Pim Fortuyn, the hero of Rotterdam, the man who shook the country awake, once said, "Do not aim for what is possible, but what is imaginable." He wanted to make clear that for us, the Dutch, nothing is impossible.
Pim Fortuyn was right. Nothing is impossible for us. We are Dutch.
Look at our country. We have single-handedly created this unique and beautiful land. We are the only people in the world living in a country which for the largest part we created ourselves. A great achievement.
We not only created our own land, but we also explored the world. We have sailed all the seas. We founded New York and discovered Australia. Sometimes, it seems like we have forgotten it all. Forgotten what we are capable of. What we are capable of when we put our mind to it. And maybe that is our problem. We must dare to think big again. Because where there is a will, there is a way.
And yes, I know. Many things are bothering us. There is also much to be angry about, and rightfully so. This government has destroyed our country with its austerity policies and has allowed our country to be colonized by Islam. But let's start aiming for the imaginable. Let us liberate our country.
Four years ago, Mark Rutte won the election with a campaign based on false promises. With lies and deceit. No more money to the Greeks, 1,000 euros for every Dutch citizen, a strict immigration policy. And the Labour Party was his enemy, as everyone remembers. He recently apologized, but he didn't draw his conclusions. On the contrary, he apologized but continues destroying and giving away our country. Perhaps, he will even govern with Labour again for another four years. No one can still believe what he says. And my question to you is: do you want a prime minister like that for the next four years?
At the moment, you are living in the land of Mark Rutte. And for many, that is no longer a pleasant land. Just walk out your front door and look around. Chances are that thugs are hanging around at the entrance of your local convenience store. That you get spit on and robbed there. That your daughters, your wives, and your parents get harassed and no longer dare to go out at night. That you are becoming a stranger in your own country. That must change. Because this is our country. And it is being taken away from you. And I will take it back for you.
A politician like me, who speaks the truth about a huge problem many Dutch are confronted with every day -- yes, I am talking about the terror of Islam and the Moroccan problem -- is dragged to court. Facing trial, while imams can preach all the hatred they want and the political elites keep silent. They call themselves leaders, but they do not lead; they mislead.
Mark Rutte's plan can be summarized in one word: Dereliction of duty.
My plan for the Netherlands is called Liberation. And liberation begins with stating the facts.
The facts: Six out of every ten inmates in the Netherlands are immigrants, and of all prisoners, more than 10% are of Moroccan origin. Moroccan youths are nearly five times more often suspected of a crime than native youths. The Netherlands has become a continuous live broadcast of Opsporing Verzocht ["Wanted Criminals", a Dutch television program]. A politician who keeps silent about this is worthless. I refuse to do that.
And I will not keep silent about Islam either. Never, ever. Because silence is dangerous. Last July, Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel passed away. I met him a few years ago in New York. He gave the world a wise lesson: "When someone says they want to kill you, believe them." Islam says it wants to kill us. The Koran leaves no doubt about that.
Seven out of ten Dutch Muslims believe that religious rules are more important than Dutch secular laws. And more than one in ten Muslims in the Netherlands find it acceptable to use violence in name of Islam. That is more than 100,000 people. Many refuse to integrate and show no respect for Dutch authority in areas such as Maassluis or Poelenburg. They give us the middle finger. Islamic hooligans parade with Islamic State flags through the streets in The Hague and occupy bridges with Turkish flags in Rotterdam. This is our country, but their flags are waving.
Look at their flags. And look at our flag. There is no Koran verse and no crescent on our flag, but red, white and blue stripes. The red of our identity, the white of our freedom and the blue of the truth. This is the time that from house to house, from street to street and from municipality to municipality, we must raise our flag. Everywhere. With pride. Because this is our country, our Netherlands! And it cries for liberation.
When I come to power, I will protect our beautiful country. And this is only possible if we de-Islamize. I want to make it the core of my policy. Because I refuse to let this wonderful country of ours perish and I choose our culture and the freedom of our people.
Our values are not Islamic, but are based on the Judeo-Christian and humanist civilization. We have the right and freedom to choose how we want to live our lives, and to never give away this right. Twelve years ago, Theo van Gogh was murdered. He gave his life for the freedom that lies at the heart of our Dutch identity. And that identity must defend itself. We must not allow those who want to destroy our freedom to abuse freedom in order to take ours away. We must stop being naive and defend ourselves. Because this is our country.
The Dutch are fully aware of the fact that while there are moderate Muslims, there is no moderate Islam. Two out of three Dutch people say that the Islamic culture does not belong to the Netherlands. Three-quarters of the Dutch people believe that politicians underestimate the problem of the rising numbers of Muslims in our country. More than three-quarters believe that Islam is not an enrichment for the Netherlands. Those people are right. But nobody listens to them. Only I do.
