Inside the Brussels Conference on Free Speech and Human Rights


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Prof. Hans Jansen (photo ©Snaphanen).

I’ve heard Hans Jansen, retired Professor of Modern Islamic Thought at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, speak several times in the past. He always impresses his audience with his immense knowledge. In his new speech he reminded us that “Sharia includes a large number of provisions about people who are not Muslims. These rules are usually prohibitions that carry severe penalties if violated. These provisions of the Sharia make life unsafe and uncertain for someone who lives under Sharia law and who is not a Muslim. Under Sharia law, someone who is not a Muslim possesses no inalienable rights. If I am wrong here, I will be relieved, and happy to stand corrected and receive your e-mails pointing out why I am wrong. But if I am right, a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay possesses more rights than a Jew or a Christian who lives under Sharia law. Unlike the legal systems of most modern nation states, Sharia law is not subject to democratic supervision. Like international law and rabbinic law, Sharia law is an academic affair: experts discuss and debate the rules until they reach an agreement.”

Professor Jansen emphasized that Islamic sharia law does not emerge from a parliament that acts as legislator, but its rules come into being by being agreed upon by legal experts. Sharia law is in this way somewhat similar to international law as embodied in institutions such as the EU. As international law demonstrates, communities of academic specialists, in their isolation, have a tendency to develop a degree of pedantry that an elected lawgiver could never afford. Up to a point, this is what has happened to sharia.

Allowing sharia, or a part of it, to be the law of the land in a Western nation will diminish the democratic character of that nation. It means giving away legislative power to unelected self-appointed men, who are unknown and anonymous and operate from far-away mosques in Pakistan or Egypt.

Jansen also noted that we are supposed to see “Islamophobia,” fear of Islam, as something bad that must be combated at all costs. Yet the Koran commands that Muslims should make the world fear Islam. Islamophobia is thus in perfect accordance with the Koran itself.

Although many of the speeches can be inspiring at a conference like this one, socializing between the breaks and after the conference can be equally useful. This time I was lucky enough to share a dinner table with Professor Hans Jansen afterwards. A modest man of great intelligence, he turned out to be a fan of the magnificent tenor Jussi Björling, born in Dalarna, Sweden. Björling appeared for many years at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and European opera houses such as the Royal Opera House in London and La Scala in Milan. In 1931, Jussi Björling had a breakthrough outside Sweden with a recital at the Copenhagen Tivoli. He continued to perform in Sweden between seasons at the Metropolitan and made his last recital at Skansen in Stockholm on 20 August 1960.

Paul Weston, the Chairman of the British Freedom Party, was unable to attend in Brussels this time. Tommy Robinson, the joint vice-chairman of BF, spoke in his

Tommy Robinson (Stephen Lennon) of the British Freedom Party (photo ©Snaphanen).

stead. He warned that Islam rules by fear and intimidation. If you show any sign of weakness they will run all over you. He encouraged people to stand up to Islamic intimidation and not give in to fear. The next generation will never forgive us if we do nothing now.

A hostile observer claimed that Robinson looked “sweaty and nervous.” That’s not true. He delivered a passionate speech that received standing ovations and was interrupted by spontaneous applause multiple times.

After the meeting was concluded, Richard Howitt, a Socialist Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from England, demanded an investigation after so-called right-wingers allegedly “hijacked” the parliament’s facilities for a “hate” meeting involving people such as Tommy Robinson from the English Defence League (EDL).

Howitt challenged the European Parliament to probe what he called this “mis-use” of its premises, adding that “I have written to the president of parliament to complain about the use of our facilities to raise funds for such hate organisations.” For the record: No organization, neither the EDL nor any other group, engaged in fund-raising at the conference. Howitt’s statement was an absolute falsehood.

Richard Howitt has been a member of the Labour Party’s policy-making National Policy Forum since 1994 in Britain. On his own website, he states that among his main priorities are “using EU powers to fight discrimination and promote equality in all fields” and to work for the full EU membership of Muslim Turkey. He represents the true face of Eurabia.

The EU Parliament’s current president is Martin Schulz, a German career Socialist of over four decades who since 2004 has been the leader of the Socialists in the European Parliament.

As Lars Hedegaard commented dryly, MEP Richard Howitt is happy to meet with Muslim supporters of terrorism, but he wants peaceful supporters of liberty to be rejected by the European Parliament. Howitt has accepted visitors associated with the terrorist organization Hamas. Besides, the facilities had been made available for this meeting in a perfectly legal manner by the Belgian MEP Philip Claeys.

What impressed me the most about the audience at the event is that a depressingly large proportion of those who attended have experienced demonization in the press, sometimes legal harassment or had their careers impeded because of their politically incorrect activities. This clampdown on those who protest against Islam, mass immigration and Multiculturalism may well grow even worse in the future, as problems pile up and those most responsible for creating these problems in the first place look for some convenient scapegoats to blame for their mistakes.

Many of those who attended knew fully well that they might be targeted with more personal attacks and hate campaigns from the forces of Islam and their Western apologists, but they nevertheless remained steadfast in their commitment to this work. I have been continuously impressed by the dedication and personal courage these individuals and groups have displayed for years. They continue, despite the high personal costs.

I talked to a couple of friends after the meeting had been concluded. We agreed that it had been a major success. More people attended this meeting than any other since the previous Brussels meeting in 2007, and many of them were intelligent and highly motivated individuals from different countries. That displays real passion and determination.

One of my friends suggested that these people might be mentioned in the history books 50 years from now, and in a more positive manner than they are talked about in the mass media now. I’m not sure whether this is true, but you never know. It’s more interesting making history than reading about it.

All in all, I left Brussels with a renewed sense of optimism. I saw a lot of quiet courage on display. Those who participated knew that we have a large and growing proportion of the European public behind us. People are fed-up with being told lies about the alleged wonders of mass immigration and multiculturalism when our cities are sinking beyond the control of our laws and numerous suburbs no longer form a part of European civilization. They know that they are being lied to when their mass media and politicians claim that Islam is a religion of peace and a natural part of European civilization. It is not, never has been and never will be so.

The tide of public anger and frustration with dishonest political elites who no longer represent our best interests is rising. The ruling elites are trying to stem this rising tide through “racism” charges, intimidation and “hate speech” laws. This will only work for a while. Eventually, reality will catch up with them.

We will win this in the end, but the struggle could become longer and harder than most of us would like before this is over.

Brussels Conference Highlights:

All photos ©Snaphanen.

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  • Leonard Wessell

    How did I miss the meeting. I live in Germany, not 3 hours drive from Brussels, attended a uni. in Belgium, am a professor, 30+ years in Germany though I am still an American (Obama wins and I will change my nationality), go back in America to the Buckley's days. written books on Marx's Marxism, etc. I was just your type for discussions. The next time such an affair happens, notify me in Bonn.
    Sincerely, Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. L Wessell

    P.S.: How I would like to meet some likeminded "heretics" in Germany.

  • Snaphanen

    DR. Wessel: There were a good number of germans present – from among others
    http://www.pi-news.net/ Try and contact them. mvh From Denmark

  • clarespark

    How multiculturalism came to be institutionalized in the United States is a neglected field in the media, even here: I have traced its growing acceptability on my website. Here is a partial index: http://clarespark.com/2011/03/28/index-to-multicu…. "index to multiculturalism blogs." I especially reocmmend the ones on German Romanticism, drawing on Herder and his followers. But see also http://clarespark.com/2009/06/04/modernity-and-ma…. "Modernity and mass death."