Wednesday, February 09, 2011
The Lights Are Going Out All Over Europe
By Geert Wilders
Editor's note: the following is a speech by Geert Wilders' delivered at the resumption of his trial on February 7th, 2011. Wilders is charged with inciting hatred and discrimination by speaking the truth about Islam
The lights are going out all over Europe. All over the continent where our culture flourished and where man created freedom, prosperity and civilization. Everywhere the foundation of the West is under attack.
All over Europe the elites are acting as the protectors of an ideology that has been bent on destroying us since the fourteenth century. An ideology that has sprung from the desert and that can produce only deserts because it does not give people freedom. The Islamic Mozart, the Islamic Gerard Reve [a Dutch author], the Islamic Bill Gates; they do not exist because without freedom there is no creativity. The ideology of Islam is especially noted for killing and oppression and can only produce societies that are backward and impoverished. Surprisingly, the elites do not want to hear any criticism of this ideology.
My trial is not an isolated incident. Only fools believe it is. All over Europe multicultural elites are waging total war against their populations. Their goal is to continue the strategy of mass-immigration, which will ultimately result in an islamic Europe – a Europe without freedom: Eurabia.
The lights are going out all over Europe. Anyone who thinks or speaks individually is at risk. Freedom loving citizens who criticize islam, or even merely suggest that there is a relationship between islam and crime or honour killing, must suffer and are threatened or criminalized. Those who speak the truth are in danger.
The lights are going out allover Europe. Everywhere the Orwellian thought police are at work, on the lookout for thought crimes everywhere, casting the populace back within the confines where it is allowed to think.
This trial is not about me. It is about something much greater. Freedom of speech is not the property of those who happen to belong to the elites of a country. It is an inalienable right, the birthright of our people. For centuries battles have been fought for it, and now it is being sacrificed to please a totalitarian ideology.
Future generations will look back at this trial and wonder who was right. Who defended freedom and who wanted to get rid of it.
The lights are going out all over Europe. Our freedom is being restricted everywhere, so I repeat what I said here last year:
It is not only the privilege, but also the duty of free people – and hence also my duty as a member of the Dutch Parliament – to speak out against any ideology that threatens freedom. Hence it is a right and a duty to speak the truth about the evil ideology that is called islam. I hope that freedom of speech will emerge triumphant from this trial. I hope not only that I shall be acquitted, but especially that freedom of speech will continue to exist in the Netherlands and in Europe.
More BBC bigotry
What does the BBC think of Radio 4's 10m loyal listeners? Too many are white, Southern and elderly. If you want to see how bigoted that is, just replace "white" with "black"
You might assume that being declared a ‘national treasure’ and boasting 10million listeners a week means Radio 4 is doing everything right. Yet the station’s output is still not good enough for the BBC Trust.
In a performance review, it has ruled Radio 4 needs more northern presenters, a younger audience and to improve its appeal to ethnic minorities.
But the verdict prompted a fury yesterday from listeners, broadcasters and politicians, who branded the Trust’s findings ‘ludicrous’ and ‘patronising’.
Today presenter John Humphrys said: ‘Radio 4 is not too white, too middle class or too old. You would have to be daft not to think about how to bring in the next generation of audiences, but it should be done through quality.
‘Our listeners come to us as they mature, but also because of the content. If I am doing an interview I don’t think about how to make it appeal to a 16-year-old or a 95-year-old – I think about doing the best job.’
Today is just one of the stalwart programmes on which Radio 4 has built its reputation. Others include The Archers, From Our Own Correspondent and Desert Island Discs, hosted by Kirsty Young.
The BBC Trust - the corporation’s governing body - is estimated to have spent £10,000 on a consultation with 16,795 licence fee payers on the quality, distinctiveness and value for money of Radios 4, 3 and digital station 7, which is to be rebranded Radio 4 Extra.
The report, by BBC trustee David Liddiment, acknowledged Radio 4 sets ‘a high standard for speech radio’ and is seen by many as a ‘national treasure’ – but claimed it still needed to change.
The station should find ‘ways to build loyalty amongst younger, lighter listeners’, and needs to be promoted ‘among minority ethnic opinion formers through special content and marketing events’. It should also ‘give greater exposure to presenters from the North’.
The report suggested ‘taking Radio 4 programmes to high-profile northern events and venues, such as Gardeners’ Question Time at Harlow Carr [gardens]’.
The Trust said there had been a decline in younger listeners – the so-called replenisher audience that will become its core audience in the future. Five years ago more than 30 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 tuned in to the station, but that figure is now 26.6 per cent.
