Monday, January 16, 2006

The European Resistance Grows

While many in Europe continued to be cowed by militant Muslims, some countries are beginning to rise to the challenge of defending their cultural identities, casting aside the multiculturalist dogma that was meant to render them helpless. In Holland, where the echoes of public anger resulting from the murder of Theo van Gogh continue to reverberate, politicians are considering an outright ban on the Islamists' main tool in the suppression of women, the all-covering burka.

The Dutch parliament has already voted in favour of a proposal to ban the burqa outside the home, and some in the government have thrown their weight behind it.

There are only about 50 women in all of the Netherlands who do cover up entirely - but soon they could be breaking the law.

Dutch MP Geert Wilders is the man who first suggested the idea of a ban.

"It's a medieval symbol, a symbol against women," he says.

"We don't want women to be ashamed to show who they are. Even if you have decided yourself to do that, you should not do it in Holland, because we want you to be integrated, assimilated into Dutch society. If people cannot see who you are, or see one inch of your body or your face, I believe this is not the way to integrate into our society."

MP Wilders epitomizes the situation in which Holland, once a nation utterly dedicated to tolerance and multiculturalism, finds itself. After having criticized Islamic terrorism and the treatment of women by Muslims, he has received death threats, including being branded an "infidel" who should be killed by the Muslims who murdered Theo van Gogh. MP Wilders is now constantly under the watchful eye of two bodyguards, as are other prominent Dutch politicians who voiced concern over Islamic radicalism like Ethiopian-born Hirsi Ali.

According to the BBC, one town in neighboring Belgium has already banned burka-like garments.

Women can now be fined 150 euros (£102) if they are found to be wearing the niqab.

"There were six ladies who wore the niqab. I think two or three weeks after the council passed this law, five have dropped it," says Mr Creemers. "One lady is still wearing it but the last step in the procedure will be that she must go to jail."

The husband of the woman who defies the ban is being held in connection with the Madrid bombings. But the police here are not too happy with the ban. They say it has made relations with the Moroccan community worse and gives young people a reason to resent society.

Perhaps the Belgian police should be less concerned with placating the "Moroccan community" and more concerned with defending Belgium from those who would erase its culture from the Earth. If demanding that Moroccan immigrants assimilate to the culture to which they chose to live, and in which their children have grown up, provokes resentment from those Muslims, what does it say about their true allegiance? And what does it say about the policies that permitted that immigration?


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