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Friday, March 05, 2004

One tough little dwarf
John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli the dwarf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (Nick's favorite movies), is a full-sized human. He's also not your typical actor.

Rather than taking up the banner of global warming, AIDS, world peace, or some other trendy cause, as most of his colleagues are prone to do, the Welsh-born actor has chosen as his particular hobbyhorse the growing demographic crisis in Europe.

Davies, a big Bush fan, began his conversion from leftist to conservative as young man attending a Margaret Thatcher speech. "I went to heckle her," Rhys-Davies says. "She shot down the first two hecklers in such brilliant fashion that I decided I ought for once to shut up and listen."

It is the culture of fundamentalist Islam that concerns Rhys-Davies the most. "When I look at contemporary Islam, I see homophobia, forced conversion, genital mutilation, slavery, two million people being put to death in the Sudan because of their religion."

In his view, "Fundamental Islamism is a particularly brutish and unpleasant form of fascism." He fears that if it becomes the dominant culture in Europe, it will wipe out all that is good about Western culture.

Speaking the truth takes courage.

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