Time to Drain the Swamp - Also in Europe
Next month, I will be visiting Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. I have been invited to speak to a group of Czech patriots. The Czechs are a freedom loving people. In 2011, on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, they named a street in Prague after this great American president and freedom fighter.
This fact reminded me of a shameful event in my home town of The Hague, the seat of the Dutch Parliament and the government of the Netherlands. Look for a Ronald Reagan Street in The Hague and you will find none. A proposal in 2011 to name a street in The Hague after Reagan ran into fierce political opposition. Leftist parties, such as Labor, the Greens and the liberal D66 party, argued that naming a street in honor of Reagan would "do the image of the city no good." The whole affair ended in a disgraceful political compromise. Last year, a short stretch of a local bicycle path was named the "Reagan and Gorbachev Lane".
This anecdote is indicative of the difference between East and West in Europe. We can see the same difference in the attitude of their ruling elites towards Islam, the new totalitarianism that is threatening Europe today. In the East, political leaders oppose Islam; in the West, they surrender.
Islam has already gained a strong foothold in Western Europe. Its streets have come to resemble the Middle East, with headscarves everywhere. Parts of Western Europe, such as the Schilderswijk district in The Hague, the Molenbeek borough in Brussels, the banlieues [suburbs] of Paris, Birmingham in Britain, the Rosengård area in Malmö, Sweden, and many other neighborhoods, have become hotbeds of Islamic subversion.
Islam's totalitarian nature cannot be denied. The command to murder and terrorize non-Muslims is in the Koran. Islam's prophet Muhammad was a mass murderer and a pedophile. Those who leave Islam supposedly deserve death. And everyone who criticizes Islam and exposes what it actually says, ends up like me: on an Islamic death list.
In the past decades, Islam has entered Western Europe with the millions of immigrants from Islamic countries. Now, the European Union wants to distribute third-world immigrants over all the 28 EU member states. The nations in Central and Eastern Europe reject the EU plans to impose permanent and mandatory relocation quotas for all EU member states. They warn about the dilution of their identity, which is not Islamic, but Judeo-Christian and humanist -- rooted in the legacy of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome; not Mecca.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has denounced the EU's pro-immigration agenda as a means to eradicate the culture and Christian identity of Hungary. Czech President Miloš Zeman is an outspoken opponent of immigration and the Islamification of the Czech Republic. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has said that "Islam has no place in Slovakia" and warns that "migrants change the character of our country." Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło staunchly defends Poland's refusal to accept the EU-imposed immigration quotas. "We are not going to take part in this madness," she says. In the Eastern part of Europe, anti-Islamification and anti-mass migration parties see a surge in popular support.
Resistance is growing in the West, as well. This year, we have seen my party, the Party for Freedom (PVV), become the second-largest party in the Netherlands. This is a great achievement in a country with 13 parties in Parliament. In France, Marine Le Pen made it to the second round in the French presidential elections and her party, the Front National, got more votes than ever. In Austria, the FPÖ became the second biggest party. In Germany, the patriots of the AfD forced their way into the Bundestag.
However, the political elites in the West do all they can to keep the winners of the elections from power. Last month, in my country, the Netherlands, a new government coalition consisting of no less than four parties was formed. Because they stubbornly refused to talk to PVV, it took the political elites a record seven months to put together a coalition. They preferred to take in D66, the party which had denied Ronald Reagan his street in The Hague, and still they were only able to form a government with a majority of just one single seat in Parliament.
Our democracies in the Western half of Europe have been subverted. Their goal is no longer to do what the people want. On the contrary, our political elites often do exactly the opposite. Our parliaments promote open-door policies that the majority of the people reject. Our governments sell out sovereignty to the EU against the will of the people. Our rulers welcome ever more Islam, although the majority of the people oppose it.
Our democracies have become fake democracies. They are multi-party dictatorships, ruled by groups of establishment parties. They wheel and deal, often selling away the principles for which they have been elected. The establishment parties control everything, not just the politicians in their pay, but also the top brass of the civil service, the mainstream media, even the courts. Parties such as mine are excluded from coalition talks. They call us "populists" because we stand for what the people want. They even drag us to court.
Three decades ago, the countries in Central Europe witnessed a Velvet Revolution: Democratic, political and peaceful. They took to the streets. They decided that enough was enough. Thanks to their Velvet Revolution, they have leaders today who truly represent the people and who are not afraid to stand up for their nation and its identity.
We, in Western Europe, can learn lessons from the Velvet Revolution in the East. We, too, urgently need to make clear that enough is enough. In Western Europe, too, it is time to drain the swamp and to drive the elites from power. Peaceful and democratic, but thorough. We have to make our so-called democratic systems truly democratic again. The political actors should no longer be the professional politicians alone. The crisis is existential. It is time for every man and woman to do his and her duty. Because the survival of our nations itself is at stake.
We, too, have to make it very clear that we no longer want to take part in the madness of leaders, who sell out their country to the EU institutions in Brussels, and the madness of the EU elites, who sell out our continent to mass-immigration and Islam. That is why the PVV will demonstrate in the streets of Rotterdam on January 20th. We need to show that Europe's streets are our streets, that we want to stay who and what we are, and do not want to be colonized by Islam. Europe belongs to us!
Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands.