incident. He also includes two photos of anti-Fortuyn posters, one made by the International Socialists, and the other a random smear-poster from those days (at the top of this post).

Note: the Dutch word for “pie” can also be translated as “cake”. Some of the “pie”-derivative words would not make sense in English — “pier”, for example, which is not only confusing to read, but also not commonly spoken. So “caker” and “caking” are used instead in the text below.

We’ll begin with the two videos, which have been spliced together on Youtube. Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling.

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Attack on Pim Fortuyn (The Rehearsal)

During the press conference on March 13, 2002 for his new book “The Ruins of Eight Years of Purple” [coalition government VVD (blue), PvdA, D66 (red)], Pim Fortuyn was attacked by left-wing activists.

Afterwards he stated that PM Wim Kok (PvdA, Socialist) and PvdA leader Ad Melkert should stop demonizing him. “By saying that I incite hatred, they incite such reactions,” he said.

Fortuyn was taken aback and felt besmirched in his integrity. “PM Wim Kok is partly responsible for this; he is the PM of all Dutch people, thus including me.”

After having pies thrown in his face at the presentation of the book “The Ruins of Eight Years of Purple” [coalition government VVD (blue), PvdA, D66 (red)], Fortuyn appeared in the Barend & Witteman Show.

He was not asked about his policy, but his “tone”. The “tone” of the ongoing demonization campaign and pie-throwers was not quite an issue to the interviewer.

These are the final minutes of that program, in which Fortuyn states: “And for the first time in years now, a politician can raise this issue without disappearing under lock and key.”

The left-wing activists who threw the pies — which contained a revolting smelly substance — were not arrested until May 14, a month after Fortuyn had filed a complaint, and a week after his assassination on May 6, 2002.

Full transcripts of these videos are at the bottom of this post.

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An abridged version of the Peter Siebelt article:

The rehearsal: “Pied”

by Peter Siebelt

Fortuyn poster #1Time and again that poster of the International Socialists floating into my memory. It was a call for a demonstration on May 11, 2002 by the platform “Nederland Bekent Kleur” [Netherlands Admits Color, which is now involved in the Wilders Trial] against Pim Fortuyn. Four days before the parliamentary elections the plan was that the International Socialists, the FNV [left-wing workers union], GreenLeft, the PvdA [Socialists] and other Left-wing groups in Rotterdam, would demonstrate in front of Fortuyn’s home with the slogan, “Give racism no vote”.

Even before the murder of Fortuyn, I had received indications that the demonstration would get out of control. The poster promised nothing good. On it was the face of Pim Fortuyn, with a blood-red triangle pointing at his forehead. Underneath was the text “Stop the Dutch Haider”.

When anti-globalization pie-throwers are preparing for an action, they put a picture of the heads of the targets on a bulletin board. They also keep track of when and where their target will be present. Would the poster of the International Socialists have been used on that bulletin board?

The guru of the international “caking” movement is the Belgian Noël Godin. During an interview he once was asked whether the Austrian right-wing politician Jörg Haider was on his pie list. “You cannot fight Haider with whipped cream,” Godin said, “To fight him, I recommend vitriol-pies (acid). Also a dynamite pie is imaginable. Butyric acid is not good enough for Haider. Him, you should permanently prevent from causing further major damage.” According to the pie throwers [or “cakers”], Fortuyn was the Dutch version of Jörg Haider…

Ever since the sixties, politicians, managers, and scientists have been “pied” by action groups. Dozens of websites “inspire” activists to this “playful” concept. Except for a few victims, most are politically conservative. The “caker” of Dutch VVD (center-right) politician Bolkestein put it like this: “Whoever is sweet gets a sweetie; whoever is of the right gets a pie!” The public usually easily forgets such attacks, but with the pie attack on Pim Fortuyn was different.

– – – – – – – –

At the time when Fortuyn was “pied”, he was extremely popular with a large proportion of the Dutch public. People were glued to the tube to follow his controversial performances. His number of followers grew by the day.

Fortuyn had openly stated that he would address the “pet topics” of left-wing activists. He wanted to fight crime, had criticized Islam and the multicultural society, and supported Israel. And “the car” and “the farm” had to be left untouched.

That is what the activists did not want to happen. For their ideological existence was in danger. On Wednesday morning, March 13, 2002, Fortuyn was to present his book The Ruins of Eight Years of Purple [coalition government VVD (blue), PvdA, D66 (red)] in the Hague press center “Nieuwspoort”. But before he was able to address the press, the 27-year-old Pauline van Tuyll van Serooskerken pushed a pie in his face. She shouted: “Towards zero seats!” [in Parliament]. Another pie followed (thrown by Margriet Goris). And another one (by Jelle Goezinnen).

Fortuyn felt an intense pain in his face. “I was temporarily blinded by the components of the pie that got into my eyes. I even felt an intense burning,” Fortuyn later said. Afterwards it appeared that the pies were filled with vomit and excrement.

Meanwhile one of the other left-wing activists opened a jar of Butyric acid which filled the room with a penetrating stink. With this action the activists wanted to “break the charisma of the politician” and no doubt send a signal: if the politician would not withdraw, more bullying would follow… According to their press statement, Fortuyn was an “extreme right-wing populist.” [Note: this is the very same term that is now used against Geert Wilders.]

After the incident, Fortuyn said he felt threatened. He accused the then-Prime Minister Wim Kok [PvdA, Socialists] and PvdA leader Ad Melkert of “demonizing” him. He regarded the “pies” thrown in his face as a direct consequence of that. Six weeks later, five bullets ended Fortuyn’s plans.

During the trial against the “cakers” in October 2002, the squatter Bjorn [who was living in The Hague] said this to a journalist about the various names that “pie” groups use: “It all makes little difference. They are different groups, but they derive from the same circle of people.”

That circle of people is like a kind of bacon pie: all different layers that stacked up together form a product. That product is radical resistance against to the established order.[1]

Each layer plays a role, such as activities concerning animal rights, the environment, refugees, and anti-globalization. The activities overlap and are inextricably linked with a local, national, or international agenda. The coordination is with a kind of octopus, whose tentacles reach into the anarchist collectives of which the murderer of Fortuyn, Volkert van der Graaf, his girlfriend Petra Lievense, and the pie-throwers are a part.

These radical collectives can be found in the so-called “free states”, in squatter-occupied buildings established as breeding grounds for all sorts of cultural and political activities.

In such buildings, dozens of action groups are active. They work closely together nationwide — as in the campaign against Pim Fortuyn. Every group has a “throw-group”. Call it a “pie-brigade”. These action groups use the throwing of pies at leading figures from politics and business as a complement to their other means of action. According to the collectives, the victims are co-responsible for all the suffering on earth. Often these people have patiently been waiting for years until the time is right.

Two of the pie-throwers at Pim Fortuyn, Jelle Goezinnen and Margriet Goris, had close ties to the Leiden free-state Eurodusnie [which has connections with Nederland Bekent Kleur (Netherlands Admits Color)]. This anarchist collective had already demonized Fortuyn for weeks, accusing him of a racist muckraking campaign, and calling him a right-wing extremist, a sort of “Dutch version of Jörg Haider”. Their participation in the demonstration by the Netherlands Admits Color would be the closing of their campaign against Fortuyn for the elections.

After the murder Eurodusnie announced in a statement that they did not see any reason to distance themselves from the murder of Pim Fortuyn. The activists were even surprised at the kindness and sympathy expressed by the media and politicians after his death for his political ideas. “Fighting against Fortuyn’s ideas remained necessary,” Eurodusnie stated.

Despite their cooperation with Nederland Bekent Kleur and the aforementioned sloganeering, Eurodusnie denies that left-wing and/or activist groups had created an atmosphere of hatred and “demonization”, and that the throwing of pies was a deed drenched in hate.

