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Geert Wilders’ Fight – by Veronique Chemla
Posted By Veronique Chemla On April 13, 2009 @ 11:41 pm In FrontPage | 1 Comment
Bat Ye’or is the world’s foremost authority on dhimmitude and Eurabia. She is the author of Islam and Dhimmitude – Where Civilizations Collide. Her recent study, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, came out in a Hebrew version in 2008, while her next book will soon be published by an Italian publisher.
Véronique Chemla: Bat Ye’or, welcome to FrontPage Interview. It is an honor to speak with you. Let’s begin Eurabia. Is there a difference between the American and French versions?
Bat Ye’or: Yes, the French version is shorter. I rewrote the book in French while I was staying at hospital with my daughter who had been operated for cancer. I was absolutely exhausted and finally collapsed: I just could not work any longer. Fortunately, on his side, the French publisher wanted an abridged version. I cut out the parts concerning international and American politics and added some information about how the EU and its bodies work, which is not included in the American edition as it wouldn’t have interested an American public. Remember that Eurabia was written primarily for an American, non-European audience, based on an article published in a French Jewish journal Observatoire du monde juif and which I didn’t know where to submit as it had become so long. Fortunately my friend Shmuel Trigano took it. It was another friend, Andrew Bostom, an American, who – after reading a translation on my site – insisted I make a book of it. He even found me an American literary agent. I pushed off the idea of writing yet another book as I had just finished Islam and Dhimmitude. I was flabbergasted by the success of the Eurabia article, which took off like a rocket on the Internet and spread in several languages at an incredible speed. I never thought to publish it in Europe – still less in Israel – as I am pretty well boycotted as an author in European politically correct circles, and especially by the French.
Véronique Chemla: Referring to the Hebrew edition, is there a difference with the American and French versions?
Bat Ye’or: Yes, it was published in 2008 and the publisher had asked me for an updated version with the last events.
Véronique Chemla: How was Eurabia greeted in Israel, in Hebrew?
Bat Ye’or: Very well, to my great surprise! First of all, it was the Israeli publisher who approached me – a rarity, as I usually have great difficulty finding a publisher. I didn’t take his request seriously. It seemed so unreal, as I was preoccupied with my daughter and her illness at the time, and with my book Islam and Dhimmitude in the United States, while my conference agenda was full with lectures in languages I’m not comfortable in English and Italian. After the publication of the article and the book Eurabia, I was invited to Israel to participate in conferences, give interviews and even to go on TV.
I was surprised at the success of Eurabia as for me it was not a political theme but an historical research on the source and mechanism of a fundamental and irreversible change in Europe, coupled with the contemporary expression of dhimmitude, my research theme since thirty years. I had even suggested to some friends, who I would consider more competent than me and with more time that they write the book. I would have supplied them with all my documentation. But they refused, so I took in on myself in spite of all. I never thought it would provoke such scandal.
Véronique Chemla: Dutch Parliamentarian and Fitna’s director Geert Wilders was invited to a debate on freedom of speech which was to follow a Fitna screening at the House of Lords, on January 29. Lord Ahmed of Rotherham and Muslim leaders opposed that screening. Geert Wilders was denied entry to the UK at Heathrow Airport on February 12: British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith alleged Wilder’s views “would threaten community security and therefore the public security”. Foreign Secretary David Miliband judged Fitna as a “hateful film” although he had never viewed it. His Dutch counterpart, Maxime Verhagen, insisted that Wilders be allowed as a Dutch MP to travel freely in the European Union (EU). Dutch and British media protested against the violation of freedom of speech…
Bat Ye’or: There are three main aspects to this issue.
First, Geert Wilders didn’t violate Dutch and European laws in exercising his freedom of opinion. His movie, Fitna, which David Miliband vilified without having seen it — that’s the limit! –reproduces the Islamists’ own scenes and ’statements.
Second, forbidding entry to a European MP for his opinions contravenes the European law and is an affront to the Dutch people. It is grave, the EU is trying to cement a crumbling unity.
Concerning the alleged motive – incitement to hatred which would threaten public security-, the British government wasn’t as punctilious during the Euro-Palestinian Kristallnach where shouts were heard of “Death to the Jews!”, “Death to Israel”, “Flee, you cowards, Kuffar (“miscreant” in Arabic).”
