Monday, November 15, 2004


The Dutch Discover Why Tolerance Cannot Be One Sided

Alexis Amory via Frontpage Magazine

The right-of-center government has been blamed for trying to sweep the threat of Islamofascism under the carpet in the name of "tolerance." The Dutch are now asking why the burden of tolerance is always on them, rather than the immigrant population. Why, for example, were immigrants not required to learn to speak Dutch? Why were their children educated in the language of their parents rather than the language of their host country? Why were Dutch taxpayers paying the salaries of imams? These hyper-tolerant attitudes have allowed a parallel population, which owed no allegiance to Holland, to thrive and fester.

The government has had to admit that the murderer had been under surveillance as a possible terrorist and that they didn’t act to restrain him soon enough.

But I wrote in FPM last week that the Dutch government has had a Sleeping Beauty moment, awakened by a venomous kiss, and this gruesome and repellent murder has ramped up anti-terrorism activities and adjustments to social programs. Already they have announced that holders of dual nationality who are found guilty of a crime will have the Dutch half of their nationality revoked.

An opinion poll has shown that 40 percent of the Dutch no longer consider Muslims welcome in their country and 47 percent said they are now less tolerant of Muslims. A woman at van Gogh’s funeral was quoted as saying, "Under the Nazis, you were killed if you spoke out. Now it is happening again." To emphasize that if the Dutch are accused of "intolerance" if they speak out against the Islamification of their country yet the intolerance is all on the Islamic side, at the funeral a sarcastic letter addressed to the murderer was read out promising "we will do our very best to learn more about your beliefs to prevent further ‘misunderstandings’" and apologizing that the murderer had been provoked to kill "during Ramadan."

Although the security services declined to say whether it was related to the murder, two days later, Dutch police fought in a 14-hour shootout at a house in The Hague in which four officers were injured when a terrorist lobbed a hand grenade from a window. It was the biggest anti-terrorist operation since the 1970s, and police evacuated the entire neighborhood. Two suspected terrorists have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

At the same time, police said four people were detained in Amsterdam and one in Amersfoort as part of the same investigation into a network of radical Muslims. Six suspects, including van Gogh’s murderer, 26-year-old Mohammed Bouyeri, who was part of the group, have been arrested. The evidence would seem to suggest that Bouyeri got his orders to murder van Gogh from a terrorist cell in Spain.

Apparently, Samir Azzouz was a frequent visitor to Bouyeri’s apartment. A teenager who didn’t lack for ambition, Azzouz has been charged with planning attacks on a nuclear reactor, Amsterdam’s giant Schiphol Airport, and Dutch government buildings.

Last Thursday, in an emergency debate, the government agreed on new proposals to deal with Muslim extremism, adopting a wide-ranging package of new counter-terrorism measures. The size and mandate of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) will be expanded, and measures will be taken against radical imams and mosques. Begging the question of course, of why action against radical imams and mosques was not taken years ago. What is this curious somnolence in so many European countries towards Muslim immigrants?

At the same time there is a stated intention to do more to assimilate the disaffected, the assumption being that the process of assimilation is somehow the duty of the host country rather than that of the people who got off a plane – or the back of a truck – with their suitcases and backpacks.

The large circulation Dutch newspapers TROUW, The Telegraaf, and Volkskrant seem to be broadly in agreement and supportive of the government, although TROUW reports that Prime Minister Balkender has been criticized for not having had enough discussions with disaffected Muslims.

Radio Nederlands says: "A conclusion which is warranted…is that for many years the Dutch political world has been naïve: naive in its approach to the encroaching radicalization of young Dutch Muslims; naive as regards the increasing social and other divisions in the underprivileged neighborhoods of the country's main towns and cities; naive in its response to the growing presence of Islamic terrorist cells on Dutch soil inside the country; and naïve once again even in the face of a string of warnings on that very subject from the intelligence and security service."

The Dutch had assumed that the whole world respected their tolerance. And indeed, the whole civilized world does so.

Now the Dutch parliament’s Speaker, Josiah van Arisen, warns: "Jihad has come to the Netherlands."

In the last week, the Netherlands has begun to demonstrate it is prepared to fight back.

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