Mr Liddiment, from Yorkshire, told Today: ‘The public reaction has been phenomenal. They love the station. There are two buts. The station as a whole has a huge skew to the South-East of England, people in the North do not listen anywhere near as much. ‘The replenisher audience are not listening as much as they were.’
But his verdict prompted wide-ranging anger. Former MP Ann Widdecombe said: ‘Radio 4 is probably the only thing that caters for middle-class, middle-aged audiences. There is precious little for us on television.’
And former Today presenter Jennie Bond, 60, said: ‘What on earth is wrong with being middle class? A lot of people are middle class.’
Conservative MP Philip Davies said: ‘This is ludicrous. The idea that people in the North will only listen if there are presenters that sound like them is patronising.’
It is not the first time the BBC has tried to force Radio 4 to ‘broaden its appeal’. In 1994, a ‘light’ afternoon talk show with Northern Irish presenter Gerry Anderson lasted less than a year after attracting thousands of complaints.
Tim Davie, the BBC’s director of audio and music, said yesterday: ‘We welcome the Trust’s recommendation that we continue to build the appeal of Radio 3 and Radio 4 amongst potential new listeners.’
Tackle 'extreme Islam before it's too late', Australian conservatives warn
AUSTRALIA risks becoming a nation of "ethnic enclaves" that unknowingly buys livestock slaughtered "in the name of Allah", senior Liberal MPs have warned.
Opening up a new political faultline, former immigration minister Kevin Andrews lashed out at political leaders who failed to speak out on the rise of extreme Islam, claiming the silence contributes to the rise of One Nation-type movements.
Another Liberal frontbencher, Mitch Fifield, warned of the danger of "parallel societies" developing as has occurred in Europe where hardline Muslim groups preached sharia law rather than Western values.
Amid a robust debate in Europe over failed "state multiculturalism", Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi warned Australia must avoid the mistakes of nations that allowed religious fanatics to prosper "before it is too late".
The Government and the Greens dismissed the fears, saying the nation should focus on the "positive" aspects of its diverse ethnic heritage.
"There is a risk (of enclaves) in Australia," Mr Andrews told the Herald Sun. "What actually concerns me the most is that we can't have a discussion about it."
Senator Bernardi warned of a growing "cultural divide" in Australia as hardline followers of Islam turned their backs on mainstream values.
He cited the advent of Muslim-only toilets at a Melbourne university and the halal method of meat slaughter as cultural practices that must be opposed. "I, for one, don't want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired in sixth century brutality and is anathema to my own values," he said.
Senator Fifield, the Coalition's spokesman on disability, said he agreed with former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett that Australians needed to guard against rising ethnic hatred. "Australians certainly revel in diversity and embrace different cultures but they expect everyone to integrate and sign up to mainstream values," he said.
But Labor's parliamentary secretary on immigration, Kate Lundy, dismissed these concerns. "The Australian community is uniquely diverse and we have a proud record of successfully leveraging the benefits of migration," she said.
Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young called on MPs to focus on positive aspects of our ethnic mix.
By Michael Danby, an Australian Labor Party member of the Federal lower house
On New Years Eve this year, Egypt’s Christians celebrated the coming of the New Year. As they began to leave the Saints Church in East Alexandria, Cairo, a large explosion went off. 22 men, women and children were killed, and 98 people severely injuring, a Jihadist suicide bomb ripped through the Alexandria’s premier Coptic Church
The Copts represents 10% of the 80 million people in Egypt, and are the largest Christian community remaining in the Middle East. They are a link to ancient Egypt, as their Coptic language is the last remnant of the language of the hieroglyphs. Their culture and traditions pre-date Islam. The attack was not isolated, and came after months of escalating violence against the Copts in Egypt.
Many of the victims of this atrocity attack have relatives here in Australia, where the Coptic Community is 80,000 strong. Violence against the Copts in the Middle East has had consequences here too. On Coptic Christmas (7th January) four churches in Sydney were listed amongst 64 worldwide as targets by Al Qaeda.
Like many Australian Jewish religious sites, they too were forced into intensive private and government security lockdown
The attack on the Coptic Church in Egypt, and the subsequent protests that followed the bombings were some of the first public signs that the Mubarak regime was losing control. This of course all predates the current upsurge against Mubarak.
No amount of Grecian 2000 hair dye can hide the fact that Egypt’s tyrant, Hosni Mubarak, is in his mid 80’s. Prior to the demonstrations against Mubarak, I argued in News Ltd online publication The Punch, that in the campaign against the Copts, coupled with the blatantly rigged parliamentary elections, meant the end of Hosni Mubarak’s scheme to install his son Gamal, laughably known as ‘Gary’, will not happen. Game over with that one.