Eurodusnie is an organization that for various reasons is well worth the effort to look into. According to their own information, it is a radical leftist and anarchist movement, and most of the activities have a seditious character. About forty people are in some way involved in the “ bacon pie” of activities in Eurodusnie. The activities are organized in project groups in which other people are also involved. Squatters, students, pupils, the unemployed, and asylum seekers to work together.

The “Eurodusnie bacon pie” consists of a “giveaway shop”, a vegetarian eatery, political information centers and an aid organization for illegals. They also play a coordinating role in the circles of violent animal liberators at home and abroad, which Volkert van der Graaf [Fortuyn’s assassin] was part of. But let us not forget the very active Eurodusnie “pie group”.

While Fortuyn and his lawyer Oscar Hammerstein watched the videos of the attack, he exclaimed: “Look at that: the media. The rows are opened to let the people pass and closed to take pictures and then they open again to let the people leave.” The ranks opened and closed to give way to the pie-throwers, both at entry and their retreat; there was not a obstacle in their way.

After Fortuyn was shot, all sorts of alarm bells start ringing. Thus, on May 7 it was discovered that a message from the AIVD about the pie throwers had remained untouched in the letter tray of the national counter-terrorism officer. This made one of the council women conclude of the “cakers”: “At first this obviously had no priority whatsoever.”

When the identity of the “cakers” become known to the Judiciary it took another nine days before they were arrested. This was two months after the pie attack…

Press Officer E. Kole of the Public Ministry (OM) has a rather airy explanation for this: “It was difficult to find out their names. They did not wear name tags.” No word about the fact that the identity of the perpetrators already for weeks remained in the letter tray of the national counter-terrorism officer. […]

On October 14, 2002, the court in The Hague ruled in the case against the three “cakers” Goezinnen, Tuyll and Goris. From various cities in Netherlands colleagues flocked in and around the court to express their sympathy. The “cakers” themselves were not present at the trial and continued to invoke their right to remain silent.

After much talking back and forth the court ruled that the “cakers” should pay €500 [US $682] each. The OM required 30 hours of community service, but magistrate P. Poustochine thought a fine to be appropriate since it seemed unlikely that they would comply with the community service (!). The court also found it necessary to emphasize that there was no connection between the murder and the pies.

In the public gallery that day, two key figures in the pie world were seated: the Brussels pie-guru Noël Godin and the Amsterdam Kees Hudig (better known under the pseudonym Kees Stad).

Godin is regarded as the shining example of the movement: he smeared more than thirty people, including Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. He is the head of the Belgian pie-brigade “Collectif Autonome de Chômeurs.”

Kees Hudig is a well-known radical connected to the funding organization XminY, which also was one of the financiers of the organization “Environmental Offensive” to which belonged the murderer of Fortuyn, Van der Graaf. Hudig is an important and active anti-globalist and has his own pie brigade, “Pastry without borders”. Thus was the Alderman of Economic Affairs, Krikke, “pied” in Amsterdam with two cream pies in October 2000.

Hudig had also supported the pie-action against Fortuyn. “The effect was that the smug gentleman on TV and in newspapers for the first time was pictured completely different from the way he wanted the audience to be accustomed to. Not a triumphant and smiling slightly roguish neat gentleman, but a dazed, desperate, or angry dirty man,” he wrote in an article.

How a criminal a pie can be was shown when in January 2000 a “colleague” of Kees Hudig and Jelle Goezinnen, Agent Apple of the American Biotic Baking Brigade (BBB), arrived in the Netherlands. He was on his way to a meeting of the radical environmental movement “Earth First” in London.

His visit to the Netherlands was a good moment to exchange “recipes”. Agent Apple is active in an anarchist group in San Francisco and is, like his Dutch partners, busy among other things with anti-fascism, anti-militarism, animal rights and… pies.

Agent Apple brought along a nice recipe. According to him, some people do not deserve a pie, but a rock against the head. To this end he had a “playful” solution. Pies with a base that is as hard as concrete and a blood-red filling on top. From the pie-toss files they looked up a person who had a good arm to launch this kind of pie, like a former baseball pitcher. They also played with the idea of adding pesticide to a pie. That would be ideal to “pie” a director of a multinational chemical corporation.

One of the most controversial actions of the BBB was the “caking” of Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco. Three pies hit his face. Brown felt abused. Three pie-throwers were arrested and were later told by the court they had to spend six months in jail. Before they went to their prison cell, they called out to all pie throwers in the world: “Let a million pies fly!” Jelle G. published their call in the Dutch (Euro) “Dusnieuws” of February 2000.

Hudig in his turn was angry at the prison sentence for the pie throwers and called for a pie avalanche against U.S. businessmen and ambassadors around the world.

A day before the lawsuit against the Fortuyn-cakers, in Amsterdam a “Grand Gala du Patisserie” took place. Kees Hudig was one of the organizers. They made it a festive evening. With much show the focus on the actions needed to survive. “Cultural Terrorism”, they called it. They showed films about the tactics and strategy of caking.

Noël Godin emphasized again that caking is one of the ways to damage the image and the reputation of public figures. About the actions he said: “This feels so wonderful, so blessed”. Godin dreamed of one day caking the pope. “He is a serial killer. He is against the use of contraception,” Godin said.

When someone suggested that it seemed quite confrontational to get a pie in the face, and asked if Godin was not afraid someone might go into cardiac arrest due to it, an excited Godin responded: “No. I’m definitely not afraid of that. On the contrary, I would consider it a hit if someone went out that way.”

During the “Grand Gala”, Godin confirmed the close liaison between the pie brigades, the anti-globalists and anti-MacDonald’s vandals. In the network of these “demolishers” Eurodusnie plays an important role. According to Godin, there is a “pirates pact” between the known anti-MacDonald’s vandal José Bové and the international pie brigades. Bové visited Godin in Brussels where together they designed a secret weapon with the name “zelda”. […] Zelda would be a huge catapult with two telescope arms that simultaneously can launch two pies 35 meters, for example at the police. […]

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[1] The layered “bacon-pie”: According to Siebelt, the top layer is the administrative elite, composed of political parties such as Green Left and the Socialist Party. The layer under that consists of NGOs and environmental organizations such as Oxfam Novib, GreenPeace and [the Dutch] Milieudefensie [Environmental Defence]. The bottom layer consists of underground cells, such as the Animal Liberation Front et al.

Peter Siebelt is an independent investigator and for decades has been a top specialist in left-wing activism research. He publishes articles on his own website and, among others, at Het Vrije Volk. He has written books such as Eco Nostra: The network behind Volkert van der Graaf and Sinistra: Political mafia in the Hague at the provincial and municipal levels.

Attack on Pim Fortuyn (The Rehearsal) Part 1

00:00   00:04   Party leader Pim Fortuyn was attacked this morning by three pie-throwers…
00:04   00:08   …who call themselves the “Biological Bakers’ Brigade”.
00:08   00:12   This happened just before the official presentation of his book “The Ruins of Eight Years of Purple”
00:12   00:18   [coalition government VVD, PvdA, D66] which was already available in a few bookshops.
00:18   00:24   To the great interest of the press, Fortuyn entered the “Nieuwspoort” press center, near the Parliament Buildings in The Hague.
00:24   00:28   Shortly before Fortuyn wanted to begin his presentation, the pie-throwers attacked.
00:28   00:32   Left-wing activist: “Towards zero seats [in Parliament].”
00:32   00:38  
00:38   00:42   Left-wing activist: “Towards zero seats.” [Fortuyn: “Well, a second pie”]
00:42   00:46   Left-wing activist: “Give racism no vote.”
00:46   00:50   The pie-throwers, according to their press release, want to
00:50   00:54   “break through the charisma of the entrenched extreme right-wing populist”.
00:54   00:58   After Fortuyn had refreshed himself, the presentation was able to start.

