By: Aeneas Lavinium
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff with ICLA’s Chris Knowles, Warsaw 2009
Freedom of expression is the basis of all freedom and as such is an important part of the Mission of the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA). Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff has been a stalwart defender of this freedom for many years. She has also been a victim of those who want to destroy meaningful freedom of speech. The following is the speech that Elisabeth delivered at today’s event in Bonn that was organised by Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa (BPE).
Ladies and Gentlemen, My Dear Geert, Dear Friends:
Yet again our meeting today makes an unmistakable statement : We will go on, we will meet with whom we wish and we will not allow ourselves to be told which opinion is the “morally correct” one. It is just fantastic how many have traveled to meet our friend, Geert Wilders, despite the agitation of the press and the threats of the so-called “anti-fascists.”
But, as so often, there is a bitter aftertaste. As became known several days ago, Geert’s book,Marked for Death, will unfortunately not appear in German. Freedom of the press and of opinion — protected by the constitution — must give way once more to the so-called “blasphemy and hate speech paragraphs”.
An absurdity in the 21st century!
The organization, Reporters Without Borders, has just released its annual report on press freedom. Germany comes in at a pathetic 17th place!
And instead of honoring freedom as the highest value a nation of laws can serve, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting on the 80th anniversary of the coup d’état by National Socialism with — of all people — the Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood leader, Muhammad Morsi.
May the voters pay her back for that in September!
What connects Geert and me is that we both have faced a court trial for speaking the truth, for our statements on the so-called Prophet Mohammed and Islam.
What distinguishes us from one another is that Geert was found not guilty and I was found guilty. Small wonder that my country Austria has fallen a full seven places in the Reporters Without Borders ranking of press freedom, to 12th place!
Dear Geert, I will not let this get me down any more than it has you. I will continue to say that 2+ 2 = 4, and not 5, as the enemies of freedom would have us believe. Geert, you were my great example during my trial: calm, realistic, wedded to the truth. I will always be grateful to you for that!
And while you have been battling on the political plain for freedom and truth, my work in the international arena is intensifying. Together with an alliance of NGOs which is growing yearly, I am taking a stand as the representative of the human rights organization BPE [Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa] on behalf of the freedoms for which we have been fighting for generations.
Our most important field of endeavor is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe — the OSCE. During the Cold War, its mission was diplomatic mediation between East and West. Today it is supposed to be monitoring the institutional implementation of human rights in the participating states.
But for several years we have witnessed the exact opposite. The Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is sending its lobbyists to the meetings of the OSCE. Under cover of “religious freedom,” they are demanding the abolition of all other freedoms: of the press, of expression, of science and research.
And all that just because they might feel insulted?
What the submission lobbyists did not reckon with is that they are encountering powerful headwinds. At the OSCE conference in October of last year, we repeatedly exposed the Islamic propaganda, showed up its representatives and unmasked their true agenda.
And our work is having success. Our positions are documented and discussed in detail in the reports of the OSCE.
More and more, and even publicly, representatives of European countries are agreeing with us. For instance, that fighting words like “Islamophobia” should be juridically defined before they are used.
Here in Germany, the politically motivated trial of Prof. Armin Geus for hate speech had to be halted. This, after I had spoken about the case in the OSCE this Fall in the name of BPE.
Likewise here in Germany and also in Great Britain, we are defending every centimeter of the right to assemble — a Michael Stürzenberger must be just as free to speak his mind as EDL head Tommy Robinson.
In the middle of this month, with several friends, I will again participate in a human rights conference in Geneva, which will be attended by very prominent people. And again I will insist that it finally be made clear how much the “Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam” has in common with universal human rights and the UN charter of human rights — NOTHING, dear friends, absolutely nothing at all!
I thank the BPE and all its members for their generous support. For you, Geert — and I am sure I can speak for all assembled here — I wish that you may in future be spared any more trials. We all have better uses for out time!
For me, dear friends, there are no more compromises and there is no more hiding. I will remain committed to the truth!
And — to speak in concert with our much-valued Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Let us stand more firmly together and share the risk. The next time a book, a cartoon or a film provokes a fatwa, we must send a single worldwide message to the Islamic enemies of freedom: Killing one of us will not be enough. Take out a big loan at the Bank of Jihad. Because you will have to kill all of us!
With thanks to Gates of Vienna for the text of the speech.