Egypt’s security chief, Omar Solmain, now installed as Vice president may be able to perpetuate the relatively secularist Egyptian regime. It is possible that the army backed, pro-Western regime will collapse. Despite the identical parrot calls of Fairfax’s McGeough, Koutsoukis and Fisk, there is much doubt about whether the Muslim Brotherhood or even an ostensible secularist like Mohamed El Baredei would run Egypt any better.
ASPI’s Carl Ungerer was right to point out that an election that brings the brotherhood to power may be the last election Egypt has.
The dramatic attacks on the Coptic Christians in Egypt, had an immediate effect in Australia involving the Al Qaeda listing of four local Coptic churches. Surprisingly, back around New Year, none of our Australian, Jerusalem-based reporters ventured to Alexandria or Egypt over that period. They are all in Cairo now, but this news lapse wasn’t just an Australian phenomena. Jeffrey Goldberg writing in the Atlantic Monthly, noted what he thought was ”the lackadaisical coverage of the most important story coming out of the Middle East now.” It’s easier to report from the comfort of Jerusalem’s coffee shops or sound off about the dreadful Israeli’s with Palestine confederates at the cosy American Colony hotel.
Goldberg was right to see the wider murderous anti-Christian campaign in Egypt and Iraq, indeed as a phenomenon throughout the Middle East. Just last October, Al Qaeda boasted of its slaughter in a Baghdad church. There Jihadists murdered 58 men, women and children in church, including priests praying at the altar; 80% of Iraqi Christians have fled the country targeted particularly by Al Qaeda of Iraq.
Christians are under siege from Islamist in the Palestinian territories. Only in Lebanon where the disgraceful Christian warlord General Aoun is in alliance with Hezbollah is there a brief reprieve for Nasrerllah’s benighted Christian collaborator . With his assistance, Iran via Hezbollah been able to install their proxy, Najib Mikati, as Prime Minister of Lebanon.
Counter intuitively to the perverse BBC/Guardian/Fairfax worldview about the Middle East, only Israel has seen the number of Christians increase from 34,000 in 1948 to 151,700 (according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics Report of 2010). Where is World Vision, Care or the Uniting Church, off on the same tangent with Israel-obsessed radicals of the Middle East Council of Christians?
In contrast, Pope Benedict insisted that: “Government’s do more to protect religious minorities.” Mubarak’s maladroit response was to withdraw the Egyptian Ambassador to the Vatican. Pope Benedict argued “Words are not enough in confronting religious intolerance, there must be a concrete and constant effort by the world’s nations”. US President Obama and French President Sarkozy also specifically denounced the anti-Coptic violence. There were questions about whether Australia had spoken out loudly enough. Although a delegation of senior Labor politicians led by Federal Minister Martin Ferguson, in which I participated, had a very useful meeting with the Coptic Bishop and most of Melbourne’Coptic Ministers.
Waheed Ra'fat, one of the managing editors of Mubarak’s NDP’s Al-Watani Al-Yom publication, with the usual diversionary and delusional , reacted to the attack on the Copts as follows:
"Mossad is the accused because it stands to benefit most from distracting Egypt's attention from what is going to happen in South Sudan on January 9]. .. The Mossad has a strategy of instigating fitna [civil war, disagreement and division within Islam."
Just as local Egyptian writer Mona Eltahawy writes: “Meanwhile, the uprisings are curing the Arab world of its obsession with Israel. Successive Arab dictators have tried to keep discontent at bay by distracting people with the Israeli-Arab Conflict.”
She obviously had in mind the Governor of Sinai who said Egyptian officials believed that a fatal shark attack in one of their resorts could have been a “plot” by the Mossad. And remember Saudi authorities arrested “a Zionist vulture” last month, in reality a bird tagged in a Haifa University bird migration experiment.
Peter Day, writing in the Australian Spectator, noted the violence against Egypt’s Christians meant its fate was on the line.
“Hani Shukrallah, an independent journalist and former editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram, writes in the paper that an Egypt free of its ancient Christian Coptic minority is for the first time not beyond his imagining. He hopes to be dead before that: ‘This will be an Egypt which I do not recognise and to which I have no desire to belong’.”