Mark Rutte spoke about stubborn optimism, but the Netherlands do not need laughing donkeys. It needs heroes with firm realism. We cannot afford to underestimate the seriousness of the threat. Because the threat is existential: the survival of our country is at stake. Potential terrorists are already among us in great numbers and are coming to Europe on a daily basis, also with the influx of asylum seekers. They walk free here. It is a dereliction of duty to do nothing about it and to leave our borders open to tens of thousands mainly Islamic fortune-seekers from the Middle East and Africa.
We must also liberate ourselves from the Europhiles in Brussels who wipe the floor with our identity, our sovereignty and our prosperity. We are no longer in control of our own borders, our own money, our own democracy. If we decide in a referendum that we do not want something, like the association agreement with Ukraine, then they force it down our throats anyways. Because the will of the people is not relevant to the elite. They are laughing at us.
Everything belonging to our culture is being taken away from us. Even Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is not allowed anymore. The elite wants to abolish the word "allochtoon" (foreigner), but it is the native people who are losing their country. I refuse to let that happen. This is our country, our culture, our identity. The Netherlands, this beautiful country, this great nation, this beacon of freedom, it is ours and will remain ours! This is the time to withstand tyranny.
Today, I appeal to all the Dutch. To everyone who enjoys our hard-won freedoms, to everyone who wants to safeguard the prosperity and wealth of this great country for their children and grandchildren: let us show the world that we are Dutch. Stand up -- democratically and non-violently -- against the elites who are giving away your country. The task that lays ahead of us is immense. But the courage to reclaim our country is so, too. There are many good things to be preserved and there are many things that have to be rebuilt.
This is the time for clear language: Dutch money for the Dutch people! Not a penny to Africa, Turkey, Greece or Brussels anymore. If we do that, so much will become possible. Imagine it! Then we will be able to reduce taxes for everyone, so the purchasing power can rise significantly and the economy can get a tremendous boost. We will be able give our elderly a decent old day. We will be able to can lower the retirement age to 65 again, and no pensions will have to be cut.
I also want to keep our nursing homes open and employ thousands of extra nurses. In my Netherlands, we remedy the terrible degradation of healthcare under Rutte II and there will be many nurses taking care of our elderly with dedication, love and respect, day and night. In my Netherlands, we abolish deductibles in healthcare. It is intolerable that Dutch people are avoiding healthcare because they cannot afford it, while asylum seekers, who on average have 1,000 euros more healthcare costs a year, get everything for free. This injustice fills me with disgust.
We will be able to spend more on the police and the army, so they have more resources to keep our country safe and free and to protect our property and borders. We must close our borders to asylum seekers and immigrants from Islamic countries, no longer allow jihadists from Syria return, and denaturalize and expel criminals with dual citizenship. We must liberate our country.
I also want to introduce direct democracy in the Netherlands with binding referendums. Our political system is still that of the 20th century, ruled by the same arrogant political elites with their false promises and hypocritical apologies. If the mess created by Mark Rutte has taught us one thing, it is this: the people should be able to pull the emergency brake when the political elites violate their will. And not just once every four years.
The past decades, millions of Dutch people have seen how their country was hijacked before their very eyes. It did not take a genius to know that this would end badly. The constant transferring of sovereignty to the EU, the euro that does more harm than good, the endless waste of money spent on the Greeks, the dangers of Islam, the open borders and mass immigration, the growing threat of terrorism, the tsunami of asylum seekers, the tax increases, and last but not least, the budget cuts in healthcare for the elderly and the disabled that have crushed the weakest in our society.
Unfortunately, those who warned have been proven right. But there is hope. Together we can take care of that. When a nation awakes and starts moving, everything is possible. I am not saying that the task will be easy. But it can be done, and it must be done. Because we have no choice. A strong and sovereign country where hard work is rewarded and the weak are protected, where terrorists cannot just cross the border at Hazeldonk [main border crossing with Belgium], where women can walk the streets in skirts without being harassed or sexually assaulted, where care is affordable and pensions are decent, where all citizens -- including Jews, homosexuals, women, and critics of Islam -- are safe. Where patriotism is not an insult but a badge of honor. Where Islam is shown the door.
This beautiful country, our country, is not lost. In fact, the best years lay ahead of us. If we make the right choices. And say goodbye to those who look away from the problems and give away the Netherlands. It is time for liberation! Let us reclaim our country together.
Starting on March 15, 2017!
Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).