Attack on Pim Fortuyn (The Rehearsal) Part 2

00:00   00:04   If you say, “If I could legally arrange it, no Muslim would enter the county anymore”…
00:04   00:10   …but that is but very tough language. If not discriminatory?
00:10   00:16   That indeed is tough language, because, as I have extensively argued in one of my books…
00:16   00:22   …in Islamic culture, I’m not talking about religion, for that is what people should discover for themselves…
00:22   00:26   …but Islamic culture, especially when a peasant background comes along with it,…
00:26   00:28   …is at right angles to our core norms and values.
00:30   00:34   But according to you that applies to all Muslims who would like to enter here.
00:34   00:38   Sorry to say, but indeed, for the very large part.
00:38   00:42   Yes, but you point at all of them: “If it were up to me, no Muslim would enter anymore.”
00:42   00:46   No, I said “if I could legally arrange it,” but that I cannot do.
00:46   00:52   As I understand it, this would affect other rights that are important to me to such an extent that I thus cannot do it.
00:52   00:56   But do you not incite with that kind of phrasing?… you mention ‘the ruins of purple’.
00:56   01:00   But those are ruins.
01:00   01:04   But with all that wording, you must also at some given point again work together with people.
01:04   01:08   Well, let us first start clearing the debris, and I understand Mr. Wiegel is on his way…
01:08   01:12   …and we will form a coalition government within hours, that will be perfectly all right.
01:12   01:16   And do you think that a will be a society in which…
01:16   01:20   …one is still capable of working a little bit peacefully together?
01:20   01:22   Absolutely, absolutely [“At this tone?”]
01:22   01:26   Yes, absolutely, because I also want the [military/social] draft, and I also explained why.
01:26   01:30   You now may well mention all kinds of little things, but to me it is about the tone of that society.
01:30   01:34   We must first have a discussion together, and it is in particular…
01:34   01:38   …the PvdA (Socialists) and that entire leftist church, and the press also collaborated,…
01:38   01:42   …who for years have prevented the real issues from being discussed here.
01:42   01:46   And for the first time in years now a politician can raise this issue…
01:46   01:50   …without disappearing under lock and key, which is a bloody shame, thank you.

A Desire For June

Note from the Baron: We have been having problems with Blogger arbitrarily chopping off posts from our main page. On the off-chance that this bleg post is responsible, I have truncated the older parts of the post.

Thanks to all who donated to Gates of Vienna. For those who haven’t contributed yet, the tip cup is on our sidebar.

Mimosa in June

Update from Dymphna: Rather than another snow picture or the banner with the storm tossed mimosa tree (we’ve had a thaw and the snow is beginning to let go its grip now) it seemed more appropriate to end this fund-raiser with an image of the mimosa in all her glory.

For at least another four months there is no way to know if she survived the damage. Will she come back to bloom again as she has for so many years? Or will she be a memory shared by all those who sat under her branches for decades of Midsummer’s Eve parties, watching the fireflies come up out of the growing dark while waiting expectantly for the fireworks to begin?

Tip jarThanks to our donors from today: Canada, the UK, and Denmark. In the U.S., it was California, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Iowa again, plus a new person from Washington state. I hadn’t noticed before but nearly all our donors are men. What brought it to my attention was writing a thank you note today and starting it with “Dear Ms”… that brought me up short as I realized I hardly ever begin that way. Interestingly, when it comes to subscribers this is reversed. More women choose the pay-by-the-month method. I like it too, as it gives me a chance to touch base more often.

Men or women, I have a question for our American readers: are there subjects or themes you’d like to see addressed, or addressed more regularly than we’re doing at the moment? We’re not a “breaking news” blog, unless a story happens to hit at the moment we’re sitting at the computer —e.g., the the Dutch Cabinet fell over the weekend. Our correspondent, H. Numan, translated the Telegraaf story and sent it immediately. Since I was up late doing notes, I was able to post it immediately. Usually, though, we prefer to let the circumstances develop more in order to see what further information surfaces. That Mossad story, for example.

As the midterm elections come closer this year, we will be posting more on the seats that are up for grabs. Congressmen are biting their fingernails and kicking the dog right now, dreading that moment of truth in November. But how about other subjects? Schools? Race relations (might as well go for broke!), the Tenth Amendment phenomenon as it spreads through state legislatures? Book reviews? Obama’s executive style? Israel? Afghanistan? Free speech? (Hillary Clinton recently gave an excellent talk on the subject of free internet speech. Yes, Clinton! She who thought we all needed supervision has now decided that China needs to lighten up) Whatever it is, send me an email and let me know. With someone requesting it, I’m more likely to follow through. That’s not fool-proof however: I’ve yet to finish a request for a list of conservative reading.

One very faithful donor says he’s find it rough going lately with all the bad news we report. I agree, much of it is awful. But underneath some of the awfulness there is hope. People are beginning to demand change and that often generates disorder and mayhem. If all were peaceful, there would be no change. However, his point is well-taken. I shall have to move past the MSM “ain’t-it-awful” kinds of stories to look for more meaningful reports.

This has been a good week, full of wonderful emails and great subject lines in the pay pal donation notices. Y’all have a great sense of humor and are most complimentary. Thanks.

Below is part of a favorite poem by Wallace Stevens. It’s been recited many times under that mimosa tree on Sunday mornings in June. Even if she is mortally wounded and can’t come back this time, we have those memories of Mid Summer’s Eve Past.

She says, “I am content when wakened birds,
Before they fly, test the reality
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings;
But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?”
There is not any haunt of prophecy,
Nor any old chimera of the grave,
Neither the golden underground, nor isle
Melodious, where spirits gat them home,
Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm
Remote as heaven’s hill, that has endured
As April’s green endures; or will endure
Like her remembrance of awakened birds,
Or her desire for June and evening, tipped
By the consummation of the swallow’s wings.

              — “Sunday Morning” by Wallace Stevens

See y’all next time…

The End of Winter When Afternoons Return

Update from the Baron: The above title is wishful thinking on my part.

Snow at Schloss Bodissey 2Although today was a thaw day, winter is not yet done with us. It’s all but certain that we’ll have more climate change before the Ides of March. And if it covers up the daffodils after they bloom, it wouldn’t be the first time.

When I arrived home this afternoon, the last fifty feet of our driveway — which is cold and shady, and is always the last place to melt — had finally thawed. For weeks I have been driving in and out on top of a packed crust, but while I was gone it had loosened up. Suddenly the car’s wheels sank into about eight inches of slush, so I was almost unable to park by the front walk.

While I was gone people obeyed Dymphna and made the tip cup clink repeatedly. I believe she reported some of these locations already, so I may be duplicating part of the list. But I see Illinois (2), Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina (2), Oklahoma, Alberta, Brazil , Denmark, Spain, and the UK. Very multicultural!

Thank you all once again for your generosity. Considering the hard times we’re in the midst of, the response has been amazing.
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It’s gratifying to watch the growth of the Counterjihad network. There are so many more people tuned in to the nature of the problem than there were just three years ago — and so many fewer who can be cowed by being called “racists”.

The wind appears to be shifting. It may not be at our backs just yet, but it’s certainly moving in that direction.

I appreciate all your help, and I’m honored by your willingness to get involved.

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The epigraph for this update is from “Poems of Our Climate” by Wallace Stevens. The first stanza is below:

Clear water in a brilliant bowl,
Pink and white carnations. The light
In the room more like a snowy air,
Reflecting snow. A newly-fallen snow
At the end of winter when afternoons return.
Pink and white carnations — one desires
So much more than that. The day itself
Is simplified: a bowl of white,
Cold, a cold porcelain, low and round,
With nothing more than the carnations there.

