Up till now, Senator Bernardi, who did dare in the past to tentatively criticise aspects of Islam, and who met with Wilders in a cordial fashion in Europe over a year ago, has voiced little or no enthusiasm for or interest in Wilders' current visit to Australia. So far as I know, when Bernardi was sent an invitation to come and hear Wilders speak during that visit - an invitation that was sent to all sitting Australian politicians, State and Federal - he refused.
But he has now poked his head above the parapet just far enough to utter a few words in favour of freedom of speech.
Here is what he had to say.
'Free Speech Double Standard"
"It seems that there is a double standard when it comes to free speech in Australia.
"Dutch politician Geert Wilders' public speaking tour has run into constant problems as venues continue to pull out or refuse to host his events.
"Mr Wilders had to cancel his speaking tour last year, when the government reportedly took over two months to approve his visa. Wilders' visa approval only came through as he was in the process of cancelling his trip.
"On the other hand, last year the government had no issue granting a visa to Taji Mustafa, the British (that should be, 'the British-passport-holding' - CM) leader of Muslim extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.
The orthodox Muslim sharia-pushers, Hizb ut-Tahrir.- CM
"They also appear to have no problem admitting Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, who is scheduled to attend the Australian Islamic Peace Conference in March.
"Sheikh Al-Sudais has called Jewish people the "rats of the world". He has said that Christians are "influenced by the rottenness of their ideas and the poison of their cultures".
'Mr Wilders lives under 24-hour police protection to ensure he isn't killed or attacked by those who don't like his opinions.
That should have been: "to ensure that he is not killed or attacked by pious Muslims attempting to carry out the sharia punishment for blasphemers". - CM
"Over one million Dutch voters supported him at the last election because they are living with the consequences of a growing cultural shift in the Netherlands.
"There are a myriad of reports from a previously harmonious and tolerant Dutch society where Jews and gay people no longer feel safe from attack by Islamic fundamentalists. These fundamentalists are the same people who want to kill Wilders and establish sharia law under a global Caliphate because Muhammad commanded them to, back in the 7th century.
"And yet, it is Wilders who is characterised as an extremist.
"In such a tolerant and open society like Australia, why is it so difficult to accommodate a speaking tour by a member of the Dutch parliament who has a different perspective?
In other words: why is it so difficult to accommodate someone who is brave enough to defy the sharia Enforcers, and ratiionally criticise Mohammed, and Islam, out loud, in public? - CM
"It was reported that at least 10 venues in Sydney and over 30 in Melbourne refused to host Mr Wilders. One five-star hotel in the Victorian capital accepted the booking, and then cancelled only a few days before the event, leaving over 500 ticket-holders in limbo. It was a similar story in Perth.
One wonders what kind of pressure was being exerted upon these venues, behind the scenes, once certain parties got wind - somehow - of their having offered a conference room to Mr Wilders. - CM
"Westpac [Bank] refused to organise a payment system to facilitate ticket sales. Then PayPal put a hold on the account that was processing funds for entry to his speaking engagements.
"It isn't hard to conclude that the threat of repercussions from the hard-left and extremists ('extremists', i.e. 'rioting mobs of Muslims, and/ or Muslim bomb-detonators' - CM) has impacted on their decision to suspend their normal business terms. This only serves to highlight that the failures of Western Europe are already starting to emerge here.
"And then there's the outcry and vitriol from the media and government. The ABC was happy to play along to the leftist script demonising Wilders as 'far right' and a 'racist' while promoting the emancipated freedom of the Students For Palestine (i.e Students For Genocidal Anti-Jewish Jihad - CM) and radical-left Solidarity, who are campaigning against the tour.
"Yet Sheikh Al-Sudais' impending visit has gone relatively unnoticed. The Melbourne Showgrounds are hosting the Islamic Peace Conference and Sheikh Al-Sudais' appearance.
"Why is it so easy for this man to come to our country and share his bizarre views (that is: 'his thoroughly Islamic venomous Jew-hatred' - CM) and yet it is so hard for Mr Wilders? Why do venues refuse to host Wilders, yet provide space for Al-Sudais and groups like Hizb-ut-Tahrir?
Yes: would the Melbourne Showgrounds host a grand neonazi convention with David Irving as the star speaker? Yet Al-Sudais' views are at least as vicious as those of any western antisemite - and, further, they are completely Islamically orthodox, and can be found everywhere among the general Muslim populace throughout the dar al Islam, at every level from the lowliest slum-dweller to the richest oil-funded princeling in his palace.- CM
"Surely, in Australia, we should be affording a democratically-elected politician form one of our longstanding allies at least the same opportunity to speak in freedom and safety as that provided to people like Al-Sudais.
