The Death Throes of Free Speech in Europe
Gates of Vienna 13 July 2012
By Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
Below is the prepared text for the speech given by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff on July 9, 2012 at the Brussels Conference.
I appear here before you in the city of Brussels in the year 2012, almost five years after I appeared in the same place, and for the same purpose.
Brussels is the "capital of Europe”, and by all rights should be an enlightened city in the heart of an enlightened continent.
Yet this is not so. The unaccountable bureaucracy of the European Union is now widely considered to be a "soft” totalitarian regime — and getting harder all the time.
This should not have been possible. Our basic freedoms have long been guaranteed — first by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as passed by the United Nations in 1948, and then buttressed by the Council of Europe in 1950 through the European Convention of Human Rights, which was later affirmed by the European Union. Our individual countries have additionally codified the same basic rights in their own constitutions.
These rights include the freedom of individual conscience, the right to assemble peaceably, and the right to practice our religion freely, or to have no religion at all. And, perhaps most importantly of all, they include the right to voice our opinions freely and to publish them without hindrance.
Yet freedom of speech is under attack today all across Europe. I have experienced the full brunt of it in my own country, Austria — I was prosecuted, convicted, and fined for telling the simple truth about the prophet of Islam.
Today, in 21st century Western Europe, our right to free speech is being shut down quietly and systematically with an effectiveness that the commissars in the old Soviet Union could only dream of.
These legal provisions making all of this possible are detailed in the EU’s public documents, and they enjoy the full force of law in all EU member states as of midnight tonight. The nations of Western Europe have obediently complied with the EU’s "Framework Decision”, and have enacted laws criminalizing speech that offends Muslims.
The death throes of free speech in Europe have already begun.
In the fall of 2009 I was made aware that "hate speech” charges might be filed against me — I had "denigrated religious teachings” by giving one of my public lectures on Islam.
The possibility of my prosecution was not communicated to me directly, but through articles in the press. The evidence used against me was a transcript of a tape of my lecture, provided to the court by the same socialist newspaper. It included words that were not spoken by me, and words that were not spoken in public, which therefore were not a violation of the law.
But my case was not really about the law. It was a political trial, and like the trials of Geert Wilders and Jussi Halla-aho, it was intended to silence someone who speaks out against the barbaric nature of sharia law.
Above all else, it was intended to discourage anyone who might consider following in my footsteps. The oligarchs who rule Europe are determined to prevent any frank discussion among their citizens about Islam and its legal doctrines.
These are the methods of a totalitarian state.
They are more successful than those of the Nazis and the Fascists and the Communists because they are accomplished quietly and peacefully, with no need for concentration camps or gulags or mass graves or the shot in the back of the neck in the middle of the night.
We are systematically being silenced.
We Europeans desperately need our own version of the First Amendment. We need leaders who are wise and courageous enough to compose and implement legal instruments that affirm the same fundamental rights that are guaranteed to all citizens by the United States Constitution.
We must decide to reclaim our continent and our nations. We will take our countries back from those thieves who sneaked them away from us while were lulled into somnolence by our wealth and our pleasant diversions.
If we lose our freedom of speech, then we are lost forever.
I am not a victim. I intend to stand up for what is right. I will defend what needs to be defended. Above everything else, I will exercise my God-given right to speak freely about what is happening. Freedom of speech is the single most important freedom we possess.
This is our time. This cup will not pass from us.
I am reminded of a passage in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
It is an exchange between Frodo the hobbit and Gandalf the wizard, and it concerns the perilous quest on which Frodo and his friends have been sent.
Frodo says: "I wish it need not have happened in my time.”
Gandalf responds: "So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
It is time for us to decide what to do with the time that is given us.
How many examples have to be set before the rest of the European population understands the new rules, and is cowed into submission?
And we must remember to whom our children will be submitting in the end. They will be submitting to our successors in Europe. They will be submitting to our replacements.
We must remember that the word for submission in Arabic is Islam.
When there are enough Muslims living in Europe — and it doesn’t have to be a majority of the population, just somewhere around fifteen or twenty percent — we will be living under Islamic law, and not the laws that presently govern us.
We will no longer enjoy what constitutional rights remain to us now. Our rights will be completely prescribed and delimited by sharia. Women will become the virtual chattel of men. Christians and Jews will be driven out or forced to convert to Islam. Atheists and homosexuals will be killed.
The European Union would consider these words to be "hate speech”. Under the Framework Decision, they are classified as "racism and xenophobia”, and we can be prosecuted for saying them.
But they are in fact the simple truth.
Anyone can verify them by studying history. Anyone who chooses can read the Koran and the hadith and the Sunna of the Prophet.
Widely available official treatises on Islamic law confirm that my description is not "hate speech”, but a plain and accurate reading of the tenets of Islamic law.
It has become obvious that to tell the truth about Islam is now considered "incitement to religious hatred”.
It is now clear that non-Muslims who reveal the tenets of sharia law to the public are "denigrating religious teachings”.
If we meekly accept these rules, then we are acquiescing in the imposition of sharia law in our own nations. And I, for one, will not sit silently while this happens.
I don’t want my daughter to live under sharia.
Our time is short. If you and I do not envision an Islamic future for ourselves, then we must speak out now.
If we wish to preserve the right to speak and publish freely, then we must exercise it now.
I wish this need not have happened in my time. But it has.
We must make full use of the time that remains to us.