Below is the prepared text of speech given last night by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff at the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Boston.
“Death Can Be Silent – The Present State of Free Speech in the U.S., Europe and Beyond”
Speech given by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
Ahavath Torah Congregation, Boston
June 17, 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am here tonight to discuss the ominous and growing threat to free speech in the Europe, the United States, and the rest of the Western world.
I’ve never been to a synagogue before — although I have visited many mosques! I’m humbled to stand here before you. Thank you, Rabbi, for inviting me and giving the me the opportunity to exercise my freedom of speech.
He and I have a connection: his paternal grandmother was an Austrian, and if his English weren’t so good, we would be able to get by in Yiddish and German.
I’ve just recently learned that the audience for my talk may be larger than I had previously thought. In addition to the listeners gathered here in Stoughton, my words may be recorded by NSA and digitally stored in a huge database — all part of the struggle against “terror” and “violent extremism”. Since this congregation is a non-profit organization, the IRS may also be listening in, just to make sure that what I say here is compatible with your tax-exempt status.
If my words ever happen to be passed on through the social media, the person who posts them may be subject to criminal penalties. Yes, that’s why U.S. Attorney Bill Killian went to Manchester, Tennessee a couple of weeks ago: to discuss using federal civil rights laws to punish those who make critical remarks about Islam.
Such is the current sorry condition of free speech the United States of America.
If it’s that bad here, what must conditions be like elsewhere? This nation used to be a beacon of liberty, the shining city on a hill that inspired the entire world — what has happened to it?
I can tell you from my own experience that Europe has slid even farther down the slippery slope to tyranny.
We, too, live under constant surveillance by our own governments.
The security services in Britain and Sweden are entitled by law to record and store all forms of electronic communications — telephone, text messaging, internet usage, and so on.
But Europe has gone beyond mere surveillance. Member states of the European Union have implemented what is commonly known as the “Framework Decision”, which is a directive that requires all countries to pass laws that criminalize public incitement to “hatred” against “a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin”. This directive came into force in November 2010, and is binding on all states that signed the Lisbon Treaty.
So, as you can see, we Europeans don’t have any fundamental law that protects us as your First Amendment protects you. Our fundamental laws — which are created by unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels — actually give license to the state to persecute us. We have no protection from state repression if we choose to criticize Islam.
Most countries in Europe have been gung-ho to implement the EU’s diktat. So many people have been harassed, detained, arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for criticizing Islam that it would be impossible for me to mention them all. To read a full list, even if it were possible to compile one, would take several hours at least.
But let me give you a brief representative sample of Europeans who have been persecuted by their governments for their opinions on Islamization:
From Britain: Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a.k.a. Tommy Robinson, the founder and leader of the Islam-critical English Defence League, has been tried repeatedly on various contrived charges, and convicted on some of them. Late last year he spent several months in solitary confinement before he even made his first appearance in court.
From Denmark: Lars Hedegaard, a well-known journalist and historian, was tried for describing in a private conversation the tendency for Muslim men to rape their underage female relatives. He was acquitted by a lower court. The prosecutor appealed the case to a higher court, which overturned the acquittal and fined the defendant 5,000 kroner. He appealed the decision to the Danish supreme court, which overturned the conviction again.
From Finland: Jussi Halla-aho, a journalist and local politician, was tried for giving examples in his blog of things about immigrants that were now illegal to say. He was convicted and fined, and lost his appeals to all higher courts. He also lost his position within his party, the True Finns.
From France: Philippe Val, the editor of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was sued by a Muslim group for publishing the Danish Mohammed cartoons. He was acquitted in court.
From Germany: Michael Stürzenberger was tried for using a photo of Heinrich Himmler as an analogy with Islam. He was acquitted, but the prosecutor is appealing the verdict to a higher court.
From the Netherlands: Geert Wilders, the leader of what may now be the most popular party in the country, was put on trial not once, but twice for expressing his opinions on Islam. After a lengthy and expensive court process, he was acquitted in both cases.
