Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Slouching Towards Brussels

Counterjihad Brussels2007

Tell me again about Europe and her pains,
Who’s tortured by the drought, who by the rains.
Glut me with floods where only the swine can row
Who cuts his throat and let him count his gains.
It seemed the best thing to be up and go.

                — William Empson, from “Aubade

I recently posted a summary report about last month’s Counterjihad Brussels 2007. Controversy and acrimony have swirled around the conference since shortly after the participants left the Flemish Parliament building that afternoon and boarded trains or planes to make their way home.

For a change of pace, here is a simple narrative of what happened in Brussels.

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It all started because of the Danes.

Early this year, when we started having discussions about what we could do on behalf of the European members of CVF, I suggested that Denmark was the place to start, because Denmark is different. The Danes have demonstrated that they are ahead of the rest of us in the West when it comes to resisting the Great Jihad, so it was only natural that the first Counterjihad summit should be held in Copenhagen. I worked with my Viking contacts to set up a meeting hosted by SIAD, with attendees coming mostly from Scandinavia and the UK.

After the April meeting the question was what to do for a follow-up. We decided to plan a conference to support the SIOE demonstration scheduled to take place in Brussels on September 11th. The logistics turned out to be impossible — too many Americans had to be here in the USA for the 9-11 anniversary, and a good venue could not be found until the following month. The meeting was rescheduled for late October. The European and the Flemish Parliaments proved to be excellent locations, given the serious security requirements and the large number of people who eventually attended.

The initial invitations were taken from Gates of Vienna’s list of correspondents, translators, and blogger contacts, but rapidly expanded as other people became involved. As our speaker list grew — to include Robert Spencer, Andrew Bostom, David Littman, and Bat Ye’or, among others — so did the workload. In order to make it happen, for three or four months some of us had to cut back seriously on our sleep.

Counterjihad Brussels2007

After dozens of meetings and preliminary visits to Brussels, after hundreds of phone calls, after thousands of emails — finally, on October 18th, we sat down on the dais at the European Parliament, and I had the honor of being the MC for an unprecedented group of anti-jihad activists from fourteen countries — people from universities and free speech associations, from human rights groups and right wing political parties, and from local neighborhood groups. Oh — and, yes, even several bloggers.

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My first stop on the Continent was in Antwerp on Tuesday, October 16th, where Robert Spencer was to make a speech and sign books.


- - - - - - - - -
Antwerp is in the heart of Flanders, and the old town center seems quintessentially Dutch.

Antwerp CathedralThe hotel was just off the square in front of Antwerp Cathedral — the photo at left was taken by hanging the camera out of the window of my room and taking a snap in approximately the right direction.

When I arrived at the hall where Robert spoke, our hosts ushered me to an empty chair where the following sign awaited me:

Mr. Baron Bodissey

I can only assume that “Voorbehouden” is Dutch for “Reserved”.

Robert’s speech was comprehensive, expertly-delivered, and well-received by the audience. He was mobbed for a half hour or so afterwards as he signed books and posed for photographs.

After the book-signing, I joined Robert, Paul Belien, and several other people for drinks and conversation at a table on the sidewalk in front of a pub in downtown Antwerp. The weather, according to Paul, was unusually good — Belgium is noted for its rain — and many people took advantage of the mild temperatures to sit at the sidewalk tables.

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Wednesday morning was rainy, and although I took a brief walk up to the castle on the river, sightseeing was not really an option, and by lunchtime that day I was in Brussels.


Happy 50th!Steen took the above photo of downtown Brussels. As you can see from the close-up at right, the tall sign on the skyscraper celebrates the fiftieth birthday of the European Union in several languages.

This was only one example of the “Happy 50th” propaganda spread all over Brussels. Just off Schuman Square, alongside one of the EU buildings, a long wall was dedicated entirely to a celebration of all the wonderful things that the EU has done since 1957. Coupled with the gargantuan ultra-modern architecture and the heavy security presence, the atmosphere was overwhelmingly Soviet — this was a version of the USSR turbo-charged with all that Western European money and slathered over with a suffocating layer of multiculturalism.

The whole effect was creepy.

Wednesday at the Flemish Parliament was spent preparing materials for the next day’s events, printing, photocopying, stapling booklets together, etc. Later that evening attendees began to gather at the hotel in downtown Brussels. I had the pleasure of meeting people I’d previously known only through email or skype conversations. Among the old friends I finally met in person that night or the next day were KGS, Conservative Swede, Jens Anfindsen, Lars Hedegaard, Rolf Krake, Paul Weston, Gandalf, Cimmerian, and Yorkshire Miner.

Many veterans I’d met at the Copenhagen summit were also in Brussels, including Steen, Skjoldungen, Zonka, Aeneas, Reinhard, and several other European members of CVF. Pamela Geller and Nidra Poller, whom I had met last year at a PJMedia event in DC, arrived on Thursday.