"It doesn't matter if you agree with Wilders or not. What is important is that we are prepared to stick up for free speech even if we don't like what we hear.
"The double standard that the government and parts of the media have in relation to freedom of speech and what is acceptable for public debate is simply unacceptable.
"It seems they are making up the rules as they go along in order to suit their own PC agenda.
"The right of free speech should be free for all, not free for most".
And the Muslim sharia ban on any and all criticism of Islam, Mohammed and Muslims has no place in free non-Muslim societies. The double standard that Mr Bernardi is excoriating - whereby the Muslim Al-Sudais can freely come to Australia and spew forth venom against Jews, whereas the Infidel Mr Wilders has only with very great difficulty and grudgingly been granted the barest of hearings as he tries to explain, among other things, the plainly observable fact that Islam is antisemitic and that Jews in the Netherlands are being attacked by Muslims - shows that, de facto, Australia is well on the way to falling into line with the sharia of Islam. And that is very, very disturbing.
Now, here is how Senator Bernardi's essay was reported upon.
First, by Chip Le Grand, for 'The Australian'.
'Bernardi Tests Abbott's Patience By Backing Dutch MP Geert Wilders'.
Well done, Mr Le Grand; you refrained from adding the Homeric epithets 'Anti-Islam' and/ or 'Right-Wing' or 'Far-Right' in front of Mr Wilders' official designation. - CM
'Coalition Senator Cory Bernardi tested the patience of his parliamentary leader Tony Abbott by affirming his support for Dutch MP Geert Wilders, who has been forced to cancel a speaking engagement in Perth because no venue was willing to provide him a stage.
Perth, Western Australia, does not have a very large population of Muslims. It is a measure of the extent to which the Ummah already successfully bamboozles and intimidates Australian politicians and ordinary citizens, that Wilders' hosts were not able to find any conference venue willing to expose itself to the risk of being attacked, some day, by Sharia assassins, as punishment for having shown the smallest degree of solidarity with a man who publicly criticises Islam. - CM
'Senator Bernardi, whom Wilders this week described as an old friend, had distanced himself from the anti-Islam campaigner since late last year, when he was given a visa to visit Australia.
'However, the cancellation of Wilders' tour date today prompted the Senator to lament the 'double standard' of free speech in Australia.
"Dutch politician Geert Wilders' public speaking tour has run into constant problems as venues continue to pull out or refuse to host his events", Senator Bernardi wrote to subscribers of his weekly "common sense" newsletter. "In such a tolerant and open society like Australia, why is it so difficult to accommodate a speaking tour by a member of the Dutch parliament who has a different perspective?"
'Senator Bernardi contrasted the difficulty Wilders had in obtaining a visa, with the Federal Government's preparedness to issue them to Taji Mustafa, a senior figure in Hizb-ut-Tahrir, and Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, who has described Jews as "rats of the world".
Good catch, Senator. Keep making that point; make it loud and clear and make it often, till it starts to sink in. - CM
"There are myriad reports from a previously harmonious and tolerant Dutch society, where Jews and gay people no longer feel safe from attack by Islamic fundamentalists", the Senator said.
"And yet, it is Wilders who is characterised as extremist".
'In contrast to Mr Abbott, Senator Bernardi did not distance himself from Mr Wilders' characterisation of Islam as a totalitarian ideology incompatible with western democratic societies.
'Speaking earlier today on Melbourne Radio 3AW, Mr Abbott said Wilders was "substantially" wrong about Islam and the preparedness of Muslims living in Australia to integrate...
'Wilders is currently in Western Australia, but was forced to cancel his planned speaking engagement in Perth after the venue booked for the night cancelled last Friday. Andrew Horwood, a spokesman for the Q Society, which is organising and funding Wilders' Australian trip, said the group had hoped until Tuesday night to find an alternative venue but had now "conceded defeat".
I hope, at least, that while in Western Australia Mr Wilders was taken to Kings' Park, Perth, to visit the beautiful memorial which remembers the 16 West Australians who were murdered in the 2002 Jihad bombing attack in Bali, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, and injured 209, many seriously. - CM
'The withdrawal of support for Wilders follows strong public comments from West Australian Premier Colin Barnett, who declared earlier this week that Wilders was not welcome in his state.
'Mr Barnett (shamefully - CM) took some credit for Wilders being left without a stage to deliver his stump speech warning about the threat of Islam to free speech and democratic traditions.
