In the Islamic world, I was always struck by two things. I was impressed by the kindness and helpfulness of many people. But there was also their fear. Islamic societies are ruled by terror. Muslims are good people, but they live under the yoke of Islamic sharia. If they leave Islam, or even just mildly criticise it, they sign their own death verdict.
I returned to The Netherlands and became a politician. I used to live in the Kanaleneiland district of Utrecht. During my years there, the district was transformed into a dangerous neighbourhood for non-Muslims. I have been robbed. On several occasions I had to run for safety. The same transformation happened in several cities in The Netherlands and other European countries where Islam settled. Europe is going through an Islamification process, which makes our continent less free and less safe.
Contrary to what many Westerners think, Islam, rather than a religion, is a totalitarian political ideology. It is an ideology because it aims for an Islamic state and wants to impose sharia on all of us. It is totalitarian because it is not voluntary: once you are in, you cannot get out. Unlike genuine religions, Islam also makes demands on non-Muslims. We, too, are marked for death if we criticise it.
For nine years I have been living under constant police protection. I live in a government safe house. I am driven every day to my office in an armoured police car. I have even lived in army barracks and prison cells just to be safe from assassins. I am threatened because I am a a critic of Islam.
Some critics will scoff, knowing that to do so puts them in no danger at all. It will make them seem more tolerant, and enable them to walk down the street in danger of nothing but praise from the like-minded.
Wilders’ life, though, is proof of at least part of his message. Here are just some of the security guidelines distributed to journalists covering the visit here of an elected Dutch political leader simply expressing a point of view:
To facilitate the required level of security and to ensure an enjoyable time for us all, you are kindly requested to familiarise yourself with the following notes and the T&Cs* applicable to the evening events. We understand that this are not everyday requirements, but are essential for the security of Mr Wilders and his staff.
1.) For most media opportunities we will send to you the location details the night before the event. The venue information is privileged and confidential and must not be made available for publication or made available to a third party prior to or during the event….
2.) Besides your ‘tools of trade’ only one small handbag is permitted into the venues… If you refuse to be screened, security will refuse entry.
4.) Immediately upon arrival on location please approach one of our security operatives. Kindly identify yourself with photo ID and the confirmed media accreditation and you will be given a location pass, please wear this visibly and return this to security when you leave the venue…
8.) Do not assume patrons and members have given permission to be filmed. Aside from Mr Wilders and our board members speaking from the podium, any other face on your recording must be pixelated, or the relevant frames deleted before broadcasting; unless you have received written permission from this person.
9.) As a security requirement, officers providing close personal protection for Mr Wilders will not allow persons to directly approach Mr Wilders without prior arrangement…
10.) All of the meetings/press conferences will be taken indoors in secure locations. We understand the desire to get ‘shots outside/movement shots’, but for security reasons this will not be possible.
If criticising Islam requires this much protection, there must be something to criticise.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.