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Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders | Photo credit: Reuters

Geert Wilders: ‘If we don’t fight, Europe will become Arabia’

Geert Wilders, the head of the now second-largest Dutch political party — Party for Freedom (PVV) — says the rapid Islamization of Europe poses an existential threat, one that the traditional parties are ignoring • Time is running out, he warns.

Via: Eldad Beck  

Geert Wilders’ office in the Dutch Parliament at The Hague looks like a bunker. To reach him, one has to pass several highly secured doors that can only be accessed with special electronic keys. At the entrance, there are two highly trained armed guards, authorized to open fire if necessary, even inside the parliament building. A screen linked to a network of cameras covering every movement in all the access routes to the office allows the guards full oversight. It is strictly forbidden to take pictures there. The office itself has no windows, for fear of snipers.

Wilders, 53, receives more threats than any other Dutch politician, and perhaps more than any politician in all of Europe. The issue of Islamist terrorism, which has been sweeping through the continent, has topped Wilders’ agenda since he entered politics some 15 years ago. His resolute and vocal objection to the Islamization of Europe has earned him many enemies, but it has also made him the voice of a growing number of Dutch citizens. In the general election last March, Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) became the second largest in parliament. The rest of the parties pledged in advance not to join a coalition with PVV, but have found it difficult to assemble a coalition without it. Coalition negotiations have been ongoing for over five months now, and may conclude in the coming days.

Wilders, who has become a key actor in Europe’s “patriotic revolution,” alongside Marine Le Pen in France, Heinz-Christian Strache in Austria and Frauke Petry in Germany, believes that the traditional political parties in his country are ignoring the most pressing issue — one that threatens the very existence of Europe — and that time is running out. He also believes that the worse the threat becomes, the closer he gets to potentially being elected prime minister.

Q: Manchester, London, Barcelona, Paris — these are only a few of the European cities that were hit by terrorist attacks this summer. Is Europe in a state of war?

“Certainly. War was declared on us a long time ago — 1,400 years ago actually. But we were able to fight back several times in the past. Unfortunately, you are talking about this year and it is as bad as it can be, but we saw it coming. Since the last time we met, we have had numerous attacks, what we call the black summer, sometimes even twice a day.

“Of course, the terrorists are to blame, but the problem underneath, the root cause, is the Islamization of the West. Islam not being capable or willing to assimilate or integrate, but instead wanting to dominate. It has no other aim than to attack our way of life, our freedom and our existence. Today, because of this Islamization that the political elite allowed to happen, we are not only at war, but we are facing an existential problem — a problem Israel knows better than anyone else — we are fighting for our existence.

“I have been on the hit lists of al-Qaida type organizations for 15 years, but today we are all on the same death list. You can see it almost every day. I am very angry with all those politicians who allowed — with the mass immigration in the past and later with the asylum tsunami — people to enter. I’m not saying they are all terrorists, but they all bring along an ideology that is totally incompatible with freedom, with respect and with democracy, and no demand was made on them to integrate or assimilate. And today we are seeing the results. We see a total state of war, waged not only by people coming from Syria and other places but also homegrown terrorist cells. The sad thing is that we haven’t seen anything yet.

“If you look at the coming decades, the problem will get even worse. There is a demographic explosion in Africa — the population of Africa will be in the billions by the end of the century. And, according to the United Nations, one third of them are planning to come to Europe. With our open borders and our cultural relativism and our political inability to fight back and fight for our existence, it will only get worse. We are in a total big mess, and our so-called leaders are 100% to blame.”

Ideas instead of tanks

After the recent attack in Barcelona, the city’s chief rabbi said that “Europe is lost” to radical Islam. Wilders tends to agree: “He also advised Jews to go to Israel because they are not safe anymore. I’m afraid he has a very strong point. The European Union started as an economic corporation and became a political union. The aim was to get rid of the nation states. The nation states transferred sovereign rights to Brussels. Today we are no longer in charge of our own border control. We need to get permission from the European Union to close our borders, or implement tougher immigration policies. Today we are living in a house but we cannot decide who can enter as a guest or a resident, and when the guest should leave. We can’t do that as a country anymore.