Mr Chip Le Grand, of 'The Australian'; when you dismiss Mr Wilders' coolly rational and deadly-serious warning as a 'stump speech' does this imply that you yourself do not regard Islam as a threat to free speech and democratic traditions?
If so, Mr Le Grand, are you aware of Islam's apostasy law? - which stipulates that any Muslim who abandons Islam, for another faith, or for atheism, must be killed?
Are you aware that orthodox, mainstream Islam - not some sort of lunatic fringe, but the thing itself - holds that those who criticise or mock Islam - whether they be Muslim, or non-Muslim - must be severely punished, even killed? Do you know what the canonical texts of Islam say was done to a cheeky woman poet, Asma Bint Marwan, who mocked Mohammed and the Muslims? She was assassinated in her bed, and Mohammed heartily approved; and Mohammed, to this day, is the role model for all pious Muslims. Everything he did, said and approved of - including the assassination of anyone who criticises or mocks Islam/ Mohammed/ Muslims - is eternally valid. And that is why Theo Van Gogh, of the Netherlands, is dead; and why Geert Wilders must live in a safe house and go everywhere with a heavily-armed no-nonsense Dutch security detail. It is also why a little Christian girl in Pakistan, Rimsha Masih, might one day be murdered by a Muslim or Muslims: on the basis of her having been falsely accused of burning pages from a Quran. This, to repeat, Mr Le Grand, is orthodox Islam, Islam, Islam. Is that not a threat to freedom of speech, and democratic traditions? - CM
"I don't want him here', Mr Barnett said. "He is certainly not going to use government buildings to promote his message".
Are you afraid that if he did, then one day a Muslim truck bomber, or Muslim suicide bomber, might blow up a government building, by way of punishing you and the people of Western Australia for associating themselves with someone who has had the temerity to publicly criticise You-Know-Who and You-Know-What? - CM
'Mr Horwood said government pressure had added to the reluctance of venue owners to expose their businesses to protesters, public threats, and possible retribution.
'Possible retribution'. They are afraid of Allah's Enforcers armed with guns, knives, or high explosive. And thus the Sharia ban on 'blasphemy' is observed: in Australia, where Muslims constitute, in toto, a mere 2.5 percent of the population. - CM
"The plan was to have a quieter day and a big night, but the big night is gone" Mr Horwood said.
"I just find it incredible that in 2013, in Australia, in a democracy, this has actually happened. We have all had generations before who have gone off to war to fight for the country and while they were doing that, I can't imagine they were thinking in 2013 a government would stop a respected politician from the Netherlands speaking in public".
'Wilders is next scheduled to speak in Sydney on Friday night in the final appearance of his Australian tour."
And here is what Bianca Hall, in 'The Age' had to say about Bernardi's finally piping up:
'Bernardi Defends Wilders' Right to Speak in Australia'
'Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has spoken out in support of anti-immigration Dutch MP Geert Wilders, saying a double standard on free speech is emerging in Australia.
'Mr Wilders, who is on a speaking tour of Australia, has in the past called Islam "a retarded culture" (which it is - CM) and in Melbourne on Tuesday called the prophet Muhammad (that should be, Ms Hall, 'the Muslims' prophet Mohammed" - CM) a "warlord, terrorist and paedophile" (all true, it's all there in the canonical texts of Islam; and Mr Wilders could have added the descriptors 'rapist' and 'slave-trader' and 'treaty-breaker' and 'Jew-killer', into the bargain - CM) and called for a ban on migration from Muslim countries.
'His comments drew widespread condemnation, and a large group of protesters delayed the onset of his speech in Melbourne.
'Australian Multicultural Foundation chief executive Hass Dellal (funny how Muslims so often seem to be in charge of these sorts of organisations - CM) told Fairfax [Press] Mr Wilders' comments were so outlandish there was no sensible reply.
They are true, Mr Dellal. Any Australian who cares to check out the standard accepted translations of the canonical Islamic texts, which are there to be got in any Islamic bookshop or read online in a dozen places, will see that Wilders' description of Mohammed is simply true. - CM
"He is full of contradictions and is wrapped up in his own notoriety. He never speaks of tolerance, understanding or cohesion".
