Hirsi Ali Brings Down the Dutch Government

Locked
jack stowaway
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:17 pm

Hirsi Ali Brings Down the Dutch Government

Post by jack stowaway » Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:21 pm

I'm not surprised it came to this. The decision to strip Hirshi Ali of her Dutch citizenship was an outrage. She is one of the very few Muslims who defended Dutch values.

The decision is a classic instance of partisan politics trumping sanity.


Dutch coalition collapses in row over Somali-born politician's citizenship

Nicholas Watt, European editor
Friday June 30, 2006

Guardian

The Dutch government collapsed last night in a row over its treatment of a Somali-born politician who came to symbolise the country's troubled relations with its Muslim population.

Jan Peter Balkenende, the prime minister, will tender his resignation to Queen Beatrix today after the small D-66 party withdrew its ministers from his centre-right coalition government. A general election, which was not due until next May, will be triggered, though Mr Balkenende may try to hang on until September when next year's budget is due to be presented.

There was speculation in The Hague last night that Mr Balkenende would carry on as the head of a minority administration until the end of the year, supported by the hard-right LPF party. This was founded by the late Pim Fortuyn, who electrified the 2002 general election by saying that the liberal traditions of the Netherlands were being threatened by Muslims who refused to integrate.

Mr Balkenende's humiliating climbdown came after he had vowed earlier in the day to remain in office after surviving a vote of no confidence in his hardline immigration minister, Rita Verdonk. The crisis was sparked after D-66, a small centrist party in the coalition, refused to support the minister after she stripped Ayaan Hirsi Ali - an MP in her rightwing Liberal party - of her Dutch citizenship.

An international outcry at the treatment of Ms Hirsi Ali, who needs armed police guards to protect her from Islamist extremists, forced Ms Verdonk to restore her citizenship this week. But D-66 was infuriated when the minister forced Ms Hirsi Ali to sign a statement admitting that she had lied in order to gain Dutch citizenship when she fled to the Netherlands in 1992.

"It's unfortunate that it came to this," Mr Balkenende said. "But we know that's the way things go in politics."

The downfall of the centre-right coalition will ring alarm bells across the EU because it marks the first time that a government has fallen in a row linked to the continent-wide struggle to integrate Europe's Muslims.

Ms Hirsi Ali, 36, has been living under armed guard since the murder of her friend, the controversial film director Theo Van Gogh in 2004. She wrote the script for his film, Submission, which offended Muslims by depicting excerpts of the Qur'an on the bodies of naked women. She has strongly defended the film on the grounds that it was designed to highlight the mistreatment of women by many Muslims.

Van Gogh's murderer, Muhammad Bouyeri, threatened Ms Hirsi Ali in a five-page note pinned to Van Gogh's body. Bouyeri, 26, a Dutch Muslim, was sentened to life imprisonment last year.

Opinion polls indicate that Wouter Bos, the Blairite leader of the Dutch Labour party, will emerge as the leader of the largest party. Mr Bos was scathing about the government's conduct. "I think the minister really has acted in a shameful manner," he said.

[Sys Admin Edit: Jack, I changed the title of the thread to something more eye-catching.]

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:17 am

This is indeed a significant development. I hope Mourningstar or another of our Dutch members could shed some light on this story.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:39 am

Image

fighting words
Dutch Courage
Holland's latest insult to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, May 22, 2006, at 11:44 AM ET

In the two weeks since I wrote about the increasing isolation of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born Dutch parliamentarian, her isolation has markedly increased. Dutch courts have already required her to vacate her home as a result of her neighbors' petition to have her evicted, and she was on the verge of resigning her seat in the Dutch parliament and of requesting the right of residence in the United States. But this was not enough to satisfy her critics. A leftist news team in the Netherlands has broadcast an item about the way in which she had initially entered the country, and now the immigration minister has proposed stripping her of citizenship (and thus of her seat in parliament) as a result of the irregularities involved.

