Wednesday, November 10, 2004


The Death of Van Gogh and a New Netherlands Reality

Dutch police estimate that about 5% of their Islamic population of 1 million people is radical - about 50,000 people. The last few days have shown what can happen when you have that many radicals in a country as fond of tolerance and live and let live as the Netherlands is.

Since the murder, absolutely and clearly a murder based on a perceived insult to Islam by a man who made a career of satirizing people's beliefs, there has been large numbers of protests both from moderate Muslim groups repudiating the behavior, non-muslim groups and right-wing groups. There have been acts of violence against Moslem schools and mosques, and fires set to churches. Today, some policemen were injured by a grenade.

The WSJ opines:

...Partly motivated by an understandable desire not to inadvertently fuel xenophobia, Europe's elites have for too long played down the problems posed by radical elements within Europe's large Muslim community. Even as Muslim demonstrators called for the death of Jews right in the streets of Amsterdam, Paris and elsewhere, the public hardly took notice.

<>One might argue that this is the price a liberal society has to pay for its freedom: tolerance of the intolerable. But in Europe, tolerance is selective. Most countries have tough laws against hate speech and neo-Nazis are arrested for similar offenses. The police detained about 20 people in The Hague for chanting nationalist and anti-Muslim slurs after Mr. van Gogh's murder....

Europe's Muslim leaders are guilty of silence. Muslim groups in France organized thousands to protest the law against wearing headscarves in schools. No such demonstrations on a comparable scale have taken place in France, or elsewhere in the world for that matter, to condemn Islamic terror. Muslims who oppose terror and embrace liberal values have to stand up and be counted. At the same time, Europe needs to stop rationalizing the irrational hatred that possesses Islamic terrorists. Islamic terror is not the result of some "failed integration policy" or of some real or imagined Muslim grievance supposedly caused by U.S. Middle East policy. It is fueled by a totalitarian ideology that seeks world domination and the subjugation of infidels and the West. The sooner Europe comes to terms with this truth the sooner it will begin to combat the fanaticism that claimed the life of Mr. van Gogh
Some of this is the result of being a good host:

Islamists of the Algerian AIM, HAMAS, and other radical organizations have operated freely, especially in Rotterdam and Eindhoven. Ayman al-Zawahiri is known to travel on a Dutch passport. The Islamist Al Muwafaq foundation was active in Breda, in southern Holland, and the operation's leaders included at least two members placed on the US Department of Treasury hit list of radical Islamists. In 1998 the Dutch BVD (intelligence agency) linked the Al Waqf Al Islami foundation active in Holland to exteme Islam and terrorist movements. In Eindhoven the foundation used the notorious Al Furqan mosque to collect for Al Qaeda and desseminate Wahhabi propaganda. Al Furqan was a home away from home for at least six members of the 9/11 terrorist group that attacked the USA.

Source: FR discussion

But the reality is here: there is a growing movement of radicalized young moslems across western Europe, young people who choose not to be assimilated as good Europeans, but who have chosen the way of radical Islam. Many people see it, and the outrage felt in the Netherlands, similar to the feeling in the US after 9/11, did not come out of the blue!

In Belgium, they just outlawed an anti-Immigration political party on grounds that it was racist (this also gets in to the perpetual war between the French and the Walloons), but legislating against it won't change the reality that many people feel that the wolf is at the door.

What has to happen next?

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