From Sweden: Carl P. Herslow, a local politician, posted a campaign placard of Mohammed and his wife Aisha, with the caption: “He is 53 and she is 9: Is this the kind of wedding you want to see here?” He was charged with “incitement against an ethnic group”, tried, and eventually acquitted.
From Switzerland: Avi Lipkin, a.k.a. Victor Mordecai, was tried and convicted of “inciting hatred or discrimination against a person or a group of persons on the grounds of their race, ethnic origin or religion”. His “crime” was committed during a discussion about the upcoming referendum on the minaret ban, when he read verses from the Koran requiring Muslims to hate Christians and Jews. He was convicted.
That was an alphabetical list, but I left out Austria, because that case is my own.
Fascist totalitarianism has returned to my country. This time it does not come with the ring of jackboots on the cobblestones. No one’s door is battered down in the middle of the night. No cattle cars haul innocent victims away to an unknown destination.
This is a soft totalitarianism. It wears a business suit, smiles, and speaks in reasonable tones in the name of tolerance and diversity.
This time its victims are the natives of Austria, who are being deliberately replaced with a violent, barbaric, alien culture.
I am one of those victims.
For a number of years I have been giving educational seminars on Islam, sponsored by the Austrian Freedom Party. They are designed to educate people about the realities of Islam.
I learned those realities first-hand: I have lived in Iran, Kuwait, and Libya. As a little girl in Tehran, I watched the beginnings of Khomeini’s revolution. I was held hostage in Kuwait when Saddam Hussein invaded in 1990. And I watched people dance for joy in the streets of Tripoli on 9-11.
My experiences made me want to understand what lay behind all the ghastliness I had experienced, so I spent a lot of time researching Islam, and then began teaching others what I had learned. I told them that Islam did not respect free speech or other human rights, and was particularly brutal in its treatment of women. I explained that these characteristics derive directly from the totalitarian Islamic doctrines. In Islam, brutal repression is not a bug — it’s a feature.
My seminars became more popular, drawing a larger audience. As a result they drew the attention of the Multicultural Left, which is very influential in Viennese politics.
On two separate occasions in the fall of 2009 a leftist magazine, NEWS, sent an undercover reporter to secretly tape my lecture. They then turned the tapes over to the authorities and filed a complaint against me for my “hate speech”. In October 2009 I learned that I was under judicial investigation only through NEWS magazine — before I received any notice from the court.
For almost a year the investigation proceeded. Then, in October 2010, I was informed of my indictment and impending trial — once again, by reading it in NEWS, not through any official notification.
The trial began in November of that year and continued until the following February. The case eventually focused on my description of a phone conversation with my sister, in which I referred to Mohammed’s sexual relationship with Aisha. My sister was appalled at the thought that I might call Mohammed a “pedophile”. I said, “What else would you call a man who has a thing for little girls?”
This statement was what the court chose to highlight, along with various “hostile” remarks about Islam. However, it became obvious partway through the trial that it would not be possible to use these things to convict me under the charge that had been laid, which was “incitement to hatred”.
As a result, on the second day of the trial, the judge at her own discretion added a second charge, “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion.”
When the verdict was handed down in February 2011, I was acquitted on the first charge, but convicted on the second, and fined.
It was clear that the judge was determined to find a charge under which I could be convicted. The convoluted logic for her decision was this: it was not factually correct to say that Mohammed was a pedophile, because although he had sex with a nine-year-old girl, he remained married to her until she was of age. That is, he proved that he only liked little girls part of the time, so he couldn’t have been a pedophile.
I know that sounds like a passage from a dystopian fantasy by Phillip K. Dick, but it’s not — it really happened, in a court of law, in the city of Vienna, the country of Austria, in the Year of Our Lord 2011.
The reality of Modern Multicultural Europe has merged with dystopian fantasy. As Humpty-Dumpty said to Alice, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have stepped through the looking glass into a strange new world.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I appealed my conviction to the highest court in Austria, but lost. My final hope is the European Court of Human Rights, but that is a very lengthy and expensive process. My case is currently pending, and the final chapter of my story has yet to be written.
