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.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

"Peace and Love"

Today's Washington Post relates the horrifying last minutes of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh as he paid the price for criticizing Islamic oppression of women:
He was repeatedly shot and stabbed. "Don't do it. Don't do it. Have mercy. Have mercy!" the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper quoted Van Gogh as begging his killer.

Another Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, said the killer shot Van Gogh eight or nine times, then calmly slipped the weapon into the pocket of his beige raincoat before bending over Van Gogh and slitting his throat.

<>Of course the killer was calm -- Van Gogh's murder was not spur of the moment act, driven by passion. It was a planned act of terror, consciously conceived and executed on a city street in broad daylight to send a message: criticize Islam and you will be killed. Islamism depends on fear and violence, just like any other repressive religious movement or totalitarian ideology. It especially thrives due to a religous culture that glamorizes and promotes such violence against both infidels and heretics (read: anyone who disagrees with the most militant iman).

The Washington Post reports that more than 20,000 "filled Amsterdam's central square" to protest the killings and that government officials had held "crisis meettings" over the situation. Apparently, the normally taciturn people of The Netherlands have had quite enough violence from the militant Islamists (who they thoughtlessly allowed into the country). The Dutch have been mercifully free from sectarian violence for centuries; how sad they invited it back by leaving the door open.

Why Van Gogh's murder isn't getting more press in the U.S.? Answer: Because it's politically incorrect to show Muslims in a negative light.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Price of Multiculturalism

Yet another incident shows that The Netherlands has become Europe’s unwitting frontline in the clash between Western liberal democratic society and radical Islamism. Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh has paid the price for daring to criticize Islam.

Van Gogh, who had made a controversial film about Islamic culture, was shot and stabbed in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

Van Gogh was shot and stabbed to death as he cycled in broad daylight through an Amsterdam street.

He had received death threats after his film Submission was shown on Dutch TV. It triggered an outcry from Dutch Muslims.

Dutch police have taken into custody a suspect in Mr. Van Gogh’s murder.

The man, aged 26, with dual Dutch and Moroccan citizenship, had "radical Islamic fundamentalist convictions," Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said.

Not surprisingly, the suspect turns out to have some interesting affiliations.

The 26-year-old suspect was allegedly a friend of a detained Moroccan terror suspect.

Samir Azzouz, 18, is awaiting trial on charges of planning a terrorist attack on targets including a nuclear reactor and Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

How nice to see that at the ripe old age of eighteen Mr. Azzouz is building such a fine resume for himself. According to the BBC, eight other men have been arrested in connection with Mr. Van Gogh’s murder, though the BBC assured it readers that:

…the suspected killer of Theo van Gogh did not belong to the hardcore group of around 150 suspected militants under surveillance by the intelligence services.

Yet, the arrest of eight men in addition to the suspected killer does seem to hint at some sort of conspiracy. One wonders exactly how many Islamist groups are currently operating in the Netherlands. The one that killed Mr. Van Gogh was apparently not under police surveillance before the murder. How many others continue to work under the government’s radar?

After having so generously allowed tens of thousands of Muslims to migrate to their country, the Dutch are discovering that a sizable percentage of those Muslims wants no part of the socially tolerant lifestyle they have cultivated. Now, clearly not all Muslims are Islamists, but abundant evidence is emerging that considerable numbers of Muslims resist assimilation into Western societies. This seems particularly true in Europe, where economic policies and conditions often ghettoize Muslim immigrants into their own ethnic enclaves, cut off from any hope of economic advancement.

But the sad experience of the Netherlands demonstrates that multiculturalism will not work when a significant number of individuals from a particular group oppose the very concept. Societies that will not defend their culture, don’t last very long.

The Outcome - Election 2004

Kudos to MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough for correctly calling the presidential election months ago. His analysis has proven spot on, I'd say. The gay marriage controversy worked in Bush's favor, rallying his base, especially amongst evangelicals, who came out yesterday in record numbers. The administration's incompetence in Iraq didn't matter; his fiscal irresponsibility didn't matter; his failure to capture Osama didn't matter; his refusal to secure the southern border didn't matter. Bush voters overwhelmingly cited "moral values" as their lead reason for voting for him, ahead even of the "War on Terrorism.". "Moral values" in this case being code for "no gay marriage."

If I were a Democrat (and, I'm not), I'd be running around with Terry McAullife's severed and bloody head impaled high on a pike right now. Last night represented a devastating defeat for the Democrats. If they couldn't defeat George W. Bush despite the failure to find WMDs, the mounting casualty toll, and the shocking fiscal mismanagement in GOP-controlled Washington DC, how can they ever expect to win another national election? The party machine needs a complete, top-to-bottom, housecleaning.

In the wake of yesterday's route - which considering the weakened position in which Bush entered the race, is exactly what happened - Democrat strategists need to take a hard, long look at their usual repertoire of campaign themes and schemes. For example, the standard Democrat class warfare rhetoric (tax cuts for the rich) hasn't worked since the mid-70s. The Depression/New Deal Era has been over for some time; most people in the U.S. aspire to be rich and don't resent the wealthy. Democrats can't automatically expect to receive an overwhelming percentage of the minority vote anymore; it has become far too diverse. Ironically, this has been the result of the open door immigration that they have advocated for decades. Minorities groups differ greatly in economic status and possess widely disparate cultural priorities. The influx of Asian and Latino immigrants over the last 20 years was widely thought to simply add to the traditional pro-Democrat, African-American minority demographic; that does not seem to be working out as forecast. Worse for Democrats, even overwhelming minority showing doesn't guarantee victory. The Democrats must recalibrate their strategy to regain their appeal to the white majority vote, where their attractiveness has been badly eroded, largely by their embrace of racial preference programs and ethnic divisionism. Whites still comprise the biggest voting block; the party that wins that vote nationally wins the election, period. It may be politically incorrect to point that out, but it's true. And one might legitimately ask why it's permissible to speak of the "Black vote" or "Hispanic vote", but unacceptable to talk of the "white vote" anyway.

Democrats must also realize that while Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and their ilk play well in Madison, WI, Berkeley, CA, and New York City, their reflexive anti-Americanism only infuriates people elsewhere. The Left in general needs to cultivate pro-American intellectuals whose thinking isn't hopelessly wed to hackneyed Marxist ideology.

Finally, it remains to be seen whether the much-vaunted "youth vote" (ages 18-32) actually turned out this year. Hopeful commentators have been predicting its sudden appearance for years, but the young usually sit home on Election Day. But even if America's youth do flock to the polls, their contribution will usually be irrelevant since their votes will be drowned out by the Boomer and Geezer blocks, whose numbers overwhelm theirs, and who consistently vote.