As a result of the CVF events in Copenhagen and Brussels, I have met in person more than half of our European contributors, correspondents, and translators.

On Wednesday evening a large contingent of us went out together for dinner (French cuisine), and most of us returned afterwards to the hotel bar to enjoy Duvel, Stella Artois, and conversation well into the wee hours.

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I’ve already reported extensively on Thursday’s proceedings at the conference itself, and there will be further reports later. The occasion was an electrifying one: we were gathering in the heart of Eurabia to listen to Bat Ye’or and all the other speakers talk about the Islamization of Europe.

Andrew BostomAfter the day’s events we moved to the Flemish Parliament for a working dinner, and listened to speeches by Robert Spencer and Andrew Bostom during and after the meal.

Later that evening several groups of people went their separate ways to explore the pubs of Brussels. I elected to stay at the hotel bar and talk to Skjoldungen, Yorkshire Miner, Steen, Pamela, and Robert Spencer. Apparently, based on later reports, some of the conference attendees — you know who you are! — sampled the adult beverages of downtown Brussels at such length on Thursday night that they were unable to attend the morning session on Friday.

Even so, the next day’s working groups were very productive, and when we convened that afternoon for the final plenum there was a sense of renewed optimism about our grassroots efforts to resist Islamization and to stop the encroachment of sharia in our various countries.

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The Center for Vigilant Freedom was founded a little over a year ago as a “network of networks”, a facilitator of worldwide communication and shared effort among the various groups that are resisting the Islamization of the West. We came together as group of like-minded people who had had enough of talking about the problem, who shared an urgent desire to do something.

Numerous other groups share the same goals and work towards the same ends, and we support and coordinate with them as much as possible. Given our handicaps — the almost universal indifference and hostility towards our aims by the media, the academy, and our own governments — it is important to look for what we hold in common rather than fight over our differences.

None of the Counterjihad movements will be successful if it insists on absolute purity of doctrine and an absence of adverse political baggage. We support the work of any group that shares our primary goals:

  • personal liberty,
  • economic freedom,
  • representative democracy,
  • the rights of the individual, and
  • the rollback of Islamization.

More than seventy people from fourteen different European countries — plus Canada, Israel, and the United States — met with a common purpose. Being face to face so many talented and accomplished colleagues energized us all, and laid the groundwork for future efforts in Europe and throughout the West.

Bat Ye’or

I have written repeatedly in this space that we’re on our own — that is, our governments have effectively abandoned us, and our media and most of the educated elites in our countries actively work against us.

But all that has begun to change.

Every person who showed up in Brussels last month probably felt that he was on his own. But our conference allowed people to meet and to pool ideas and to discover that they were part of a larger network.

There is a long road ahead of us. The rollback process will take at least a generation, which means that I probably won’t be around to see the dénouement.

But when I looked out across the audience in the European Parliament on October 18th and saw all those young people, it was heartening to realize how many of us there will be to see our efforts through to their conclusion.

Popular sentiment in Europe and elsewhere supports the resistance, but political change comes slowly. Politicians must first feel a strong pressure from the electorate, which hasn’t happened yet. With the blinders imposed by the media and the demonization of anyone who shares our goals, a widespread concerted sentiment is difficult to achieve and maintain.

What is emerging now is an alternative to the media, an alternative to academia, and an alternative to elite opinion. Information is carving out new channels through the electronic landscape of the 21st century. This erosion is making the Old Media irrelevant.

If we set our sights on what we can actually do, rather than what we wish our elected leaders would do, then the process of real change can begin.

The new networks are forming. The word is getting out.

We are merely the switchboard operators of this new communication system. Or, to use a more up-to-date metaphor, we are the network cables, routers, and hubs of the newly-formed resistance.

And we are just one of many such networks. Efforts like ours are forming throughout the West like frost on a wintry window. They don’t make it onto the TV news or the Reuters wire — they are, after all, the most egregious of MSM heresies — but they are forming all the same.

If I can think of things like this, you know that thousands or even millions of people are coming up with the same ideas simultaneously.

This is a distributed emergence.

The action in just getting started. Stick around to see what happens.

But as to risings, I can tell you why.
It is on contradiction that they grow.
It seemed the best thing to be up and go.
Up was the heartening and the strong reply.
The heart of standing is we cannot fly.


Alexis said...

Already, the so-called "Council on American Islamic Relations" is at work smearing the Counterjihad Brussels 2007 conference.

Now that you hold the attention of Islamic imperialists, what is the message they need to hear?

AngleofRepose said...

Baron, I really appreciate all the hard work you went through, and these reports are invaluable to those of us who aren't in the blogspheric loop.

