When Geert Wilders was found not guilty in an Amsterdam court of anti-Islam hate speech, after a trial which many argue should never have been brought and which was beset with accusations of bias on the part of the trial judges, this was rightly hailed as a landmark victory for freedom of expression in Dutch law. Among other things Wilders had compared the Koran, with its injunctions to perpetrate violence against kufar, to Hitler's Mein Kampf and argued that because of the Koran's role as a literal guide to Muslim behaviour towards the wider community, it should be banned as Mein Kampf is banned there. The presiding judge, in his verdict, declared that the content of Wilders' speeches should be seen in the context of a wider context of debate over Dutch immigration policy, and that Wilders' statements about a "tsunami" of immigrants were "crude and denigraing" but legally legitimate given the wider context and Wilders' acknowledgement that those who integrate and do not call for violence are acceptable.
Whatever one may think of Wilders' politics there can be little doubt that he was singled out for particular opprobrium. Why? Because he dared openly to criticise what he sees as the malign influence of Islam in the West and particularly in his native Holland, as evidenced by more the vocal Islamists' slavish adherence to its hate-filled scriptures. It is customary for western media, most of which have lost touch with reality or any sense of ethics, to inveigh against the influence of the so-called Jewish/Zionist lobby but why is it that we hear not one word from them about the Muslim/Islamist lobby whose influence seems so strong in Holland that a democratic legal system continued to persecute Wilders? If the travesty which passed for Wilders' trial was not unduly influenced by Muslim/Islamist pressure, why had the Dutch judiciary taken leave of its collective senses to persist in this venture?
We shall probably never know, but I am heartened by changes in the Dutch attitude, which I believe are due to Wilders' victory in court, and the effects of which I hope will spread throughout Europe and the rest of the non-Muslim world, which is far too ready to cave in to Islam's exaggerated sense of entitlement, far too often underpinned by a subliminal (and sometimes explicit) sense of threat and menace if it does not get its own way:
Soeren Kern writes in Hudson New York of the Dutch government's intention to abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism which, misinterpreted wilfully or otherwise, has encouraged Muslim immigrants there to create a parallel society within the Netherlands. Kern writes:
"A new integration bill (covering letter and 15-page action plan), which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on 16th June 2011, reads: "The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people. In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role. With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society."
The letter also makes clear that "..The integration will not be tailored to different groups."
It speaks in terms of obligatory integration because this is what the government requires from the indigenous population of Holland. More demands will be placed on immigrants, who will be required to learn the Dutch language, and there will be a more forceful approach to immigrants who disobey Dutch law and ignore Dutch values.
Donner argues that it is not the Dutch government's job to integrate immigrants, therefore it will stop providing special subsidies to Muslim immigrants there. Forced marriages will be outlawed, and there will be tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress. The Dutch government plans to impose a ban on the burqa and other face coverings from 1st January 2013, and if necessary, extra measures will be introduced to remove residence permits from immigrants who fail their integration course.
Of course the Muslim population is very affronted by all this, but according to Kern, polls show that a majority of Dutch voters support the government's scepticism about multiculturalism. According to a Maurice de Hond poll published by the centre-right newspaper Trouw on June 19, 74 percent of Dutch voters say immigrants should conform to Dutch values. Moreover, 83 percent of those polled support a ban on burqas in public spaces.
In December 2004, the Dutch Ministry of the Interior published a 60-page report titled "From Dawa to Jihad" which provided an ominous foretaste of what obtains today in the UK. Prepared by the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD, the report says that the Netherlands was home to up to 50,000 radical Muslims whose key ideological aim was to target the Western way of life and to confront Western political, economic, and cultural domination.
The report concluded that Dutch society was poorly equipped to resist the threat of radical Islam because of "a culture of permissiveness" that had become synonymous with "closing one's eyes" to multiple transgressions of the law.
Sadly, the proposed advances in the protection the rights of all Dutch people against Islamic encroachment have not been replicated elsewhere in Europe.
A subsequent article by Soeren Kern, also in Hudson New York, describes the setting up of no-go areas for kufar in Muslim areas in Europe. Kern writes that the "no-go" areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations, much as they have in Holland. This stems, I believe, from a unhealthy mixture of laissez-faire and lack of understanding of what multiculturalism really means: it is not the privileging of one culture over others but rather the acceptance of all cultural and religious identities as being equal and operating as part of the greater society for that society's good, rather than to undermine it. A third factor is the wilful blindness to the effects of failed policies in respect of the containment of Islamist excesses by successive governments.
Some examples from Kern's article:
In the UK, a Muslim group, Muslims Against the Crusades has launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what it calls "Londonistan" – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence. Little about this is aired in the media and UK citizens consequently have even less idea of what their government plans to do about it.
The Islamic Emirates Project names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket sharia rule. Again, there has been little or no reaction to this from the UK government, in spite of the declaration on the Islamic Emirates Project's own web page:
"The Islamic Emirates Project
"In the last 50 years, the United Kingdom has transformed beyond recognition. What was once a predominantly Christian country has now been overwhelmed by a rising Muslim population, which seeks to preserve its Islamic identity, and protect itself from the satanic values of the tyrannical British government.
"There are now over 2.8 million Muslims living in the United Kingdom – which is a staggering 5% of the population - but in truth, it is more than just numbers, indeed the entire infrastructure of Britain is changing; Mosques, Islamic Schools, Shari'ah Courts and Muslim owned businesses, have now become an integral part of the British landscape.
"In light of this glaring fact, Muslims Against Crusades have decided to launch 'The Islamic Emirates Project', that will see high profile campaigns launch in Muslim enclaves all over Britain, with the objective to gradually transform Muslim communities into Islamic Emirates operating under Shari'ah law.
