Thursday, November 03, 2011

Resisting Political Islam

In the video below from last summer, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is interviewed for Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa (Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa, BPE), the organization she represents when she attends meetings of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. In it she talks about her OSCE work, and the “hate speech” case against her in Austria.

Many thanks to Europe News for transcribing, translating, and time-stamping this video, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


Transcript:

0:11 The citizens’ movement Pax Europa enjoys a so-called civil society status.
0:17 This is a specialty seen only within the OSCE,
0:21 in that the civil society is asked to be a part of the international work,
0:25 and no other organization allows that.
0:28 And for this reason it is special
0:31 that BPE can be a part of that.
0:34 My work consists of the following:
0:40 that I attend relevant OSCE meetings both in Vienna and Warsaw,
0:45 where I have the right to reply, and those replies, interventions, are sometimes very controversial,
0:51 e.g. if there is a round table on the topic of religious freedom.
0:56 Then I intervene saying that there seems to be religious freedom
1:00 which is valid only in for certain religions, or actually, for one religion.
1:03 That is very one-sided, and one cannot speak of that as religious freedom
1:07 according to our value system.
1:11 In addition, I also raised my voice with respect to women’s rights,
1:14 where I said that we should look more closely at women’s rights in Islam
1:19 I actually suggested that OSCE
1:22 start a kind of commission
1:24 which will then focus on the rights women enjoy in Islam,
1:29 and I also cited Sura 4:34, which allows
1:33 men to beat their wives.
1:38 And there was a lot of feedback, negative feedback, of course.
1:44 But I was able to cause quite a stir in the plenary.
1:49 That means, you do consider your work in the OSCE successful...
1:54 Absolutely. My work has definitely been a success,
1:57 just by mentioning the topic of Islam.
2:01 Because up until now no one has really talked about Islam, except the Muslim bloc.
2:06 DITIB (the Turkish NGO, which is actually a GO) is very much a part of the OSCE,
2:11 and naturally collaborates with Bosnia and its NGOs,
2:17 and with the EU, which has observer status.
2:22 But in the last 1½ - 2 years there has been some movement
2:28 in that we have attended as a unified Islam-critical bloc
2:35 And we have caused a stir.
2:37 Until now the terrain was an easy one for the Muslim bloc
2:45 to push through their positions, and now suddenly someone popped up
2:48 to say: “No, this is not true, but it’s like this and that” and then I cite the sura
2:52 and other things, and that has caused a lot of stir.
2:57 And the Turkish side knows who we are.
3:02 Does this mean when we look at what women’s rights activists
3:06 like Serap Cileli and Necla Kelek, can you confirm what they are saying?
3:08 Absolutely! And since you mention these two names:
3:12 it would be fantastic if we had the two ladies in our delegation.
3:17 If Necla Kelek and Serap Cileli really were to attend
3:21 one of these round tables in Vienna and speak as experts,
3:29 this would be great and we would be very happy about that.
3:32 It would make the whole thing even more exciting.
3:34 You were also in the US, reported about your case
3:39 before a large crowd, as well as BPE’s work, what it does.
3:43 Can you tell us a bit about the organization that hosted the event?
3:48 Yes, that is ACT! For America, the largest [Islam-critical] grassroots US organization
3:53 They have, to my knowledge, around 600,000 members,
3:59 and what is special about ACT! For America
4:03 is that they have chapters in cities, no states, sorry,
4:10 and they are well-organized and linked
4:14 And can thus do a lot of great things.
4:17 ACT! For America is incredibly well organized.
4:25 There is a lot of lobbying in Washington,
4:30 and of course this something that cannot be transferred to Europe,
4:35 because our parliamentary system is different from America’s.
4:39 There is a lot of lobbying and influencing done
4:41 on members of Congress in Washington,
4:44 and of course this would be desirable in Europe,
4:47 so if Pax Europa had the numerical strength to say
4:52 there are independent groups that could lobby in the local parliaments,
5:01 that would be a great thing.
5:05 However, we must first learn how this would work,
5:07 and I see myself as a bridge to help the members (of BPE)
5:12 here in Germany with my traveling.
5:15 There is currently a legal case against you in Austria
5:20 because you denigrated the teachings of a religion.
5:24 What are the chances, you think, that you will win this case?
5:30 Well, as I said before, in a normal world
5:36 This would be a piece of cake, winning the appeal.
5:39 But the fact that I was even charged
5:43 Shows us that we are not living in a normal world.
5:45 When one reads the indictment that I am being charged with,
5:50 saying “No to theocracy”,
5:52 “no to gender apartheid”, “no to the glorification of violence”,
5:57 this is what I am being charged for, it is unbelievable.
6:00 I stand for democracy, for human rights,
6:03 universal human rights, all that was in the indictment.
6:06 And one must ask: what kind of world are we living in?
6:09 We cannot assume therefore that this (positive outcome) will take place
6:14 As I said, there are two little ghosts inside me,
6:20 one says that I will be acquitted, I mean, it just cannot be that I will be found guilty,
6:23 but as I said, one day the verdict was handed down
6:26 I thought, this cannot be, but it is.
6:29 It happened, unfortunately.
6:29 I have another question: Austria was besieged frequently in the recent past.
6:35 Vienna in 1529 and 1683. Back then, Austria was part of
6:45 the Holy Roman Empire. Back then the resistance was very strong.
6:51 Why is there no or very little resistance
6:53 against political Islam nowadays?
6:56 This is really hard for me, my heart bleeds to say this:
6:59 the Austrians, in their current state —
7:02 the little Austria, in its current state: it is a coward.
7:07 We close our eyes and hope for this tsunami somehow
7:11 to pass over us, somehow, and that some of us survive
7:13 so, courage in any shape — it doesn’t have to concern Islam —
7:19 there is no political courage in Austria
7:21 Neither the politicians nor the voters show any courage.
7:25 I could talk more about history and argue that
7:29 this has to do with World War I, that Austria was suddenly reduced from
7:33 the large Austro-Hungarian Empire to a small remnant
7:37 and thus (lost) its identity, but this doesn’t help at all.
7:40 The fact is: we are living in the year 2011 and no one is standing up.
7:44 when I tell you, and you can believe it or not,
7:47 Austrian public opinion,
7:50 The media, the politicians, the opinion leaders, they all ignore me.
7:55 I do not exist. That which cannot, must not be.
7:59 I am known worldwide, people know me well,
8:03 in Germany, all of Europe, Australia, Canada...
8:07 if you google my name, you will find more than 500,000 hits
8:11 About me. But — Austria ignores me. I do not exist.
8:16 Not that I need the fame... But it would be important
8:20 for Austrians to know what happened in my legal case,
8:25 how awful the consequences are.
8:27 In your case we can sum up that we need
8:31 international networking, that we must join forces.
8:34 And perhaps in your case it is also the problem of the prophet in his own country?
8:38 That is most likely the case somehow
8:42 and I am certain that one day,
8:45 perhaps not tomorrow, not next year
8:46 people will crawl out and say,
8:49 “We’ve always known this but we were afraid to say something,
8:51 and we think you’re so great, yada, yada.”
8:54 I have very little sympathy for these people,
8:57 Because it is so blatantly obvious what is happening.
9:01 If you remain silent, you consent.
9:06 And I cannot remain silent, I have a daughter
9:08 And I am responsible for her. I will never keep silent
9:13 I will never stop speaking the truth.
9:15 All I ask for is that we join forces internationally
9:18 that we — please! — not fight amongst ourselves, but pursue a common goal.
9:22 Thank you for the interview.
9:27 I thank you.


