9/11 Ground Zero Mosque Protest gathers Victims’ Family Members, NYPD, FDNY, Veterans to hear courageous Dutch MP
New York, N.Y. 9/11, 2010, by El Marco
Dutch Member of Parliament, Geert Wilders, arrived in New York under intense security on 9/11. He leads the new Freedom Party (PVV) which is currently negotiating to form a complicated ruling coalition in the Netherlands. His party is opposed to Sharia law and non-assimilation of a vast wave of muslim immigrants in the Netherlands. He came to New York for the singular purpose of showing his support for the Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero effort that has galvanized 70% support amongst the American people.
In an annual Dutch survey about terrorism, this year’s poll included a question about the construction of an Islamic centre near ground zero. Almost half of Dutch voters questioned are against the planned Islamic center in New York, with only 15 percent in favor.
Mr. Wilders addressed this massive Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) rally on the afternoon of 9/11. This rally was practically ignored by the dominant liberal establishment media. Even Fox News incorrectly reported the size of the crowd as only 2,000. One exception was local NYC News Channel 10 which reported live that there were 30,000 people at the rally, opposing the ground zero mosque. I was one of them. People were packed so densely for three city blocks, it is very difficult to be precise, but it could easily have exceeded 40,000. Side streets were jammed with people as police turned many thousands away due to overcrowding.
Mr. Wilders was surrounded by Dutch government security men due to Islamist and leftist threats against his life. The agent in the foreground holds a bullet proof shield with both hands, ready to open it quickly to defend against an assassin’s attack. The stage area was completely surrounded by security agents.
Mr. Wilders is outspoken in opposing the islamization of the Netherlands and the West. He produced a short film called Fitna which features violent Koranic quotes juxtaposed with images of terrorist attacks. Theo van Gogh was stabbed to death in Amsterdam for making a similar film called Submission. Van Gogh’s partner in making the film, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, M.P., was advised by the Dutch government that she would be safer living elsewhere. She moved to the relative safety of America, where she lives under 24 hour tight security. Pamela Geller is also under constant death threat, as is Robert Spencer, both of whom can be seen in the photo above.
The conditions under which these human rights activists live show clearly that islam is a violent totalitarian ideology which is destroying free speech in Europe. It takes left-wing political correctness (speech control) one step further by threatening the lives of those who speak out.
A 2005 Washington Post article describes what life is like for leading critics of Islam:
“He is an enemy of Islam and he should be beheaded,” the narrator of one video clip posted on the Internet says in Arabic, against the crackle of gunfire. Behead him, “and you will earn a place in paradise.”
Wilders now travels everywhere with six bodyguards. He cannot sleep in his own home, but is moved around between various undisclosed safe houses. He sees his wife twice a week, at a safe house. Visitors to his parliament office must be cleared in advance and are thoroughly searched; even ballpoint pens are carefully examined.
“It’s like being caught in a bad B movie,” Wilders said. The guards are always there: “If I go to the toilet, they are standing behind the door.” The irony, he said, is that the people who are threatening him walk the streets freely, while “the people who are threatened are more or less in prison.”
Other Dutch politicians who are under similar protection include Job Cohen, the mayor of Amsterdam; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born member of parliament who is Muslim and collaborated with van Gogh on a controversial film about Islam’s treatment of women; and Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Moroccan-born alderman in Amsterdam who has talked about tolerance and the need for Muslims to adapt to the Dutch way of life.
NYPD officers backstage secured the area as Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders spoke.