Sadly we need to be aware that the Middle East faces something wider even then the fate of Egypt. It is another aspect of Al Qaeda Jihadist war- the systematic attempt to drive Christianity out of the Middle East. This organised attack on Middle East Christians is but a part of the Salafist war waged against the world. It is fought by their many satellites and franchises from the Algerian “Salafist front of the Combat and Call”, to “Jemah Islamiya” in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Home grown Jihadists are what we in Australia have to fear the most. Fortunately for Australia, our security agencies and laws have so far foiled all attempts of terror attacks on mainland Australia. Even if all Jewish and Coptic sites in Australia have to remain highly guarded, it may be necessary so Australia continues to avoid mass causality attacks.
Don’t blame tolerance for Britain's multicultural mess
David Cameron is right to slam multiculturalism, but wrong to blame tolerance for fostering today’s lily-livered non-judgmentalism
British prime minister David Cameron’s rejection of state-sponsored multiculturalism is long overdue. He is right to say that it is divisive and corrosive. However, he shouldn’t blame the problems of multiculturalism on tolerance. Throughout his speech, given on Saturday at a security conference in Munich, he mistakenly argued that tolerance was responsible both for the failure of multiculturalism and for the growth in Islamic terrorism. ‘Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism’, he said.
But what is ‘passive tolerance’? Tolerance is anything but passive. Tolerance requires courage, conviction and a commitment to freedom - key characteristics of a confident and active public ethos. Tolerance upholds freedom of conscience and individual autonomy. It affirms the principle of non-interference in people’s inner lives, in their adherence to certain beliefs and opinions. And so long as an act does not harm others or violate their moral autonomy, tolerance also demands no constraints on behaviour that is related to the exercise of individual autonomy. From this perspective, tolerance represents the extent to which people’s beliefs and behaviours are not subject to institutional and political interference or restraint.
One compelling reason why a truly open society should support tolerance is because we recognise that it is through the clash of conflicting views and opinions that truth is gained. Even erroneous views, in the act of their being challenged, can contribute to the overall clarity of public life. It is not easy to be tolerant. It requires a willingness to tolerate views that one considers offensive, and a preparedness to accept that no idea should be beyond question. That is why tolerance shouldn’t simply be seen as an intellectual pursuit - it also requires cultural, societal support. Because the capacity to tolerate requires that society takes freedom seriously. Tolerating beliefs that are hostile to ours demands a degree of confidence in our own convictions and also a disposition to take risks. Tolerance encourages the freedom of individuals to pursue certain beliefs, and it gives society more broadly an opportunity to gain insights into the truth through encouraging a clash of ideas.
So when Cameron complains that, as a result of multicultural policies, mainstream British society has ceased to criticise and condemn the retrograde views and practices of minority communities, he should not point the finger of blame at tolerance – passive or otherwise.
Multiculturalism has nothing to do with true tolerance.
Multiculturalism demands not tolerance but indulgent indifference. It relentlessly promotes the idea of ‘acceptance’ and discourages the questioning of other people’s beliefs and lifestyles. Its dominant value is non-judgmentalism. Yet judging, criticising and evaluating are all key attributes of any open-minded, democratic society worth its name. It is crucially important to rescue the concept of tolerance from its confused association with multiculturalism.
In contemporary public debate, the important connection between tolerance and judgment is in danger of being lost. The word ‘tolerance’ is now used interchangeably with the term ‘non-judgmental’. While a reluctance to judge other people’s behaviour has some attractive qualities, it is not necessarily a manifestation of social tolerance. All too often, non-judgmentalism is synonymous with not caring about the fate of others. Yet the precondition of a working democratic public sphere is openness to conversation and debate. Reflecting on our differences with other points of views, letting them know where we stand and what we find disagreeable in their opinions… that is the very stuff of vibrant democracy. Without it, tolerance turns into shallow indifference, an excuse for switching off when others talk.
The confusion of the concept of tolerance with the idea of acceptance of all lifestyles is strikingly illustrated by UNESCO’s Declaration on the Principles of Tolerance. It says: ‘Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.’ UNESCO also claims that tolerance is ‘harmony in difference’. For UNESCO, toleration becomes an expansive, diffuse sensibility that automatically offers unconditional respect for different views and cultures.
The reinterpretation of tolerance as non-judgmentalism or indifference is often seen as a positive thing; apparently, open-minded people are non-judgmental. In truth, the gesture of affirmation and acceptance can be seen as a way of avoiding making difficult moral choices, and a way of disengaging from the challenge of explaining which values are worth upholding. It is far easier to dispense with moral judgment entirely than to explain why a certain way of life is preferable to another way of life that should be tolerated, yes, but not embraced. That is probably why the indulgent indifference of multiculturalism has gained so much traction in recent decades: in Britain and many other European societies, multiculturalism has spared governments the hassle of having to spell out the principles underpinning their way of life.
