Resisting threat of fanatical Islam / West must not surrender permanent liberty for temporary tolerance (WASHINGTON TIMES OP-ED) By Geert Wilders 05/05/12)
WASHINGTON TIMES Articles-Index-Top
As I write these lines, there are police bodyguards at the door. No
visitor can enter my office without passing through several security
checks and metal detectors. I have been marked for death. I am forced
to live in a heavily protected safe house. Every morning, I am driven
to my office in the Dutch Parliament building in an armored car with
sirens and flashing blue lights. When I go out, I am surrounded, as I
have been for the past seven years, by plainclothes police officers.
When I speak in public, I wear a bulletproof jacket.
Who am I? I am neither a king nor a president, nor even a government
minister; I am just a simple politician in the Netherlands. But
because I speak out against expanding Islamic influence in Europe, I
have been marked for death. If you criticize Islam, this is the risk
you run. That is why so few politicians dare to tell the truth about
the greatest threat to our liberties today. The Islamic threat to the
West is worse than the communist threat ever was. Think of it this
way: Politicians who warned against the Soviet threat weren’t forced
into hiding, as we who speak out against Islam are.
I received my first death threats in September 2003 after I asked the
Dutch government to investigate a radical mosque. When the death
threats became more frequent, the Dutch authorities assigned me a
team of police bodyguards. In November 2004, after a Muslim fanatic
murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh for making a movie about the
abuse of women under Islam, policemen armed with machine guns came to
my house, pushed me into an armored car, and drove me off into the
night. That was the last time I was in my house. Since then, I have
lived in an army barracks, a prison cell and now a government-owned
I have grown accustomed to this situation. After more than seven
years, the security detail has become part of my daily routine, but
in a free society, no politician should have to fear for his life
because he addresses issues voters care about.
Nor should special-interest groups be allowed to trump our Western
rights of free speech, as Islamic and leftist organizations tried to
do by dragging me to court on accusations of “hate speech.” After an
almost three-year legal ordeal, I was acquitted of all charges.
More Islam means less freedom
I used to travel widely and frequently in the Islamic world, but now
it’s no longer safe. I have read the Koran and studied the life of
Muhammad. It made me realize that Islam is primarily a totalitarian
ideology rather than a religion. I feel sorry for the Arab, Persian,
Indian and Indonesian peoples who have to live under the yoke of
Islam. It is a belief system that marks apostates for death, forces
critics into hiding and denies our Western tradition of individual
freedom. Without freedom, there can be no prosperity and no pursuit
of happiness. More Islam means less life, less liberty and less
That is why I consider it my duty to sound the alarm about the
relentless expansion of Islam. While many Muslims are moderate, Islam
is not. Some Muslims take Islam seriously and wage jihad - holy war -
against the West, and they do so from within our borders.
Fifty-seven percent of the Dutch people say that mass immigration was
the biggest single mistake in Dutch history. Many politicians,
however, downplay the most dramatic sociological change of their
lifetime. They ignore the worries of the people out of political
correctness and cultural relativism, which insist that all cultures
are equal; hence, immigrants do not need to assimilate: Islamic
values are just as good as Dutch, British or American values.
What we stand to lose
If we do not oppose Islamization, we will lose everything: our
freedom, our identity, our democracy, our rule of law. To preserve
Western civilization, we must do four things: Defend freedom of
speech, reject cultural relativism, counter Islamization, and cherish
our Western national identities, whether we are Dutch, French,
British or American.
Of all our liberties, freedom of speech is the most important. Free
speech is the cornerstone of a free society. So long as we are free
to speak, we can make people realize what is at stake. In Western
democracies, we do not settle our disagreements with violence, but
through spoken and written arguments. In the search for the truth, we
allow everyone to express his or her honestly held views. That is how
we outgrew barbarism and became a free and prosperous society. We
must pass it on to our children.
I have written a book in defense of liberty and freedom of
expression, titled “Marked for Death.” It explains the many ways in
which Islam has marked for death not only me, but all of Western
civilization. The book warns Americans about the danger of turning a
blind eye to the true nature of Islam.
Though Islam threatens Europe and America, the West is not yet lost.
It will survive as long as the spirit of freedom remains unbroken.
While Islam has marked me for death, a growing number of Dutch voters
have given me their support. In the Netherlands, we have begun to
turn the tide against Islamization. So can other countries.
I will never keep silent because we must not let violent fanatics
dictate what we say and what we read. We must rebel against their
suffocating rules and demands at every turn. We must, in the words of
Revolutionary War veteran Gen. John Stark, “Live free or die.”
Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament. He is leader of
the Party for Freedom and author of “Marked for Death: Islam’s War
Against the West and Me” (Regnery, 2012). (© 2012 The Washington
Times, LLC. 05/05/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY