The interview was published in Danskeren, a magazine for Den Danske Forening (organisation started by former resistance fighters from the 2nd World Word) (not online):
“Interview with Nicolai Sennels: “For Freedom”
Nicolai Sennels became famous when he during the winter stood forth as spokesman for a Danish version of the German Pegida. Harry Winter has talked with him to learn more about Nicolai, Islam, Pegida and For Freedom.
Danskeren: Nicolai, let’s start from the beginning. Did you have a happy childhood?
Nicolai: Yes very. I am gifted with a very harmonious family, which now in our adult lives has developed into friendships. My childhood environment was Leftist and hippie-like. I actually feel that the values I have today is some that I with great thankfulness received from this environment. Values such as freedom to speak against strong or angry people. About women’s equality. And a healthy skepticism towards religion. These are all core values in everything I do against Islam, also in connection with our weekly evening demonstrations For Freedom.
For some reason the values that were once called Leftist, are now categorized as right-wing. I think it is because many think that Islam-criticism has to do with racism and hate. But Islam is not a race. And anyone who has followed me in the debate knows that I am not driven by any kind of anger. We are not hormone-filled young men who are looking for someone to be angry at or channel our frustrations against. We are adult, balanced people who are concerned about the influence Islam has on our society.
And we are concerned that our politicians and media will not take this threat seriously until there are bodies in the streets and the Danes will have to flee their homes and move the children from their schools because Muslim Sharia zones has engulfed their local area. Actually, this is already happening today.
The prisons are full of criminals Muslims, while emergency rooms, psychology clinics and insurance companies take care of their victims. Muslim aggression against non-Muslims is happening on an industrial scale, and it has changed the whole atmosphere of our countries.
And we must act now. Because the next generation will not even know what we have lost. For they will have grown up in a world where it is normal to meet police armed with machine guns on the way to kindergarten or hear news that now some innocent people somewhere in Europe have been killed by jihadists.
Danskeren: You chose to study psychology. Did you have other fields of study under consideration?
Nicolai: No, actually not. I have always thought that mind is the most important. Later, my studies proved to be quite useful, since there has really been a need for someone to explain Islam and Muslims’ aggressive behavior psychologically. As a psychologist, I see all people as full of useful and exciting potentials. But things like fear, anger and ignorance can keep these potentials hidden.
People brought up in a culture that does not give them alternatives to Islam or the Islamic worldview, also have these potentials. Unfortunately, they are caught in a totalitarian system that forces them to treat others badly – according to Sharia – and thus fill their own mind and their own lives with further pain. This should arouse our compassion towards Muslims and a wish to change Islam – or reduce its power.
It is important to understand that people behave the way they feel. If they behave bad, it’s because they feel bad. This does not mean that you can not be strict or use force. But the underlying motivation will be compassion and a desire to exert a minimum of necessary or educational damage.
Danskeren: How did your interest in politics start?
Nicolai: Actually, I’m not particularly interested in politics. There is too much tactics and ego in it. I am interested in freedom and in that people feel good. And here I see Islam as a particular problem. Islam is more politics than religion, and it deprives its followers fundamental human rights, and orders them to treat each other and the rest of us bad.
If Islam had been a political party, it had been booed out and banned long ago. But because Muslims are so easily and offended – which, in my view, is primarily due to poor self-confidence – and because their ideology is camouflaged as a religion, very few dare point out Islam’s obvious faults and dangerous nature.
Danskeren: Why migrate people from the Muslim world?
Nicolai: Because it is not functioning. Cultures where faith is more important than knowledge, and where people are held in strict, religious reins instead of being free to discover and develop their potential, will always fail. Faith does not create scientific breakthroughs and where sharia dominate, there is a catastrophic shortage of human rights. The result will be poor, unfree communities. In addition, there are of course religious leaders who see an advantage in spreading Islam through emigration.
I can also very easily imagine that there are forces in the EU, which see an advantage in destroying our national identity through immigration from foreign cultures. A weaker national identity makes us psychologically susceptible to supranational identities, so we more willingly submit ourselves to the anti-democratic regime in Brussels.
It may also be that there are large banks that can benefit from lending our countries money to finance welfare for immigrants. Some of these banks may also have something to say on the political level, and can therefore influence our democracy to open up for more immigration. Either way, Islam is the main problem.
Danskeren: At one point you wanted make a difference?
Nicolai: I think it is clear to many that we can not count on our politicians and media to take the problems of Islam seriously until they have progressed to a point where we have to brutalize ourselves and use totalitarian power to solve these problems. And how much is left of what we are trying to protect, if we force ourselves into a situation where we have to be brutal and undemocratic to survive? In a democratic society everyone has the chance and responsibility to shape her or his children’s and grand children’s future. I think many have forgotten this basic condition of living in a democracy.
One the reasons for our evening demonstrations is to remind people of this. Here you can come on a Monday – or several Mondays – and go on the street with an open face and well protected by lots of police. Then you are helping to give courage and inspiration to our fellow citizens. At the same time you will be supporting the freedom of expression, and one is showing the Islamists that we non-Muslims are not afraid of them. And it is obviously an attempt to wake up our politicians.