What I find interesting is that the story about Aisha was central in my case, just as it was with the case against Carl Herslow in Sweden. Mr. Herslow and I pointed out the same thing — that a middle-aged man should marry a little girl who plays with dolls is an abomination. We remind our fellow countrymen that this is something that all right-minded people find appalling.
Our descriptions of the issue are entirely based on the facts. There is no need to embroider the truth — it is laid out clearly in authentic hadith by the most authoritative Islamic scholars. Muslims believe that Mohammed had sex with a nine-year-old girl, and they also believe that Mohammed is the perfect man, to be emulated by all pious Muslims. This is why even today Muslim men routinely marry nine-year-old girls — and often much younger ones.
Carl Herslow and I simply felt that this story is one that the Western world should be told.
We never deviated from the truth. We never exaggerated the story or added false material to it. We told it like it was.
Yet to doing so is “denigrating the religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion” and “incitement against an ethnic group”.
How can this be? How can telling the simple truth about what Islamic scripture says insult that religion?
In order to understand, we need to take a brief look at Islamic law, or sharia. In particular we need to know what Islam means by “slander”. To a Muslim, the word means something entirely different than it does to you and me. We think of slander as a malicious lie told with the intent to harm another person. But that isn’t what Islamic law means when it mentions the word “slander”.
One of the best sources on Sunni Islamic law is an authoritative manual known as Reliance of the Traveller. In Chapter R, “Holding One’s Tongue”, we learn that “slander” means “to mention of your brother that which he would dislike.” Further on we are told:
“In fact, talebearing is not limited to that, but rather consists of revealing anything whose disclosure is resented… The reality of talebearing lies in divulging a secret, in revealing something confidential whose disclosure is resented. A person should not speak of anything he notices about people besides that which benefits a Muslim…”
That is, if you say anything that is resented by a Muslim or does not benefit him, then you have slandered him under sharia law. It doesn’t matter whether what you say is true or false, but only whether it makes Muslims look bad.
Muslims are quite aware that they look bad whenever the story of Mohammed and Aisha is told to non-Muslims. This is one of Islam’s dirty little secrets that must never be told to infidels. Its telling is resented by Muslims; therefore, those who tell it have slandered Islam.
And under sharia, the penalty for slandering Islam is death. This is the justification behind those infamous signs that say “Death to those who insult the prophet of Islam”.
Now we understand why my words, despite their truth, are considered slanderous by Islam. But the big question is this: Why is an Austrian court enforcing Islamic law?
Why does the court find it appropriate to apply the Islamic definition of slander in a case against an Austrian citizen?
As I mentioned earlier, the same interpretation was attempted in the case against Carl Herslow in Sweden, who fortunately escaped conviction. Similar cases are popping up all over Europe, in Australia, in Canada, and even in the United States. If you run afoul of Islamic slander, truth is no defense. The only consideration is whether what you said harms Muslims.
President Barack Hussein Obama made it clear that the same interpretation of the word “slander” is to be applied from now on in the USA when he said: “The future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”
By now it has become obvious that we are in the midst of a widespread, systematic and determined attempt by our political leaders to impose the Islamic law of slander against a hitherto free people. Why is that?
From Sydney to Helsinki, from Los Angeles to Vienna, the de facto imposition of Islamic law is underway. The right of free citizens to utter not just their opinions, but the truth itself, is being denied.
Why is the same thing happening throughout the West at the same time?
The answer, in a nutshell, is this: the infiltration of the political establishment by Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimeen, better known as the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood has been working assiduously since the 1970s to place members of its affiliated organizations in state, federal, and local government here in the United States, and within important transnational bodies and NGOs in the European Union. They have worked patiently and carefully for forty years, keeping their eyes on the long term. It is through their efforts that “jihad” and “Islam” were removed from the lexicon of FBI training manuals. They are the ones who made the term “Islamophobia” mainstream, caused the UN and the EU to equate religion and race, and convinced the EU to designate criticism of Islam as a hate crime.