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff at the Freedom Defense Initiative

As I mentioned earlier, I spent Friday February 19th in Washington D.C. at two events where Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was a featured speaker. The first was the launch of the Freedom Defense Initiative, which was organized by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Elisabeth spoke at length about the hate-speech case mounted against her by the Austrian authorities, and also recounted some of her experiences living and working in Iran, Kuwait, and Libya.

Thanks to UAC, Elisabeth’s appearance at the FDI event is now available on video:

Hat tip: Vlad Tepes.

[Post ends here]

Balkenende IV Died. Long live Balkenende V!

Our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan has looked into his foggy crystal ball to get an idea of what will happen in two upcoming sets of elections in the Netherlands. The result is below.

Balkenende IV died. Long live Balkenende V!
by H. Numan

Saturday morning I read the somehow surprising news the cabinet collapsed. Why surprising? Well, to be honest: I expected they would use the weekend to patch up the differences. The deadline was set for the first of March, after all. There was absolutely no need for a crisis over a minor issue like this.

Who caused the collapse? Of course it seems the PvdA party did it. They were the ones who said: enough is enough. This is where we stand, and we won’t move an inch. But who forced them into that position? That was the CDA.

The Christians in the cabinet (CDA and CU) wanted to continue the mission in Afghanistan, but under a different name. The Dutch troops would be withdrawn from Uruzghan and placed in a less dangerous position, and would act as trainers.

That is window dressing, as the troops do very little towards building up Afghanistan as they are supposed to do. They are far too busy defending themselves or attacking the Taliban. In other words: the CDA would like to continue the mission, despite a big parliamentary majority to stop the mission.

Okay. We’ll be hearing a lot of name-calling the coming weeks. Who killed the cabinet? Professor Plum? Colonel Mustard? Actually it was Reverend Green who forced Miss Scarlett to commit the crime.

Rest assured that a lot of PvdA cadres will be out of a job after the 3rd of March. On that day we’ll have municipal elections. The PvdA is going to loose massively. The jobless PvdA cadre will not be happy and very vocal about it. Remember Mrs. Ella Vogelaar? She wrote a book Twintig maanden knettergek (“Twenty months going bonkers”) about how capable she was, and her boss Wouter Bos likewise incapable. Many of those out-of-a-job PvdA people will want to say something, and most of it won’t be good. Expect many battalions of skeletons marching out of the cupboard.

Jan Peter BalkenendeTo my utter surprise, Mr. Balkenende announced he will run again for the job of prime minister after the elections. He’s led four cabinets, and all of them died in a similar way. None of them made it properly to the finish. There is (so far) no opposition to him within the CDA party, so it’s not unlikely that he’ll have another shot at the job. I seriously doubt if the electorate would like to see him again as PM. But we have to wait for the national elections for that.

Normally, the municipal elections are pretty boring. No big surprise there, I guess. This time it’s different. These elections will be used as a kind of fogged crystal ball to see what the national elections will bring. We don’t really need the municipals for that. I can tell you already: unless I am very much mistaken the PvdA will consider the elections excellent if they keep anything above 10 seats. The CDA will probably be very happy if they get 20-25 seats. The municipal elections, of course, work differently. But the idea is to count the votes and project them onto the national level.

However, this crystal-ball gazing is fogged. The PVV, almost certain to be the big winner of the national elections, is only participating in two cities: The Hague and Almere. That means that those who want to vote for the PVV will have to pick something else. That else will be the conservative party (VVD) or TROTS, the party of ex-VVD Mrs. Verdonk. On a national level it’s extremely doubtful if Mrs. Verdonk will keep her single seat, let alone get more.
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This does not necessarily mean the voters would like to vote for the VVD or TROTS, but simply that they haven’t any other choice. During the national elections they do have that choice, which will yield a very different outcome.

And then what? That’s a tough question. Coalition governments are always difficult to create. The more parties, the more difficult it is.

Holland usually has three party coalitions, which is difficult enough already. Current polls show it is likely that four parties will be needed to gain a parliamentary majority. Very few four-party coalitions run the full course. If we get a four-party coalition, it is almost a certainty that this cabinet won’t last long.

But it all depends on the electorate. Pim Fortuyn was tagged for about 40 seats. He posthumously got 26 seats. That’s a very good result for any party participating for the first time. It also shows the people weren’t too keen on the existing party policies. Please remember that the party itself was nothing. There was one person who mattered, and he was murdered. It still got 26 seats.

I think something similar will happen again. I expect the PVV to get more than 30 seats during the national elections, possibly close to or just over 40 seats. A lot of people are not happy. In the voting booth nobody is watching. Nobody will really know who you have voted for. Yet…

Don’t forget the Wilders trial. This will have a major impact on the elections.

The judges may opt to find a technicality to cancel the trial. I expect them to go for that option. In that case, Mr. Moszkowicz will be like a shark in feeding frenzy mode. The court wanted to participate in national politics? Excellent. Now live with the consequences!

Right now there is a completely new ballgame. Nobody expected the cabinet to fold, least of all the prosecution, which is the court itself.

There is something else as well: right now all left-wing parties heavily promote themselves in Turkish, Moroccan, and other languages for votes. Wilders doesn’t have to do anything. Just telling the people something like “when you go to vote, be sure to bring a dictionary” will be more than enough. Lots of people who would vote otherwise for a left-wing party will almost certainly be put off if they see their city plastered with huge political posters in Turkish or Arabic.

Will Wilders become the next prime minister?

No. That is next to impossible. Too much is stacked against him. It is the custom the biggest party supplies the prime minister. But that is not a rule. Only Her Majesty the Queen has the right to assign that job to someone. And nobody can even question her on what she based her choice.

Supposing the PVV wins 50 seats, CDA 21, and VVD 20 (highly unlikely). The queen can ask Mr. Balkenende to form a cabinet. Or Mr. Rutte of the VVD, unlikely as it seems. All she has to do is to say she expects that Mr. Balkenende has the experience to form a cabinet, or that the VVD has more experience in forming a cabinet that Wilders and the PVV. After all, they are relative newcomers. The queen has made it crystal clear on many occasions that she doesn’t like Mr. Wilders or the PVV.

Need I say more?

As the old Chinese curse goes: may you live in interesting times! We most certainly do.

The Jackboots of the “Anti-Fascists”

We’ve seen what happens when the people of Europe attempt to mount peaceful protests against the Islamization of their countries. They are vilified in the press and by government spokesmen, denounced as “fascists” and “racists”, and subjected to arbitrary arrests, interrogations, and whatever administrative punishments the authorities can cobble together under anti-incitement laws.

The authorities often find it helpful to use the AFA/Antifa organizations — anarchist groups that call themselves “anti-fascists” — to do the scuffling and breaking of heads, and thus permit official law enforcement to keep its hands fastidiously clean. In Britain the most prominent “anti-fascist” group is UAF, “United Against Fascism”. Their primary mission nowadays is to suppress the anti-jihad activists of the English Defence League, the Welsh Defence League, and the Scottish Defence League.

The latest confrontation occurred yesterday in Edinburgh, where the SDL planned a peaceful demonstration. If you depended upon the local media for your news, you’d conclude that the admirable anti-fascists of Edinburgh had done their civic duty in suppressing the neo-Nazis of the SDL:

Edinburgh protestTHOUSANDS of people marched through the centre of Edinburgh on an anti-fascist protest this afternoon.

Supporters of the Scotland United rally gathered in Princes Street Gardens to hear addresses from politicians including Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill and city leader Jenny Dawe. They then marched up The Mound and along George IV Bridge to The Meadows.

