NO, I was not surprised when the Tsarnaev brothers, the terrorists involved in last week's Boston bombing, turned out to be Islamic radicals. And neither am I surprised that they are fans of Australian Islamic cleric Sheik Feiz Mohammed.
Nor will I be surprised if a similar attack happens in Australia - or Europe, or anyplace where the authorities remain blind to the true nature of Islam. We learned on Tuesday of a planned attack in Canada.
Read the Koran and you will find the explanation. "Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it," the Koran tells the faithful (2:216). In case anyone doubts what is meant by fighting: "I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, maim them in every limb!" (8:12).
And yet, most Western intellectuals, journalists and politicians keep declaring that the "true" Islam can be found in the occasional non-bellicose sentences of the Koran. "Islam is a religion of peace," they say. And whenever adherents of this "religion of peace" blow up pressure cookers full of nails amid innocent bystanders, we hear that "they are not acting in accordance to Islamic teachings".
I have spent almost a decade under round-the-clock police protection because of death threats. I have been marked for death by the adherents of Islam for stating that the cause of Islamic terrorism is Islam. Its founder Mohammed "cast terror", in his own words, into the hearts of people. To give but one example: In 627, Mohammed ordered the genocide of the Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe from Medina. The women and children were sold as slaves and the men were decapitated, with Mohammed actively participating in the massacre. Osama bin Laden took his authority from the teachings and the practice of Mohammed. Islam is definitely not a religion like other religions. Did Jesus slaughter his enemies? Are there any Jews or Buddhists who for the sake of their religion fly planes into buildings or murder and maim onlookers at a marathon?
People such as Feiz Mohammed, the Australian-born sheik of Lebanese origin, whose Islamic "sermons" inspired the Tsarnaev brothers, are not propagating a false Islam. They are propagating the Islam of the Koran and of Mohammed. Why do most intellectuals, journalists and politicians close their eyes to this reality?
Three years ago, Feiz Mohammed issued an internet video in which he called for my beheading. I was, he said, "evil filth". "Chop his head off," he told his followers. I am threatened for the simple reason that I am an Islam critic. But, make no mistake, I am not the only one who is in danger. The Tsarnaev brothers drew inspiration from Feiz Mohammed's internet rants and decided to kill innocent onlookers at a marathon. Everyone is in danger.
Following the Boston bombing, Australia's Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said that Sheik Mohammed's videos no longer represent his views. He said: "Sheik Feiz Mohammed, in recent months, condemned the use of violence and certainly, as a community leader, he's someone that's getting behind the countering violent extremism program that we have in many communities."
Dreyfus has great faith in the conversion of the hate-preacher. But I do not share this optimism. Islam's founder Mohammed told his followers that they are allowed to lie and cheat in order to advance Islam. I have not heard the sheik recall his demand for my beheading. Nor did the Tsarnaev brothers hear Sheik Mohammed declare that the Islam he preached earlier is not the true Islam.
When, two months ago, I visited Australia at the invitation of the Q Society, I spoke at public events in Melbourne and the Sydney suburb of Liverpool. An event in Perth was cancelled because West Australian Premier Colin Barnett opposed my presence in his state. The event in Melbourne was disrupted by violent protests. Various conference centres in Sydney refused to have me, which forced me to speak in Liverpool which, as it happens, used to be the home turf of Feiz Mohammed.
People who came to listen to me had to go through thorough security checks. Sadly, this was all necessary because there are people - not just in Europe, Canada and America, but also in Australia - who are willing to bring into practice what Sheik Mohammed preaches in his internet videos.
Will Australian politicians learn the lessons from Boston? It all depends on whether they are prepared to face the truth. As Debbie Robinson of the Q Society, Australia's leading organisation promoting a realist view of Islam, said in a reaction to the "extremism" behind the Boston atrocity: "Professing to seek solutions, but refusing to identify the cause, is pointless."
In my view, the cause is Islam's inherent violent and intolerant nature. I always make a distinction between Muslims and Islam. Most Muslims are moderate, but this does not mean that there is such thing as a moderate Islam. People who reject Islam's violent and intolerant commandments are not practising "moderate Islam" - in my view they are not practising Islam at all. If Islam was a tolerant religion would I - or anyone who criticises Islam - have to live under 24-hour police protection?
Geert Wilders, MP, is the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, the largest party in the polls.