Of the parties dedicated to resisting Islamization that I examined in Europe last summer, the most promising range from the sizeable Vlaams Belang in Belgium to the tiny Sweden Democrats, and include the Lega Nord in Italy, the Party for Freedom of Geert Wilders in Holland, the Danish People's Party, the Swiss People's Party and the Austrian Freedom Party. Such parties are unknown here, or ignored. Worse, they are shunned. Why? I believe it's because their respective political opponents -- the leftist media and governing establishments that are increasingly dependent on Islamic support, by the way -- have successfully slandered these parties as "extremists," "racists," "fascists" and "Nazis."
Is advocating freedom of speech "extreme" or "fascist"? Is opposing Islam's law, which knows no race, "racist"? Is supporting Israel (which these parties do far more than other European parties) "Nazi"? The outrageously empty epithets of the Islamo-socialist left seem calculated to stop thought cold and trigger a massive rejection reflex. In this way, resistance becomes anathema, and Islamic law, unchecked, spreads across Europe.
Does that sound "Islamophobic"? You bet. How can anyone who values freedom of conscience, equality before the law and other such Western jewels not have a healthy fear of Islamic law, which values none of these things? Incredibly, this is an emotion that is supposed to be suppressed -- and, in Europe, on pain of prosecution. Indeed, because Filip Dewinter admitted to such "Islamophobia" in an interview, his party, the Vlaams Belang, has been taken to court in Belgium on charges of racism, and, if convicted, will be effectively shut down through defunding by the government.
That hasn't stopped Dewinter, who, in accepting an award at a memorial event dedicated to Oriana Fallaci in Florence, last week, said: "Islamophobia is not merely a phenomenon of unparalleled fear, but it is the duty of every one who wants to safeguard Europe's future. Europe means Rome, Greece, Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian roots. Europe is a continent of castles and cathedrals, not of mosques and minarets."
Of course, even as Dewinter admits to fearing the Islamization of Europe, he and his colleagues act with exceptional political -- and physical -- bravery in rallying voters against it. This coming weekend, he joins several other politicians on the Sharia-fighting right in Europe -- among them two other men I interviewed, Mario Borghezio of Lega Nord, which is part of Italy's ruling coalition, and Heinz-Christian Strache of Austria's Freedom Party, which is expected to become part of Austria's ruling coalition after elections this month -- in Cologne, Germany. In that ancient cathedral city, where the city council recently approved the construction of a long-controversial mega-mosque, these men will address a rally against European Islamization. (Contrary to initial reports, Jean-Marie Le Pen will not be at the demonstration.) The Sharia-fighters expect 1,500 demonstrators. Police expect 40,000 counter-demonstrators.
These are frightening odds -- a metaphor, perhaps, for Europe's chances of staving off Islamic law. Who lost Europe? If it does happen, we certainly won't be able to say we weren't warned.