He is not a dhimmi, Mr Dellal. He is saying No to Islam, and he is explaining why. And that simply sticks in your craw, doesn't it, Mr Dellal? By the way, when I see what Muslims say about Jews, and what they do to Jews (e.g. Ilan Halimi, and Miriam Monsonego) and what Muslims are doing to Copts in Egypt, Christians in Syria, Christians and Hindus in Pakistan, Hindus and Buddhists in Bangladesh, I see not one skerrick of tolerance, understanding, or compassion. I see lynchings, rapes and forced 'conversions' of minor girls, murders (often mass-murders), robberies, arson, desecration of sacred places, desecration of graves, and a continual barrage of gross insults, slanders, nonsense and lies; I see merciless hate spewed and murder incited by cleric after cleric after cleric, raging against the Yahood, against Christians, against Hindus, against everybody who is not a Muslim and also against those - Ahmadis, Shiites - who are the wrong sort of Muslim. What 'cohesion' is there between Sunni and Shiite, Mr Dellal? Answer me that! - CM
'Senator Bernardi, who has spoken in support of the controversial Wilders in the past, said Mr Wilders' views should have an airing 'in such a tolerant and open society like Australia.
"There are a myriad of (sic) reports from a previously harmonious and tolerant Dutch society where Jews and gay people no longer feel safe from attack by Islamic fundamentalists", Senator Bernardi wrote, in a blog post on his Common Sense Lives Here website.
"These fundamentalists are the same people who want to kill Wilders and establish sharia law under a global Caliphate because Muhammad commanded them to, back in the 7th century. And yet, it is Wilders who is characterised as an extremist."
One mark to Ms Hall, or to her editor at The Age, for reproducing the sentence which mentions sharia law and the goal of a global Caliphate; Mr Le Grand, writing for the Australian, left out that bit (or his editor did). - CM
'The Q Society, which hosted the speech, said ithad been forced to change locations several times for fear of violent protests...
"It isn't hard to conclude that the threat of repercussions from the hard-left and extremists has impacted on their [the cancelling venues' - CM] decision to suspend their normal business terms", Senator Bernardi said.
'He said there was a clear double standard at play, when Saudi Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais - a cleric who has described Jews as "accursed by Allah", "apes and pigs" and "scum of the earth" - was due to come to Australia to speak at the Australian Islamic Peace Conference next month, with little controversy.
"Why is it so easy for this man to come to our country and share his bizarre (and thoroughly Islamic - CM) views in a public forum without public controversy, and yet it is so hard for Mr Wilders?"...
I will give the last word not to our Press, but to some of the people who commented on Mr Bernardi's article at his blog (I recommend that readers here click on his link and read them all, it was quite an interesting discussion).
One 'Anon' wrote, snidely, "Pretty clear who your bedfellows are, Cory".
To which one 'Amira' replied, "Anon, don't you believe in free speech for all? Geert Wilders does NOT hate Islamic people. He knows that Islam and Freedom are NOT compatible. Many Islamic clerics themselves say openly that Islam and Freedom are NOT compatible. That is understood by all intelligent people. Thank goodness for Cory's Common Sense site. If you heard what Hizb ut Tahrir said then you'd know that it's the Muslim clerics who hate people. They hate anyone who is of a different religion, which shows you that we must have more laws that protect decent people against Muslim hatred.
"I was a Muslim but I've changed and [am] now happily a Christian. Christians LOVE other people different to themselves. Muslims are taught to hate people who are different to themselves."
Bless you, Amira! if only Mr Le Grand, Ms Bianca Hall, and Mr Tony Abbott, and a good few others, would read what you just said, and take it seriously, we might get somewhere..
A little later on, she added this [in reply to another poster]: "Bill, there was no courage needed from me to become a Christian. I opened my eyes to everything Australian and I am very happy here. I feel very safe in Australia, but I know that I would have been killed in my homeland if I had changed my religion to Christian there. Aussies are sound asleep to the dangers of Islam. It's a religion of war-lords from barbaric times, and they dominate their followers so they will be submissive and will 'rise to the call' when they are needed. Islam is not about goodness for everyone as Christianity is".
Another poster inquired, succinctly, of Mr Bernardi: "Is it true you refused to meet with Mr Wilders? If so - words are easy, Senator".
And yet another poster remarked, "...I really cannot understand why our politicians do not stand up and be counted. I speak with experience because I was born in an Islamic country, try practicing your Christian faith in an Islamic country, you will not get far".
'Glenda', who had attended Mr Wilders' Melbourne speech, said, "I am deeply ashamed of Australian governments and venue owners for the appalling treatment Mr Wilders and his team have received here. It is not representative of Australia. As a visiting MP from a friendly democracy, I would have expected him to be warmly received and freely heard. His talk in Melbourne last night was interesting, enlightening, and credible. The audience was a total cross-section of ages, ethnicities and belief systems...I certainly hope his treatment improves as the tour progresses".