Pamela Geller wrote of Wilders:
Geert Wilders, personifies moral courage in an age when such courage is an extremely rare commodity the possession of which can threaten one’s life. He is one of the few who truly deserve the label of hero, he is my personal hero, — and yet it must be said that all he has done to become heroic is something that we all can do, should do, and must do: he has spoken the truth. We live in so cheap and tawdry an age that all one must do to be a hero is speak the truth — and yet there are so few heroes. Geert Wilders is that hero. He has done this at immense personal cost, such that he now must be accompanied by armed guards at all times. One would think that the constant threats made against Geert Wilders would wake people up to the true nature and lethal character of the enemy we face, when they are so threatened by the telling of the truth that they’re willing to commit murder in response. Yet even as Geert Wilders is defamed, vilified, and marginalized, he is being proven right by the events of every day — and the light of the truth he tells shines more brightly all the time.
Dutch Parliamentarian and freedom fighter, Geert Wilders, gave an outstanding speech.
Dear friends, May I ask you to be silent for ten seconds? Just be silent and listen. Ten seconds. And listen… What we hear are the sounds of life in the greatest city on earth.
No place in the world, no place in human history, is as richly varied and vibrant and dynamic as New York City. You hear the cars, you hear the people, you hear them rushing to their various destinations, you hear the sounds of business and of pleasure, you hear the cheers, you hear the cries, the buzzing sounds of human activity. And that is how it should be.
Always. Now close your eyes – I know it’s a beautiful day, but close your eyes. I have been told that this day nine years ago was just such a beautiful day — and remember, or try to remember, or try to imagine the sounds which were heard here on this spot under this same blue sky exactly nine years ago. The sound of shock, the sound of destruction, the sound of panic, the sound of pain, the sound of terror.
Did New York deserve this? Did America deserve this? Did the West deserve this? What, my friends, would you say to people who argue that New York, that America, that the West had itself to blame for those horrible sounds?
There are people in this city who argue this. And they are angry because we are gathered here today to commemorate, to make a stand, to draw the line. My friends, I have come from the other side of the Atlantic to share your grief for those who died here nine years ago. I have not forgotten how I felt that day.
The scenes are imprinted on my soul, as they are on yours. But our hearts were not broken in the same way as the hearts of the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives here. Many relatives of the victims are here in our midst today. I wish to take this opportunity to express my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to them and to all of the people of New York and America. Humbly, I stand here before you as a Dutchman and a European. I, too, however, cannot forget. How can anyone forget?
Let me remind you of the words from Darryl Worley’s 9/11 song.
Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
Worley’s response is our response: No, we will NEVER forget. We are here today because we have not forgotten all the loved ones that were lost and those left to carry on. And neither has the world. When the forces of Jihad attacked New York, they attacked the world. Among those lost were people from 55 nations, people of every religion and every persuasion. No place on earth had a more multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-lingual workforce than New York’s proud towers.
That is exactly why they were targeted. They constituted an insult to those who hold that there can be no peaceful cooperation among people and nations without submission to Sharia; to those who wish to impose the legal system of Islam on the rest of us.
But New York and Sharia are incompatible. New York stands for freedom, openness and tolerance. New York’s Mayor recently said that New York is “rooted in Dutch tolerance. Those are true words. New York is not intolerant. How can it be? New York is open to the world. Suppose New York were intolerant. Suppose it only allowed people of one persuasion within its walls. Then it would not be New York, it would be New Mecca, a city without freedom. …”
In Mecca, if your religion isn’t Islam, you are not welcome. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf claims the right to build a mosque, a house of Sharia here – on this hallowed ground. But, friends, I have not forgotten and neither have you. That is why we are here today. To draw the line.
Here, on this sacred spot. We are here in the spirit of America’s founding fathers. We are here in the spirit of freedom. We are here in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, the President who freed the slaves. President Lincoln said: “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.”
These words are the key to our survival. The tolerance that is crucial to our freedom requires a line of defense. Mayor Bloomberg uses tolerance as an argument to allow Imam Rauf and his sponsors to build their so-called Cordoba Mosque.
Mayor Bloomberg forgets, however, that openness cannot be open-ended. A tolerant society is not a suicidal society. It must defend itself against the powers of darkness, the force of hatred and the blight of ignorance. It cannot tolerate the intolerant – and survive. This means that we must not give a free hand to those who want to subjugate us. An overwhelming majority of Americans is opposed to building this mosque.
