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Telegraph | News | 'We have let things slip, and let extremists live under our noses'

This is an article about the unrest in Holland in the wake of the murder of "artist" Theo Van Gogh. It kinda got lost around here in the election news.

Theo Van Gogh's "film" sounds like a piece of pompous trash aimed at infurtiating and inflaming Muslims. There are ways and ways of getting your point across without having a woman appear in a see-through burka with verses from the Koran painted on her naked body. That's not trying to expose evil--that's trying to be as offensive as possible. And it's a sure way to not get your problem actually SOLVED. Abuse of Muslim women is an important problem. Van Gogh's film did nothing that would actually HELP them. It was grandstanding for himself in the worst possible way.

HOWEVER, THAT SAID, what happened next is completely off the map. Shot, stabbed enough times to almost decapitate him? Left with a note containing other threats pinned to his body with the knife?

The Dutch are beginning to worry. It's a worry to be shared with the rest of Europe, where multiculturalism reigns.

A couple of paragraphs from the article are worth noting:

"We have been too tolerant," says Joyce de Witt, 39, an office worker from Diemen, a town south of Amsterdam. "We need tougher immigration policies. For 20 or 30 years, we have let things slip and let extremists live under our noses.

"Dutch society is segregated because a lot of first generation immigrants didn't learn our language and passed on this separateness to their children."

Several Islamic schools have been firebombed
The "separateness" of the one million Muslims, who form almost six per cent of the Dutch population, was underlined last week by a spiral of ethnic violence.


Mr. van Gogh's film sounds like it constituted abuse of Muslim women. Pim Fortuyn doesn't sound like he was too nice a guy either, but he didn't deserve to be killed. This is what happens when a culture abandons any clear sense of right and wrong. Every person becomes a law to himself: you think that unbelievers are less than human--kill them; you think that the life of a human being is no more than the life of a beast--kill him. It's not just a matter of opinion; it's a matter of life and death.

I unfortunately have been following this story with the rabid cynicsm that is the darker side of my nature.

Here is a society that is SO tolerant that the Satanc Church is across the the street from the Basilica in Amsterdam. So tolerant that Palestinians are the victims of the Jews and the leaders of groups like Hezzebollah and Hamas are patriots, not terrorists. The USA is a grave threat to world stabilty and Christians are seen as practitioners of hate and discrimination. So when the Dutch Micheal Moore gets murdered for basically inciting the living daylights out of a society not known for its tolerance of Islam-bashing then they want to shut down Muslims in their country.

After 9/11 we had one hate crime incident as related to the attcks and it was perpetrated by a nut on a Hindu Indian man (a sad case of mistaken racism). Since the death of the great-grandson of Vincent Can Gogh Muslim school and mosques have been burned and some citizens attacked. Some tolerance. My favorite quote was from a Dutch parliment member: It is better that 10 innocent men be imprisioned temporarily than on out on the street with a bomb. How's that for tolerant.

This clearly portrays the greatness of our country. . . while there are those that would say that our diversity and tolerance make us great, they would be wrong. We are great because we are the only nation founded on a creed of law and liberty. Our happenstance as a meltingpot enriches us, but its real value is that it proves the universal yearning for freedom and democracy.

The WEEKLY STANDARD had a great piece on it:

Thanks for the link to the article, Lauren. I'll read it later tonight. I'm fascinated by the story as well--those "oh so tolerant" Dutch acting this way and all!

This story has been tearing me up too. They WERE too tolerant but of the wrong people. Why wasn't there any concern that Van Gogh's "art" was hate speech toward Muslims and women? I am sorry but the reaction of the Dutch just strikes me as the worst kind of racism. No wonder the murderer felt driven to desparate acts. When I lived in Europe it did hit me that people considered themselves very tolerant but totally overlooked their prejudice against Muslims. I guess I should pray more for real tolerance. Isn't it ironic how "tolerance" never seems to include toward the religious, even while the "tolerant" are always accusing the religious of being intolerant toward everyone else?



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on November 16, 2004 9:34 AM.

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