Saturday, November 06, 2004

Jihad Amongst the Tulips

As this week's murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh (for more, see posts below) continues to reverberate throughout the Netherlands, Dutch officials have released the contents of the five page note that Van Gogh's Islamist murderers left "spiked with a knife" to his chest. The note "forced political leaders — including Amsterdam's Jewish mayor and members of parliament — to take on bodyguards," the Washington Post reports.
The document, attached to the body of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, was titled "An Open Letter to [Aayan] Hirsi Ali," referring to a Somali-born member of parliament. She had scripted Mr. van Gogh's latest film, "Submission," which criticized the treatment of women under Islam.
Miss Hirsi Ali, who calls herself an ex-Muslim, has gone into hiding.
"Death, Ms. Hirsi Ali, is the common theme of all that exists. You and the rest of the cosmos cannot escape this truth," the letter said.
"There will come a day when one soul cannot help another soul. A day that goes paired with terrible tortures, ... when the unjust will press horrible screams from their lungs.
"Screams, Ms. Hirsi Ali, that will cause chills to run down a person's back, and make the hairs on their heads stand straight up. People will be drunk with fear, while they are not drunken. Fear will fill the air on the Great Day," the letter said.
"I know definitely that you, Oh America, will go down. I know definitely that you, Oh Europe, will go down. I know definitely that you, Oh Netherlands, will go down. I know definitely that you, Oh Hirsi Ali, will go down," it said.
This is the sort of message that young Muslim men leave pinned to the body of man they have shot and stabbed and whose throat they have slit - in broad daylight - because he criticized the harsh treatment faced by many Muslim women. The message isn't really aimed at Ms. Hirsi Ali, of course, Mr. Van Gogh's murderers view her as only a means to an end. The people whom they wish to frighten are the Dutch people collectively. Killing Muslim heretics like Ms. Hirsi Ali will reinforce Islamist orthodoxy among the Muslim community in the Netherlands, but going the extra step and slaying Mr. Van Gogh, represents a nothing short of a declaration of war on the Dutch population itself, designed to intimidate the Dutch into closing their eyes to the growing Islamist menace metastizing within their countries.

The Washington Post notes that Dutch leaders are properly alarmed by the murder, and the message.
Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm agreed with comments by other politicians who called Mr. van Gogh's slaying a declaration of Islamic jihad, or "holy war."
"We are not going to tolerate this. We are going to ratchet up the fight against this sort of terrorism," he said. "The increase in radicalization is worse than we had thought."
The problem for the Dutch is that fighting the threat once it has manifested on your home soil is a great deal more difficult than simply keeping it out in the first place. The Netherlands now reaps the consequences of allowing tens of thousands of immigrants from the Middle East to pour across its borders and establish enclaves within its cities. Nor does is this solely a Dutch problem; all across Europe, similar immigration policies have created large Muslim communities, many of which refuse to assimilate and grow every more hostile with each passing year. Making the situation even more combustible, these Muslim enclaves have a birthrate substantially greater than the indigenous European population. This leaves Europe facing a demographic time bomb whose fuse, Islamist militants are only too happy to ignite.
Jozias van Aartsen, parliamentary speaker for the nationalist People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the second-largest party in the government of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, issued a statement that called Mr. van Gogh's slaying tantamount to a declaration of war.
"The jihad has come to the Netherlands and a small group of jihadist terrorists is attacking the principles of our country," he said. "I hope the Netherlands will now move beyond denial and do what is fitting in a democracy — take action.
"These people don't want to change our society, they want to destroy it," he said.
At least the Dutch seem to be waking up. Not so American intellectuals, who continue to excuse Islamist threats, or try to minimize them in order to conceal the real threat to Western civilization. Witness an op-ed in Friday's New York Times, which offers a typical leftist attempt to ignore the truth.
Urgent efforts are needed to better manage the cultural tensions perilously close to the surface of Dutch public life. The problem is not Muslim immigration, but a failure to plan for a smoother transition to a more diverse society. One very real danger is that the public trauma over the van Gogh murder may lead to a clamor for anti-Muslim policies that could victimize thousands of innocent refugees and immigrants.
Ah, so the Islamists who murdered Mr. Van Gogh aren't really to blame - it's the Dutch who are the real villians here! Of course. The same Dutch who welcomed the immigrants into their country to enjoy their properous, peaceful, tolerant way of life, should now be condemned because a sizable segment of the Muslim immigrants have rejected their society and wish to tear it down. How intolerant of the Dutch not to help them! This is the sort of thinking that permeates the intellectual classes in New York (and at virtually every American university). It's a comlicated line of thought in based essentially on a simple premise: white people are inherently racist and are thus to be blamed for every evil in the world. If Muslim civilization is backward and repressive, it must be because of European and American intervention (never mind that Asian societies who experience far intrusive European or American intervention now rank among the wealthiest and most stable societies). If Muslims in the Netherlands want to wage jihad and run Amsterdam's streets red with blood, then it's because the Dutch are racists who didn't properly plan to integrate the Muslims into their society, by which the Times means, change Dutch society to "reflect diversity" (i.e. obliterate Dutch society). The Dutch, you see are not to be permitted to protect the culture and society they struggled for centuries to build. Only non-European peoples are allowed to do that, which is why one never reads the Times calling for Muslim nations to open their borders to immigration.

Of course the New York Times refuses to this day to return the Pulitzer Prizes won by Walter Duranty for his glowingly positive coverage of Stalin's USSR, reportage which deliberately concealed the mass murder of millions of Ukrainians and the rise of the Gulag. At the Times, journalism exists to advance a social agenda, and for no other reason.


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