Third, this event reveals the extent of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) influence over Great Britain, and generally on the entire political, media and cultural Europe.
Véronique Chemla: What is also troubling is the circumstance in which the decision was taken to cancel the showing and the debate. I mean, when Lord Nazir Ahmed met with the Government Chief Whip of the House of Lords and Leader of the House of Lords, representatives from the Muslim Council of Britain, British Muslim Forum and other representatives from the British Muslim community on January 23. Lord Ahmed had said he was “appalled” a knighthood was given to Salman Rushdie, “a man who has not only been abusive to Muslims, but also to Christians”. He welcomed Wilders’s ban as “a victory for the Muslim community”. Is that banning a defeat for democracy?
Bat Ye’or: Yes, of course! But one is forgetting that Eurabia is no longer Europe and that we’ll always go in the direction of a more sharia-conform society. This change, so marked in Britain, is the fruit of ten years of Blairism.
Véronique Chemla: On June 30, 2008, the Dutch Prosecutor had declared that Geert Wilders’s speeches on Muslims didn’t justify any legal proceedings as they were inscribed in the context of “a public debate”. On January 21, 2009, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, referred to by plaintiffs, ordered the Prosecutor to bring proceedings against Wilders for “hate and discrimination” and in the “general interest”: “Muslim believers were insulted by Geert Wilders’s comparing Islam with Nazism”. On February 3, Geert Wilders said he will appeal to the Supreme Court…
Bat Ye’or: The Koran has very insulting and violent verses against Jews, Christians and Pagans—to whom Christians are often assimilated (mushrikûn). You can’t pretend to ignore them as that would imply assent and the Judeo-Christian West’s acceptance of them as justified and correct.
If we admit our nature is satanic, we legitimize the war led against us and the dhimmitude which aims to remove our capacity to cause harm, through our subjection and vulnerability. By doing so, we too accept that one religion – Islam – is superior to all others, with its right to decree Good and Evil, and its divine election for world governance
It is therefore imperative not to conceal those assertions, and necessary to denounce them, for silence implies consent.
In addition, if Muslims feel insulted by Geert Wilders’s remarks, they should admit that Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims feel the same by religious texts which criminalize them and doom them all to Hell.
But, they don’t admit so, because the Koran, unlike the Bible, is uncreated, consubstantial with the divine nature, and therefore cannot include errors. Its judgments are without appeal, not subject to any criticism and as true as Allah. In other words, we should not feel insulted by the denunciation of our demoniac nature, for it is the Truth itself. We should admit it, rather, and improve ourselves by conversion.
Geert Wilders’s action is inserted in a religious and political debate that a majority of Europeans asks for and is refused by their governments and the EU. These Europeans feel their own governments betray and fight them, whereas elected to be the guardians of their values and freedoms. It is a very serious situation, particularly now in this recessionary period, and could lead to excesses.
Geert Wilders has become the transformed herald of that widespread discontent. Pilgrim of Law and Freedom, sentenced to death by a law foreign to Europeans and which appalls the human conscience, Geert Wilders goes from one country to another, unarmed, alone, courageously facing up to governments influenced by the OIC’s occult power to tell people : “Wake up, it’s five to midnight!”
But when you learn of the disproportionate reaction to his message in an atmosphere of witch-hunts against freethinkers and intellectuals, in the shameful Euro-Palestinian Kristallnacht sweeping across Europe with impunity, shouting hate and death, it is in fact one to midnight.
Véronique Chemla: Geert Wilders has toured in the United States for a showing of his movie. Did you meet him?
Bat Ye’or: Yes, as luck would have it, our paths crossed, at New York. I didn’t know he was there, and I had been invited to lecture at Columbia University. My husband and I dined with him and his companions. I admire his courage and his devotion to Europe’s basic freedoms against the irresistible Eurabian tide, represented especially by the Left – though not only. Wilders does not stand-alone; there are many Muslims and apostates at the forefront of this struggle and who risk their lives with remarkable abnegation.
I hope that someday a book will come out on this struggle and these friends of freedom, of respect for the human being, for democracy, and that Europeans will acknowledge their debt to those who have come from other parts and freely chosen to offer the best of themselves. I’m thinking especially of the Anglican canon and writer Patrick Sookhdeo , a good friend, whose books are fiercely criticized, in spite of the quality of the information he provides and of the arguments he puts forward; or Sam Salomon with his impeccable scholarship, or Mohammed Sifaoui, and so many others.
