Giulio Meottiis an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of 20 books, including "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Gatestone Institute and Die Weltwoche. He is also a Middle East Forum Writing Fellow.
We are addressing ourselves to the question posed in the main Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet by Per Gahrton, one of the founders of the Greens, with perfect left credentials and a long-time member of the Swedish and European Parliament:
“The time has come to hit the brakes if we want to make sure that our grandchildren are not governed by Islamic law?”.
“I'm too old to hide under a stone,” Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard once told me. He was at the center of a worldwide war over freedom of expression when a Danish newspaper published a cartoon of Muhammad.
Europe is too big to hide under a stone, but it could try to crawl under it.
The Swedish premier spoke of the "most serious crisis since the Second World War” about the burnings of the Koran.
A country infiltrated into Western Europe collapses not with a bang, but with a whimper. And there are no signs that Northern European governments would dare to challenge Muslim demands for submission, because that is precisely what the demand for "respect" of the Koran is about.
How does it come out? No law prevents it, but preventing it is essential for European countries in search of "peace".
Turkey is a beautiful country, but I would never want Erdogan's laws to become European laws. Or as Emmanuel Macron put it, “we don't want Turkish laws here”.
Indeed, Turkey has sent Nedim Gursel, professor of literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, to trial over the novel "The Daughters of Allah" (according to the Koran, Allah cannot have children), the archaeologist Muazzez Ilmiye Cig, accused of having "insulted Islam" by claiming that the use of the veil predates Muhammad, and the writer Sevan Nisanyan, who was sentenced to thirteen months for "ironicities about Muhammad ”.
Now Islamization is proceeding terribly fast in Europe too, so fast that it almost feels like a liberation to submit. There is no strength to oppose. Easier to surrender. And the media and politicians, beating the drums and calling for "fascism", have long since mentally prepared themselves to surrender.
In Rotterdam, Holland, didn't they cancel a work about Aisha, one of Mohammed's wives, before rewriting Dante's Divine Comedy saving Mohammed from the pains of hell?
In England, the Victoria and Albert Museum hasn't pulled the portraits of Mohammed, and hasn't the film The Lady of Heaven about Mohammed's daughter been banned from UK cinemas?
In Germany, the Deutsche Opera didn't cancel Mozart's Idomeneo, again because there was Mohammed?
And didn't Salman Rushdie explain that "they wouldn't republish The Satanic Verses today"?
In Europe it rains on the Islamic wet.
The fact is that Sweden (and Europe) is now faced with a dilemma of its own making and which has been building up over many years. We seriously believed in the peaceful coexistence of Islam, freedom and democracy in the big multicultural pot. The burners of the Koran are only catalysts for the contradiction that already exists and must somehow explode.
And the European mind cannot bear the contradiction nor the effort to see this conflict in the whites of the eyes.
The riots have divided the population into two camps: those who believe that the Swedish Constitution should be enforced, that freedom of expression is defended and that anyone living in Sweden accepts that they are in a democratic society, and those who believe that the burnings are "useless provocations" which should be prohibited because they "offend Muslims" who react with violence and society can become more "serene" if legislation adapts to the demands of Muslims. A classic European approach to life: "We just want peace and quiet and no problems".
The Pakistani jihadists threaten attacks on churches and Christians in response to Swedish Koran. As if they ever needed an "excuse" to tear them apart: like the 70 Christians annihilated in a park on Easter Sunday, mostly children. Had they burned any holy books?
The Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks knew something about it. "For criticizing Islam, now five heavily armed policemen and a helicopter are following me". This is how he told me about his new existence as a wanted man and under special surveillance. "I live in a secret location. Once you join their list, you never leave."
Sweden could become the first country to drop like a ripe fruit. Erdogan, Qatar, the Saudis and all the others are pushing for concessions that the Swedes dare not even imagine.
A law protecting the Koran will be an important step on the way. Denmark is already discussing this today. It would be the dream of the Organization for the Islamic Conference, the body that represents Islamic countries around the world and which has opened an office in the European Parliament.
Ah, this blessed “freedom of speech”. Has anyone in Europe ever protested the Saudi Grand Mufti's fatwa on the destruction of all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula? And has the evoked “security” that protecting the Koran itself deteriorated to the point that it will lead to the disappearance of Malmö's Jewish community within ten years?
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg - which has jurisdiction over 47 European countries and whose decisions are binding on all 28 EU member states - has ruled that a feminist who interrupted a Catholic mass and "aborted" Jesus on the altar (topless) had the right to freedom of expression, while the same Court ruled that the Austrian activist found guilty of having "denigrated the religious teachings" of Islam was not entitled to the same right to freedom of expression.
Our talk about "freedom" and "respect" is snow in the sun. They are like General David Petraeus' 2011 statement that when a provocateur in Florida came up with the idea of burning a Koran, he said, "It puts the war on the Taliban at risk." Movie stars like Angelina Jolie also attended.
We have lost the war against the Taliban, Angelina will never set foot in Afghanistan again and now we are also losing the war for freedom of expression.
Europe has already de facto surrendered. Soon also de jure.