Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Holland on the Brink

The murder of Theo van Gogh appears to have been the last straw for a Dutch population grown weary of Islamist violence - and wearier still of trying to ignore it. Since Mr. van Gogh's murder, there have been a number of "attacks" on Muslim institutions, including two schools. In retaliation, arson attempts have been made against Protestant churches in Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amersfoort, presumably by Muslims.
The attacks have scratched the patina of tolerance on which the Dutch have long prided themselves, particularly here in their principal city, where the scent of hashish trails in the air, prostitutes beckon from storefront brothels and Hell's Angels live side by side with Hare Krishnas. But many Dutch now say that for years that tradition of tolerance suppressed an open debate about the challenges of integrating conservative Muslims.
Jan Colijn, 46, a bookkeeper from the central Dutch town of Gorinchem who was at the funeral Tuesday night, complained that the Netherlands' generous social welfare system had allowed Muslim immigrants to isolate themselves. Because of that, "there is a kind of Muslim fascism emerging here," he said. "The government must find a way to break these communities open."
Another man, who declined to give his name, was more succinct: "Now, it's war."
For many years, such criticism of Islam and Islamic customs, even among Dutch extremists, was considered taboo, despite deep frustrations that had built up against conservative Islam in the country.
The sad state of affairs is the direct result of the incredibly foolish policy of permitting mass migration from an alien culture - a culture that embraces none of the tolerant, democratic values of the Dutch people. The importation of so many representatives of that alien culture - especially, a culture known not only for its difference, but for it's militancy - set the stage for an inevitable clash between the new immigrants and the native population. No people will sit by blindly and remain "tolerant" while they are destroyed. This is not a clash defined by race (though the Dutch do represent a distinct ethnic group as do their Muslim - mostly Arab - antagonists), it is a cultural confrontation, a clash of civilizations, to use Samuel Huntington's formulation. Two groups now occupy the Netherlands: 1) the native Dutch together with individuals of any race who are willing to live by traditional Dutch social standards, and 2) a sizable proportion of Muslim immigrants (but certainly not all) who despise Dutch society and Western values and wish to tear it all down. The ability of the two groups to co-exist despite the gaping chasm of their cultural differences could last only as long as both restrained the temptation toward violence. Once one side adopted violent aggression as a mechanism for intimidation, a backlash was guaranteed.
Many here say that began to change after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, when the Netherlands, like many countries, began to consider the dangers of political Islam seriously. The debate fueled an anti-immigration movement and helped propel the career of the populist politician Pim Fortuyn, who was murdered by an environmental activist shortly before national elections in 2002.
By all accounts here, Fortuyn's murder removed any remaining brakes on the debate surrounding immigrants.
"After Pim Fortuyn's murder, there were no limitations on what you could say," said Edwin Bakker, a terrorism expert at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. "It has become a climate in which insulting people is the norm."
Mr. Bakker's remarks seem to lay the blame for the current sitation at the feet of the slain Mr. Fortuyn. This, of course, misses the point by using all the intellectual evasion and denial of reality that got the Netherlands into this mess in the first place. The "limits" on public discourse that Mr. Bakker seems to so approve of were the very limits that choked off any debate over immigrations policies that admitted so many individuals hostile to Dutch culture. Had there been a frank debate - had the issues been weigh dispassionately - with any eye toward what policies benefitted the Netherlands, which policies advanced Dutch interests, Muslim immigration might have been curtailed before the largest numbers reached the Netherlands. Or, at least, the arriving immigrants might have been better screened and surveilled, so that militants could have been denied entry or quickly weeded out once they arrived. But no. The only "discourse" permitted prior to Mr. Fortuyn's murder was unqualified acceptance of immigration and the unquestioned declarations that all immigrants were peaceful and productive, especially Muslims. Any deviation from that script led immediately to charges of "racism," "imperialism," "xenophobia" and the rest of the usual leftist cant. There is some satisfying irony that the Islamists will slaughter the leftists (with their blasphemous and impious bohemian lifestyles) first.