For previous posts on the “hate speech” prosecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, see Elisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.

7 comments:

Pierre_Picaud said...

That was actually quite moving.

"Because it is so blatantly obvious what is happening. If you remain silent, you consent."

Blogger said...

up until now no one has really talked about Islam, except the Muslim bloc.

One of the taboos the western world really has to get over, is the taboo on discussing religion. Ironically, this taboo does NOT exist in the middle east. I witnessed this myself in the many muslim countries I spent time in. Most educated muslims truly love to discuss and debate religion. They will listen to criticism and debate it, and this can go on for hours. I know this kind of goes against stereotypes which people have about muslims, but I'm speaking as someone whose ex-husband was a muslim, who spent many years as an "insider".

But back in the western world, people get very uncomfortable if you bring up religion, unless it's in a study group. And even study groups can be extremely dull if all you get in response is "thank you for sharing"!!

The bottom line is that we westerners have to get over this taboo if we are going to win this ideological war.

Egghead said...

Hi Blogger: It's really hard to digest your comment considering...

1) Islam's founding country of Saudi Arabia forbids non-Muslims from entering Mecca, wearing crosses, and owning Bibles.

2) Pakistan has blasphemy laws that are being used to maim and murder non-Muslims and Muslim apostates.

I have to think that it would be impossible to honestly discuss the Satanic 'religion' of Islam with Muslims in a Muslim country.

I bet that Khalid Saeed agrees with me....

Khalid Saeed Timeline

The Swedish Exception

Egghead said...