What's unfortunate, is that I had no idea of this conference, until after said conference took place. I'd never heard of CFV, or SIOE for that matter, until the attacks were made known. This should be addressed, and soon.

Instapundit, Michelle Malkin and.. LGF are those that could have brought this to a wider audience. Perhaps they did and I missed it, but here's hoping that the next event brings thousands.

As to the "unsavory" attendees.. well, IMHO, they've been weighed, measured and found to be

lauded in their continuous attempts "zeggen wat u denkt!"

Again, Baron, Dymphna et al..

Danke, Muchos Gracias, thank you, thank you, thank you.

AngleofRepose said...

And yes, I realize, I, use, way, too, many, freakin, commas, in my, sentences.

IanPJ said...

Good report. Please publish early for the next conference.

your translation was correct.
Alle rechten voorbehouden. All rights reserved.

Nyog of the Bog said...

The current reticence of Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, LGF et all, blesses curses GoV as not before, to an essential and central role in the blogosphere, on this issue. Thank you Baron and Dymphna for your unwavering commitment.

Kafir_Kelbeh said...

Baron & Dymphna,

I would be honored to attend, and assist in planning, next year's event. Any little thing you need, you let me know...Christine has me already signed up as a State rep, so I will be happy to do whatever I can!

Ypp said...

It is hard for me to apprehend what representative democracy has to do with antijihad. Charles Martel was not elected. Jan Sobiesky had large problems trying to get permission from his parliament to defend Vienna. During the course of history, it were monarchies who resisted jihad most consistently, whereas democracies often tended to seek alliance with muslims. It is not that I propose to establish a monarchy, but the subject of representative democracy seems to me completely decoupled from the subject of fighting jihad.

PRCalDude said...

I've gotta say that Col. Thomas Hammes would probably say that this 'network of networks' is the perfect response to the type of war the Islamists are waging against us. You guys have set up a good model for everyone else to follow in the counterjihad movement.

I wonder if we can get something similar started against the Mexicans.


Good point. In this case, 'democracy' is actively selling us "down the river."

CarnackiUK said...


Many thanks indeed to you and the other CVF organisers for your tireless work in putting this together against the odds...and to Dymphna for keeping the home fires and blog blazing.

It was truly a memorable and inspiring ground-breaking event. And much too successful to be just a one-off!

Steven Luotto said...

Dear Ypp,

yes I agree. Many, Mr. Magic Johnson in the lead, but certainly not GOV (Gates of Vienna!!!) forget that this struggle has been going on since - oh - 1350 years, give ot take a decade or two, well before the very notion of representative democracy was known (or anyhow very important). What were they fighting about? Neoconservatism and socialism, New Dealism?

In the History of Italian Fascism, certainly not a pretty shade of darkness, did any Maria, Monica or Marilù ever dream of celebrating the murderous suicide of her son and confusing it with a marriage to celestial whores?

Each trip to the comments of LGF is so disheartening and now I'm sorry I ASKED to be de-lizarded, because some of those people need to hear the wake up call. They only understand Islam as a threat to democracy and not a threat to Humanity no matter what, when or where her political expression. For them it's merely some sort of crappy political thing, and not an insult to man and even God. They can't even begin to understand how petty their guilt-by-association snapshots are, all the more so in the European context.

Ypp said...

Well, if some people believe that Islam is a threat to democracy, let them defend democracy. Those who believe that Islam is a threat to faith, or freedom, or homosexual rights can also defend those institutions dear to their hearts. Actually, Islam is a threat to everything except Islam.

My point is that by organizing a wide movement, like the net of the nets, it is not worthy to stick with only one of many possible positions. Islam is as well a threat to monarchy as it is to democracy.

I do understand that the absolute majority of Western people now are supporting liberal values, and that is why they inserted their partisan beliefs into the document. But to my opinion, antijihad should not associate with any partisan political goals. Only that is incompatible with jihad should be included.

Cincinnatus said...

I see LGF is putting up yet more photos of past Nazi connections. Maybe next they will put up a photo of the Pope when he was in the Hitler Youth, and then launch a blog attack on the Catholic church. Go Charles!

PRCalDude said...

^ The fact is that many people in Europe have relatives who were involved with the Nazis. I have a friend whose grandfather was in the Hitler Youth. We didn't exactly hang every Nazi there was when we defeated the Germans. There's quite a few people from that generation that probably weren't punished. Normally, you don't execute all of your enemies after they surrender, either. We have conventions against that, and it's just plain wrong.

Couple that to the fact that many European countries are small, and that increases the likelihood that you'll rub elbows with an ex-Nazi at some point.

Europe is not like here, and Charles doesn't seem to understand that.

His case against Miniter is more guilt-by-association and wikipedia entries. Notice he never discusses what Miniter believes, just what the ex-Nazi believed.

