CT-Interview with Lars Hedegaard on Mohammed cartoons, Denmark as a role model and one Million Euros
As a small country, Denmark is not very influential within the European Union. But ever since then there appeared the Mohammed cartoons, the country became the focus of international attention. Citizen Times Editor in Chief Felix Strüning spoke with the Dane Lars Hedegaard, president of the International Free Press Society, on developments in his country, the chances of a peaceful solution to the problem of Islam and what he would do with one million Euros.
Citizen Times: Mr. Hedegaard, six years ago, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the famous twelve Mohammed cartoons. Kurt Westergaard, one of the artists, still needs police protection. So, how is the mood in the Danish population right now?
Lars Hedegaard: There are some indications that parts of the public are getting tired and would dearly like to return to a state of “normality”. In early March the leading PC-paper Politiken even claimed that the debate over Islam and immigration is over – which is exactly what the paper would like to happen.
However, we will probably never get back to the cosy and warm welfare state we knew just a few decades ago. And it has little or nothing to do with what Danes do or say. As one of the world’s leading Islam scholars Bernard Lewis pointed out back in 2006, the fact that Islamic states and fanatics all over the world would raise hell over a few drawings indicates that they already consider Denmark to be a part of the dar al-Islam, i.e. that part of the world where sharia law reigns.
They consider us to be a conquered country and those of us who refuse to accept this new state of affairs are considered as rebels against the theocratic order they want to impose. For the time being, people may be tired of discussing Islam and the demographic changes that are taking place in our country. But this debate is bound to return with a vengeance as more and more people realise what is happening to our country.
Citizen Times: In October 2011, the Danish Government changed after ten years of successful politics under Rasmussen. Do you already feel differences under the current leftwing and socialist government?
Lars Hedegaard: Yes, certain changes are obvious. Before the election the winning left-wing parties claimed that they would not deviate from the immigration policies introduced by the former centre-right government. They broke that promise – as they have broken practically every promise they made.
So now we are back to practically unfettered immigration. At the same time the Socialist government has made it more lucrative for immigrants to be on welfare rather than working.
Citizen Times: You are the president of International Free Press Society (IFPS) and connected to politicians like Geert Wilders, activists like Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff and Organizations like the U.S. based MEF of Daniel Pipes. What is your key role and how does the IFPS function?
Lars Hedegaard: The IFPS is actually a small group of people acting in an advisory capacity for those seeking our advice. We also keep in touch with like-minded people all over the Western world, i.e. people who will stand up for freedom and especially freedom of expression. My main job is to be President of the Danish Free Press Society, which has existed for more than eight years. It is a membership-based organisation with an elected Board of Directors and our sole purpose is the defence of free speech. Other than that our members are free to voice any opinion they hold – as long as they do not advocate violence or anything totalitarian. We welcome people of all religions and political persuasions.
Citizen Times: More generally, how can we improve the situation with Muslim migration in Europe?
Lars Hedegaard: The basic task is to make people understand what Islam is all about. That it is not a religion in our traditional sense of the word. It is more akin to a political ideology that is totally alien and antagonistic to the tenets of Western civilisation. Until we understand this basic fact, we will have no idea how to help Muslim immigrants to integrate and eventually assimilate to the nations that have let them in.
Citizen Times: Was the latest Danish immigration policy an example for the European Union?
Lars Hedegaard: No. The immigration policies of the former government were widely believed to have been very restrictive. That was not the case. Long-term they hardly made a dent in the rapid demographic transformation of our society, which is leading to the creation of immigrant enclaves more or less outside mainstream Danish society.
Most of our politicians appear not to care.
Citizen Times: Assumed, the IFPS would get a 1,000,000 Euro donation. What would you do?
Lars Hedegaard: I would invest them in an old-fashioned print newspaper. I believe that the printed word has a greater impact than what is on the internet. Unfortunately, we no longer have serious newspapers that see it as their primary objective to get the real news to the people. Most journalists would rather lecture to their readers and keep an eye on the population to make sure that it does not deviate from the path of multiculturalism and cultural relativism.
We need a real press.