The Hague is a much less surreal place than Prague, but there are elements of this proceeding that might have made Franz Kafka smile. Unlike Joseph K, Hirsi Ali is very well aware of the evidence against her; indeed, she is the author of it. She has several times explained, in public and in print, that, among other things, she changed her name to get political asylum in the Netherlands. This was partly to prevent her family—her father being a well-known Somali politician—from discovering her whereabouts after she had fled an arranged marriage to a distant relative. The minister in the present case—a former prison warden named Rita Verdonk—comes off less as a Kafka figure than as a cross between Nurse Ratched and Capt. Renault in Casablanca, who was "shocked, shocked" to find out what was going on at Rick's Cafe. A prisoner of her own rectitude, she has decided that now is the time to display zero tolerance for refugees who falsify their biographies. She has also decided that someone who was quietly leaving anyway must also be kicked out. It reminds me of those cults and sects from which it is impossible to resign, because if you say you want to quit, you will instead be expelled.

Writing in the New York Times last Friday, Ian Buruma said that Ayaan Hirsi Ali ought to have spoken out more for those who had been denied asylum in the Netherlands. (He is the author of a forthcoming book about the murder of Theo van Gogh, who was Hirsi Ali's partner in the making of a film about the maltreatment of women in the Muslim ghettos of Dutch cities.) This point doesn't seem to me to carry much weight. If she had become the spokeswoman for other refugees, her own story of making a partially false application could (and would) have been used against her even more. Instead, she pointed out that many perfectly legal immigrants to Holland were trying to import dictatorship rather than flee from it, and for this she attracted lethal hatred. If it had not been this charge, it would have been something else. She has already been made the object of a murder campaign, put under virtual house arrest in the name of her own "protection," evicted from her home, and accused of all manner of incitement. I hardly think that her numberless enemies would have left it at that. And they have now chosen to invoke the full and literal letter of the law, with exactly the same consistency with which they used to overlook it.

In point of fact, as was said several times in heated debate in the Dutch parliament, the discovery of a false statement on an immigration form (even when the proof is not provided by the person concerned, as in this case) is not automatic grounds for the removal of citizenship. The minister has discretion in the matter. Perhaps the fact that Verdonk and Hirsi Ali are members of the same party has something to do with it: Verdonk is thereby avoiding any insinuation of favoritism toward a colleague. But all this pedantry and bureaucratic legalism cannot obscure the main point, which is that an elected politician with an important and individual message has been hounded to the point where she feels that she must resign and told that whether she resigns or not, she will be dismissed. The Dutch voters who elected and re-elected her are mere spectators to the process.

Once again to mention her excellent new book The Caged Virgin, this is an author and a politician who has made the transition from early Islamic fanaticism (she initially endorsed the fatwa against Salman Rushdie) to a full-out acceptance and advocacy of secularism and of Enlightenment ideals. Hirsi Ali calls for a pluralist democracy where all opinion is protected but where the law does not—in the name of some pseudo-tolerance—permit genital mutilation, "honor" killing, and forced marriage. One might have expected a more robust defense of this position from the Dutch, and indeed the international left, but instead there has been a response of extraordinary and sullen ungenerousness, as if a lone woman defying taboo and standing up to violence has in some way let down the side and become a menace to multiculturalism.

It will be delightful to have Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Washington. But the American Enterprise Institute, which has offered her a perch, is not the place where she is most needed. In Holland, every day, extremist imams preach intolerance and cruelty, and, when they are criticized, invoke the help of foreign embassies to bring pressure on the Dutch authorities. They face no risk of expulsion. In my youth, the action of lighting one person's cigarette with another was called—don't ask me why—a "Dutch f***." I once heard a young lady, offered a light in those terms, respond loftily by saying, "Doesn't say much for the Low Countries, does it?" No, it didn't, and neither does this mean and petty harassment of a woman who has also redefined that old expression "Dutch courage."