Charles reads these comments, and he's identified himself so strongly with his position that he can't turn back without looking like a fool. He's just going to keep going on this trajectory until this whole thing hopefully fades away.

spackle said...

"During the course of history, it were monarchies who resisted jihad most consistently, whereas democracies often tended to seek alliance with muslims."

Dont count on "Prince Charles",he is practically a convert to Islam. He already stated that when he becomes King he will no longer be "Defender of the faith" but "Defender of faith". Gives you a warm multi-culti feeling doesnt it?:)

Alexis said...

It is rather amusing to see Charles Johnson using pictures of Leon Degrelle. Please note this picture of Leon Degrelle showing him wearing the Iron Cross.

Here is what the Anti-Defamation League says about the Iron Cross.

Adolph Hitler renewed use of the Iron Cross in 1939 and superimposed the Nazi swastika in its center. Following the fall of the Third Reich, the symbol became strictly prohibited in post-war Germany. Today, the symbol is often displayed by neo-Nazi groups, especially as jewelry (e.g., pendants). The Iron Cross without the swastika is also frequently used as a hate symbol in the same manner as the Nazi-era Iron Cross. It is sometimes used for shock effect as it conjures up images of Nazi Germany and its military without being explicitly Nazi itself. In this guise, it is often displayed on clothing and accessories.

Here is what the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of the Knights Hospitaller says about the Iron Cross.

Sadly continuing the sinister dimension of the Iron Cross is the that this symbol is often displayed by neo-Nazi groups, especially as pendants. The Iron Cross without the swastika is also frequently used as a hate symbol in the same manner as the Nazi-era Iron Cross.

It is sometimes used for shock effect as it conjures up images of Nazi Germany and its military without being explicitly Nazi itself. In this guise, it is often displayed on clothing and accessories. This is the present sinister connotations of the so-called 'Maltese Cross' - which in fact is an Iron Cross as used by the Nazis and the present day neo-nazis.

This is what the Anti-Defamation League says about the Celtic Cross.

This is one of the most popular symbols for neo-Nazis and white supremacists. First popularized by the Ku Klux Klan, the symbol was later adopted by the National Front in England and other racists such as Don Black on his Web site, Stormfront, and the racist band Skrewdriver to represent international "white pride." It is also known as Odin’s Cross. It is important to note that the Celtic Cross is used widely today in many mainstream and cultural contexts. No one should assume that a Celtic Cross, divorced from other trappings of extremism, automatically denotes use as a hate symbol.

(Please note that Charles Johnson criticizes Filip DeWinter for having a Celtic Cross on his bookshelf. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Celtic Cross does not automatically denote a symbol of hate.)

Speaking of pictures, here are three different versions of an interesting picture of two of Charles Johnson's followers. (Although this photo is found in leftist archives, my use of leftist material actually proves my point in this instance.)

Do you notice the Iron Cross on the back of the "LGF Minion" leather vest? What was possessing a follower of Charles Johnson to wear a known neo-Nazi symbol as part of his Little Green Footballs insignia?

The next time Charles Johnson wants to criticize someone with "disturbing connections" and a "shady past", he might try looking into his own mirror.

heroyalwhyness said...

First a sincere thank you to all involved in pulling this conference off and keeping us all informed.

I, too, am deeply saddened whenever I venture over to lizard territory lately. I've posted an occassional comment there over the years (under another nic), typically offering links, rarely opinion, - and for the most part, get overlooked - c'est la vie .

I do not fault Charles for disavowing any link to supremacist/nazi supporters, as that is his right to do. I'm convinced he will remain staunchly anti-jihad and I laud his efforts with his jihad exposes. . . regretting only that the discussion becomes so acrimonious devolving into juvenile sniping between oposing views.

As mentioned by others, this fallout does expose a confounding limitation in the anti-jihad effort.

Discussion about any attempt at separation of incompatible groups identified as a unit based on an unacceptable supremacist ideology (i.e. muslim) is deemed 'undemocratic' even worse, 'fascistic' - unfairly broad brushing an entire community.

Juxtapose that stand against adamant distancing/separation from white supremacists, nazis and their sympathizers (inadvertant or otherwise) with a similar broad brush.

Ironic . .. no?

IMO, It is a genuine concern that, unlike other supremacist groups, history shows that tolerating Islam - to any extent - is inviting the eventual Balkanization of the entire European continent (see Pakistan, Bangledesh, Kashmir - all partitioned from India with no end in sight).

Count me as a member of the Hugh Fitzgerald camp (re-visiting the Benes decree for guidance in addressing Islamic infiltration on a wholesale level) -

Taking this particular stand could result in banishment at the lizard site - under the guise of crossing the racist/fascist threshold. . .
ultimately confounding honest effort at further exploration/discussion.

Ok, enough of that. Thank you to all those involved in pulling off this historic event. Your efforts are very much appreciated and incredibly satisfying!