Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Free Speech in Europe

Flemming Rose, the editor of Jyllands-Posten, recently had the opportunity to interview both Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He has some excerpts in his Pajamas Media column today:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, you have said that free speech is threatened in Europe. What do you mean by that?

AHA: “When I came to the Netherlands in the nineties Prime minister Wim Kok and his ministers were driving their bicycle to work and to meetings. Today they are driving in armored cars. In Europe it isn’t obvious anymore that a politician can express his opinions and then go home by bike.

The Dutch movie-maker Theo van Gogh was killed because he made a movie somebody didn’t like. A French school teacher (Robert Redeker) has been forced into hiding after having published an op-ed critical of Islam. We have seen similar cases in Germany, Denmark and Sweden, where cartoonists have been threatened because they made cartoons of Mohammed. In all these cases people have been put under police protection by just because they have exercised their right to speak.

And this is only the most prominent cases that have caught the attention of the media, but a lot of incidents never reach the media. In the Netherlands teachers are dropping certain subjects due to fear for their own safety.

Finally you have my own case. I have expressed certain opinions with which one can agree or disagree, but because of these opinions my life is danger.
- - - - - - - - -
[…]

Today it is perceived as right wing to be in favor of law and order, but it ought to be politically neutral. We have the necessary laws on the books, but the authorities are not always willing to enforce them. They prefer to send criminals to therapy instead of prison. Enforcing the law, going after criminals and punishing them will improve the situation of free speech.”

Read the whole thing to see what Anders Fogh Rasmussen had to say.

The illiberal regime which has strengthened its grip on most of Europe over the last ten years is based on a convergence of interests between the Left and Islam.

Both groups would like to see dissent silenced, the Muslims in the name of the Prophet, and the Left to ensure the ascendancy of the Socialist, Green, or Multiculturalist millennium — take your pick, it depends on the Utopia-of-the-Month flavor.

The interests of these two unlikely allies will diverge soon enough, but in the meantime anyone who is interested in free and unfettered discourse is under siege.

From Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s adopted country comes a story about a growing movement to silence Geert Wilders. According to Expatica:

Front against Wilders on the rise

The “reasonable people” of the Netherlands are starting a movement against the standpoints of Geert Wilders, the Volkskrant reports. René Danen of the anti-racist organisation Nederland Bekent Kleur and Mohamed Sini of the Islam and Citizenship foundation hope to be able to put together a broad countermovement in the coming weeks.

The Refugee Council of the Netherlands also supports the call from Doekle Terpstra, former trade union leader and chairman of the HBO Council for universities of applied science. Terpstra said in Trouw last week that he was annoyed at Wilders’ actions and his statements about Islam as a fascist religion. He talks about the “Wilderisation of society” and “Wilders’ evil message.”

“I feel more and more provoked by the constant insults towards Muslims,” Terpstra says. “Wilders abuses his position and freedom of speech as an alibi to bait society and create rifts.” He also says: “Am I the only one who is angry and concerned? Unions, employers, Muslims, churches, humanists unite, join forces and turn the tide.”

Remember: truly free speech is provocative, controversial, and divisive. There is no need to protect words which are bland and offend no one.

The first step in stifling an opinion is to declare it an “abuse” of free speech.

“That is what we want to do now,” says Danen. There are no concrete plans yet, but one aim is to organise a demonstration around the time that Wilders’ much talked about film on Islam is to be shown, sometime in January.

Danen says that is feasible. As leader of a student union and more recently the protest platform Keer het Tij (Turn the tide), which opposed the social-economic measures of the last centre-right governments, he has plenty of experience in organising large scale protest.

Remember: protests like this in the Netherlands, as in much of Western Europe, usually include the local chapter of Antifascist Action, which uses beatings, threats, intimidation, and harassment to silence anyone they deem “racist”. Expect a large contingent of Antifa people to take part in the demonstration, with the tacit support of the authorities.

In a reaction Wilders said Terpstra’s comments were “outright disgusting.” He pointed out that his party had the democratic support of a half million voters. Nor is he happy to be associated with something like “an evil message.” It is a small step from that to calling for violence against his person, Wilders said.

And indeed it is. Mr. Wilders has the example of Pim Fortuyn before him to remind him what happens to Dutch politicians who stray beyond the accepted boundaries of politically correct opinion. They are reviled, demonized, and eventually cast into the outer darkness, where a violent end can be expected — after all, didn’t they bring it on themselves?

These are vile times we live in. Decent and humane people are beset on all sides by those who would destroy them without compunction.


Update: Typo corrected. Thanks, DH.

Hat tips: TB and Fjordman.

8 comments:

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Here's a neat bit of censorship. Rather unusual, I think you'll agree.

