Friday, December 31, 2004

Tolerant no longer

The New Yorker article "Letter from Amsterdam" takes an in-depth look at the tensions between the Dutch and Muslim immigrants. It first goes into detail on Mohammed Bouyeri, van Gogh, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who worked with van Gogh).

For van Gogh, the worst crime was to look away. One of his bugbears was the long-standing refusal (since abandoned) of the Dutch press to identify the ethnic origin of criminals, so as not to inflame prejudice. He saw this as a sign of abject cowardice. To show respect for Islam without mentioning the Islamic oppression of women and homosexuals was an act of disgusting hypocrisy. In a free society, he believed, everything should be said openly, and not just said but shouted, as loudly and offensively as possible, until people got the point.

[of Ayaan Hirsi Ali] Hers is a politics of rage. Pim Fortuyn was right, she said, to call Islam a “backward religion.” Muslim schools should be abolished, and men who beat their wives and daughters should be punished by law. There is no doubt about the seriousness of her aims, and there is no doubt about the seriousness of the Muslims who regard her as an apostate and have called for her death.

The article goes on to discuss and draw conclusions on the current political situation:

Without shared norms about the rule of law, we cannot productively have differences of opinion. . . . The self-declared impotence of our government to guarantee public order is the biggest threat to tolerance.” To be sure, Scheffer had been saying this kind of thing for some time, but when old lefties cry out for law and order you know something has shifted in the political climate; it is now a common perception that the integration of Muslims in Holland has failed.

The situation in the Netherlands is far from resolved, and the rest of the world would do well to take notice and decide upon necessary policy to avoid a hostile takeover in the name of 'tolerance.'

(hat tip RealClearPolitics)