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. His most recent collection of essays is titled Love, Poverty, and War.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2142147/
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:42 am

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 17, 2006, 11:48 AM

The Hirsi Ali Case

"Voltaire and Erasmus Are Spinning in their Graves"

By Henryk M. Broder in The Hague

Holland's most famous immigrant -- Ayaan Hirsi Ali -- has been stripped of her citizenship overnight following television revelations about news that's long been public: she lied a little on her application for asylum years ago. The controversial decision by the country's immigration minister has sparked outrage, and many are calling it a dark day for Dutch democracy.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is in a surprisingly good mood for someone who has just lost her citizenship. "I have to step away for a bit," she says, "please wait for me and I'll be back in half an hour." Ayaan has an appointment with the US ambassador in The Hague. She's talking to her guests at a small party, who will just have to make do without her for a short while. "But make sure you come back with a passport!" writer Leon de Winter calls after her.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has represented the Party for Freedom and Democracy in the Dutch parliament since January 2003, has been a woman without a country for the past 24 hours. The Dutch Minister of Immigration and Integration, Rita Verdonk, withdrew Ayaan Hirsi Ali's citizenship because the native Somali lied on her 1997 application for Dutch citizenship. "This is a first in Dutch history," says Leon de Winter, with tears in his eyes, "the minister has what we call a 'discretionaire bevoegdheid' or discretionary powers, which means that although she had the power to do what she did, she wasn't required to do so."

"Iron Rita" takes matters into her own hands

The fact that Rita Verdonk and Ayaan Hirsi Ali are members of the same party had no impact on Verdonk's decision, nor was her move influenced by the fact that Ali is a rare political talent, even for the Netherlands: eloquent, multilingual and attractive. Not even the fact that Ali is a woman and represents several minorities at once -- immigrants, people of color, Muslims -- did her any good, especially with a minister who is nicknamed "iron Rita" and was a prison warden before becoming a member of the cabinet. "And now she believes that she can just continue applying the same practices she learned at the prison," complains Leon de Winter.

The case is indeed unprecedented and indicative of a major shift in public opinion in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Ayaan Hirsi Ali came to the country in 1992 because, as she explains in a press conference, she "wanted to be in a position to shape my own future." She learned Dutch, studied political science at the University of Leiden and worked for a foundation affiliated with the Partij van de Arbeid, the country's social democratic party.

In early 2003, she entered parliament as a representative of the liberal "Party for Freedom and Democracy." In her new political role, she made a name for herself -- and many enemies -- as an outspoken critic of Islam.

After the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, she was given round-the-clock bodyguard protection. Ali wrote the screenplay for a film, "Submission," which van Gogh directed. In a note they left behind at the scene of van Gogh's murder, his killers wrote that "she deserves death just as much as he does."

The incident turned Ayaan Hirsi Ali into a symbol of civil courage and active resistance, a black Joan of Arc named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people worldwide in 2005.

Lying was her only choice

Twelve months later, Ali stood before the assembled Dutch press at "Nieuwspoort" in The Hague and explained why she had lied on her citizenship application. "It was wrong and I'm not proud of it, but I had no other choice." She said that she had lied to prevent her family from tracking her down, although the name she assumed wasn't entirely foreign to her. "My grandfather's name was Ali," she says, which led her to assume the name Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But her real name was Ayaan Hirsi Magan. "My full name," she told the Dutch press, "is Ayaan Hirsi Magan Isse Guleid Ali Wai'ays Muhammad Ali Umar Osman Mahamud."

But now it's too late for clarification. Ayaan, speaking quietly, says that she plans to give up her seat in parliament, leave the Netherlands and continue her work elsewhere.

Dutch Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm stands next to Ayaan. Like Ayaan and Rita Verdonk, Zalm is also a member of the Party for Freedom and Democracy. And he is extremely unhappy about his fellow party member's decision. "What surprises me most is the incredible speed with which the decision was made." If Verdonk's agency were to pursue applications for citizenship with the same level of enthusiasm, he says, "we would have fewer problems."

Zalm also stresses that the accusations now being leveled against MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali have long been known to the public, because she herself has been open about her history on many occasions.