“The result of this process was a kind of identity crisis. I believe that the nation state is imperative. You need a nation state to have a democracy. You need a national feeling, a national flag, a national anthem, a national culture. You need a nation state for a real democracy to flourish. I have nothing against the Portuguese or the Danish, we can work together, but we are not the same people. If you don’t know what you are, you also don’t know what you are not. So of course you can’t ask the immigrants to integrate and assimilate. Into what? If you don’t know your identity, it is impossible.

“In many countries, if you say that you support what the Germans call ‘Leitkultur’ — a dominant culture — you are called a bigot or a racist. In Holland, we are not an Islamic country. We are a country based on Christianity, on humanism, on Judaism. Those are our values and this is what we are, what we have been and what we should be. In many countries in Europe you can be taken to court for saying that.

“People are waking up. People are saying ‘this is not what we want. We made a mistake. How can we regain not only our identity, but also become the safe country that we were?’ Among Turkish youth, one of the biggest minorities in Holland, 78% think that Arabs who go from Holland to fight for ISIS in Syria are to be considered heroes. The University of Amsterdam, a leftist, liberal institution, found that 11% of Dutch Muslims — we have one million Muslims, so more than 100,000 — were prepared to use violence in the name of Islam if necessary. That is twice as many people as are in the Dutch army.”

Q: Is part of the problem the refusal to admit the connection between terror and Islam?

“Of course that’s the problem. In Holland and in many other European countries, the politically correct are now saying that Islam is not the problem, Salafism is the problem. That’s the new thing. As if there are two kinds of Islam. And even if they were correct: What about the biggest Salafist, Wahabi country in the region that is financing, not just with money but also through ideology, almost all of Europe, not to mention America and other places — Saudi Arabia? Where [U.S. President Donald] Trump waved swords. Together with some Gulf states, Saudi Arabia is one of the most problematic countries.”

Q: And Turkey

“And Turkey. Of course. This is not conventional warfare, with guns and tanks, but warfare with money and ideas. And it’s not only about ISIS, but also youngsters who are often born here — just look at what happened in Barcelona. The base is being funded by the Saudis, the Turks, the Moroccans and all the others who are helping and subsidizing. Islam is the core of the problem, not only Salafism. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but unfortunately, in Europe today, all terrorists are Muslim. We need to accurately analyze the problem. We have to acknowledge that the ideology of violence and hate and intolerance disguised as a religion is the threat we are facing. The more Islamic we become, the more violence and less freedom we will have. Read the Quran.

“Second, and here we can learn from Israel, we need to adapt our way of fighting. We have to think like the enemy and almost act like the enemy or we will lose. You cannot compromise with an ideology or a people who want to kill you.”

We don’t have much time

Wilders argues that Europe is beginning to “wake up,” but the fact is that the citizens of several European countries recently opted not to vote for the kind of change he is advocating when given the opportunity. “We did not win. I admit that. But the reality is that, for instance, my party in Holland grew by one third. For the first time in our short history — only 15 years — we are the second biggest party in the Dutch parliament. We have 13 parties in parliament, and we are number two. We are excluded from the government because nobody wants to touch us, but we are the second biggest party. Never in Dutch history has a party this young become this strong. So we won.

“Look at Austria, the Freedom Party of Austria [FPO], whatever you might think of them, they lost the presidency by only a few votes, and they lost in the second round because all the others joined forces against them. But they got 48% of the vote. If you look at Le Pen — I respect her a lot, I may not agree with everything she says but she is a very professional, good politician — she got more than 10 million votes. She did not win the presidency because they all joined forces against her, but she got the most votes her party ever won. In Germany, the Alternative for Germany party [AfD] may not get 20 or 30%, but they will meet and threshold and take their first steps into the Bundestag.

“These are not small steps. You see that our forces are winning, we are not losing. We are winning everywhere and millions of people are voting for our parties. It’s not enough yet. We don’t have a majority. The political elite is still very strong. But don’t be confused into thinking that we are losing the battle. We are winning the battle. We don’t have much time left, that’s very true, but still, we are gaining ground.”

Q: How long is “not much time”?

