Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Swedish Radio Interviews Lars Hedegaard: Part 2

Lars Hedegaard on SRThis is the second part of a translated interview with Lars Hedegaard, the Danish author and historian. The first part is here, and the entire interview may be found (in Danish) at Snaphanen.

Zonka kindly supplied the translation for this portion of the interview. The interview was broadcast on Swedish Radio on November 28th, and the SR interviewer was Sören Wibeck:

LH: [Continuing his comments about the possibility of another Mohammed cartoon crisis] They succeeded in intimidating the politically correct elite, the arts community, the intellectuals, and the journalists. They are so scared that the half would suffice. However, the population as such, they couldn’t intimidate, and that was the purpose of starting the crisis. It was fabricated and produced by the Danish imams who traveled to the Middle East by agreement with the Muslim Brotherhood and OIC. It was carefully planned in all details. It was an anger that was artificially orchestrated, and the result in Denmark was rather poor, so I don’t think they’ll do that again.
SR: Many are about Islam, almost half of your columns, and you say that you were fired, because you wrote too much about Islam. Why is Islam so interesting?
LH: Well, let’s phrase another question. Why was the Nazism interesting in the 1930s? What kind of trust should one have in a writer in the 1930s who didn’t devote half of his writings to Nazism? It seems to me to be the most dangerous threat to our civilization, against our children’s future. I consider Islam an even greater threat to democracy, liberty and freedom of speech, than the Nazism was. So then.
SR: Why?
LH: Because Nazism could be fought by military means. Germany and its armies could be laid in ruins, and one could then proclaim that now Nazism was dead and no longer a present threat. One cannot do the same with Islam. Islam is a “world-view” [Almost impossible to translate to English, the German Weltanschauung is probably the closest thing — See Wikipedia for details — translator], which embeds itself in individuals. With Islam, you cannot fight a state. Islam is an ideology that enters everywhere there is a crack. How to fight it, I don’t know, no one has succeeded yet for 1400 years in conquering it.
SR: But we have freedom of speech as well as freedom of religion?
LH: Yes, and we also have a paragraph in the Danish constitution, the one that grants that freedom of religion, that reads, “Nothing must be taught which is contrary to morality or the public order”. But then one can argue whether Islam is a religion. I don’t think that Islam qualifies as a religion.
SR: But as…?
LH: It is a political, totalitarian total-view [See above note about world-view — translator], which also encloses a religion. But when the core message of the religion consists of conquering the entire world for Allah to subdue the non-Muslim population and make them a sort of slaves, called dhimmis in Muslim terminology, then we can ask whether it is a religion or whether it is a political ideology. I believe it is more of a political ideology, which covers itself as a religion. I’m not certain that freedom of religion is applicable here.
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SR: That leads us to the question… You say that you were fired because of Islam. Which is controversial; we have the entire Mohammed-cartoon debate in Denmark, which had such large consequences… What can one say about Islam, and what cannot be said? Where is the limit of the freedom of speech?
LH: Are you thinking whether it is a question of what one can do or what one ought to do?
SR: What one can say?
LH: Well, in Denmark we can say what we will. It is most likely the only place in the world where we are still able to say what we will. Thus, I do it, and the members of my organization, and many others say what the want about it. We appear completely open about it — anybody can come through my door — and we intend to continue this way.

One has to differentiate between Islam as an ideology and Muslims. Islam as an ideology must be criticized ruthlessly, consequently, and radically. Muslims, as we must remember, are born into their role as Muslims. That means that they cannot do anything about their role as Muslims. Many of them, including some who are my friends — We also have Muslim members of the Free Press Society, considers themselves are cultural Muslims — thus they don’t take the ideology seriously. And I respect that, and thus I’m not saying — I don’t speak about all Muslims, I’m speaking about the ideology — in the same way that I wouldn’t talk about all Nazis, because some were more or less forced into being members of Hitlerjugend and Bund Deutscher Mädel and other such groups. Nazism as an ideology must be criticized mercilessly; Communism, Stalinism as an ideology must be criticized mercilessly, as Islam as an ideology must be. Muslims can have an equally large need for protection of their interests and their rights as the rest of us.
SR: And what ought to be said?
LH: One might say that I’ve said it. Islam is a particularly dangerous ideology, which aims to force its believers to fight for Allah’s cause. Which means global conquest and to enthrall people who don’t voluntarily bow to Allah’s yoke, as prescribed in e.g. the Sharia — the holy Muslim law — this is what one ought to say. And with this ‘world-view’, this utopia there is no peace. There is no compromise.
SR: In 2004 you were a co-founder of Free Press Society. Why was it formed?
LH: We did it because in 2003, after being recommended by a member, I had sought membership of Danish Pen and was refused membership with the stated reason that I participated in ‘hate speech’. Such as encouragement to murder and persecution of others. I didn’t follow up on it at first, or rather I was told that my request would be considered at the general assembly in Danish Pen, without me being present at all. When I then learned that it was a rather unusual procedure, I withdrew my request. Then a couple of months passed by and I got some requests from people who encouraged me to head a new organization, which should be dedicated to the protection of freedom of speech. I didn’t have the greatest enthusiasm for this as I knew how much work it would entail — I had other things to do with my time. But in the end I succumbed and at the end of November 2004, I accepted the task, and we created the organization and had our first founding assembly in March 2005, and since then we had a great success.
SR: So the organization, which was supposed to protect freedom of speech, didn’t accept a member who made use of it?
LH: No they didn’t.

The final part of the Swedish Radio interview with Lars Hedegaard will be posted here tomorrow, as translated by Kepiblanc.

Photo ©Snaphanen.


Czechmade said...

There is a heap of distorted pre-islamic heritage in islam.
The cultural muslims might cross the Rubicon and start studying that stuff and even as "cultural muslim" might melt down in this effort.

That would be interesting. It would be more detrimental than simply "rejecting islam" with a possible boomerang effect.

Steen said...

It should be noted : Hedegaard was granted 70 sconds in SR, while imam Abul Petersen had 110 seconds.

Some was referred due to the sad fact, that danes and swedes understand one another less than they used to. For thos who understand danish, I have a video of the interview 26 minutes at Snaphanen.