Véronique Chemla: Senator Jon Kyl decided to screen Fitna in the Capitol. Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison protested against that screening. He said “it is inappropriate to use the United States Capitol as a venue for the condemnation of an entire religion.” That same day, Senator John Kerry was to hold a hearing entitled, “Engaging with Muslim Communities around the World”. Wilders proposed a European First Amendment…
Bat Ye’or: The trouble is that one just has to face up to the fact that there are negative opinions in Muslim writings on Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims. And it is pertinent, for they determine the aggressive policies and behavior of Muslim peoples. If we want to achieve peace, we cannot hide these uncomfortable aspects: they must be exposed and discussed. If Muslims don’t want to hear about it or discuss the issues, that’s their problem; but they cannot stop Westerners getting to know these writings that concern them all too directly, and to act accordingly.
Véronique Chemla: The EU condemned the “disproportionate Israeli response” to Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians. What do you think of that unanimous position against the Cast Lead Operation targeting an Islamist terrorist organization?
Bat Ye’or: The Israeli defensive reply to continuing attacks from the Gaza Strip revealed a wide phenomenon, of unequal amplitude, totalitarian by its extent, coherence and coordination by the EU institutions.
Véronique Chemla: Are you speaking of the pro-Hamas demonstrations?
Bat Ye’or: Not only the demonstrations, political speeches, biased information, academic boycott, hostility towards Jewish pupils, —Palestinianized Europe revealed with an extraordinary cohesion and uniformity its repulsion for Israel, a democracy that defends its citizens and territory against the assaults of jihadist terrorism.
This movement is part of the EU-OIC network—States, international organizations, universities, media, books, NGOs, all denying the causes of terrorism—, which infuses dhimmitude through their numerous capillaries through all pores of the EU.
Dhimmitude is the future of Europe, which only functions in that perspective.
Véronique Chemla: During the Cast Lead Operation, thousands of people participated in pro-Hamas rallies all over the US, Canada, Europe, etc. You compare those hateful demonstrations with Kristnallnacht. Why?
Bat Ye’or: It was the same hatred, the same violence. The “commandos”, mainly Muslims, were well surrounded by leftist Europeans and politicians. They sported the Palestinian killers’ kuffieh, symbol of Europe’s destruction, just as the Nazi symbols were worn, rallying signs of a policy intent on the destruction of Judaism and which covered Europe in ashes.
Véronique Chemla: How would you characterize the OIC?
Bat Ye’or: The OIC is a transnational organization which gathers 57 Muslim states or with a majority of Muslims, and 1.3 billion Muslims.
It’s unique in its conception and goals: like the Caliphate, it unites political, religious and legislative powers.
It aims at unifying the world Oumma by taking its roots in the Koranic and Sunna values and teachings.
We could say that the OIC is the antithesis of the EU which promotes the separation of politics and religion, secular law, secular political life and international relations. Like the EU, the OIC includes many institutions, among them an International Islamic Court of Justice and a Permanent Commission of Human Rights based on the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (1990).
These institutions and all the OIC organs have to comply with Islamic values and Sharia injunctions.
To sum up, the OIC re-establishes the Caliphate, but on a global scale.
The emergence of the Caliphate explains Turkey’s tougher stance. The current Islamist government of Turkey, a country which, for almost five centuries, had been the seat of the Caliphate, is to get a prominent role in the universal Oumma leadership.
Véronique Chemla: The OIC wants “blasphemy” or “defamation of religion” as well as “Islamophobia” to be condemned by international organizations, and to prevent any critical discussion of Islam. Why? What are the consequences of that privileged status?
Bat Ye’or: The OIC aims to impose laws and penalties punishing Islamophobia on the UN and Western which Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan assimilates to a crime against humanity.
Refusing entry in the GB to Geert Wilders expresses Prime Minister Gordon Brown support to the OIC’s claims.
Islamophobia is not limited by critical discussion of Islam as a religion, but it also includes all the aspects of Muslim immigration in Europe, laws on asylum, the status of migrants, their political, religious, social and religious rights, as well as security and anti-terrorist measures in the West.
