Freedom of speech is under threat today. Not only in Europe, where I come from. But also here, in America.
The last time I was in the United States was less than two weeks ago. I was in Garland, Texas, where I gave the keynote speech at a contest of Muhammad cartoons.
The contest was held in a conference center, where after the Paris Charlie Hebdo assassinations, an Islamic organization had convened to demand that freedom of speech be restricted and Muhammad cartoons be forbidden. The Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland was organized to make a stand against this demand. We should never allow ourselves to be intimidated.
The winner of the Garland contest was a former Muslim. There was something very symbolic about the fact that he was an apostate. Under Islamic Sharia law, apostasy is punishable by death. Under the same law, making illustrations of the prophet Muhammad is also punishable by death.
The winner of the contest had made a picture of a fierce looking Muhammad, waving a sword. “You cannot draw me,” Muhammad said. Underneath the picture, the artist had written: “That is exactly why I am drawing you!”
That is the true American spirit. This cartoonist is an example to us all.
Under Islamic Sharia law, depicting Muhammad is a crime. But as an American, the artist is not living in an Islamic country. He is living in America. And here, in America, you are allowed to make pictures and drawings, no matter what the Sharia says. And you are also allowed to change your religion and become an apostate. And we should allow no one ever to rob us of these freedoms. If America were to give in to Islamic law, it would no longer be America. Its Judeo-Christian values would be lost. Its civilization would be lost. Its freedoms would be lost.
The enemies of our civilization try to impose Sharia law on us. Barely a few minutes after I had given my speech in Garland, two jihadis attacked the event. They shot a police officer in the leg, but fortunately they were killed before they could do more harm. Through violence and terrorism, these two jihadis tried to impose Sharia law on America. Thanks to brave American policemen, they did not succeed.
We should never allow the terrorists to win. Continue reading