Searchlight - August 2009
After several postponements by the Danish government of a planned conference on freedom of speech, the Danish branch of the Free Press Society (FPS) invited Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders to Copenhagen to stage his own conference on Free Speech and Islam on 14 June.
The Danish and International FPS ostensibly stand for freedom of speech, but their main concern appears to be opposition to Islam. The Danish branch claims it has 750 members who financially sponsor the organisation but besides this income it tries to generate extra funds by selling copies Kurt Westergaard's infamous Mohamed cartoon for € 188 (£160) apiece.
In Copenhagen, Wilders spoke in a room at the Danish parliament and lashed out at social democrats in Europe, claiming, "It is the socialists who are responsible for mass immigration, Islamisation and the general decay of our cities and societies. It is the socialists who are responsible for the fact that cities such as Rotterdam, Marseille and Malmö seem to be situated in Eurabia rather than in Europe." Wilders uses the term "Eurabia" because he believes that migration and demography are part of an Islamic doctrine aimed at conquering Europe.
Wilders' speech was punctuated by cheering and ended with several standing ovations after he had used a welter of statistics and quotations to "prove" that "many of the Muslims in Europe" want to implement Shariah Law.
He later summed up his solutions, but not before labeling "the canary in the coal mine" Israel, as the Western frontline in the battle against the Islamic world. "The jihad against Israel is a jihad against us all".
Wilders wants European countries to amend to the constitutions to say that "The European cultural foundation is Judeo-Christian and Humanistic in nature", to stop mass immigration from Muslim countries and promote voluntary repatriation, to expel criminal foreigners and, after denaturalisation, criminals with dual nationality. Further measures he proposed included the closure of Islamic schools - "because they are fascist institutions" - and the closure of radical mosques and a ban on the construction of new ones.
Questioned by his audience about families, who arrange forced marriages. Wilders answered that the whole of any family doing should be deported, as well as families who carry out "honour killings" or female circumcision. "They will be kicked out! At once!" he roared.
Outside the Netherlands, especially in Israel, Denmark and the USA, Wilders is wilder in his statements than when he is in the Netherlands.
When he gave an interview on Danish TV on 13 June, he told Europe's Muslims: "When you obey the law and adhere to our values, then you are very welcome to stay and we will even help you. But if not, if you commit a crime, if you begin to think about jihad and Sharia, there is only one solution: we will send you packing the same day, you can pack your bags and we will strip you of your nationality." To a repeated question from the interviewer about how many Muslims he was talking about, Wilders would only answer vaguely "Millions, tens of millions".
Geert Wilders is not allowed by the British authorities to be present at the hearing of the appeal he lodged against the British government for refusing him entry to the UK in February. The Home Office wrote to him at the time: "Your presence in the UK would pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society…your statements about Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film Fitna and elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the UK."
Wilders can, however, take part by video link in the hearing of his appeal and no doubt hopes to turn the defeat of his exclusion into a victory for "freedom of speech".
Jeroen Bosch for Alert! and Antifa-Net