I do not know how many hundreds who have walked with us on these Mondays. There are new faces every time and they all look happy and proud to join. And I can understand that. It is an important matter we are demonstrating for, and people do it despite the risk of terrorist attacks, and perhaps also the risk of being criticized by friends and family for coming forward as Islam-critics. I think it’s great and admirable when people show up, and I must say that it is very nice people to walk with. The atmosphere is good, and also the new-comers quickly feel our happy mood and great team spirit.
Danskeren: How did you decide to organize Danish Pegida?
Nicolai: In fact it was a Carsten, who took the initiative on Facebook. But he dropped out after even before our first demonstration because of all the media attention, and then I was alone. Fortunately a few friends jumped in and made signs and our first banner. Some of the people participating in our demonstrations also help to print songs and leaflets. We are a small handful that are in regular contact about new ideas and so on.
It is nice and a great help, because there is a lot of work associated with having to hold demonstrations every single week. I am in contact with the police and municipal authorities about permits. I am in contact with politicians and the press, and of course there is a lot of practical things like flyers, banner, website, Facebook etc.
Danskeren: Danish Pegida made a good start in the middle of winter cold?
Nicolai: Yes, it was fantastic. CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and shown most Danish news channels were present. Throughout January we were among the most debated in the media. For some reason After no media contacted us after the terrorist attack in February, however. It’s a bit thoughtful. I think it is because they are afraid that the attack proved that we are right about the danger of Islam. Lately the media has started to contact me again.
Now are we doing our own TV. An acquaintance films our speeches and rallies, and we broadcast live from our demonstrations. You can follow us on www.forfrihed.dk. It’s an opportunity for people to check us out before they may choose to attend one of our Mondays. And it’s good burden of proof against the journalists who claim that we are confrontational towards the illegal counter-demonstrations, which typically show up.
For we are in no way aggressive or violent. Most of us are middle-aged, several are even over 70. We are nice people who are too polite to shout back at the counter-demonstrations. A bunch Mr. And Mrs. Johnsons on most meaningful evening walk in Denmark. The goal is to become big, very big. I would like us to be thousands marching every Monday. And it will probably happen, because there is no doubt that things will happen in the future that will make more people feel that enough is enough.
If you are relaxed and democratic, you can come with us.
Danskeren: You were stigmatized?
Nicolai: Yes, but I do not care. Some of my colleagues also tried to get me fired. And had it not been because the police showed up every Monday, I probably would not be able to give this interview. That is how the world is today. Either you stay keep silent or you stand up and speak out.
I know that what I do is subject to various risks. But I think it bears fruit. Our existence contributes to the very important debate about freedom of speech, immigration and Islam. And if of course helps to know that I am not alone. We have many people who support us in different ways. And those who go with us on Mondays, runs the same risk as myself. Those I see as friends and colleagues in our work.
Danskeren: Violence begins when the arguments run out, a Chinese proverb says?
Nicolai: Yes, and therefore we will never violent. There are plenty of good arguments against letting Islam into an open and vulnerable communities like ours. The best arguments is the Quran and Muhammad.
If you as a democrat wish to use force, one must either be a soldier, a policeman or join the National Guard. I myself am in the National Guard. I think is makes sense. Then you are on the list of people who can be called if Denmark would again be hit by terror. Then you can help maintain the security, peace and order, which the terrorists are trying to destroy. On top of that you get a lot of relevant training and education in both arms, first aid and how to support the police.
Danskeren: But at some point did you felt that changing the name from Pegida to For Freedom (“For Frihed”) was necessary?
Nicolai: Yes, we would like to call us something that makes sense in Danish. And since the only thing we are is for freedom, the name came by itself.
How long will you continue to do Monday demonstrations?
Nicolai: They have no expiry date. We are the most progressive cultural offer. And compared to how many people, for example, the Free Press Society or the Lars Vilks Committee gathers for various events during a three months, I certainly think that we are the biggest Islam-critical movement in Denmark. And I highly recommend trying to walk with us, if you agree with us – and if you are not racist or Nazi or something.
It is perhaps one of the most meaningful and exciting things to be involved in, in these times. It is also a kind of test of manhood to walk surrounded by 100 police officers with Islam critical signs through the streets of Copenhagen. Even if we will – hopefully – soon get rid of the often quite unwashed antifascists from the counter-demonstrations who yells of us. If you dream of being a freedom fighter, it is definitely the best offer on the market.
I have often thought about what characterizes the people who can not keep quiet, but protests against injustice despite the risks. Do you as a psychologist have an answer to that?
People can be driven by a variety of things. There’s also critics of Islam, who are obviously racists or even Nazis. I have no intention of cooperating with such people. Others are driven by anger.
And then there are people like us – the majority – who are driven by compassion and our knowledge about what Islam is and what it does to Muslims and make Muslims do to their surroundings.
Danskeren: Maybe it was worth a study?
Nicolai: Well. Maybe. The most important thing is that people do something. And For Freedom’s evening demonstrations are probably both the most simple and direct way of doing something.
I hope to see many good people on our Mondays in the future.
Danskeren: Thank you for the interview, Nicolai!