“There have been many studies on the effects of Islamization on a society. You don’t even have to have an Islamic majority in your country to see enormous changes when it comes to violence, freedom, rule of law, parallel societies in your own societies. As a matter of fact, we are already too late, but we have to fight back. And it is not too late in a way that we can’t change it. We see the results of Islamization all over Europe, people are afraid to send their children into town, or take their children to school or go shopping in a city on a Thursday evening. It is too late, but it can be reversed. If we don’t fight it, at the end of the century we will be a part of Arabia or Africa. Already today, in countries like the United Kingdom, there are active Shariah courts, it’s not a fairy tale, it is happening already. Shariah courts on European soil. Shariah is the opposite of freedom. We are in a very bad situation and we need to fire back.”

Q: Some people argue that Trump’s chaotic behavior influenced elections in Europe, dissuading voters from supporting right-wing nationalist parties. What is your take on that?

“I don’t know if that is true. Whatever Europeans think about Mr. Trump, some like him, many don’t, people know what is happening in their own continent, on their own streets. Unfortunately, maybe it has to get worse before it can better. Western Europe — in eastern Europe it’s a different story — is totally going in the wrong direction. There are countries in eastern Europe that know their identity. They do not suffer from Europe’s worst disease — cultural relativism. They are proud of their identity. They remember from their past what totalitarianism is like under Moscow and are not willing to submit to totalitarianism under Brussels. They have no immigration from old colonial countries. They say, and they are proud to say it and win elections because of it, ‘we are a Christian country, we are not Islamic.’ They refuse to take any more, even in defiance of the European Union. The Hungarians, the Poles, the Slovakians, the Czechs, they are refusing. We can now learn from them.”

The next prime minister

The nationalist parties of Europe’s “patriotic revolution” are generally met with suspicion among Jews and Israelis. Le Pen wants to ban Jewish symbols in France and has downplayed France’s history in the Holocaust. The Alternative for Germany party has made numerous anti-Semitic declarations. “I don’t share all of Le Pen’s ideas,” Wilders responds. “About the Middle East, or about economics. But she is anything but an anti-Semite. She really is not anti-Semitic. Before we started working together, I spoke to her many times, and believe me, if she even came close to her father’s political views we wouldn’t have gone near her. We would not work with any party that even comes close to anti-Semitism. I also believe that Frauke Petry [head of Alternative for Germany] is not anti-Semitic.

“For myself, my party is rejected by the extreme Right for being pro-Israel. They call me a Zionist, which is an advantage. They distance themselves from me because of my love for Israel and the Jewish people. We are the most pro-Israel party in the Dutch parliament.”

Q: The interim government recently decided to continue giving aid to the Palestinian Authority. Is there any way to stop it?

“In the two years that we supported the minority government, we stopped it. Now they are once again giving more financial support to an entity that has nothing to do with democracy and is posing all kinds of problems. I don’t know what the new government will do. Hopefully better. The negotiating parties, even though they are not my friends, differ from the current government that made this decision – the social democrats. Hopefully it will change with the next government. Maybe they made this decision knowing that there are only a few weeks left.

“What I’ve learned from Israel is that the Israeli Palestinian conflict is not about land. It’s not about territory. It is about ideology. It’s reason against barbarism. It’s democracy against totalitarianism. You can’t solve the problem by returning or giving land. It will not stop. It may bring a temporary hudna [truce], but at the end of the day, it will continue until there is no Israel left. This is what we are facing today in Europe — we are losing our territory. We cannot compromise with an ideology that wants to dominate, wants to implement Shariah law. We can learn from Israel: We need to learn to defend ourselves, be proud of our identity and learn to fight the enemy as the enemy does. It may not be politically correct, but it is the only way.”

Q: A new government will soon be established in Holland. How long will it last, and will you win the next election?

“We always try to win the election. But my strength, some say it is my weakness, is that I’m consistent. Whether I win or lose, I say what I mean. I don’t adapt to popularity polls. I was an outspoken friend of Israel when it was very unpopular and it cost me votes. We had it checked, and even many of my veteran voters didn’t like what I said about Israel. But I will never change, because that is what I believe.

“Most importantly I fight against Islamization. I pay a high personal price, but I truly believe that it is the best path for freedom, for our country, for our existence. People like it, people don’t, but if I were to moderate my voice and moved a little toward the middle, we may have been invited into the government, but I would have lied. I would not have been honest. I would have been just another one of the 13 parties in the Dutch parliament. I hope to win the next election, but it is not the most important thing. The most important thing is that I tell the truth and warn my people about the situation and provide a better way to deal with it. I will not compromise on that.”

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