Geert Wilders was invited by muslimsdebate.com to present his message to Muslims. His response (the original Dutch version) was published in NRC Handelsblad. Many thanks to our Flemish correspondent VH for the translation.
Note: Since this version is based on the Dutch original, it may differ at certain points from the English translation that was posted at the muslimsdebate.com website:
Muslims, liberate yourselves, and you will be able to do anything
“Without Islam, the Arabs, Iranians, Indians and Indonesians have an enormous potential”
Islam makes Muslims unfree and fatalistic, Geert Wilders responds to a request from the international debate-website muslimsdebate.com.
by Geert Wilders
I first visited an Islamic country in 1982. I was 18 years old then, and traveled with a Dutch friend from the Israeli city of Eilat to the Egyptian Red Sea resort Sharm al-Sheikh. We were two students with backpacks and hardly had a penny to spend. We slept on the beach and found hospitality with Egyptians, who spontaneously invited us for tea. I still remember clearly my first impression of Egypt; I was overwhelmed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the people.
I also remember my second strong impression of Egypt: I noticed how frightened those nice, friendly people were. While we were in Sharm al-Sheikh, President Mubarak coincidentally paid a visit. I remember the fear is that suddenly flooded the city when it was announced that Mubarak would unexpectedly visit. I still see the procession of black cars on the day of his visit, and still feel the almost physical sense of fear, as a cold shiver on that sweltering hot summer day.
It was a weird experience. Mubarak is not regarded as the worst Islamic tyrant, but the fear of the ordinary Egyptians for their leader could be felt even by me. I am curious how the Saudis feel when their king is in town, how the Libyans feel when Gaddafi announces his arrival, how the Iraqis must have felt when Saddam Hussein was around. A few years later I read in the Qur’an how the seventh-century Arabs felt in the presence of Muhammad, who — as several verses describe — “strikes terror into their hearts”(Sura 8:12, 8:60, 33:26, 59:12).
From Sharm al-Sheikh I went with my friend to Cairo. It was poor and incredibly dirty. My friend and I were surprised that this poor and dirty Egypt could be a neighbor country of Israel, which was so clean. The explanation of the Arabs, with whom we spoke about their poverty, was that they were in no way to blame for their situation: according to them, they were the victims of a global conspiracy of the “imperialists” and the “Zionists”, designed to keep the Muslims poor and subservient. I did not find this explanation convincing. According to my intuition it had something to do with the difference between the cultures of Israel and Egypt.
I made a mistake in Cairo. We had almost no money and I was thirsty. One could buy a glass of water at public water collectors. It did not look clean, but I drank it. I got a terrible diarrhea. I went to a hostel where one could rent a spot on the floor for two dollars a day. There I lay for several days, a heap of misery in a crowded, stinking room, with ten other guys. Once Egypt had been the most advanced civilization on earth. Why had it not progressed along with the rest of the world?
In the last years of the nineteenth century, Winston Churchill was a soldier and war correspondent in India (now Pakistan) and Sudan. Churchill was a perceptive young man, whose months in Pakistan and the Sudan, and that enabled him to understand with stunning clarity what the problem is with Islam and “the curses it lays on its votaries”:
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“Besides the fanatical frenzy, … there is this fearful fatalistic apathy,” he wrote. “The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to a sole man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. … Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. “ And Churchill concluded: “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”
There are people who say that I hate Muslims. I do not hate Muslims. It saddens me that Islam deprived them of their dignity.
What Islam is doing to Muslims is reflected in the way they treat their daughters. On March 11, 2002, fifteen Saudi schoolgirls were killed when they tried to flee from their burning school in the holy city of Mecca. A fire had set the building ablaze. The girls ran to the school gates but these were locked. The keys were in possession of a male guard, who refused to open the gate because the girls were not wearing the correct Islamic dress imposed on women by Saudi law: face veils and overgarments. The “indecently dressed” girls (without facial veil and overgarment) were trying to save their young lives. The Saudi police forced them back into the burning building. Agents of the Mutaween, the “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” as the police in Saudi Arabia are called, also beat passersby and firefighters who tried to help the girls. “It is sinful to come near them,” the police warned the crowd. It is also a crime.