A breakaway group gathered at the bottom of the Royal Mile close to the Jenny Ha pub, where members of the right-wing organisation the Scottish Defence League were believed to be drinking.

A heavy police cordon closed off the street around the pub to keep protesters at a distance, with officers at times lining up against the pub doorway to prevent anyone stepping outside.

Despite the stand-off, violent outbreaks appear to have been avoided.

There you go! Fascists were stymied, and violence was avoided. Well done, John Peel!

But that’s not quite what happened. Through the magic of the Internet, we can present to you another version of yesterday’s events. Then you’ll be able to see who the real fascists in Britain are. All the familiar elements are in place: a huge police cordon, the refusal to allow the demonstrators to gather, mass arbitrary arrests, tacitly condoned violence by the “anti-fascists”, and raids on the homes of peaceful civilians.

Many thanks to Gaia for sending the following report from the UK:

The SDL (Scottish Defence League) planned a peaceful protest against extreme Islam in Edinburgh yesterday, Saturday 20th December, Many of their English associates in the EDL made their way to join their Scottish counterparts, but according to reports coming from Edinburgh:

Supporters who arrived at Waverley train station were forced back onto trains heading away from Edinburgh by the Police. Those travelling by road were stopped; some had their vehicles damaged by aggressive Police officers.


In the City itself, the Police threatened anyone who attempted to protest with immediate arrest. Meanwhile, far-left so-called ‘anti-fascism’ protesters were allowed to wander the streets without any Police opposition. These same protesters made numerous attempts to attack EDL and SDL supporters, while nearby Police officers turned a blind eye. It is clear that today’s Police actions were politically motivated and that the Police Force as a whole can no longer be considered to be politically neutral. They have chosen their side. No further confirmation is needed other than the statement of the Scottish ‘Justice’ Minister, Kenny MacAskill (SNP — Scottish National Party), when he said that the “fact that the SDL didn’t make it out of Waverley Station is testament to good policing”, though this comes as no surprise as this is the man who, just last year ordered the release of the Lockerbie Bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi. The word “Dhimmi” springs to mind. [emphasis added]

The EDL issued the following statement at the end of the day’s events:

EDL header

EDL Leadership Team Arrested for “incitement to commit a breach of the peace”

Official Statement

Today, members of the English Defence League were arrested and denied their civil liberties when attempting to join the Scottish Defence League for a peaceful protest in Edinburgh. The EDL Leadership Team were detained without cause and arrested for “incitement to cause a breach of the peace”. Supporters who arrived at Waverley train station were forced back onto trains heading away from Edinburgh by the Police. Those travelling by road were stopped; some had their vehicles damaged by aggressive Police officers. In the City itself, the Police threatened anyone who attempted to protest with immediate arrest. Meanwhile, far-left so-called ‘anti-fascism’ protesters were allowed to wander the streets without any Police opposition. These same protesters made numerous attempts to attack EDL and SDL supporters, while nearby Police officers turned a blind eye. It is clear that today’s Police actions were politically motivated and that the Police Force as a whole can no longer be considered to be politically neutral. They have chosen their side. No further confirmation is needed other than the statement of the Scottish ‘Justice’ Minister, Kenny MacAskill (SNP), when he said that the “fact that the SDL didn’t make it out of Waverley Station is testament to good policing”.

When the Scottish Defence League attempt to reassert their civil right of freedom of association, we, the English Defence League, shall once again support them. Today’s actions by the police are nothing short of a travesty for democracy, how can the police take action that flies in the face of the European convention of human rights? How are they allowed to act with impunity to subdue the right to freedom of speech and protest as outlined in the universal declaration of human rights. We have duly noted the following contraventions of this declaration that are as follows….

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

– – – – – – – –

Article 30.

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

We seek the government and the police to examine article 30 in particular as the actions of today are in serious breach of the universal Declaration Of Human Rights.

We cannot stand idly by and allow the forces of fascism to take over our country. Our ancestors fought for their civil liberties and we shall do the same. When we return it will be in greater numbers. If we are again denied our civil liberties and our basic freedoms, by fascist forces, we will not give up. We will return again and again and again. We will keep returning until our rights are acknowledged and restored. If freedom is denied to us now, it can and will be denied to anyone and everyone else sooner or later. We will never surrender our freedom to fascists, whether they call themselves ‘ministers’ or call themselves ‘police’ or call themselves ‘anti-fascists’! Indeed, Winston Churchill said that the next wave of fascists would call themselves ‘anti-fascists’; today, to Britain’s shame, Churchill was once again proven right.

The EDL and our sister Defence Leagues will be gathering in London, at the Houses of Parliament on Friday the 5th of March (2pm), to show our support for another great man who is fighting against modern-day fascism: the Dutch MP Geert Wilders. All are welcome to join us. Our righteous forces of freedom will always triumph over those who support tyranny.

Long live freedom!

No surrender to fascism!

The EDL Leadership Team

Meanwhile, on their way to join their Scottish associates, the leaders of EDL (English Defence League) were arrested at Luton airport and held in custody for seventeen hours for questioning. Their homes and those of their families were raided by armed police, were searched and computers and mobile phones were removed.

Today they have issued a further statement regarding these arrests and later this evening will be posting videos on Youtube about the current state of affairs:

Official Statement Regarding

The Arrest Of The EDL Leadership Team

On Saturday 20th February 2010 Members of the leadership team of the English Defence League were arrested as they traveled to Scotland to support the Scottish Defence League demonstration.

While in custody the team members homes and families homes were raided by police armed with automatic machine guns which terrified the leaderships family which included small children and other older family members. Computer equipment was seized during the 3 hour raid.

Leadership team members were banned from attending any meeting with more than 3 edl members then bailed to return to a police station in Sheffield in the near future.

We are asking every member of the EDL to be available to protest outside the police station when the team has to answer bail. (date to be confirmed).

We need to get the message across that we will not be silenced by being bullied by the authorities and our struggle against muslim extremism will continue.

We have agreed to cancel the Bradford demo as a small concession but will be announcing further protests as a result of the disgraceful treatment of our leadership team.

This is a call to mobilization.

We need every single person who supports the EDL to stand up and be counted and when required we need you to take to the streets in a peaceful and law abiding manner to support our leadership. More details will be released regarding demonstrations in the very near future.

If any EDL Members are arrested by the police please let EDL Media know as soon as possible as we are forming a group action and will be making an official complaint to the authorities in the near future.

Thank you in advance for your support.

A video statement will be released within 24 hours of this notice.
Released on Sunday February 21st @ 13.21

My Return from the Frozen North

I just got back from Washington D.C., where it was my privilege to attend the inaugural event — a side-event at CPAC — of the Freedom Defense Initiative. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer did a superb job organizing the venue and the speakers. I’ll have more to say about the event later on.

I went up there to the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy because one of our own, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, was a speaker at the FDI event, and also appeared on Capitol Hill later on. As regular readers know, a “hate speech” charge is pending against Elisabeth for her outspoken anti-jihad activism in Austria. Elisabeth made the journey to Washington to speak about her case and relate it to all the other ominous incidents involving the suppression of free speech on both sides of the Atlantic.

I’ll be writing more about the FDI event later, but tonight I have to spend my time catching up on the email (hi everybody!) and putting together a news feed.

Before I return to the hard slog, I’ll relate a brief but disturbing incident that happened while I was in downtown D.C. yesterday.
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Normally when I refer to being in the “Frozen North”, I mean Canada (usually Toronto). But yesterday Our Nation’s Capital was as snowy as any place I’ve ever seen before. There were immense piles of dense and impacted dirty snow all over the city, blocking sidewalks and parking areas and making pedestrian travel a hazardous business.