The OIC having granted itself a right of guardianship and protection over all immigrant Muslim communities, its power of interference on laws, politics, secondary and university education, research programs, and generally speaking on European lives, is huge and multiform.
It has to be emphasized that the EU governments which promoted a peace based on multiculturalism and multilateralism, welcome very favorably the OIC interferences in all those fields.
It seems difficult to define blasphemy in concrete terms. Does it concern divinity? Faith? The conglomerate of religious beliefs and superstitions stratified by centuries, or the resulting laws?
We also could judge blasphemous the Muslim depreciation of the Bible, assimilated to gossip without any sacred aspect and falsifying the Islamic truth. That’s Geert Wilders’ opinion. Geert Wilders underlines for that reason how difficult is the traditionalist Muslim integration in Judeo-Christian societies.
Due to the religious indifference in the West, the notion of blasphemy has become obsolete.
But, it seems that the OIC pressures to impose it again in the international organizations and in daily life of Europeans have brought us back to the Middle-Ages.
Véronique Chemla: What is the link between demanding respect for Islam, which is included in blasphemy, and dhimmitude?
Bat Ye’or: That demand is one of the pillars of dhimmitude.
It inspired a great number of Islamic laws with no equivalence in Christendom. Those laws were intended to establish the supremacy of Islam in the dhimmis’ slightest daily behavior.
The irreligious Europe can imagine living in the 21th century; it evolves in fact in the static strategic conception UE/OIC dating 8th century: jihad (dar al-harb).
Véronique Chemla: On January 14, representatives of the 24 States’ Parliaments of the OIC condemned in Istanbul (Turkey) the Cast Lead Israeli Operation in the Gaza Strip and demanded an immediate cease-fire…
Bat Ye’or: More than the fight against Islamophobia, the fight against Israel shares a central place in the OIC policy.
Besides, article 21 of its Charter (March, 2008) plans the relocation of its headquarters from Djeddah to al-Qods, name given to Jerusalem by Arab colonization.
In that perspective, al-Qods was named as the capital of Arab culture in 2009.
The OIC is entirely dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood spirit. It supports not only Hamas, but also all Muslim insurgency groups considered as forms of resistance and liberation against “occupation, humiliation and oppression” on the Palestinian pattern.
It supports the Muslims’ fight in the South Philippines, in the “occupied” Kashmir, in the South Thailand, as well as the Muslim minorities’ interests in the Myanmar Republic, in India, in Western Thrace (Greece) and the Muslim’s ones in the Balkans, in the Caucasus, China, Kosovo, “Palestine”, the Muslim Turkish people in Cyprus, of Azerbaijan against “the Armenian aggression”.
Faithful to the jihadist interpretation of international relations, OIC can only qualify the Israel existence and its defensive war as an aggression.
Besides, western media used words “Israeli aggression against Gaza” which revealed its subordination to the OIC, because Cast Lead Operation was a reply to continuing Hamas attacks. Portraying Israel as a permanent aggressor fits in the jihadist idea in which the infidel is always the aggressor.
Véronique Chemla: The 8th Islamic Conference of Ministers of Information issued the “Rabat Declaration” which stressed a common Islamic action in the media. We must keep in mind the Islamic Mass Media Charter (Jakarta, 1980) which is very different from the Declaration of Duties and Rights of Journalists (Munich, 1971). The “Rabat Declaration” condemned Israel’s “arbitrary limitations to prevent journalists from informing about massacres and demolitions”.
Bat Ye’or: At The Mecca Summit (December, 2005), OIC issued recommendations, among them several concerning media and development of a media strategy including an intellectual and humanist narrative to which international journalists would be associated.
A committee composed of VIPs stayed up to define goals and topics of that campaign. It proposed to condemn expressions like “war against terrorism”, “Islamic terrorism”, and advocated drawing the attention of the international community to the dangers posed by Zionism, neo-conservatism, and radical Christian evangelism, as well as Jewish, Hindu and secular extremism, in the context of international affairs and terrorism. The committee pushed the notion that terrorism derives from poverty humiliation and despair.
Another tactic consisted in convincing Western public opinion that military means would never win over terrorism – that is war -, and only “dialogue”, that is multilateralism and its concessions to dhimmitude treaties would restore peace.