Evading the problem
To his credit, after noting that state multiculturalism has encouraged the segregation of different cultures, Cameron touched upon an uncomfortable truth - which is that ‘we have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong’. The absence of such a vision is not accidental, since multiculturalism requires that no system of values be regarded as superior to any other or looked upon as the desirable norm. In the multicultural outlook, the absence of a vision for society is not a failure, but an accomplishment.
In any serious discussion of the problem of cultural integration, the focus should surely be on the failure to outline, and give meaning to, the values that bind society together. It is always tempting to point the finger of blame at professional extremists for radicalising young Muslims, for example. But what is often overlooked is that it is not so much the lure of radicalism that causes these problems as it is society’s own reluctance to engage with and inspire its citizens.
For some time now, many European societies have found it difficult to forge a consensus through which they might affirm their past achievements and the basic values they uphold. Traditional symbols and conventions have lost much of their power to enthuse and inspire; in some cases they have become irrevocably damaged. This is strikingly illustrated in the constant controversy that surrounds the teaching of history. When the leading generation senses that the stories and ideals it was brought up on have ‘lost their relevance’ in our changed world, it finds it very difficult to transmit those stories and ideals with conviction to its children. Bitter disputes about historical rights and wrongs really reflect competing claims about interests and identities.
How to hold an intergenerational conversation in these circumstances is a question that society is unwilling to pose, never mind try to answer. Nevertheless, policymakers and educators intuitively recognise that this question needs to be addressed, somehow, and they are frequently forced to respond to the demand for values and traditions that can be imparted to children. Yet the provision of ‘relevant’ values, on demand, rarely succeeds - because unlike the conventions that were organically linked to the past, these values tend to be artificial, if well-meaning, constructs that are open to challenge. Unlike customs and conventions that are held sacred, constructed values must be regularly justified. The very fact that they were self-consciously invented draws people’s attention to the possibility of constructing alternative histories and traditions.
Back in 2006, the then UK chancellor Gordon Brown announced plans to launch a British Day in order to ‘focus on things that bring us together’. However, spelling out what binds society proved far too challenging a task, and the idea of British Day was dropped in October 2008. The government’s quiet retreat on this issue really represented an acknowledgement of the fact that national traditions that might inspire the public cannot be invented in committee meetings or through consultation with ‘stakeholders’. If society is itself unsure about what it stands for, then it is not surprising that schools lack the ability to talk about the soul of society.
A new curriculum for 11- to 14-year-olds launched in June 2007 said that ‘pupils will learn shared values and study national identity in the UK’. However, in the absence of any clarity about what constitute shared values today, teachers were worried about whether they could handle what they perceived to be a controversial subject. A survey of teachers’ attitudes to the teaching of patriotism found that one reason why they were apprehensive was because of ‘an uncertainty about how appropriate it is to promote patriotic attachment to Britain to immigrant students with existing attachments to their countries of origin’. The survey found that only 13 per cent of teachers interviewed believed that schools should ‘actively promote patriotism’. The reluctance of these educators to promote ‘patriotism’ could be interpreted as evidence of their lack of attachment to British values - but it is far more likely that their attitude expressed anxiety about teaching what they perceive to be a confusing, troublesome and difficult subject.
This confusion about what binds a community together took on a caricatured form in 2008 when the New Labour government quietly shelved a plan to publish a national song-book for primary school children. The government wanted to publish a collection of 30 songs that every 11-year-old should know, but the idea was rejected as ‘too divisive’. Gareth Malone, a leading figure in Sing-Up, the organisation charged with seeing this project through, noted that the experts couldn’t agree on which songs to include in the collection. Malone described it as a ‘hot potato, culturally’ and added that ‘you have to be realistic… you can’t be too culturally imperialist about it’. In the end, officials chose to evade the controversy that publishing a common song-book would have provoked, and opted instead to establish a ‘song bank’ of 600 songs.
If a society is too embarrassed to publish a list of national songs, how can it expect different communities to sing from the same sheet? There is little point in continuing to blame multiculturalism for the profound problems we face today. By all means let’s put an end to state-sponsored multiculturalism, because that would at least allow us to face up to the underlying problem: society’s crisis of values and of meaning. But let’s not diminish our commitment to the pursuit of tolerance. Tolerance remains an important virtue because it takes human beings very seriously. Through encouraging people to voice their beliefs, it helps create the kind of dialogue necessary for shared experiences and meanings.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.