Anne Marie Waters: This isn’t fascism. This is commitment to liberty and democracy.
Politicians are in the business of language, of communication. The job of a political leader is to transmit ideas to a listening public, and if they’re good at it, this will be clear and concise and the public will be in no doubt as to the intention or position of that leader. Journalists have a roll to play in this process, and if they have principles or morals, they will do this with honesty and relay to the public an accurate account of the politician’s words. This is essentially the democratic process. It relies on freedom of speech, truth, and the objective definition of words. If a journalist for example is to label a person “fascist”, one would hope they would actually be describing a fascist, but don’t bet on it, because now anyone can be a fascist, or a racist, or a bigot – all they have to do is criticize a religion, for whatever reason, and that’s that. The label is affixed.
Throughout the UKIP leadership campaign, I have been called some pretty nasty names. Strangely though, rarely is any evidence offered that I do in fact fit the definition of the given insult. Evidence doesn’t matter, because mud sticks.
Let’s start with Bill Etheridge. Etheridge took to the pages of the Telegraph to describe me as a “neo-fascist”. Of course I don’t get a Telegraph page to respond, and nor do I get an explanation of what exactly makes me a fascist. Perhaps Etheridge doesn’t know what a fascist, so I’ll explain: a fascist is an authoritarian who suppresses opposition and controls industry, commerce, politics. What I have said that puts me in that category is never high-lighted, and there’s a good reason for that, because I’ve never said anything that puts me in that category.
What I have said, consistently and throughout my political career, is that I believe in democracy – the will of the people. I believe in equal citizenship regardless of race or gender, and I believe that people should be free to live their lives as they see fit, restricted only by the protection of the rights of others. If Etheridge had bothered to listen to what I say, instead of expressing reactionary ignorance and bigotry, he would’ve known that none of this adds up to fascism.
Perhaps it’s my nationalism that confuses Etheridge. I am a nationalist, I have no problem saying so because I haven’t signed up to the Left’s decades-old demonization of nationalism. I believe in the nation-state. I believe in the right of people to identify with that nation-state; it gives people pride and it unites us (exactly why the Left hates it so much). I also believe the nation-state is the only tried and tested method of sustaining accountable governance; again, democracy and voice of the people is my priority. Is this fascist?
Perhaps Mr Etheridge believes my strong position on migration is what makes me a fascist. I believe the peoples of Europe have a right to our homeland. I am not however opposed to immigration. Millions of wonderful people have arrived in Europe over recent decades and have made immeasurable positive contributions. I have no issue with this. I do have an issue with the less positive contributions though, and I will continue to say so, because serious damage has been done and the native people have been completely betrayed. Their governments have refused to take their well-being in to account.
While all groups and communities have problems, and all have ‘bad eggs’, with Islam, the problem is not a bad egg, the problem is in the religion itself. This has brought immense harm to Europe. No matter how many times Etheridge repeats it, opposition to a religion is not fascism, and it never will be.
Let me clear, I do not want any more mass immigration from Muslim societies. Obviously there will always be individual exceptions, but on the whole, it has to stop. I think many people in this country, and across Europe, fully agree with me. Crime is just one example of why, especially crime against women and girls (perhaps Mr Etheridge doesn’t care a great deal about this, and he’s probably not the only one).
The true extent of the rape gang crisis across Britain may never be known. Just this week, we learned that 6,226 children had alleged sexual abuse in Sandwell, near Birmingham, over a 5 year period. This is an astonishing figure, more than 3 times that of Rotherham. Of course, there’s nothing to suggest that all of this involves Muslim gangs, but applying a bit of common sense, and looking around the rest of the country, it’s a safe bet that they’re involved. According to Breitbart, The Sandwell Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) report stated: “Intelligence suggests that of potential suspects identified, 75 per cent of those known are of Asian ethnicity”.
(“Asian” is what people call Muslims when they’re afraid to call them Muslims).
