Geert Wilders is the leader of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, a political group described as “Islamophobic”. The party performed well in the recent European elections. Wilders’ anti-Islamic and anti-EU rhetoric seems to win over more and more Dutch people, mostly those who are scared about immigration and enlargement. euronews interviewed Wilders in a bunker-like meeting room of the Dutch parliament in the Hague. That was said to be for security reasons, because Wilders has been granted special protection due to his controversial anti-Koran movie and provocative anti-Islamic speeches.
euronews: Geert Wilder, welcome to euronews. Are you concerned for the future of Europe?
Wilders: I’m very concerned for the future of Europe. I believe Europe is a beautiful continent with strong countries, but unfortunately, because of the influx of the mass immigration and the Islamisation of our societies, I’m afraid that at the end of the day it will cost us our freedom. So, indeed yes, I’m very concerned.
euronews: Why do you think that Islam is a threat for Europe. What is scaring you?
Wilders: Let me first say, I make a distinction between the ideology, the religion Islam, and the people. I’ve nothing against Muslims, I’ve nothing against people. I have a problem with the Islamic ideology. I believe it’s a totalitarian ideology, that it should not be compared so much with other religions, but with other totalitarian ideologies like communism or fascism. And there is no room in the Islamic ideology for anything else but Islam. And this is what I think that we should really fear.
euronews: Don’t you think that to say that Islam is a totalitarian ideology is dangerous, just from an intellectual point of view? Because we see that Iran for instance is fighting for more democracy and they are Muslim.
Wilders: No, once again, people, I’ve nothing against people, and I acknowledge that there are moderate people who call themselves Muslims, so there are moderate Muslims, and we should invest in moderate Muslims. But I don’t believe in a moderate Islam, I don’t think that like Christianity -the Old Testament and New Testament, and separation of church and state, and enlightment in the last centuries – that this will ever happen in the [sic] Islam, so I think we should not invest or believe in a European or moderate Islam. But of course we should invest in people and we should invest in democracy.
euronews: How should you separate the concept of Islam as a whole, which you say is a totalitarian ideology, a religion, and the single Muslim, that you say he could also be a moderate?
Wilders: I admit that the majority of the Muslims in our western society today are not extremists, they are not terrorists, they are normal people like you and me, and I believe that there’s nothing wrong with that. But I also believe that even though the majority of those Muslims in the western societies today are not extremists or terrorists, that if we will get more of massive immigration we will get also more of the Islamic culture and the Islamic identity and the Islamic ideology in our societies, and then our societies will change: we will have what we are witnessing in the UK today, 85 sharia courts functioning where a woman is less worth than a man, where homosexuals should be killed. I mean this kind of anti-democratic law, sharia, is part of the Islamic ideology, is exactly what is happening in Europe today.
euronews: You have said once that all the Muslim people who want, in Europe, to implement the sharia law must leave Europe. Do you still agree with this statement?
Wilders: I think sharia, the implementation of sharia is the end of democracy. If you believe in sharia, you believe that apostates, that everybody who is not a Christian [sic] should either be a dhimmitude, and he should be living under the rule of Muslims, or either should be killed. The same goes for women or homosexuals. They would have a terrible way of life in a society where sharia is implemented, so I really do believe that if you are in a country and you are in favour of the implementation of sharia that there is very little for you to do. It means that you believe that women are worth less, half, or even more less then man.
euronews: Sorry but no, the sharia law is very clear. The UK Islamic court are not hanging homosexuals.
Wilders: No, but they have a law based on the Koran. And if we start acting like you are suggesting now, if we start saying that, “Hey, it’s only about private law and it’s not really about the penal code, so please let us allow only this part of the sharia in our society” I will tell you that there will be a next step and there will be another step, so I think that we should say: no sharia in our western, free, European and other societies, because if we allow “step A” , however innocent it might look, and I belive it’s not innocent at all, that there will be a next step and another step. And the political elite in the European societies will allow it for politically correct reasons, because they are cultural relativists, they believe that all cultures are equal. Gordon Brown, the Prime minister of the United Kingdom, is the biggest coward of Europe. When he sent me away, when I wanted to enter the UK just to show a movie and to have a discussion in the House of Lords. This is the kind of leaders that we have in Europe today and they should be removed and replaced by more brave leaders.
euronews: That’s a problem of public order at home, also for the British…
Wilders: Only in the UK. He decided, not because there was any threat, because it was not, like I said, I visited many countries for the same reasons, I was welcomed in a very positive way, but the prime minister of the UK was afraid that somebody came and spoke against his views and say something nasty, according to him, against Islam and he feared that. And there was pressure from Islamic people from the House of Lords, so he gave in, he gave in, he gave up. He played again the Chamberlain of Europe of 2009.
euronews: You are against Turkey joining the European Union…
Wilders: For sure…
euronews: Many federalists are against Turkey joining the EU, because they say that it will dilute the EU and the idea of a federal Europe will disappear. So you should be in favour of Turkey joining the EU…
Wilders: I’m against a federal Europe. I want us to stay independent, and Holland to only cooperate in the economical framework, and I’m against the joining of Turkey. I’ve nothing against Turkey, it’s a very respected ally within NATO and a good friend of the Dutch people. But I believe it’s not a member of the family. A good neighbour is not the same as being a member of the family, and it’s an Islamic country. We will not only pay a very high price when it comes to all the costs, all the money that we will have to pay to Turkey, but it’s an Islamic country and will get even more immigration to our societies, which is the last thing that we should need.
euronews: Should you open the doors to Ukraine for instance?
Wilders: No, I think that no other country should join Europe. I’m even in favour of Romania and Bulgaria to leave [sic] the EU. My party voted against the ratification treaty in the Dutch parliament for the accession of Romania and Bulgaria.
euronews: Why? What’s the problem with them?
Wilders: Because first, the Dutch people believe that Europe is large enough. They are against any more countries joining and I share their view. We should have a small Europe with more little tasks, than an enlarged Europe with even more influence. We are against that, and, secondly, I believe that those countries were not ready at all, were very unready and very corrupt as well.