The question remains as to why the matter took so long to become so explosive. The answer is as banal as it is surprising: because VARA, a television station with social democratic leanings, aired a 40-minute documentary last Thursday called "The Holy Ayaan." VARA's reporters had traveled all the way to Mogadishu in Somalia to obtain information they could just as easily have found on recordings of their own station's programs: that Ayaan Hirsi Ali had long since admitted that she lied when she applied for Dutch asylum.

"A disgrace for our country"

"This affair is a disgrace for our country and for all of Europe. Voltaire and Erasmus are turning over in their graves," says an outraged Afshin Ellian, Professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Leiden. Ellian, born in Tehran in 1966, emigrated to the Netherlands in 1983. His history is similar to Ayaan's, except for the fact that he left his country because he was fleeing from the mullahs, and not because his family was trying to force him into an arranged marriage. Ellian is even considering filing legal action against "iron Rita" for perversion of justice, "not because she has now revoked Ayaan's citizenship, but because she has long known that Ayaan provided false information." Ellian knows that he's unlikely to make much headway with his argument, but he says he would certainly like to give it a try.

But it seems that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has already moved on. After an hour she returns to her guests and announces the good news. The US ambassador in The Hague, she says, has assured her "that he will do everything in his power to help me move to the United States." In fact, the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, has already offered her a job.

Then she switches on the TV set. The parliament is currently debating her case, and each MP who takes to the podium has nothing but criticism for the immigration minister's approach, especially her "snelheid," or speed. The parliamentary leader of the Party for Freedom and Democracy, Willibrord van Beek, asks: "Why now? Why Ali? Why this way?" Geert Wilders, an independent MP, says: "This is a dark day for our democracy."

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

URL: http://service.spiegel.de/cache/interna ... 87,00.html
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:51 am

From the Law & Justice Blogsite of Michael Galien, a law student in Groningen, Netherlands

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
It's Official: Ayaan Hirsi Ali Keeps Dutch Nationality


NOS journaal reports that, during a meeting between different ministers - that lasted until well past midnight - the Dutch Cabinet decided that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is, and will remain, officially Dutch. Although Minister Verdonk did not want to decide this last night already, her fellow ministers enforced a permanent decision. Verdonk will inform Parliament about this matter later today.

According to RTL Nieuws certain political parties, especially GroenLinks, have already announced that they will be giving Verdonk an extremely hard time during the next debate in the lower chamber about this matter. I won't be suprised if Parliament will force her to resign. Lets hope so: she damaged the Dutch reputation tremendously.

NOS Teletekst further reports that Ayaan Hirsi Magan did not break Somali law when she gave Dutch authorities a different name: Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali is the name of her grandfather: to use that name is allowed according to Somali law.

Thank God. It was a disgrace for The Netherlands when Verdonk announced that Ayaan 'never received the Dutch nationality'. Verdonk acted way too hasty. Friday she said that Ayaan had nothing to worry about, Saturday the story changes and Monday Ayaan isn't Dutch all of a sudden. All of this within a couple of days.

After this Ayaan controversy Verdonk also lost the race to become leader of the political party the VVD.

Although I am extremely happy that Verdonk has been forced to change her decision, I am also greatly embarrassed by the reaction of my fellow countrymen. A lot of people reacted with a lot of hatred towards Ayaan. Why? Because Ayaan never kept quiet, because she says what she believes. Because she recognizes the dangers of radical Islam. The Dutch proved themselves to be a people who want only one thing: rest. Calmness.

And that is a sad observation.

http://freeandjustice.blogspot.com/2006 ... keeps.html
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:54 am

Dutch Fear Muslim Reaction to Hirsi Ali’s Gay Movie
From the desk of Paul Belien on Fri, 2006-06-09 22:35

The Dutch authorities fear that “Submission 2,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s soon to be released new movie, might make the Netherlands a target of angry Muslims worldwide. The movie criticizes Muslims for their intolerance of gays. In a report published last Wednesday the country’s National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator (Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding, NCTb) warns that one must seriously take into account the possibility of an international Muslim boycott of the Netherlands, similar to the boycott of Denmark by the Islamic world earlier this year over the Muhammad cartoons.

