Monday, November 15, 2004

Holland's Hobson's Choice

Arnaud de Borchgrave expertly sums up the horrible reality now dawning on the Dutch.
It was such Dutch tolerance, pragmatism and guilt about the country's colonial past that allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Muslim Indonesia (a Dutch colony from the 17th century until World War II) to flood into tiny Holland. Today, Muslims are a majority among children under 14 in the Netherlands' four largest cities. There are 1 million Muslims (6 percent of the population) now living in Europe's most crowded small country. Some 30,000 new Muslims arrive every year. They tend to live among themselves, with their own schools, mosques and restaurants. Most are horrified by what they view as sacrilegious in their own religion. Their imams speak no Dutch and know nothing of the Netherlands' history and culture.
The consequence of Dutch immigration policy has been the wholesale import of a violent anti-Western fanaticism that can not be reasoned with or appeased. The men who murdered Theo van Gogh subscribe to the same Islamist totalitarian fantasy that inspired the 9/11 hijackers, the Bali bombers, and countless other Muslim terrorists around the world.
Europe's largest mosque is in Rotterdam, which is also Europe's busiest port. Half the people there are of foreign origin. Unemployment among the Muslims is high. And the Dutch live-and-let-live permissiveness made this nation, a quarter of it below sea level and protected by 1,500 dikes, ideal breeding grounds for Muslim fundamentalism and the kind of extremism that spawned one of Osama bin Laden's European fan clubs. But for years the government was in denial about Islamist extremism in what is otherwise a well-managed society.
Dutch Muslims, repelled by the freewheeling lifestyle, sought solace with radical imams in the mosques. There men outnumber women. And women are relegated to a part of the mosque where they can be neither seen nor heard.
Denial has been the primary reaction from European elites, who to this very day continue to try and blame Europeans racism for the crisis. The left-wing of the American intellectual establishment has adopted this exact line, most notably in the tired form of Noam Chomsky, for whom not a sparrow falls without a slap from America's fiendish hand.

Such nonsense merely gives the Islamist threat time to metastasize within European societies, fundamentally altering their character forever. Demography is destiny. European Muslim birthrates outstrip that of native European populations by a wide margin. As the years go by, there will more ever more Muslims, and ever fewer native Europeans in Europe.
Today, Muslims are a majority among children under 14 in the Netherlands' four largest cities.
Those expanding European Muslim populations have already demonstrated a refusal to assimilate European values and cultural attitudes. Well meaning programs to force them to do so will only stiffen that resolve. Thus Europe finds itself suddenly jarred awake to face a threat caused by its own intellectual failure - the failure to defend its culture and its soil. This is the price of the cowardly, guilt-ridden, anti-Western ideology that European intellectuals have embraced for decades. They convinced themselves that their culture was racist, imperialist and not worth preserving - so they didn't. Now they find themselves intellectually disarmed, while the enemy is already inside the door.

de Borchgrave wonders:
Could the Netherlands be a curtain-raiser for a wider clash of civilizations in the old Continent? Hundreds of thousands of young Muslims in Europe are potential jihadis, according to European intelligence chiefs speaking not for publication. They have been warning their political masters about the tinderboxes that many Muslim communities have become. Jihadi volunteers are known to have left for Iraq from a number of Muslim slums on the outskirts of major European cities.
Europe faces stark choices. If it continues a policy of denial, it will cease to be European. If it chooses to face the threat, it must shake itself free of the intellectual bankruptcy that led to this predicament and move boldly to excise the threat. For passive Europeans, so long taught to despise themselves, it's a tough choice.


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