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The UK Allows Wilders To Speak

Britain (finally) defended free speech, yet the reaction to Wilders — and a Muslim mob's death threats — showed how much trouble the UK has gotten itself into.

by
Aaron Elias

Bio

October 28, 2009 - 12:05 am

On October 16, Dutch MP Geert Wilders — well-known for his unadulterated opinions on Islamic ideology — was granted permission to speak in the UK at a press conference about what he termed the “Islamization of our societies.” Wilders has been under round-the-clock protection for the past five years after receiving many death threats over his provocative opinions. The controversial figure’s press conference was to take place on College Green opposite the Houses of Parliament, but it was hastily moved inside a nearby building when a crowd of Muslim protesters emerged. I was not surprised to see them bearing signs with sentiments such as “Freedom go to Hell” and “Islam is Superior.”

Many of the Muslim protesters found creative ways to get away with making death threats against Wilders while being interviewed by reporters for public television:

“He [Wilders] knows that the Islamic punishment [for insulting Mohammed] is capital punishment,” one Muslim protestor explained. “He would do well to take lessons from Theodore Van Gogh and others who faced the punishment.”

Theo Van Gogh, a filmmaker, was brutally murdered by an outraged Muslim on the streets of Amsterdam in broad daylight for the crime of making the short film Submission — a critical look at the treatment of women under Islam.

“If this were an Islamic state today, his [Wilders’] head would be on a stake,” another Muslim protester explained.

One protester — with the aid of a microphone and speakers — blared his message in front of the building containing Wilders, which was surrounded by a perimeter of police:

“Islam will conquer the UK. It will conquer Holland. It will conquer the world,” he declared, and had to pause to allow the mob surrounding him to cry chants of “Takbir!” and “Allahu Akbar!” before continuing. “We will see Israel destroyed. We will see the European crusaders destroyed, and we will see Islam dominate.”

Those who have been following the growing trend of the UK’s appeasement of Islamic radicals by allowing for the creation of Sharia banks and courts will understand the significance and positivity of allowing Wilders to speak inside the UK. Wilders was initially rebuffed in February when he was scheduled to screen his film Fitna — which focuses on the violence Muslims are urged to commit in the Koran and the actual violent acts they carry out — in the House of Lords. Indeed, Wilders himself hailed the event as a great moment for freedom of speech and thanked the UK for allowing him to express his viewpoint inside its borders. He was also very careful in explaining himself:

“I have a problem with the Islamic ideology, the Islamic culture,” he explained to a full room of reporters, “because I feel that the more Islam that we get in our societies, the less freedom that we get.”

“I have nothing against people, against individuals or groups,” he continued. “I am not extreme. I am not a racist.”

The instant Wilders finished his speech, the room erupted with a bombardment of questions from the reporters; only a handful were selected to speak. One questioned Wilders’ connecting the Koran to the September 11 attacks and Madrid bombings, as the Koran is a book written “hundreds and hundreds of years ago.”

“Some people will say it’s nonsense, it’s gibberish. You’re just an extreme racist,” the reporter concluded.

Unfortunately, the majority of the reporters’ questions followed in this vein, a disturbing testament to the ignorance of so many Britons about what is happening to their own culture from the inside out.

After the press conference, a Muslim protester outside the building expressed confusion to a reporter as to why Wilders would not emerge from the building to confront the angry Muslim mob. The protester also accused the “British government and the Dutch government and all these governments” of intentionally killing Muslims in Afghanistan.

“The message to him [Wilders] here today is to come out and face the Muslims,” the protestor said. “Come out for just two minutes and feel how the Islamic punishment should be on him.”

I don’t know about Wilders, but if there was an angry crowd outside my home chanting for my head to be put on a stake, I wouldn’t be in a real hurry to greet them.

Aaron Elias is a student at University of California Irvine. He writes for the campus' New University newspaper and blogs at The Wayward Infidel.
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