Girls are not appreciated in Islam: when a father has a daughter, according to the Qur’an, “his face turns black, that is how distressed he is (Sura 43:15). Nevertheless, the incident with the school in Mecca did cause angry reactions. Islam is inhumane, but Muslims are humans and therefore capable of love — that powerful force which Muhammad despised. Humanity was dominant with the fathers in Mecca who were outraged about the death of their daughters, but also among the firefighters who resisted when the Mutaween beat the girls back inside, and the journalists of the Saudi newspaper who for the first time in Saudi history criticized the feared and powerful “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”
However, Muslim protests against Islamic inhumanity are rare. Most Muslims, including those in Western countries, go to the mosque and listen to shocking verses from the Koran and revolting sermons it without rising up against it.
I myself am agnostic. But Christians and Jews believe that God created man in His image. They believe that by observing themselves as free, rational beings who are capable of love, they may learn to know Him. They even may argue with him, as the Jews have done throughout their entire history. In contrast, the Qur’an states that “there is nothing equal to Allah” (Sura 16:74, 42:11). He has absolutely nothing in common with us. It is absurd to suppose that Allah has created man in his image. The biblical notion that God is our father is not present in the Islam. There also is no personal relationship between man and Allah. The goal of Islam is the total submission of ourselves and others to the unknowable God, whom we must serve by means of total obedience to Muhammad as leader of the Islamic State (Sura 3:31, 4:80, 24:62, 48:10, 57:28). And history taught us that Muhammad was certainly not a prophet of love and compassion, but a mass murderer, a tyrant, and a pedophile. The Muslims could not have had a more regrettable role model.
Without individual freedom it is not surprising that the idea of man as a responsible acting person is not quite developed in the Islam. Muslims are often fatalistic. Perhaps — and let us hope this — only a few radicals take the call of the Qur’an seriously to execute a jihad against the infidels. But most Muslims never raise their voices against these radicals. That is the “terrible fatalistic apathy” which Churchill pointed at.
The writer Aldous Huxley, who in the twenties of the last century lived in North Africa, remarked the following: “About the immediate causes of things — precisely how they happen — they seem to feel not the slightest interest. Indeed, it is not even admitted that there are such things as immediate causes: God is directly responsible for everything. ‘Do you think it will rain?’ you ask pointing to menacing clouds overhead. ‘If God wills,’ is the answer. You pass the native hospital. ‘Are the doctors good?’ ‘In our country,’ the Arab gravely replies, in the tone of Solomon, ‘we say that doctors are of no avail. If Allah wills that a man die, he will die. If not, he will recover.’ All of which is profoundly true, so true, indeed, that is not worth saying. To the Arab, however, it seems the last word in human wisdom. […]They have relapsed — all except those who are educated according to Western methods — into pre-scientific fatalism, with its attendant incuriosity and apathy.”
Islam deprives Muslims of their freedom. Which is unfortunate, because free people are capable of great things, as history has shown. The Arabic, Turkish, Iranian, Indian, Indonesian peoples have a huge potential. If they were not prisoners of Islam, if they could free themselves from the yoke of Islam, when Muhammad would no longer be a role model, and rid themselves of the evil Qur’an, they would be capable of great things not only for the benefit of themselves, but of the world.
As a Dutch, European, and Western politician my first responsibility is to the Dutch people, the Europeans and the West. But as we will all benefit from the liberation of Muslims from Islam, I strongly support the Muslims who love freedom. My message to them is clear: Fatalism is not an option; “inshallah” is a curse, submission is a disgrace. Liberate yourselves. It is up to you.
Geert Wilders is the leader of the Party for Freedom in the Dutch Parliament.
 The (formerly classical liberal, but for over a decade turned left-wing) Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad adds the following background information:
Muslimsdebate.com had asked Geert Wilders for a “message to the Muslims”. He was also asked to explain why he is anti-Islam, and what the Muslims must do. The website has been founded by an international group of academics and social activists for the purpose of conducting an open debate and free discussion on political and social issues and the their solutions.
Subjects are democracy, religion, gender-equality, sharia, and Muslim immigrants in Western countries. According to the founders, “hundreds of years of cultural decay and widespread illiteracy have widened the gap between the present reality of the Muslim world and modernity”. The founders propagate “democracy and human rights” and Tariq Ramadan is “one of the authors”.