One Hollywood Actor We Should Listen To

Article excerpt

Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies, whose Hollywood career spans decades, is perhaps best known for his role as Gimli, the defender of the dwarf civilization in the film trilogy Lord of the Rings. He raised his profile megafold, however, and put his film career on the line, after the release of The Return of the King, the last of the series.

He chose this occasion to state that Tolkien's work is a metaphor for present-day race relations. "I think that Tolkien says that some generations are challenged. And if they do not rise to meet the challenge, they will lose their civilization." Rhys-Davies sees the increase in Europe's Muslim population as emblematic of this phenomenon. He bluntly calls it "a demographic catastrophe threatening Western civilization."

The actor cites the fact that the indigenous European birth rate is in a downward spiral--"unequaled since the Black Death"--while the Muslim birth rate is increasing exponentially. This trend will result in 50 percent of Dutch children being of Muslim descent by 2020. "In a matter of 20 to 50 years, we are going to see two to three countries become predominately Muslim--Holland, France, and possibly Germany."

Rhys-Davies worries about such changes, because though the West holds no opposition to Islam, a significant part of Muslim society is opposed to Western civilization. He doesn't believe all Muslims are a threat to European civilization, but rather the radical Islamic groups, which are "controlling, manipulating, and forming the attitudes of Muslims throughout Europe."

Fundamentalist Islam is "a particularly brutish and unpleasant form of fascism." He believes that if it becomes prevalent in Europe, it will erase the positive aspects of Western culture--democracy, equality, tolerance, women's rights, and the abolition of slavery.

At a recent press conference, in which there was only one woman present, the actor sarcastically admonished her: "You should not be in this room--because your husband or father is not here to guide you. You could only be in this room with these strange men for immoral purposes." He has also voiced his concern about any granddaughters he might have living in a culture "in which women have their fingernails pulled out because they are wearing nail polish."

"Most societies can benefit from a good stirring of the genes, but most cultures are tolerant of each other. I do not see Buddhists throwing bombs into Christian churches, I do not see Christians blowing up Hindu temples." He has also gone on record as viewing "white male culture as pretty damn good, pretty damn marvelous, pretty wonderful."

Needless to say, such politically incorrect observations have brought charges of racism in many quarters. Adam Price, the member of parliament from Rhys-Davies' hometown, condemned his remarks as "racist and ill-informed. It is obvious that this man who now lives in the lap of luxury in Hollywood is out of touch with realities of the nature of present-day European society."

Naz Malik of the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association asked, "If 50 percent of people in Holland under 18 are Muslims in 16 years time, so what? …