Apologists for evil
De spijker, wederom, op zijn kop;
Interview with Dutch newspaper AD Weekend
This interview was published on 7 March 2009 in AD Weekend, the weekend section of the national daily newspaper AD (Netherlands). However, the published version was slightly edited, so I'm reproducing the original Q&A here.
Q: If I am right, you have already 6 million hits for your internet videos. Have there been efforts to silence you (even physically), or to ban you from the internet, outside the recent ban on YouTube?
A: Actually, the videos have had more than 20 million hits. “More demands from Islam” has been seen more than five million times on dotSUB alone.
I’ve had hundreds of death threats by e-mail and I’ve posted some of them on my website, but people who have recognised me in the street have been very warm and supportive. Nobody has tried to ban me from the internet.
Q: Who were behind the proposed ban of your videos on YouTube? Religious organisations in Britain or islamic regimes in the Middle-East like Iran or Saudi-Arabia?
A: Welcome to Saudi Britain was removed after a flagging campaign by Islamic activists, but it backfired because hundreds of YouTube users uploaded it to their own accounts in protest and spread it all over the site like a rash. Then the National Secular Society and Professor Dawkins got involved and the press picked up the story, whereupon YouTube backed down and reinstated it. I have no evidence that any religious organisations were involved.
YouTube briefly removed another of my videos Godless and free but they e-mailed me to explain that it had been done in error.
Q: You started a petition against sharia-courts in Britain. What are the results so far? And why did you pick especially this subject among so many others for a campaign?
A: I didn’t start the petition; I only signed it and helped to publicise it. Why this subject? Because sharia justice deals in crooked measures that are weighted against women in clear violation of their basic human rights. Isn’t that a good enough reason? The fact that it’s the thin end of a theocratic wedge is another reason.
The original petition was restricted to people in Britain, but now there’s a global petition that anyone in the world can sign. Already it has many thousands of signatures, and I urge everyone who is concerned about the growing Islamisation of Europe and the free world to add their name.
Q: Do you have any support among the mass media for this anti-sharia-campaign? It seems the BBC doesnt allow so much criticism on religion. Is it still possible to criticize or make jokes about islam?
A: No, the BBC is utterly spineless. Whenever I’ve worked for them as a comedian I’ve found it almost impossible to make jokes about religion or to say anything at all about Islam. That’s why I started making videos.
Q: Who are to blame for allowing sharia courts? Is it the Labour government or the churches, or both? Where are the Liberals and Conservatives in this?
A: It’s Labour’s sop to the imams. The Conservatives have promised to abolish them (the courts, not the imams, although some of them should be banned as well).
The Labour Party is the party of multiculturalism in the UK, though lately they’ve backtracked on some of the “diversity” rhetoric because it’s beginning to dawn on them what a disaster it’s been. But they depend heavily on the Muslim vote, and they’ll do anything to get it, even sinking so low as to install a buffoon like Nazir Ahmed in the House of Lords.
Q: Some people will say: what’s against sharia courts if people go there from their own free choice or religious convictions?
A: What free choice? Many women will be coerced into using these courts and everybody knows it. Their basic premise violates fundamental civilised values, and there is absolutely no excuse for allowing them.
Would we tolerate a legal code where people of a certain colour are treated unequally and their word is worth half that of someone of another colour? Then why the double standards when it comes to women? Why do we still tacitly condone the idea that women are inferior? What on earth is wrong with us?
Q: What went wrong with Labour? How is it possible that people like Lord Ahmed are in their ranks? Why is a movement, that in history tried to emancipate the working people from oppression by the church and the clergy, nowadays helping the oppression by the mosq and the clergy?
A: The Labour Party was established to emancipate ordinary people from economic hardship, but nowadays it’s dominated by a political class, a quasi-aristocracy preoccupied with imposing their own “enlightened” values on society against the will of the people and consolidating their own power. In other words, the same kind of people who run your country and most of western Europe.
Since this Labour government has been in office we’ve seen a more rapid erosion of our basic civil liberties than at any time in our history. So much for emancipation.
Q: Why do you think the christian churches are treating islam as their ally, while christians are oppressed all over in the muslim world?
A: The two fascist dogmas have a common enemy in secularism, which they rightly see as a threat. That’s why the Archbishop of Canterbury disgraced himself last year by advocating sharia law in Britain, and it’s why we’re hearing a lot more about interfaith dialogue between the two, where they agree to put aside their differences and focus on things they have in common, like prejudice against women and homosexuals, hatred of freedom, and a pathological fear of knowledge. In other words the basics.
Of course this co-operation will only go so far. There will be no churches allowed in Saudi Arabia, while mosques will continue to be built all over Europe.
Q: Are you amazed that Britain has banned our MP Geert Wilders? You banned Al-Qaradawi, so why not Wilders, some people would say.
A: I’m not in favour of banning anyone. If somebody enters the country and breaks the law they should be arrested and tried. If found guilty they should be deported.
The British government caved in to an implied threat of public disorder, and there’s no honour in pretending otherwise. Again Home Secretary Jacqui Smith revealed herself as someone who has been promoted above her ability and who is completely out of her depth.
