Belgium: Filip Dewinter about his new book
A couple of weeks ago Filip Dewinter was interviewed on Flemish TV show Terzake on occasion of his new book: 'Insha'Allah? The Islamization of Europe'. I wrote about the interview and planned to post a subtitled version, but never got around to it. For now, here's a translated transcript. Big thanks to Snouck for helping me with it.
[This segment was preceded by past quotes from Dewinter, one of which spoke about 'our Europe']
Interviewer: Is there a place for Muslims in our Europe, Mr. Dewinter?
Dewinter: For Muslims there's certainly place in Europe, but the question is whether there's a place for Islam, for radical Islam. Let me put this straight, in this book I argue that , this book is not against the Muslims who live here as far as they respect our law, norms, values and way of life. This book is against the political ideology that Islam is, ultimately. And that's a big difference.
Interviewer: And how do you make the distinction?
Dewinter: I'm convinced that this book is clear. This book is a warning, is a call against the establishment of Islamization. Right now there's more than 20 million Muslims living in Western Europe, 50 million -
Interviewer: But you make the distinction?
Dewinter: But I make the distinction, naturally I make the distinction. And I think that this book is meant for all Muslims who don't agree with Islam. The moderate Muslims are those who don't want to bring to this place the radical interpretation of the Islam, or have the possibility to distance themselves from their own religion, and who really integrate into our European society.
Interviewer: For Muslim to integrate, Muslims must swear off Islam?
Dewinter: There are many moderate Muslims, but what is a moderate Muslim, who adapts Islam moderately, who knows Islam moderately. That doesn't yet mean that what I call the cultural Muslims are the true representatives of Islam. They are really not relevant, they are many but they're not relevant, because the radicals have the structures and mosques in their hands.
Interviewer: But the moderate Muslims, don't they also go to the mosque?
Dewinter: Some yes, some no, just like there are many Christians who -
Interviewer: Moderate Muslims can be greatly insulted by being described as a predator.
Dewinter: I'm a European. And that means that I respect freedom of religion. But that doesn't mean that I must think that Islam as a religion belongs here. Islam is a religion which is diametrically opposed to our values and norms: freedom of expression, separation of church and state, equality of men and women
Interviewer: And that it doesn't belong here will insult people
Dewinter: What somebody wants to cultivate in his head as religion, I have no issue with that. It's different when it comes to the rise of Islam. But in Europe this is a sacred right, I don't just say no to Islam, then, I only say no to Islam's structures which are newly expanded here in Europe, they don't belong here. Freedom of speech and also of religion should be respected and remain so.
Interviewer: This distinction is not clear in your book, when I read your book, it sounds like, as we saw in the report, like 20 years ago.
Dewinter: Madam, I think that Vlaams Belang made it clear that it has moved to the center on some of its positions and that also remains so. This is a nuanced book, in 250 pages I try to make an analysis, political analysis. When I say in the book that Islam is a predator, I mean by that that a predator attacks the weakest prey, and Europe is the old enemy of Islam, it was overrun twice by Islam, and that's happening for the third time
Interviewer: And you make a distinction between Islam and the Muslims? You may understand that they will take this personally.
Dewinter: The reason I say that Europe is the weakest prey, for relevant demographic reasons, for relevant politics, for the fact that we aren't daring and able to be proud of our own history, of our own history, and I say that's weak, for relevant multicultural reasons.
Interviewer: And this book is your own personal initiative or by assignment of your party?
Dewinter: This is a book that I wrote, as Filip Dewinter, I had our party administration read it, but this is a book of Filip Dewinter, to make it clear. It expresses points of view, which are quasi-identical with the standpoints of the party, but the book is written by me ...
Interviewer: Is it meant for the elections?
Dewinter: This is of course written at a moment when debate should be conducted. In these elections, this debate should certainly be conducted.
Interviewer: Yes, but people aren't concerned by other things, such as work-security, low income?
Dewinter: Absolutely, Madam. They are also concerned with other things besides immigration problems, with the Islamization problem, but I think that this has to do with everything else on the table. Right now, every year 75,000 new foreigners come into our country. If our country has 600,000 Muslims, if there are 20 million Muslims in Western Europe, then I can only conclude that Flemish jobs don't always go to Flemish workers. That European jobs don't always go to European workers. But very often to Islamic foreigners.
Interviewer: You think you will win the elections with that subject?
Dewinter: Madam, I don't only think about political issues, and about who wins the elections. I've been busy with this book for over a year and half and I'm publishing it now, clearly the debate should be on the order of the day and conducted also in this upcoming elections
Interviewer: Maybe you also have another subject matter than the core business of identity and Flemish nationalism, for example, which are taken over by other parties?
Dewinter: Yes, Madam, we have other subjects, but when I speak of other subjects, like recently happened about Flemish companies in Flemish hands, nobody in the media was interested. When I write a book about Islamization, I go from one studio to a newspaper interview. That says more about the media, than about myself.
Interviewer: Lijst Dedecker is breathing down your neck?
Dewinter: I think that Vlaams Belang is the original, and the original is always more in demand than the surrogate - may I finish? - it's original in the way it presents itself, and this book, among other, there will be more initiatives in this campaign, will make the profile of Vlaams Belang clear. It brings up the issues on which we have a monopoly. Islamization, immigration is our monopoly. If only for the reason that Dedecker says, I'm for open immigration, says Dedecker, I'm against immigration, on the contrary.
Interviewer: In the Flemish elections your party has 24.15% in the polls, how many do you expect to get?
Dewinter: As many as possible, Madam. As many as possible. The numbers should go up. I haven't read polls but as I have no crystal ball so I do not know the answer, but as many as possible and I hope that our party has new successes and this book is one of our clearly profiled and note the language of the man in the street, because certainly that's what the man in the street thinks.
Interviewer: Thank you.
* Belgium: Filip Dewinter on immigration and integration
* Belgium: Dewinter, 'Islam is a predator'