I picked this conversation up from the comments on the Barnsley Nationalist website (in England). It's interesting.

"" Imam causes grief for headteacher at a Barnsley primary school.

The following information was handed to years 5 and 6, including my 10 year old daughter in the school hall by an Imam visitor.
These words caused upset among the teachers who hastily ripped out the following page, in fear of offending parents!
By the way the headteacher is trying to sweep it under the carpet, as only 5 parents found out what had happened. complaints have been put to the school and the Barnsley Cultural Diversity Team (organised brainwashing team).


Jihad (Holy War)
Jihad means 'to strive or struggle' and is considered the 'sixth pillar of Islam' by a minority of Muslim authorities.
Within Islamic jurisprudence, jihad is usually taken to mean military exertion against non-Muslim combatants in the defence or expansion of the Islamic state, the ultimate purpose of which is to establish the universal domination of Islamic rule.
Jihad, the only form of warfare permissible in Islamic law, may be declared against non-Muslims who refuse to convert to Islam or submit to Islamic rule.
Jihad is perpetual in nature; in theory, there can be no permanent peace with non-Muslim states, only truces which can be repudiated when circumstances become favourable for the resumption of hostilities. It ceases when Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians submit to the authority of Islam and agree to pay the jizya (a poll tax) and kharaj (a land tax), and when polytheists convert to Islam. Those who do not accept these terms may be enslaved or killed. For most Shias, jihad can only be waged in the presence of a divinely appointed leader of the Muslim community, and as such is suspended in their absence.
Under most circumstances and for most Muslims, jihad is a collective duty (fard kifaya): it's performance by some individuals exempts the others. Only for those vested with authority, especially the sovereign (Imam), does jihad become an individual duty. For the rest of the populace, this happens only in the case of a general mobilization. Some Muslim authorities, especially among the Shi'a and Sufis, distinguish between the 'greater jihad', which pertains to spiritual self-perfection, and the 'lesser jihad', defind as warfare. In modern usage, jihad also refers to one's striving to attain religious and moral perfection.
Jane H

Well, well well. The TRUE face of Islam handed straight to our own children. And then supressed by our own local authorities. What a suprise!!!

They should have kept this page in. Then perhaps our kids mightv'e got a REAL education in what it actually means to be culturally diverse!

Might I ask, which school ( s ) was this filth was handed out at?
Old Merl

Yes, i was more angered by the fact that they had ripped the page out. and are hush hush about it .
The school was St. Helens primary school at Monk Bretton.
There is another school what is trying to keep the Islam brainwashing under wraps, where my son goes to. Priory school, lundwood have been brainwashing kids and now it's their turn for the Muslim Visitors next week. when the head of year was confronted about the visit she claimed she didn't know anything about it, but the RE teacher was ranting on to the children that they must be on their best behavour, by the way my son doesn't do Islam he sits in the corridor . when questioned about the brainwashing, the headteachers have the expression of a startled rabbit, caught in the headlights of a very big van. I have told every parent i meet about the goings on at these schools and some are absolutely outraged and have put in complaints to the education board, only to fall on deaf ears, i wonder.
Jane H

http://barnsley-nationalists.blogspot.com/

""

Give me the boy and I'll give you the man.

Homophobic Horse said...

So they're not against what Wilders says about Islam they are against Wilders - more specifically, against Wilders person. So yes, Wilders is right, they are fascist, might makes right and all that.

The leftbats have always been like this.

Ed Mahmoud said...

Yet I can think of someone who won't apologize for publishing incorrect facts on his blog, because Fjordman doesn't post under his own name...

john said...

In reference to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, there is a pathetically verbose piece by an Islamic aplogist, in todays Guardian, by a Pankaj Mishra.
"A paranoid, abhorrent obsession."
He also is frothy about Martin Amis.
"Never perhaps in history has so much nonsense been so confidently peddled about a population as large and diverse as this planet's billion-plus Muslims. Within the past decade an Islamic movement has led Indonesia towards democracy, while market reforms in Turkey have created a new and religious middle class that now challenges the power of a secular elite."
*WARNING* It goes down hill from there.

GoWest said...

free speech on youtube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ufrccPwtRmY

Profitsbeard said...

Speaking clearly about a misogynistic, intolerant, imperialistic, expansionistic, terroristic deathcult ideology tends to rankle its adherents.

Go figure.

Not to mention its plagiarizing paranoid pedophile warlord founder.

Hirsi Ali's honesty outweighs Islam's intimidation.

Anonymous said...

Make YOUR contribution. Vote YES to Free Europe Constitution at www.FreeEurope.info!

jeremy said...

So all the "goodly" people once again go out and aid the real fascists. These people deserve to be dhimmis!