That’s just the start. Rape of white women by Muslim men is now a part of European life. Germany, Sweden, Austria, the list goes on. In Sweden, some Muslims have taken to live-streaming the rape of Swedish women, and few in authority do anything about it because they’re afraid of upsetting Muslims. They’re afraid of upsetting Muslims because history has taught them that a mere cartoon or book can cause many Muslims to become so upset that they will murder and destroy, so its better to stay quiet. Interestingly, even with this fear of Muslims so apparent, it doesn’t prompt us to close our borders to it. Quite the opposite in fact.
Why is the Muslim identity relevant when it comes to rape? Because of Islam. Islam teaches very clearly that women are subservient and must obey men at all times. If women do not obey men, men are permitted, as per the Koran, to use violence against them. Women are also obliged to cover themselves, as per the Koran, or face molestation. It is clear in Islamic scripture that if a woman is molested, she is to blame. That’s why, across vast swathes of the Muslim world, women are covered from head to toe. In the most Islam-complaint societies, women are jailed (by law of the land) for being victims of rape. In some, women are stoned to death for being victims of rape.
What kind of men (and women) do you think such a society creates? Men who value women as equals or men who think women are beneath them, or if uncovered, a whore who is asking for it? Of course, there will always be many exceptions but on the whole, people born and raised in societies like this will not have a very healthy attitude to women. Europe opened its borders, and now that unhealthiness is here. Men who had only ever known obedient, covered, submissive women came to Europe and saw autonomous women – working, driving, speaking, wearing whatever they like – and many reacted with fury. They saw women in bikinis and thought this meant she was up for it. Many simply have no understanding of male-female relations in the West, and the years it has taken us to get here.
Muslim immigration is turning back the clock on Western women. It’s a betrayal of our daughters to allow it to happen.
The other major issue of concern is freedom of speech. For centuries, Europeans lived under religious tyranny. People obeyed the Church or were killed. Now Europe however has undergone an enlightenment, centuries of religious moderation, centuries of struggle for democracy, centuries of struggle for freedom. Should we throw this away for Muslim immigration?
We must be able to speak, we must be able to speak about anything at all. This is the essence of democracy and the test of freedom – if we cannot speak our minds, we are not free. In Europe today, we cannot speak our minds on Islam, therefore we are not free.
Whether it is the slaughter of cartoonists in Paris or the machine-gunning of a free speech event in Copenhagen, the message to the people is clear; you may not speak your mind about Islam if you wish to be safe. It worked. Many newspapers for example wouldn’t publish the notorious Mohammed cartoons that caused murder and mayhem across the world. Events organized to specifically discuss the cartoons refused to display the cartoons. That’s the absurdity of it. When I tried to arrange a cartoon exhibition in London, it soon became apparent that I was risking not just my own life, but potentially the lives of those around me. That’s where we are.
We are cowering in fear. We are not free.
Across the Muslim world, blasphemy is deemed a serious crime and in many countries, it carries the death penalty. Despite all the “tiny minority of extremists” rhetoric, it is nothing of the kind. In many Muslim countries, majorities believe that both blasphemy and apostasy should carry the death penalty. What do we expect to happen when millions of such people move to Europe? Where is our common sense? If you bring masses who believe in death for blasphemy to your country, you then have masses who believe in death for blasphemy in your country. The effect of this should be obvious to anyone. The effect of this I have already partly described. It won’t go away with time either. According to Channel 4 a few years ago, 78% of British Muslims believe that Mohammed cartoons should be a criminal offence.
Are we really going to throw away free speech in favour of Muslim immigration? My answer is no.
This smearing nonsense has to stop. I don’t like Islam and I have every right to feel that way. As a woman who believes in free speech, it is entirely justified. In order to preserve the rights and safety of women, and our right to speak our minds, I believe we must end immigration from Muslim countries. Its not a conclusion I want to reach, but common sense tells me it’s unfortunately necessary.
I want to halt immigration from theocratic or tyrannical societies because I believe in freedom. Freedom and totalitarianism, especially religious totalitarianism which gives itself the authority of the creator of the universe, cannot live side by side. You must pick one. I pick freedom, and I will fight to preserve it from all that threatens it.
This isn’t fascism. This is commitment to liberty and democracy. I will hold fast to this commitment and I will not cower down. I will fight for our age-old liberties, and if I become leader, UKIP will be a party that fights for our age-old liberties.
Anne Marie Waters