Pierre_Picaud: As Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff probably knows, Mohammed himself espoused the moral code that silence is consent - particularly with regard to his 'marriage' to his six year old bride Aisha.

"Picture this historical setting: A 49 year old man asks his best friend if he could have his permission to marry his 6 year old daughter. His friend agrees. The man then visits his best friend’s house and speaks with the 6 year old daughter. Her parents watch as the he proposes marriage to the child. He is serious; he wants to marry the little girl and is asking for her consent. The little child says nothing; she only stares at him in silence."

"The Islamic source materials state that Muhammad proposed marriage to Aisha when she was 6. He assumed her silence constituted her consent. Some 2 to 3 years later, just after he had fled to Medina, he consummated his marriage with her. He was 52 and she was 9. This occurred prior to Aisha’s first menses and by Islam’s legal definition Aisha was still considered a child. Islam teaches that a child enters adulthood at the beginning of puberty. (This is scientifically inaccurate, the onset of puberty does not equal adulthood – see Appendix 3)."

"The bottom line is Muhammad, the creator of Islam, revered by his followers, had sex with a child! Worse, Muhammad's action and teachings on marriage established an Islamic precedent and Islamic law allows female children to be married off and engaged in sex provided they are able to handle a man’s penis (Quran 65:4). As will be shown, this leads to physical, and psychological, damage to the child."

Islam and Child Brides

Blogger said...

Egghead, I believe you are viewing things from a purely western perspective. Yes, there are public blasphemy laws making a come back, but in private homes of the educated, religious debate is like emotion that bonds people, even through disagreement. If you want to make a dinner party in, say, Iran, come alive, bring up religion and people will have hours of fun yelling and screaming at each other. I'm trying to explain to westerners that there are some blind spots, and that westerners project their taboos onto muslim society with bad results. The Left are particularly guilty of this. It's as though the Left are accusing the westerner of breaking a taboo that doesn't exist. Yes, muslims complain, but it's not because it's taboo. They complain because it's the way they debate.

I don't mean that you would suddenly drop the idea that Mo was a pedophile during a Tehran dinner party, but you would start the debate with something a little less controversial, ie "are the teachings of Islam keeping the muslim world behind?" This is NOT taboo, as it would be to a westerner as a guest in, say, Britain.

Another purely western taboo is interrupting another person and/or speaking too passionately. LOL. These taboos don't apply outside of the northern european and anglosphere.

I think it's important to understand these subtle differences.

Blogger said...

Egghead, I believe you are viewing things from a purely western perspective. Yes,public blasphemy laws making a come back, but in private homes of the educated, religious debate is like emotion that bonds people, even through disagreement. I have been in many debates in Algeria and Iran. If you want to make a dinner party in Iran come alive bring up religion and people will have hours of fun yelling and screaming at each other (at least that's what it seems to anglophones). I'm trying to explain to westerners that there are some blind spots, and that westerners project their taboos onto muslim society with negative results. The Left are particularly guilty of this. It's as though the Left are accusing the westerner of breaking a taboo that doesn't exist. Yes, muslims complain, but it's not because it's taboo. They are debating in their own way.

I don't mean that you would suddenly drop the idea that Mo was a pedophile during a Tehran dinner party, but you would start the debate with something a little less controversial, ie "are the teachings of Islam keeping the muslim world behind?" This is NOT taboo, as it would be to a westerner as a guest in, say, Britain.

Another purely western taboo is interrupting another person and/or speaking too passionately. LOL. These taboos don't apply outside of the northern european and anglosphere either.

I think it's important to understand these subtle differences.

Egghead said...

Blogger: I hear you, but I (ever so gently) disagree with you.

Coming from a large boisterous Italian family, I fully understand the conversational dynamic to which you refer.

However, I think it's inaccurate to imply that foreign Muslims are somehow more open to discuss and debate religion than Westerners.

It seems to me that each group is choosing different forums - with the foreign Muslim free to SPEAK to limited topics in small private groups and the Westerner free to WRITE to limited topics in small like-minded groups on the internet.

Unfortunately, as the song says, "The times, they are a-changing," and the world is getting smaller for both types of discussion....

What you might have used to been able to do is no longer as Muslim countries - especially Arab Spring countries of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya - align with Mohammed's traditional iron-fisted hypocrisy-hating version of Islam.

Per Libya, do you think that the black Africans are able to discuss and debate religion with their Sharia Law-loving Muslim genocidal executioners?!

It's irrelevant if an 'educated' Muslim is having a dinner party discussion about Islam while his 'uneducated' Muslim neighbor is happily murdering every infidel non-Muslim he can locate....

P.S. My Blogger word verification is diuma as in "Die Ummah!" Ha!