But the left never learns...
There are about 300,000 people of Moroccan descent in the Netherlands today, and the ratcheting up of the anti-immigration debate has alienated many of them from Dutch society and, many people argue, has also helped fragment the Muslim community.
Jean Tillie, a professor of political science at the University of Amsterdam, says that the debate has broken down a network that connected even the most extremist Muslim groups to the more moderate voices within the Muslim community. He cited an Amsterdam government advisory board that brought together all kinds of Moroccans and fostered communication and cohesion within the Muslim community.
"Those groups participating didn't agree with each other, but they met together with the collective mission of advising the city government," he said.
The board was abolished a year ago, he says, in the wake of the anti-immigration debate. He claims that funds for other ethnic organizations have shrunk and outreach policies have also been abandoned.
Ah, yes, Ms. Tille, the problem here is the Dutch themselves, not the Muslims. Never the Muslims. The Muslim youth have been "alienated" by the talk of restricting immigration, and thus have turned to the Islamist recruiters already working amongst them. Yes. You see, in Ms. Tille's view the Dutch have no right to control their own country - since, being worthless Europeans, they are inherently morally corrupt - and so any effort to even discuss the merits of open immigration rightfully incites the Muslims to murder and terror. Of course, one wonders how Ms. Tille would explain the Islamist violence now killing and maiming innocent victims in the Phillipines, Thailand, China, India, Sudan, Nigeria, Bali, Indonesia, etc. But no doubt she'd find an explanation that excused Islam and laid the blame squarely on someone descended from Europeans.
At El Tawheed mosque, considered by many people here to be the epicenter of extremism in Amsterdam, Farid Zaari, the mosque's spokesman, argues that pressure from the debate has hindered the Muslim community's ability to control its radical youth.
"If we bring these people into the mosque, it is possible to change their thoughts, but few mosques dare to because if you do, you're branded," he said.
Of course, even discussing the problem admits that it exists, and Mr. Zaari would rather the Dutch simply ignore what is going on in their cities and towns. But Mr. Zaari's assertion that bringing the "youth" into the mosque for pacification are belied by certain inconvenient facts:
Dutch media reports insist that van Gogh's killer attended the mosque, and though Zaari says the mosque has no record of his ever being there, he said that political leaders and the media should encourage the mosque to reach out to the community's radical youth, rather than stigmatizing it for doing so.
The mosque was previously associated with a Saudi-based charity, Al Haramain, which American and Saudi Arabian officials accused earlier this year of aiding Islamic terrorists. The mosque has since severed its ties with the charity, but more recently it has been criticized for selling books espousing extremist views, including female circumcision and the punishment of homosexuals by throwing them off tall buildings.
Oh, yes. By all means, let's get the youth in there. Because nothing is as consonnant with Western values and Dutch society as mutilating female genitalia and hurling homosexuals off tall buildings. Clearly, the Dutch need to encourage greater attendance at Mr. Zaari's mosque, but only if they want full scale civil war.

The BBC reports that the Dutch Immigration Minister, Rita Verdonk "has warned that E.U. countries are at risk, because of an increasing radicalism among young Muslims." Of course, Ms. Verdonk's prescription is that European states "must act urgently to improve the integration of foreigners."
The minister, whose nation holds the E.U. presidency, said countires must ensure taht immigrants learn the local language and accept Western values, but she said the E.U. also needed to develop, in her words, a common vision of integration.
Last week E.U. leaders agreed to create a common asylum system by 2010 to try to prevent illegal immigration into the E.U.
If the oh-so-politically-correct leaders of the European Union think they can "integrate" Islamists into their culture, they have a most unpleasant surprise ahead of them. A surprise underscored by the destruction of a small mural painted by artist Chris Ripke in the wake of Theo van Gogh's murder. Mr. Ripke's mural featured a stylized dove with the words "Gij zult niet doden" ("Thou Shalt Not Kill") emblazoned across it. This would seem to be a perfectly responsible, restrained plea in the aftermath of Mr. van Gogh's brutal murder. But apparently not...
But because the head of the nearby mosque complained to the police that this was 'offensive' and 'racist', the cops came and sent in city workers to sandblast the mural. A local journalist, Wim Nottroth, who wanted to protest against this by standing in front of the mural was arrested.
So local Muslims considered "Thou Shalt Not Kill" offensive. Why? Because it ran counter to their actual beliefs? How this could be considered racist defies reason and seems more like a bit of leftist-speak which the local Muslims have learned to spit out rather like a parrot repeating a expletive uttered once-too-often in its presence. The Islamists have educated themselves in the argot of the left and know how to use its obscurant language to mask their own motives and frighten their opponents. In fact, judging by the left's failure to condemn Islamic violence, and indeed its willingness to describe Islamic terrorists as "freedom fighters," it appears that the left, having marinated itself in a deep hatred of Western Civilization for decades, is actually embracing Islamism, even at the inevitable price of the left's own demise at the hands of its new Islamist allies.

Native Europeans are unlikely to consent to being overrun in their own countries any more than non-Europeans happily accepted colonization by Europeans. Sadly, violent resistance is the only realistic outcome, with militancy escalating on both sides. This had led some observers to wonder if some form of apartheid society will emerge in Europe, with recent immigrants isolated into a perpertually hostile underclass. Such a situation would be inherently unstable and would quickly threaten to erupt in genocide or bloody civil war. Europe's best bet is to integrate those among the immigrants who are willing to surrender their culture for Europe's, deport the remainder, and close its doors against any further waves of immigrants.


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