Wilders lays it on the line

At the new website of the Geert Wilders International Freedom Alliance is Wilders’s five minute interview with a Dutch newspaper announcing and explaining the new organization. He states its purpose very simply, and switches to English to say it: “Defend Freedom, and Stop Islam.” Then he continues in Dutch: “The defense of our freedom and stopping Islam in the Western world.”

He does not say, “Stop Islamism. He does not say, “Stop radical Islam.” He says, “Stop Islam.” So the American conservatives who have supported Wilders will, if they are to support this organization, have to go beyond their constant evasive talk about “Islamism” and say that they oppose, not “Islamism,” but Islam.

Gates of Vienna has provided a transcript of the interview in English. I’ve reformatted it without the time markers that appear on every line in the original, and also made minor changes in punctuation and done other slight editing.

Wilders: I want to announce today that we will start an international movement, the International Freedom Alliance. “Geert Wilders International Freedom Alliance,” it has even been called, is an international organization which focuses—allow me to say it first in English—on two points: Defend Freedom and Stop Islam. The defense of our freedom and stopping Islam in the Western world. This will be an international organization. We will focus first on five countries: Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

In each of the five countries during the next six months I will also deliver an address there and announce this initiative. I hope it will become a huge success. For it is not just a Dutch problem that our freedom is being curtailed and Islam is advancing, it is a problem for the entire free West. And it is a problem that people—whether in the Netherlands, or in Denmark, or in France—can always see, but the forces are not getting together. And if we succeed in bundling those forces, and are able to help people to proclaim this voice, and are also able to change the political and social situation in their countries, then this would be something magnificent.

It thus is a new initiative, and I have great expectations for it.

My basic work and responsibility of course lies in the Netherlands. here I will continue to do 99 percent of my work, and here in the Netherlands, in parliament, I will fight for those 1.5 million voters. But the people in the Netherlands also are aware that this is not just a Dutch problem, but a problem for the entire free West. And to dedicate some of my energy to this also is more than worth it.

Q: With this news, it is quite likely you will get the entire Muslim world all over you. Are you ready for that?

Wilders: Yes, I am ready for that. I realize that very well. It is not my intention, however. My intention is never to get other people all over me, but I think that I also have a responsibility which stretches farther than just the Netherlands, and I think that we, by stopping Islamization and struggling for this freedom—for you, for me, for journalists, for women, for people who want to leave Islam, for children, for anyone else—that we should take this seriously, and I want to stick my neck out for that. We are going to do this in a very professional manner. Again, we will take this on in a variety of countries.

Q: You will also enter the debate?

Wilders: I will also enter the debate, I will also go there.

Q: With the Muslim community?

Wilders: Certainly, but this must be dealt with more at an international level, and in many countries it will not be applauded, but that must not be a reason not to do this.

Q: Why is this the moment to come forward with this?

Wilders: Well, of course I want to indicate that we will be coming up with this, and this may also result in support.

You mention people and countries who undoubtedly may become angry with the initiative. But there will also be quite a lot of people who consider this to be a wonderful initiative. I think, right after my trial—which if all goes well will be completed in November—we will come forward with this.

Q: But why do you announce the news today, while you are right in the middle of [government-formation] talks?

Wilders: Well, I could also have done this last week or next month, there is no—

Q: Could you not wait till after a new government has been formed?

Wilders: This could have been. That has nothing to do with it. Look, if I were to be in the government myself, I would not—except for this organization carrying my name—interfere with it. Thus I’d step back, and I do not interfere, so that is not at all standing in the way. And if I were to be in the opposition I’d be more active in it. It therefore does not in any way infringe with participation in a government.

Q: Your safety, that will be even more at stake after this news.

Wilders: Yes, I hope not, but that may very well be, it is as you say.

Q: You have taken that into account?

Wilders: Well look here, considering that for the past six years I have had protection, where, every time I say something or do something, I take my security into consideration, then I might as well go home and lock myself up in the bedroom, spend the day in bed and watch TV, which may be fun for one day, but that’s not what I intend to do. So you should not always—actually, always not—let that be a guideline; you may take that into account, but you should not leave things behind because you are afraid of your safety.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 18, 2010 01:31 PM | Send

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