Because we all realize what is at stake here. We know what this so-called Cordoba mosque really means. Imam Rauf maintains that American secular law and Sharia law are based on the same principles.
He refuses to condemn terrorists because he says terrorism is “a very complex question”. He says America is “an accessory to the crime that happened on 9/11.” “In fact,” he literally said, “in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.” He also says that “terrorism will only end when the West acknowledges the harm it has done to Muslims.”
That is why this man should not play the game he has in mind here in Manhattan. His “Blame the West, Blame America”-message is an insult. Americans – and by extension, all of us whose civilization was also attacked on 9/11/2001 – are not to blame for what happened here nine years ago today. Osama bin Laden is not made in the USA.
Most Americans do not want this so-called Cordoba Mosque to be built here. They understand that it is both a provocation and a humiliation. They understand the triumphant narrative of a mosque named after the Great Mosque of Cordoba which was constructed where a Christian cathedral stood before the land was conquered by Islam.
An overwhelming majority of Americans is opposed to building an Islamic cultural center close to Ground Zero. There is no lack of mosques in New York. There are dozens of buildings in which Muslims can pray. It isn’t about a lack of space for prayers.
It’s about the symbolic meaning. We who have come to speak today, object to this mosque project because its promoter and his wealthy sponsors have never suggested building a center to promote tolerance and interfaith understanding where it is really needed: In Mecca – a town where non-Muslims are not even allowed to enter, let alone build churches, synagogues, temples or community centers.
Ordinary Americans object to the mosque project because currently no fewer than ten major multi-million dollar mosque projects are being planned in the United States as well as dozens in Europe, while not a single church is allowed in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while Jews are not even allowed to move their lips in prayer on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, while the oldest Christians in the world, the Copts, are not free to renovate their churches, let alone to build one in Egypt.
My friends, that is why we are here today. What happens in New York must be seen in the perspective of the world.
The events nine years ago made an enormous impact everywhere. Most people shared your pain, but, unfortunately, some did not.
Nine years ago, when the news of the terrible atrocity in New York reached Europe, Muslim youths danced in the streets. In a poll, two thirds of the Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands expressed partial or full understanding for the 9/11 terrorists.
If a mosque were built here on Ground Zero such people would feel triumphant. But we, we will not betray those who died on 9/11. For their sakes we cannot tolerate a mosque on or near Ground Zero. For their sakes loud and clear we say: No mosque here! For their sakes, we must draw the line. So that New York, rooted in Dutch tolerance, will never become New Mecca.
But, let us also express our gratitude for the heroes of 9/11, those who went down in that Pennsylvania field, those who were standing freedom’s watch at the Pentagon, and those who were here in New York nine years ago to risk and lose their lives for the victims.
Friends, in honor of these victims, these heroes and their families, I believe that the words of Ronald Reagan, spoken in Normandy on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, resonate with new purpose on this hallowed spot.
President Reagan said: “We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.” And, we, too, will always remember the victims of 9/11 and their loved ones who were left behind; We, too, will always be proud of the heroes; We will always defend liberty, democracy and human dignity; In the name of freedom: No mosque here!
SEE El Marco’s June 6th rally photo-essay - Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero - Part II
Who says it’s not a MOSQUE? Read El Marco’s photo-essay - Prayer Time at the Ground Zero Mosque
El Marco distills life and Politics into Art at - Art and Politics Blog.com
Enjoy El Marco’s Art Photography at - Looking at the World.com
See other El Marco Photo-Essays on Islam:
- 9/11 – NEVER FORGET – NEVER GIVE IN
- Islam Clouds Bali’s Horizon
- 9/11 Families Rally Blasts Obama’s Show Trial Travesty
- Cartoons To Die For
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THANKS FOR VISITING! - NEVER FORGET and NEVER GIVE IN !