Geert Wilders: “I do not hate Muslims”

“There are people who say that I hate Muslims. I do not hate Muslims.

I first visited an Islamic country in 1982. I was 18 years old and had traveled with a Dutch friend from Eilat in Israel to the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh.

We were two almost penniless backpacking students. We slept on the beaches and found hospitality with Egyptians, who spontaneously invited us to tea. I clearly recall my very first impression of Egypt: I was overwhelmed by the kindness, friendliness and helpfulness of its people.

It saddens me how Islam has robbed them of their dignity.What Islam does to Muslims is visible in the way they treat their daughters. On March 11, 2002, fifteen Saudi schoolgirls died as they attempted to flee from their school in the holy city of Mecca. A fire had set the building ablaze.

The girls ran to the school gates but these were locked. The keys were in the possession of a male guard, who refused to open the gates because the girls were not wearing the correct Islamic dress imposed on women by Saudi law: face veils and overgarments.

The “indecently” dressed girls frantically tried to save their young lives. The Saudi police beat them back into the burning building. Officers of the Mutaween, the “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice,” as the Police are known in Saudi Arabia, also beat passers-by and firemen who tried to help the girls.

“It is sinful to approach them,” the policemen warned bystanders. It is not only sinful, it is also a criminal offence.

Girls are not valued highly in Islam; the Koran says that the birth of a daughter makes a father’s “face darken and he is filled with gloom” (sura 43:17). Nevertheless, the incident at the Mecca school drew angry reactions.

Islam is inhumane; but Muslims are humans, hence capable of Love – that powerful force which Muhammad despised. Humanity prevailed in the Meccan fathers who were incensed over the deaths of their daughters; it also prevailed in the firemen who confronted the Mutaween when the latter were beating the girls back inside, and in the journalists of the Saudi paper which, for the first time in Saudi history, criticized the much feared and powerful “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.”

However, Muslim protests against Islamic inhumanity are rare. Most Muslims, even in Western countries, visit mosques and listen to shocking Koranic verses and to repulsive sermons without revolting against them.

Islam deprives Muslims of their freedom. That is a shame, because free people are capable of great things, as history has shown. The Arab, Turkish, Iranian, Indian, Indonesian peoples have tremendous potential.”

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