Sunday, February 27, 2005

EU: An excellent article by Brian Moynahan in the Sunday Timesonline on the Dutch rejecting the muliticulturalism/liberalism that has been the hallmark of their country for so long due to political murders and immigrants who refuse to adapt to western ways. It hits upon all the reasons why this rejection is happening including religious and cultural reasons.

"The consensus has shifted across the board. In a country that can still seem a parody of itself — a magistrate ruled recently that an armed robber was entitled to a tax rebate on the cost of his gun as a tool of his trade — even the leader of the Green party has called for it to be illegal for Muslims to import spouses through arranged marriages. Integrated teams, drawn from the police, social welfare and housing offices, are used to locate and arrest illegals. Social welfare knows who is drawing benefit, housing offices have addresses, and police check for criminal records. The number of asylum seekers has been slashed from 43,000 to 10,000 a year, nine-tenths of whom have their applications rejected. Multiculturalism is damned. A recent poll found 80% in favour of stronger measures to get immigrants to integrate — and 40% said they "hoped" Muslims "no longer feel at home here".

"Age, of course, is a factor. "The young are open to everything," says Uzeyir Kabaktepe, the vice president of the Turkish Milli Gorus mosque in Amsterdam. "If you give them pure Koran, they become extremist. All doors close for them. 'Everything else is black,' they think, 'but I'm white and I'm going to paradise.' Those who see black and white think they are angels, they think they are flying. If a Dutchman speaks to them on the street, they think 'he's a Zionist' or 'he's a Satan'. We give the Koran, not pure, but with explanations. We make them debate with each other. We show them that some of the dark ones, the infidels, are religious people too." The Moroccans, he says, are different. "They brought their ideas to Europe with them, and they don't budge," he claims. "Democracy for Arabs is Satanic, it's from the West, against God's word. Idiot imams came who said the Dutch and everything to do with them — schools, society — are devils. They said: get a second wife, from abroad, so the devils pay the social money for them. The Middle East plays a big role for the Arabs, it goes into the second and third generation. A child of 10 gets pictures on the internet of Americans in Iraq, mosques burnt down, prisoners. They say, why am I here? As a young Muslim? The internet can do big damage." Safiyeh M, a Dutch Moroccan divorcee with two children, says there is "one little group that won't adapt. It's always 'damn Dutch, damn Jews, damn infidels'. They can't do anything in Morocco. They'd get squashed. So they try it here". She carefully checks the websites that her 14-year-old son looks at. "I panicked when I found he'd been on a site that Mohammed B used," she says. "Fortunately it was a big entry portal and he was just using it to talk to friends in Morocco." Like many in the second generation, she thinks that new arrivals are keeping tensions high. "All these 150 nationalities in Amsterdam," she says. "It's ridiculous. There are too many immigrants."

"There is criticism that the Dutch remain liberal where it suits them — society permits euthanasia, same-sex marriage, the use of recreational drugs, prostitution, adoption by homosexual couples — and that it is post-PC only on immigration. Draconian solutions — preventive arrest, deportation where possible — are bandied about for radical Islamists. "We have been tolerant to the nontolerant, and we got intolerance back," Wilders says. If the law, EU or Dutch, inhibits security, the law must be changed. "I'm a law-maker as an MP," he says. "I accept nothing that stands against us winning. If necessary, we should change the constitution and European treaties." Hirsi Ali is unrepentant on the cultural gap. "I take back nothing," she said on a brief return from hiding to parliament. "The essentials of Islam are not compatible with liberal democracy. In the Koran and the Hadith, it says that woman is below man, that nonbelievers have to die, and that people who renounce Islam have to die immediately." She was scathing with suggestions that her stridency was to blame for the threats. "Moderate politicians like Cohen and Aboutaleb are on the Islamists' death lists," she said. "It doesn't matter what tone you take." All agree, however, in the new climate in Holland, that open debate is essential. "Hiding is not a good strategy," Aboutaleb says. Traida puts it more bluntly: "I say — say it, now, before the explosion."

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