"With several Islamic emirates already well established across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including Iraq and Afghanistan, we see this as a radical, but very realistic step in the heart of Western Europe, that will inshaa'allah (God willing), pave the way for the worldwide domination of Islam."
Now, this could be dismissed as yet another example of overblown Islamist rhetoric were it not for the fact that it is being enacted in the Tower Hamlets area of East London (also known as the "Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets"), where extremist Muslim preachers, called the Tower Hamlets Taliban, regularly issue death threats to women who refuse to wear the veil. Neighbourhood streets have been plastered with posters declaring "You are entering a Sharia controlled zone: Islamic rules enforced" (although often, hot on the heels of the bill posters, come gangs of young non-Muslim men who remove them). Street advertising deemed offensive to Muslims is vandalised or blacked out with spray paint. The UK police and government seem paralysed in the face of and incapable of acting against this curtailment of freedoms.
In the Bury Park area of Luton, UK, Muslims have been accused of "ethnic cleansing" by harassing non-Muslims to the point that many of them move out of Muslim neighbourhoods. In the West Midlands, two Christian preachers were accused of "hate crimes" for handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham. In Leytonstone in east London, the Muslim extremist Abu Izadeen heckled the former Home Secretary John Reid with "How dare you come to a Muslim area?"
Islamist supremacism is making itself felt in UK universities, too. In 2010, Muslim students at London's City University held public prayers in the open square in front of the main building for a month in protest against the closure of a prayer room used exclusively by them. It seemed to matter little to them that the prayer room had been closed because they had complained of feeling unsafe there after a group of youths had attacked them. In response to their concerns the university had offered temporary space within the university which the Muslim students had to share with other faiths, space being at a premium. Although, according to The Times Educational Supplement, some Muslim students had used the room, the majority said that “multi-faith” alternatives were unacceptable because “a vast number of Muslim scholars throughout history believe it is impermissible for Muslims to offer prayers in a place where [a god] other than our Lord, Allah, is worshipped”.
In an open letter, the protesters also pointed out that the multi-faith room can accommodate only 40 people, which is too small for the number of Muslims who need to pray at least three times per day. (This is vexatious. There is no requirement for Muslims to pray in a mosque, prayerprayer room or indeed among other Muslims if circumstances do not allow. A Muslim may pray alone whenever the need arises.)
The Times Educational Supplement explains that relations between the City University Islamic Society members and other student groups had been strained since the previous year, when the society invited cleric Abu Usamah to a fundraising event. The preacher featured in a Channel 4 documentary, Undercover Mosque, in 2007, in which he said homosexuals should be “thrown off a mountain” and labelled women intellectually deficient. The university's Islamic society also wanted to video link to Anwar Al-Awlaki, too, but the university nipped that one in the bud.
The Inquirer (the university's magazine) ran an article and editorial criticising the society for inviting Usamah. In its response, also published by the magazine, the society warned The Inquirer and City staff to “submit to Allah” or face “severe and painful punishment” in the “next life”. After some pressure the university eventually closed down the Islamic Society website because of that threat. Further details of the background and the complexity of the incidents may be found here and here. The Islamic society took further umbrage when it was told that Eidh celebrations could not be held on university premises because the Islamic society insisted upon segregating the sexes for social occasions, which is contrary to university statutes.
On the face of it, the City University Islamic society's reaction and subsequent actions are all of a piece with those of the "Taliban" of Tower Hamlets. They were trying to impose their will, based upon an overblown sense of entitlement and their alleged supremacy, on the running of a prestigious British university. University statutes, when the university body eventually applied them, dealt with the potential for violence and the use of university premises to host racism and discrimination against kufar. However, legislation of the sort contemplated by the Dutch government is almost certainly needed as well. Had the British Muslim students at City University been required to meet the identical criteria of good citizenship as will Dutch Muslims, on pain of being expelled from university, and immigrant or visiting Muslim students risk having their visas withdrawn and being deported from the UK, would any of these incidents have occurred? Would an Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets ever be allowed to set itself up?
Holland and the UK are not the only European countries which face these difficulties. According to Soeren Kern, in France, large areas of Muslim neighbourhoods are now considered "no-go" zones by French police. At last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.
Muslim immigrants are taking control of other parts of France too. In Paris and other French cities with large Muslim populations, such as Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse, thousands of Muslims are closing off streets and sidewalks (and by extension, are closing down local businesses and trapping non-Muslim residents in their homes and offices) to accommodate overflowing crowds for Friday prayers. Some mosques have also begun broadcasting sermons and chants of Allahu Akbar via loudspeakers into the streets.
There can be little doubt that when Holland enacts the laws described above there will be accusations of victimisation and demonstrations and perhaps even violence. The question remains, however, as to who are the real victims – in Holland and elsewhere – of the stifling and threatening environment enabled by successive European governments' ignoring the agenda of Islamist supremacists in their midst by wilful blindness to its effects, and pretending that they are acting in the interests of a distorted interpretation of "multiculturalism."
Legislation would also protect the safety of those Muslims who want to integrate and yet retain their religious affiliation from the excesses of the "all or nothing" mentality of the Islamist supremacists who would accuse them of betrayal and even apostasy.
However, in a truly multicultural society such legislation would not be necessary. All would be privileged; no one culture, religion, faith or belief system would be allowed to impose its will on others. Holland has woken up, thanks to the bravery of Geert Wilders. The rest of Europe, if not the world, needs to follow its example and soon.
Babs Barron is a psychotherapist living in the UK. The name is a
pseudonym. Her observations are real.
This article was submitted September 8, 2011.
It was originally published by Faith Freedom International, which is a grassroots movement of secular ex-Musllims.