Q: Many people in Holland agree with the ban. They say Fitna is a useless hatemongering movie insulting muslims. What would you say to people holding this opinion?
A: I’d ask what happened to the Dutch reputation for tolerance and open-mindedness. Are you only open-minded about things you agree with? And do you ban everything that offends anyone, or is it just Muslims who mustn’t be offended?
There’s more hate expressed in the Koran than in the film, which simply makes the point that Islamic scripture is used by terrorists to justify mass murder. That’s a fact and nobody can deny it. A literal reading of the Koran gives Muslims permission to kill people, and those who do so have repeatedly used it as justification. This stuff needs to be acknowledged and discussed, not banned.
Nobody wants to offend people, but honest free speech is the oxygen of our society, and I believe that makes it more important than anybody’s feelings, however delicate.
Q: What is your own opinion on Fitna and on Mr. Wilders proposal to ban the Koran and his comparison between the Koran and Hitlers Mein Kampf?
A: I think the film is a rather sensationalist way of drawing attention to the problem of European Islamisation. But the problem is real, and if it had been more honestly acknowledged and more frankly discussed in the first place there would be no need for a film like this.
As for the Koran, I don’t think any book should be banned. I didn’t know Hitler’s book was banned in the Netherlands. I think that’s childish. Nobody’s opinion should be silenced, even those who would deny the Holocaust. I think everyone should be free to make a public idiot of themselves if they want to.
Q: In your video Shame on Holland you blamed the christian parties in the Dutch government. Didn’t you forget the Dutch Labour party, that is part of the coalition government as well?
A: In that video I actually blamed the multicultural left, but several Dutch people e-mailed me to say that Christian politicians are also an important part of the problem, so I made that point in the subsequent video Freedom go to hell.
Q: Some people will say that Wilders, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, or our cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot (did you hear about his arrest?), or you own person suffer from islamophobia. What about that? Do you think islam is now more dangerous for our freedom than other religions?
A: Nobody should worry about being called Islamophobic. Islamophobia is not a real word. It’s a crude attempt by multiculturalists and Islamists to play on people’s liberal guilt and demonise their legitimate concerns about the direction our society is going.
If you dislike something bad it doesn’t mean you have a phobia. It means you dislike something bad, and you’re probably wise to do so.
We keep hearing that Islam is falsely portrayed in a bad light, but the evidence shows that it’s falsely portrayed in a good light by people who should know better.
Also, Islam is more than just a religion. In the guise of Islamism it’s an aggressive political movement, and for this reason it is a bigger threat to our freedom than other religions.
Q: In your videos you seem very worried about the erosion of words like ‘tolerance’, and ‘human rights’ or ‘emancipation’? Can you explain a bit why?
A: Tolerance is rightly seen as a virtue, but in practice it has come to mean intolerance of anything that doesn’t conform to multicultural dogma.
The term “human rights” was redefined recently by the UN Human Rights Council after it was hijacked by a cartel of Islamic dictatorships. Now it means immunity from criticism for Islam. Also, they want western governments to make it illegal to criticise religion, and some seem very eager to do their bidding, including the Dutch government, as we’ve seen with the prosecution of Mr Wilders.
However, there are signs that things are starting to turn. The Norwegian government tried to introduce such a law last month, but they were forced to back down in the face of outraged public opinion. Bravo Norway. Maybe Europe does have a spine after all.
Q: Some people are very pessimistic and think Europe is already surrendering to Islam. Or are you more optimistic, hoping that our continent will come to its senses and recover and fight for its values?
A: I’m optimistic, but it won’t happen by itself. Firstly, we still have a vote. (I haven’t checked recently, so I may be wrong about that.) If we vote again for the people who created this situation we deserve everything we get.
Secondly, we can only defend freedom of speech if we use it. It’s no good as a theory. A silent majority is not a majority at all if it remains silent; it might as well not exist.
If we keep backing away from Islam, if we keep retreating into silence to keep the peace in the face of unreasonable demands, we’re in real danger of bequeathing our children the kind of world that we wouldn’t want to be born into; a world where ideas are banned and where feelings and dogma are more important than truth; where women have fewer rights, and where homosexuals and Jews have more to fear.
Those of us who care about this prospect need to examine our consciences and make a decision to start speaking out before it’s too late, because once it is too late, it will be too late forever.
Supplementary question 1
What do you think about the recent gains of the BNP (British National Party) in by-elections and in the polls?
A: I believe the BNP is a racist party, and therefore I don't support them. They're getting more support now because the mainstream parties have consistently ignored people's legitimate concerns about multiculturalism, and many people feel they've been left with no choice but to vote for them. If politicians listened to what people actually want, the BNP would be nothing.
Supplementary question 2
In the last opinion poll the PVV (Freedom Party) of Mr. Wilders scored as the biggest party, with 27 virtual seats. What is your explanation of the popularity of the PVV? What should the other political parties do about it?
A: It’s good news, but not entirely surprising. People aren’t stupid. They can see what’s going on, and they’re beginning to realise that if things don’t change radically and quickly then western culture and its values are in big trouble.
The other parties should take off their multicultural spectacles and read the mood of the country. Maybe some of the politicians in those parties will now start saying what they really think, and not what they think they’re supposed to think.