Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Requiem for Tolerance

I have previously argued that the 2002 assassination of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn signaled the inability of the Netherlands' tolerance policy to withstand radical Islam. Last week's decision by a Dutch court to order the indictment of Geert Wilders, leader of the right-wing Freedom Party, on charges of 'inciting hatred and discrimination, based on comments by him in various media on Muslims and their beliefs,' confirms the collapse of freedom in Europe, as Bruce Bawer says in City Journal:
With Hirsi Ali abroad, the torch passed to Geert Wilders. At times, it seems that he is the last prominent Dutch figure willing to speak bluntly about the perils of fundamentalist Islam. The same people who demonized Fortuyn have done their best to stifle Wilders. In April 2007, intelligence and security officials called him in and demanded that he tone down his rhetoric on Islam. Last February, the Minister of Justice subjected him to what he described as another "hour of intimidation." The announcement that he was making a film about Islam only led his enemies to turn up the heat. Even before Fitna was released early last year, Doekle Terpstra, a leading member of the Dutch establishment, called for mass rallies to protest the movie. Terpstra organized a coalition of political, business, academic, and religious leaders, the sole purpose of which was to try to freeze Wilders out of public debate. Dutch cities are riddled with terrorist cells and crowded with fundamentalist Muslims who cheered 9/11 and idolize Osama bin Laden, but for Terpstra and his political allies, the real problem was the one Member of Parliament who wouldn’t shut up. "Geert Wilders is evil," pronounced Terpstra, "and evil has to be stopped." Fortuyn, van Gogh, and Hirsi Ali had been stopped; now it was Wilders’s turn.

But Wilders—who for years now has lived under 24-hour armed guard—would not be gagged. Thus the disgraceful decision to put him on trial. In Dutch Muslim schools and mosques, incendiary rhetoric about the Netherlands, America, Jews, gays, democracy, and sexual equality is routine; a generation of Dutch Muslims are being brought up with toxic attitudes toward the society in which they live. And no one is ever prosecuted for any of this. Instead, a court in the Netherlands—a nation once famous for being an oasis of free speech—has now decided to prosecute a member of the national legislature for speaking his mind. By doing so, it proves exactly what Wilders has argued all along: that fear and "sensitivity" to a religion of submission are destroying Dutch freedom.
I agree with Mark Steyn:
The Dutch, like the Canadians, think they can maintain social peace by shriveling the bounds of public discourse and bringing what little remains under state regulation. But one notices that the coercive urge, which comes so naturally to Euro-progressives, only goes in one direction. The Swedish Chancellor of Justice shuts down the investigation into the Grand Mosque of Stockholm for selling tapes urging believers to kill "the brothers of pigs and apes" (ie, Jews) because that's simply "the everyday climate in the rhetoric". The masked men marching through the streets of London with placards threatening to rain down another 9/11 on the infidels are protected by a phalanx of Metropolitan Police officers. The PC nellies of the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission, happy to hound the last neo-Nazi in Saskatchewan posting to the Internet from his mum's basement, won't go anywhere near Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Dameus al-Hayitia, the big-time Montreal imam whose book says infidels are "evil people", Jews "spread corruption and chaos", and homosexuals should be "exterminated".

Instead, the state's response to explicit Islamic intimidation is to punish those foolish enough to point out that intimidation.
(via Andrew Stuttaford on The Corner, Conservative Grapevine, Brussels Journal, FOX News)

1 comment:

bobn said...

We are reading lots of the same stuff lately. Donations to Wilders defense fund here.