Elisabeth and I were crossing the street at 18th and I Streets NW, and came upon a man lying face-down in the crunchy slush that covered the curb. There was a small crowd gathered around him, and one man was tentatively offering the old guy a hand up.

The poor fellow was having none of it, though. He muttered something to the effect that he was all right, even as his face was literally pressed into the snow. So I went around to the other side of him, put my hands around his arm, and said, “Come on, you have to get up.”

But he was a dead weight, like lifting a 180-lb. sack of potatoes. Even with the other guy helping me pull at him, we could only get him partway up. His knees were like loose rubber. With my face down close to him, the smell of liquor was overpowering.

A third man came over to help, and I said “1 — 2 — 3 — heave!” and we pulled the wino to his feet. I asked him if he could walk, but it was obvious that he couldn’t. He told us he was all right, and said we should just let him sit back down in the slush. But I said “No, you have to go somewhere warmer and drier than this.”

So one of the other guys helped me walk him across the sidewalk to a dry section next to a store entrance. There was a potted shrub there near the door, and we sat him down on the pot and leaned him backwards until his back rested against the foliage. When it seemed he was stable in that position, we let go of him, and everyone went about their business.

Elisabeth and I went into a store nearby, and when we came out a few minutes later, I looked back across the street, and the old wino was still sitting there where we left him.

I thought about him again later that night, when it got a lot colder and the wind was blowing. Where had he gone for the night? How the heck do the D.C. winos make it through a winter like this one?

There’s no moral to this story, no punch line, no satisfying denouement. It’s just something that happened, a brief incident on a February afternoon in Washington. Things like that probably happen all the time at 18th and I.

When I was young, I attended graduate classes at George Washington University. I remember the winos back then used to lie on the gratings over the heat tunnels at the edge of GWU near the E Street Expressway. One particularly cold night I went over and offered a dollar to one of the guys who was lying there. But he looked frightened, and he wouldn’t take it.

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Why does all the interesting news break while I’m away? The Fort Jackson poisonings and the fall of the Dutch cabinet — and I missed ’em! It’s a good thing that Dymphna and H. Numan and VH and Vlad know how to conduct business in my absence…

I’ll get some sort of news feed up before the cock doth craw and the day doth daw and the channerin’ worm doth chide. Email may take a while longer, so bear with me.

The Crusades: A Response to Islamic Aggression

John J. O’Neill’s latest essay shines a light on the historical reality of the Crusades, which were a defensive action against the forcible expansion of Islam into territories that had been part of Christendom for centuries.


The Crusades: A Response to Islamic Aggression
by John J. O’Neill

One of the most potent myths of our age is that the Crusades were little more than an unprovoked attack by a barbarous Europe against a quiescent and cultured Islamic world. According to conventional ideas, the seventh and eighth centuries constitute the great age of Islamic expansion. By the eleventh century — the time of the First Crusade — we are told that the Islamic world was quiescent and settled and that, by implication, the Crusaders were the aggressors. Indeed, the Crusaders are routinely portrayed as a horde of barbarians from a backward and superstitious Europe irrupting into the cultured and urbane world of the eleventh century Near East.

This at least is the populist language often employed on television and in newspaper articles. In my recent book Holy Warriors: Islam and the Demise of Classical Civilization, I have shown however that before the advent of Islam Christians had no concept of “Holy War” at all, and that it was from the Muslims themselves that Europeans took this idea. I showed too that the Crusades, far from being an unprovoked act of aggression on the part of Christian Europe, was part of a rearguard action aimed at stemming the Muslim advance which, by the start of the eleventh century, was threatening as never before to overwhelm the whole of Europe.

Notwithstanding the evidence presented in Holy Warriors, the consensus among the majority of medieval historians is that the threat from Islam had very little, if anything, to do with the Crusades; the Muslims were simply the convenient targets of a savage and brutal Europe, mired in a culture of habitual violence and rapine. The “energies” of Europe’s warrior-class, it is held, were simply directed by the Papacy away from internal destruction onto the convenient targets of the Islamic world. This, for example, is the line taken by Marcus Bull in his examination of the origins of the Crusades in The Oxford History of the Crusades. In an article of almost ten thousand words, Bull fails to consider the Muslim threat at all. Indeed he mentions it only to dismiss it:

“The perspective of a Mediterranean-wide struggle [between Islam and Christianity] was visible only to those institutions, in particular the papacy, which had the intelligence networks, grasp of geography, and sense of long historical tradition to take a broad overview of Christendom and its threatened predicament, real or supposed. This is a point which needs to be emphasized because the terminology of the crusades is often applied inaccurately to all the occasions in the decades before 1095 when Christians and Muslims found themselves coming to blows. An idea which underpins the imprecise usage is that the First Crusade was the last in, and the culmination of, a series of wars in the eleventh century which had been crusading in character, effectively ‘trial runs’ which had introduced Europeans to the essential features of the crusade. This is an untenable view.”(Marcus Bull, “Origins,” in Jonathan Riley-Smith (ed..) The Oxford History of the Crusades, p. 19)

With what justification, we might ask, does Bull dissociate the earlier Christian-Muslim conflicts of the eleventh century in Spain, Sicily, and Anatolia from the First Crusade? The answer can hardly be described as convincing. “There is plenty of evidence,” he says, “to suggest that people regarded Pope Urban II’s crusade appeal of 1095-6 as something of a shock to the communal system: it was felt to be effective precisely because it was different from anything attempted before.” (Ibid) Of course it was different: the Pope had called a meeting of all the potentates and prelates of Europe to urge the assembly of a mighty force to march to Constantinople and eventually to retake the Holy Land. It was new because of its scale and its ambition. But to thus dismiss the connection with what went before in Spain and Sicily — and Anatolia — is ridiculous. Such a statement can only derive from a mindset which somehow has to see the Crusaders as the aggressors and to thereby detach them from the legitimate defensive wars which Christians had been fighting in Spain and throughout the Mediterranean in the decades immediately preceding 1095.

The fact is, in the twenty years before the First Crusade, Christendom had lost the whole of Anatolia, an area greater than France, and a region right on the doorstep of Europe. In 1050 the Seljuk leader Togrul Beg undertook Holy War against the Christians of Anatolia, who had thus far resisted the power of the Caliphs. We are told that 130,000 Christians died in the war, but that, upon Togrul Beg’s death in 1063 the Christians reasserted their independence and freedom. This was however to be of short duration, and no sooner had Togrul Beg’s nephew Alp Arslan been proclaimed Sultan than the war was renewed. In 1064 the old Armenian capital of Ani was destroyed; and the prince of Kars, the last independent Armenian ruler, “gladly handed over his lands to the [Byzantine] Emperor in return for estates in the Taurus mountains. Large numbers of Armenians accompanied him to his new home.” (Steven Runciman, The History of the Crusades Vol. 1 (Cambridge, 1951) p.61) Indeed, at this time, the entire Armenian nation was effectively transplanted hundreds of miles to the south and west.

