Behead all those who insult the prophet …


Wilhelmus Simon Petrus Fortuijn, known as Pim Fortuyn was a Dutch politician, civil servant, sociologist, author and professor who criticised Islam. On 6 May 2002, at age 54, Fortuyn was assassinated.

Theodoor “Theo” van Gogh  was a Dutch film director, film producer, columnist, author and actor. His last film was loosely based on the assassination of the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn. He was shot dead, stabbed and an attempt was made to decapitate him, as he cycled to work 2nd November 2004.

A third Dutchman, Geert Wilders, who lives under police guard, is presently in Australia to tell us why we should fear Islam. Freedom of speech encounters many obstacles. This article is lifted from the Australian …

DEBBIE Robinson measures freedom of speech by the number of hotels and other venues that have agreed, then abruptly refused, to provide a stage for anti-Islamic Dutch MP Geert Wilders on his Australian speaking tour.

As deputy president of the Q Society, the Australian group hosting Mr Wilders in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney this week, Ms Robinson reckons the latest count is about 30. Most cite damage to their reputation, others the potential damage to walls and windows from protesters. “We are afraid we may offend people,” she said. “It is this huge fear factor.”

As recently as Friday night, the venue where Mr Wilders was booked to speak in Melbourne tomorrow night called Ms Robinson to cancel. Another venue has been found but the location will not be announced until 7pm today, 24 hours before the speech.

The Q Society is still trying to find a hotel in Sydney willing to make available a room for a press conference on Friday.

“He is not being allowed to speak freely,” Ms Robinson said. “It is being shut down. Whether you support or whether you differ, to me the big issue is he should be able to speak.”

The Q Society is a firm supporter of most of what Mr Wilders says. It opposes the “Islamisation” of Australia and, like Mr Wilders, it sees Islam primarily as a political ideology rather than a religion, one that is incompatible with liberal democratic traditions and the Judeo-Christian ethic.

The group is frustrated by what it says is the failure of Australian politicians to talk seriously about the threats posted by Islam and the limits that anti-vilification and discrimination laws place on public debate. “Our politicians think it is just another religion; the man on the street thinks it is just another religion,” group spokesman Andrew Horwood said. “When you actually understand it, it is substantially different.”

Julia Gillard yesterday described Mr Wilders’ views as abhorrent. Former immigration minister Chris Bowen, when he granted Mr Wilders a visa in October, said while his views were offensive, Australian society could “withstand the visit of a fringe commentator”.

I think assassination is abhorrent. I think attempts to stifle free speech are abhorrent.

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