Ladies and gentlemen, I am very honoured indeed to have been invited by the Danish Free Press Society to speak in the Danish Parliament, the heart of Danish democracy. My special thanks go to Lars Hedegaard and Katrine Winkel Holm, who were so kind to invite me here.
As you may know, the title of my short film about the Koran and Islam is Fitna . Fitna is an Arabic word with many meanings. The most common translation is ‘ordeal’ or ‘trial’. The name Fitna symbolises my view that Islam is the ordeal with which the free West is currently confronted. Are we prepared to defend our achievements, such as the equality of men and women, of heterosexuals and homosexuals as well as the separation of Church and State? I would like to throw some light today on the question of whether the Netherlands and Europe will be able to face that ordeal and stand the test. I will also address the question of why I made Fitna , and relate to you some of the reactions to my film as well as some of my personal circumstances. Lastly, I will offer you some thoughts on the future of freedom and democracy in Europe.