The persuasive power of “tolerance”, “anti-racism”, and “diversity”, combined with the lure of petrodollars from the Gulf, have suborned our public officials.
We have reached the point where our elected officials, media people, and academics believe that the right of free speech does not apply to those who say bad things about Islam. Not even if those things are true.
And they even believe that this is the enlightened, liberal position to take!
Pushing back against the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda is very tough to do. It will be a long, difficult slog. Overcoming decades of indoctrination will require something close to deprogramming.
The fear of being called a racist has been drilled into the entire populace for many years by the promoters of Multiculturalism. The Muslim Brotherhood shrewdly transformed Islam into a “race” for legal purposes, thereby turning critics of Islam into “racists”. As a result, the man in the street experiences an almost instinctive aversion to saying or thinking anything about Islam that is not bland, positive, and nice.
Countering this entrenched reaction requires a patient, objective program to make people aware of the facts behind the Islamic drive for expansion. This drive is inherent in Islam; it is laid out clearly in the Koran and the Hadith, and it is mandatory for all faithful Muslims. The Islamization of Europe, Canada, Australia, and the United States is a direct application of the core teachings and legal code of Islam.
The most exhaustive material on Islamic doctrine and sharia may be found in the briefings given by U.S. Army Major Stephen Coughlin. To start the ball rolling, presentations based on Major Coughlin’s work might be given in places such as this congregation. You can talk to Rabbi Hausman to learn more about where to find Major Coughlin’s material.
But how to publicize such presentations? That’s the hard part! In general the media will not give our efforts an honest treatment. Those of us who have become prominent in this line of work have learned that fair coverage of what we do is almost unheard of.
As a result, we need to publicize our educational efforts by word-of-mouth and through the alternative media. Local news outlets are more likely to report honestly than the major national networks. Talk radio, social media, Facebook and Twitter, web forums — these are all ways to propagate useful information widely.
Yes, that means that everything you say will be also known by NSA, the CIA, the FBI, and all the other alphabet soup of federal government agencies. There’s nothing we can do about that.
But what we say here tonight is still quite legal — for now, anyway. Until Bill Killian reaches his goal of removing First Amendment protections from the criticism of Islam, our right to say these things is guaranteed by the United States Constitution. I’m not so lucky — I don’t have such a guarantee in Austria. Danes, Britons, Swedes, and Germans also lack that protection.
But you, as Americans, still have the privilege of the First Amendment.
The time to use that privilege is now, while you still can.
The free speech movement depends on people like you. We cannot expect our leaders or our media to preserve our freedoms — it’s up to us.
I’ll close with a quote from a well-known Swedish samizdat writer who writes under the pseudonym Julia Caesar. She has dedicated her life and her writings to exposing what has been done to her country without the consent of its people. In a recent essay called “We Changed Our Lives”, she writes:
We knew that no human being and no political system building their existence on lies could last forever.
We knew the truth always wins.
We knew the truth can break through quickly.
We knew the truth can take a long time and sometimes breaks through with violence.
We knew the truth had been replaced with new systems of lies.
We used to think about the orchestra playing onboard the sinking Titanic. We thought that the musicians perhaps felt a little better than those who ran around on deck in a state of panic. And we had no choice, for that matter. We simply couldn’t manage to watch our country going down.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have no choice. And time is short. The ship is closing in on the iceberg while the orchestra plays and dancers glide across the floor under the party lights.
It’s not just Sweden that’s going down, or the United States, or Austria. The entire Western world is steaming full speed ahead towards that iceberg.
Silence is not an option.
Nothing will keep me silent. I am adamant that my daughter and my daughter’s daughters shall never live as Islamic chattel.
It is our responsibility — the responsibility of all of us — to do what we can now, while change is still possible.
For previous posts on the “hate speech” prosecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, see Elisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.