Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flemming Rose Interviews Naser Khader

On March 27 the Danish Muslim politician Naser Khader was interviewed by Flemming Rose on Jyllands-Posten TV.

For those who are not familiar with Naser Khader: he has received death threats for his advocacy of civil liberties, for favoring the assimilation of immigrants into Danish society, and for other outspoken opinions which radical Muslims find objectionable. As a result Mr. Khader is under 24-hour protection by the Danish security police.

Thanks to our Danish correspondent TB for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for adding the subtitles and posting the video at YouTube:

Below the jump is a complete transcript of the translated interview.
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Flemming Rose: Welcome. I will in the future, on a regular basis, present and interview bloggers on [Jyllands-Posten TV]. Today I interview Naser Khader, conservative MP and a blogger on Welcome Naser.
Naser Khader: Thank you.
FR: My first question is related to an ongoing debate in many media outlets these days. It is about this conference, some call it a conference about freedom of speech, and other call it a conference that seeks to combat extremism and radicalism. You are the motive force behind this conference. Why should we have this conference in Copenhagen? And why now?
NK: It is a conference about freedom of speech, radicalization, extremism, the fight against Islamism. I call it a Freedom of Speech Conference because I want to focus on the limitations on freedom of speech that we witness around the world.
FR: Geert Wilders has been a matter of debate in connection with this subject. Why do you think that Geert Wilders should be invited? I know that Jeppe Koefod from the Social Democrats wrote the other day in our newspaper [Jyllands-Posten] that Wilders should not be invited.

The chairman of The Union of Danish Journalists Mogens Bjerregaard writes on their homepage something similar, as does your good friend Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen [meant sarcastically, former employee of the Secret Police]. The point is, they say, that Geert Wilders is not a man who knows anything about how to combat extremism and radicalism. On the contrary, he knows something about how to stimulate extremism and radicalism.

What is your answer to this critic?
NK: My answer is that Geert Wilders is more important than ever when addressing a conference about freedom of speech and radicalization. Because we should not have experts to sit and… say, to come up with solutions to radicalism is something that takes an enormous amount of work behind the curtains. The goal here is to create a focus on the problem, and that’s the limitation of freedom of speech.

It is that many young people born in the West suddenly become radicalized. What is it that attracts them into this ideology? What can we do to avoid these people ending up like this? But in connection with Geert Wilders, where he is relevant, it is in part about freedom of speech.

And he is now much more relevant after the British denied him access to England. It is grotesque. It is historical. It is appalling I think that a democratic country with a very fine democratic tradition, England, refuses entry to a democratically-elected member of another country’s parliament, and I think that the British have let themselves be pressured by the Islamist lobby in England.

And that is why I think that Geert Wilders is needed more than ever before. And by the way, Hirsi Ali also one of those who will receive an invitation. I simply cannot see the difference between Geert Wilders and Hirsi Ali concerning their attitudes. What the Social Democrats, Bonnichsen, and others have pointed out is that Geert Wilders wants have the Quran forbidden. Well, Hirsi Ali wants that too.

Geert Wilders says that Muhammad was a pedophile. Well Hirsi Ali says that too. When Hirsi Ali comes to Denmark she is welcomed like a hero. But Geert Wilders they do not want. The only difference as I see it is that she is young, beautiful and dark while he is middle aged, from the West and pale [Khader laughs].
FR: With a bad hairstyle…
NK: With a bad hairstyle, yes. So I think it is grotesque!
FR: Thanks a lot. That was Naser Khader who blogs at Please visit our homepage and read further and participate in the debate. Thank you.