But the Turkish attacks continued. From 1065 onwards the great frontier-fortress of Edessa was assaulted yearly. In 1066 they occupied the pass of the Amanus Mountains, and next spring they sacked the Cappadocian metropolis of Caesarea. Next winter the Byzantine armies were defeated at Melitene and Sebastea. These victories gave Alp Arslan control of all Armenia, and a year later he raided far into the Empire, to Neocaesarea and Amorium in 1068, to Iconium in 1069, and in 1070 to Chonae, near the Aegean coast. (Ibid.)
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These events make it perfectly clear that the Turks now threatened all the of Empire’s Asiatic possessions, with the position of Constantinople herself increasingly insecure. The imperial government was forced to take action. Constantine X, whose neglect of the army was largely responsible for the catastrophes which now overwhelmed the Empire, had died in 1067, leaving a young son, Michael VII under the regency of the Empress-mother Eudocia. Next year Eudocia married the commander-in-chief, Romanus Diogenes, who was raised to the throne. Romanus was a distinguished soldier and a sincere patriot, who saw that the safety of the Empire depended on the rebuilding of the army and ultimately the reconquest of Armenia. (Ibid.) Within four months of his accession, Romanus had gathered together a large but unreliable force and set out to meet the foe. “In three laborious campaigns,” writes Gibbon, “the Turks were driven beyond the Euphrates; in the fourth, and last, Romanus undertook the deliverance of Armenia.” (Decline and Fall, Ch. 57) Here however, at the seminal battle of Manzikert (1071), he was defeated and captured and all of Anatolia was irretrievably lost.

Any honest reading of these events leaves us in no doubt whatsoever that the aggressor was Alp Arslan and his Turks, and that Romanus Diogenes’ march into Armenia was a last-ditch counter-attack by the Byzantines to prevent the loss of all of Anatolia.. Yet observe how the battle is described in the recently-published Chambers Dictionary of World History: “The Byzantine Emperor, Romanus IV Diogenes (1068/71), tried to extend his empire into Armenia but was defeated at Manzikert near Lake Van by the Seljuk Turks under Alp Arslan (1063/72), who then launched a full-scale invasion of Anatolia.” (Bruce Lenman (ed.) Chambers Dictionary of World History (London, 2000) p. 585)

We see in the above a graphic example of the disinformation disseminated by the mentality of political correctness, where the victim is transformed into the aggressor and the aggressor portrayed as the victim.

Alp Arslan was killed a year later, and the conquest of Asia Minor, virtually all that was left of Byzantium’s Asiatic possessions, was completed by his son Malek Shah (1074 — 1084). These conquests left the Turks in possession of the fortress of Nicaea, on the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara, and the survival of Constantinople in question.

These then are the major political events which prefigured the First Crusade. Within a space of thirty-five years the Turks had seized control of Christian territories larger than the entire area of France, and they now stood poised on the very doorstep of Europe. We are accustomed to think of the Crusades as first and foremost an attempt by Christians to retake the Holy Land and Jerusalem; but this is a mistake. The Emperor Alexius Comnenus now made his famous plea to the Pope, not to free Jerusalem, but to drive the Turks from his door, to liberate the huge Christian territories in Asia Minor that had so recently been devastated and annexed by the followers of the crescent. It is true, of course, that the Turks, who had also assumed control of Syria/Palestine, now imposed a barbarous regime in that region; and that the sufferings of Christian pilgrims as well as native Christian populations in that region, described so vividly by Peter the Hermit and others, provided a powerful emotional impetus to the Crusading movement among ordinary Europeans; but the relief of pilgrims was not — to begin with at least — the primary goal of the Crusaders. Nonetheless, the barbarous nature of the Turkish actions in Palestine was a microcosm of their behavior throughout the Christian regions which they conquered, and the nature of their rule in the entire Near East is described thus by Gibbon in his usual vivid manner:

“The Oriental Christians and the Latin pilgrims deplored a revolution, which, instead of the regular government and old alliance of the caliphs, imposed on their necks the iron yoke of the strangers of the north. In his court and camp the great sultan had adopted in some degree the arts and manners of Persia; but the body of the Turkish nation, and more especially the pastoral tribes, still breathed the fierceness of the desert. From Nicaea to Jerusalem, the western countries of Asia were a scene of foreign and domestic hostility; and the shepherds of Palestine, who held a precarious sway on a doubtful frontier, had neither leisure nor capacity to await the slow profits of commercial and religious freedom. The pilgrims, who, through innumerable perils, had reached the gates of Jerusalem, were the victims of private rapine or public oppression, and often sunk under the pressure of famine and disease, before they were permitted to salute the holy sepulcher. A spirit of native barbarism, or recent zeal, prompted the Turkmans to insult the clergy of every sect; the patriarch was dragged by the hair along the pavement and cast into a dungeon, to extort a ransom from the sympathy of his flock; and the divine worship in the church of the Resurrection was often disturbed by the savage rudeness of its masters.” (Chapter 57)

The ordinary peasants of Europe may not have been fully cognizant of the danger from the east, but the ruling classes and the Church could not have been anything but alarmed. Yet even if the peasantry and artisans of Europe knew little about Anatolia, they would certainly have had some knowledge of the Muslim threat. It is Marcus Bull’s suggestion that they did not which is untenable. The advances of Abd er-Rahman III and Al-Mansur through northern Spain in the latter years of the tenth century would have sent a flood of Christian refugees into southern France; and the raids even into southern France which continued well into the eleventh century would have sent refugees from there fleeing into central and northern France. These people would have spread knowledge of the danger throughout western Europe. Granted, peasants and manual laborers would have had a very imperfect understanding of Islam and what Muslims actually believed; but that is not the point: They knew enough to know that Muslims were enemies of Christ; that they waged war against non-combatants and enslaved women and children, and that they had conquered all of Spain and threatened France.

And this is a point that needs to be stressed repeatedly: The reality is that, far from being quiescent and peaceful, by the latter years of the tenth century Islam was once again on the march. Muslim armies waged wars of conquest against non-believers from one end of the Islamic world to the other; from Spain in the west to India in the east; and this new aggression was not confined to the eastern and western extremities, but proceeded along the entire length of Islam’s borders. The Christian kingdoms of Armenia, Georgia and Byzantium were threatened with extinction, and Muslim armies fought with Christians in Sicily and other Mediterranean lands. Many aspects of this new Islamic thrust, particularly those which occurred around the beginning of the eleventh century in Spain and India, are strangely reminiscent of the earlier Islamic expansion in the eighth century, so reminiscent indeed that they might even cause the casual observer to wonder whether the birth of Islam has been somehow misdated and moved into the past by several centuries. So, for example, we are told that the main Islamic invasion of India began with the conquests of Mahmud of Ghazni, a Turkish-speaking prince based in Afghanistan, who launched a series of 17 campaigns into Northern India. These began in 1001 and ended in 1026, just four years or so before his death; a series of campaigns, we should note, which caused immense destruction and loss of life in the country. By the 1020s Mahmud ruled an empire that included much of the Indus Valley, Afghanistan and Persia. Yet these conquests, at the start of the eleventh century, seem to echo those of Muhammed bin Qasim, three centuries earlier, who created an Islamic Empire in roughly the same region (circa 710).

It is strange too that Mahmud of Ghazni’s name differs but little from that of his predecessor. Only the “n” in Ghazni differentiates it from Qasim, a word which could equally well be written as Qasmi.

In the western end of the Islamic world we encounter the same phenomenon. “In the tenth century,” says Runciman, “the Moslems of Spain represented a very real threat to Christendom.” (Runciman, op cit. p. 89) Under Abd er-Rahman III (912-961) the followers of Muhammad found a leader who promised to repeat the successes of the eighth century. As founder of the Cordoba Caliphate, he presided over a new age of splendor and military power. His forces battled the Christians to the north, and the boundary between the two religions was marked by the battles he fought. The most decisive of these were at Simancas (939), between Salamanca and Valladolid on the Duoro River, where he was stopped. These were areas that had been overrun by the Muslims two centuries earlier, though the Christians had apparently retaken them in the interim. In many ways then Abd er-Rahman III resembles his ancestor and namesake Abd er-Rahman I, who conquered these areas in the eighth century. And this new conquering impulse continued under Al-Mansur (980-1002), whose career was to see Muslim power once again enveloping all of Spain, including the far north. He burned Leon, Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela, and, copying his Muslim predecessors almost three centuries earlier, advanced over the Pyrenees. We are told that in Al-Mansur’s time, “Never had the Christians found themselves in such a critical position.” (Louis Bertrand, The History of Spain (2nd ed. London, 1945) p. 57)

It was the attacks of Al-Mansur that finally roused Christian Europe into undertaking the Reconquista, which commenced with the campaigns of Sancho III (called the Great) of Navarre and the Norman Baron Roger de Tony in the 1020s. Yet these events recall the earlier beginning of the Reconquista with the victory of Don Pelayo at Covadonga around 718.

