Not Goblins and Orcs This Time: 'Gimli' Defends Western Civilization
LOS ANGELES — At a recent get-together with the cast of the Lord of the Rings, perhaps the most passionate observations came from John Rhys-Davies.
He's the actor who plays the dwarf Gimli, the proud defender of the ancient ways of the dwarfs, who know or thing or two about the collapse of civilizations: The dwarf civilization was left in ruins, as The Fellowship of the Ring, the first Lord of the Rings movie, made clear as the company of the ring struggled through the Mines of Moria.
He's also the actor who gave his voice to Treebeard the Ent in The Two Towers, the second Lord of the Rings movie. The Ents are also a dying civilization that is being attacked by the Orc forces of the wizard Saruman.
Now, as The Return of the King is poised for its Dec. 17 release, Davies warns that his own civilization is under attack. Only now, it's the Western civilization he's defending, and he sees radical Islam as the attacker.
Rhys-Davies took the media to task for failing to appreciate the preciousness of Western civilization. He warned of the potential consequences of rising Muslim extremism and the increasingly Islamic face of Europe.
“I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged,” Rhys-Davies said, “and if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me.”
“What is unconscionable is that too many of your fellow journalists do not understand how precarious Western civilization is, and what a jewel it is. … The abolition of slavery comes from Western democracy,” Rhys-Davies added. “True democracy comes from our Greco-Judeo-Christian Western experience. If we lose these things, then this is a catastrophe for the world.”
Rhys-Davies said as far back as 1955 his father predicted “the next world war will be between Islam and the West.”
The actor recalled his response: “I said to him, ‘Dad, you're nuts! The Crusades have been over for hundreds of years!’ And he said, ‘Well, I know, but militant Islam is on the rise again. And you will see it in your lifetime.’ He's been dead some years now. But there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of him and think, ‘God, I wish you were here, just so I could tell you that you were right.’”
Looking at the lone female journalist at the table, Rhys-Davies said pointedly, “You should not be in this room [according to Muslim custom]. Because your husband or your father or your husband is not here to guide you. You could only be here in this room with these strange men for immoral purposes.”
Rhys-Davies went on to contemplate the significance of demographic shifts among Western Europeans and Muslims in Europe.
“There is a demographic catastrophe happening in Europe that nobody wants to talk about, that we daren't bring up because we are so cagey about not offending people racially,” he said. “And rightly we should be. But there is a cultural thing as well. … By 2020, 50% of the children in Holland under the age of 18 will be of Muslim descent.”
He even drew attention to the birth dearth in the West.
“And don't forget, coupled with this there is this collapse of numbers,” he said. “Western Europeans are not having any babies. The population of Germany at the end of the century is going to be 56% of what it is now. The population of France, 52% of what it is now. The population of Italy is going to be down 7 million people.”
He ended with a defense of “dead white males.”
“There is a change happening in the very complexion of Western civilization in Europe that we should think about at least and argue about,” he said. “If it just means the replacement of one genetic stock with another genetic stock, that doesn't matter too much. But if it involves the replacement of Western civilization with a different civilization with different cultural values, then it is something we really ought to discuss — because, hang it all, I am for dead-white-male culture!”
Steve Greydanus reported this story from Los Angeles.
- Dec. 14-20, 2003