Those OIC and its organs’ media themes, such as ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), are propitiatorily recited by western politicians and journalists – in a nutshell, there is a perfect symbiosis between OIC and some EU official trends, especially those attached to the countless Dialogues, Forums and Alliances which make up the UE/OIC co-governance network.
Véronique Chemla: In 2006, the UE was elaborating a “lexicon” for EU politicians and officials’ communication on terrorism and Islam. For instance, “Islamic terrorism” would be banned. Instead, “terrorists who abusively invoke Islam” would be used. In 2008, British government renamed Islamic terrorism as “anti Islamic activities” and the Bush administration was working on a “lexicon” in order not “to legitimize” and not “to offense moderate Muslims”. The OIC edicted a convention on “Combating International Terrorism” …
Bat Ye’or: The problem was that the OIC and the West did not have the same definition of terrorism. The jihadists who attack in Israel, Jammu and Kashmir, Armenia and elsewhere, are called “resistance fighters against the occupation” in the pure jihad tradition that requires the expansion of the Land of Islam. The West has ceded yet again to the IOC demands, whose purpose is to outlaw criticism of Islam.
Véronique Chemla: What are the effects of the OIC resolutions upon the EU?
Bat Ye’or: The EU and the OIC cooperate at all levels and in all fields.
That policy is in line with the European strategy to promote an international order based on multilateralism, international organizations and first of all the United Nations.
The OIC and its clients or allies, in particular the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), set up majorities in international organizations, so we can say we are coming into the era of the worldwide power of the Caliphate, a success which Europe may proudly claim, as it has largely contribute to it.
Véronique Chemla: In February 19, 2009, Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, “expressed serious concerns about the application of the Sharia Law concerning family and inheritance matters to Muslim Greek citizens in Thrace, by Muftis appointed by the Greek state”. “Given the issues of incompatibility of this practice with European and international human rights standards, it is necessary to overhaul this practice and strengthen the substantive review and control by domestic courts of the Muftis’ judicial decisions”, Hammarberg said …
Bat Ye’or: I agree with Hammarberg, but with the spread of the Muslim population across Europe and the reinforcement of the OIC’s power, it is clear that we are heading towards an Islamization of European law and culture. The OIC is asking Greece to take all necessary measures to respect the rights and the cultural identity of Greek Muslims, and this includes religious laws and the sharia.
Véronique Chemla: Muslim “Bridges TV” founder Muzzammil Hassan beheaded his wife, Aasiya Z. Hassan. He is suspected to have committed an honor killing. Dozens of women are murdered in honor killings every year in Sharia-ruled Chechnya; that is contrary to the Russian constitution. In her recent remarkable in-depth study Phyllis Chesler distinguishes honor killings from domestic violence. How do you explain so many people are reluctant to correctly qualify honor killings in West? Is it because of ignorance?
Bat Ye’or: No, it is self-censorship.
Véronique Chemla: Since he took his oath as “Barack Hussein Obama” in January 21, 2009, President Barack Obama has revealed his personal links to Islam. In his inaugural address, he defined America as “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers.”, which downgraded American Jews, and was spiritually and historically untrue.
President Obama’s first call was to talk to Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. His first interview was given to al-Arabiya. He declared he hoped to restore “respect and partnership” that had prevailed 20 or 30 years ago. On February 1st, he “expressed his staunch confidence in the ability of the US and the OIC to work together in a spirit of peace and friendship for the sake of building a more secure world over the next four years”. He insists on a respectful dialogue with Iran.
President Obama decided that the US should join the planning of the UN’s Durban II “anti-racism” Conference. In February, 2009, the US decided not to take part in that UN-led conference. The Obama administration is seeking a seat on the biased U.N. Human Rights Council.
President Obama is surrounded by pro-Oslo process officials, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He has also appointed leaders known for their anti-Israel bias: Samantha Power a senior foreign policy advisor, and George Mitchell as his Special Envoy for the Middle East.
What do you think of all those troubling facts?
Bat Ye’or: President Obama and all his team share the European illusions that complacency, tributes, smiles and concessions to terrorist gangs will maintain the peace.
Everyone wants peace, but we have to know how far we can go without founding ourselves enslaved to dhimmitude. Dhimmitude means peace and security but in submission.
We must learn to appreciate the freedoms that we have taken for granted and that we are on the verge of losing.
[Part of this article was published in French by Guysen International News. A special thank to JB]
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