The reader might well wonder why this “revival” of Islamic conquest in the eleventh century seems so uncannily to resemble the Islamic conquests of the seventh and eighth centuries. That indeed is a moot point: one to be discussed in a future article. For the moment, all that needs to be emphasized is that, contrary to popular belief, the tenth and eleventh centuries constitute a period of massive expansion by Islam, an expansion felt all along Islam’s boundary with Christendom. The Crusades were clearly part of an attempt to stem this aggression.

Holy Warriors: Islam and the Demise of Classical Civilization, is published by Felibri Publications. For information, see the Felibri website.

Previous posts by John J. O’Neill:

2009   Oct   6   Islam and the Dark Age of Byzantium
    Nov   10   How Muslim Piracy Changed the World
    Dec   2   Islam and the Rise of Violent Anti-Semitism
2010   Jan   11   How Islam Breathed New Life into Slavery and the Slave Trade In Europe

Fjordman — The First Five Years

The Fjordman Report

The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.

Five years ago today, on the 20th of February 2005, I made my first ever blog post under the name Fjordman. Back then Little Green Footballs was the leading blog in the movement and linked to my very first post as well as quite a few of my essays over the next couple of years. As most readers would know, things have changed substantially on that account since then, yet I am still here and doing fine while Charles Johnson’s LGF has become a universal joke. In some ways I guess that is sad, but Mr. Johnson made his choice and has to live with that.

In early 2006, a few weeks after I closed my old blog, I talked to Robert Spencer and was offered the opportunity to post at his website Jihad Watch. I told him that I might do so, but I intended to publish few essays in the future. It is an understatement to say that these plans were altered. How much material have I published during these years? I honestly have no idea, but the last time I checked I counted hundreds of thousands of words, and that was a long time ago. If I have to guess I would say that I have published at least half a million words online for free, and approaching one million. Since I sometimes write several posts about related subjects or quote some of my older posts the total amount of original material is somewhat less, but even after editing I have certainly published enough material for at least half a dozen to a dozen books of full length (60-80,000 words). So far only one book has been published on paper, Defeating Eurabia, but I am currently working on more titles.

When looking back I notice that I currently write about many more topics than I did when I started out in 2005. Back then I concentrated mainly on Islam and Islamic Jihad. This still constitutes a significant part of my writings and will continue to do so as long as I publish essays online. The reason why I write about more subjects today is that I have come to realize that Islam is a secondary infection. Are Islamic teachings inherently violent? Yes. Can Islam be reformed? No. Can Islam be reconciled with our way of life? No. Is there such as thing as a moderate Islam? No. Can we continue to allow Muslims to settle in our countries? No.

These few sentences contain all the information about Islam that you will ever need to know. It is still useful to know more about the way your enemy thinks and how to exploit his weak points, yet there is no point in spending too much time on studying the failed Islamic culture.
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Our culture did many things right, but has gone horribly wrong along the way. The interesting question here is not what is wrong with Islam since Islam has always been wrong. The interesting question is what is wrong with us. Consequently, I devote more time to explore this subject. This is why I write essays about historical subjects, even beer. First of all I want to celebrate what our civilization has achieved and reclaim our history. Second, I want to take a closer look at our history to analyze exactly where and when things went so wrong. I hope to publish two books, one each on these two subjects, within the next couple of years. These will contain a little bit about Islam but it will be a secondary subject in them, as it should be.

Things don’t always go as planned, but sometimes the way they turn out can be better than you had originally envisioned. I liked the Gates of Vienna when I had my own blog. This is why I accepted an invitation to publish here as a guest blogger, in addition to The Brussels Journal and other websites. Yet I honestly didn’t predict that GoV would turn out to be one of the most important websites on the entire Internet for my line of work, but it has. I guess it was a very lucky accident, although religious people will probably give another explanation and claim that it was fate. And maybe they are right for all I know.

The Baron has called GoV a “group effort”. In a sense that’s true, but the only reason why others desire to publish here is because the Baron and Dymphna have made such an excellent blog. I want to thank them for that. I know I speak for others, too, if I express the hope that they will continue blogging, although none of us will ever get rich from doing this. I should also thank the Dutch blogger Klein Verzet for helping to make my essays available in a user-friendly way with the Fjordman files.

The Dutch Cabinet Has Fallen

The break came more quickly than political analysts had supposed.

According to the Telegraaf, there was a marathon meeting in an attempt to hold things together. What follows below is a translation from our correspondent, HN.

[First, however, get the flavor of the Dutch from the first sentence of the story: Het kabinet van CDA, PvdA en ChristenUnie is gevallen. Doesn’t that gevallen seem much more final?]

From The Hague:

The Dutch coalition cabinet – the Christian Democrats, the PvdA (the Labor Party) and ChristenUnie (ChristianUnion) – has fallen.

The PvdA ministers withdrew support of the cabinet. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced this in the night Friday on Saturday. On Monday the cabinet would have been in office for exactly three years.

The ministers of the three parties had been negotiating since Friday morning, beginning about 11:30 a.m., about the future role of The Netherlands in Afghanistan. CDA wanted to continue the mission in Uruzgan. PvdA did not want to continue the mission under any circumstances. The PVDA insisted that the cabinet convey this to NATO.

According to CDA and CU this would conflict with the cabinet decision to consider all options for a longer stay in Afghanistan and only then come to a final decision. In a final attempt, Balkenende asked Friday night at 3:00 a.m.[Saturday morning?- D] that PvdA ministers agree on that, in order to save the coalition. Following agreement on this, a cabinet decision would be made before the first of March.

This was not negotiable for the PvdA. The PvdA ministers offered their resignation.

The BBC fleshes out the story with additional information on the troops in Afghanistan:

The launch in 2001 of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) for Afghanistan was the organisation’s first and largest ground operation outside Europe.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said six months ago when he began his job that his priority was the war in Afghanistan.

As of June 2009, Isaf had more than 61,000 personnel from 42 different countries including the US, Canada, European countries, Australia, Jordan and New Zealand.

So what happens now?

Here is our correspondent’s succinct explanation of what must, by law, occur next:
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“Counting from Monday, elections must be held within 83 days. Which means municipal elections on 3 March, and somewhere between mid April to early May there will be national elections.

Which means that the municipal elections will be seen as what is going to happen. If you are left wing, it’s like going with a friend to the dentist and watch a root canal treatment without painkiller. Knowing your root canal will be pulled within a few weeks later on.

Wilders can, to my knowledge, participate in both elections. As long as he is not convicted he is a free man.I expect that this court case now will fade out. The court will no doubt find some kind of legal loophole to just postpone the case indefinitely without coming to a conclusion.”

It’s astounding to an American on-looker that such a Damocles’ sword would be permitted to hang over anyone’s head. However, our correspondent seems sure that Mr. Wilders’ lawyer will make certain that it all comes to a satisfactory close.

I didn’t ask what he thought Mr. Wilders’ chances were of becoming the next Prime Minister.

But you, gentle reader, are encouraged to render your opinion on any and all of these events.

Personally, I’d like to be a fly on the wall in Mr. Wilders’ parlor right now. A fly who is fluent in Dutch, of course.