The NCTb writes that “Submission 2” has already attracted attention in the Arab world and in Iran. The Dutch authorities are working on a plan about what to do if the movie does, indeed, stir up international Muslim indignation. “Controversial debates or artistic quotes about Islam in the Netherlands can be abused by radical Muslims abroad to agitate against the Netherlands,” the NCTb report says. It states that the Danish cartoon affair shows how minor local incidents can rapidly escalate into violent tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims. “Not only political interests but also economic interests as well as the safety of embassies and Dutch troops abroad can be in jeopardy.”

The NCTb also warns for possible repercussions within the Netherlands. The report says that Dutch Muslims, including soldiers in the Dutch army, are growing ever more radical. An increasing number is said to visit radical mosques controlled by the Salafi, a Saudi dominated sect which advocates a return to the strict rules of 7th century Islam.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has announced that her new movie will be released later this year. “Submission 2” criticizes the “lack of sexual liberty” of homosexuals in Muslim societies. Hirsi Ali’s first movie, “Submission,” which was released in 2004, criticized the discrimination of women in Muslim societies. The script of the movie was written by Hirsi Ali. The movie depicted verses from the Koran written on the naked backs of battered women. Theo van Gogh, the Amsterdam film maker who directed Hirsi Ali’s movie, was assassinated in November 2004 by a Muslim fanatic. Van Gogh’s murderer pinned a letter to his corpse, threatening to kill Hirsi Ali as well.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born immigrant who moved to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape a forced marriage arranged by her family. She has become one of the country’s most outspoken critics of Islam (and of religious conservatism in general). She began her political career by working for the Wiardi Beckman Foundation, the think tank of the Dutch Socialist Party. In 2002 she joined the Liberal Party VVD, for which she was elected in the Dutch Parliament the following year. Last month however, Rita Verdonk, the Dutch minister for Immigration (who also belongs to the VVD), stripped Hirsi Ali of her Dutch nationality because she had not revealed her real identity when she requested political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992. Next September Hirsi Ali will move to the United States, where she has been offered a job at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank that has asked her to help in “furthering the reconciliation of Muslim teachings with the ideals of individual freedom and responsibility and the ‘open society.’”

The way in which the Dutch threw Hirsi Ali out in an attempt to appease Muslim fanatics has attracted worldwide attention. The famous Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa criticized the Netherlands this week in an op-ed piece in the Lima newspaper El Comercio. He wrote that he had “applauded the Netherlands in the past when it was a pioneer in allowing euthanasia, legalising drugs and institutionalising gay marriage. Now I am disillusioned by the disgraceful surrendering of a government and the public opinion of a democratic country to the blackmail of terrorist fanaticism.”

Perhaps Vargas Llosa should ask himself whether the moral relativism of the Dutch, which led to the euthanasia, free drug consumption and gay marriage he applauds, might not have caused the disgraceful attitude of appeasement towards fanatics.

Meanwhile there was a political row in the Dutch Parliament earlier this week, concerning a visit by Queen Beatrix to the Mobarak Mosque in The Hague. The Mobarak Mosque is the oldest mosque in the Netherlands. It was established 50 years ago. Like all visitors the Queen took off her shoes before entering the mosque. However, she also agreed not to shake hands with the imams and radical religious leaders running the mosque. According to the imams, who belong to a radical group, Islam forbids them to touch women other than their wives. Jan-Peter Balkenende, the Dutch Prime Minister, praised the Queen for the “example of religious tolerance” that she had given by not shaking hands. The conservative politician Geert Wilders, however, told Parliament on Wednesday that he had been “greatly irritated” by the Queen and the Prime Minister, who “under the pretext of tolerance are selling out Dutch values such as the equality between men and women.”

In truth this “tolerance” of Beatrix is a sham, which is proved by the fact that in 1982 she refused to visit a group of radical Orthodox Jews because they... refuse to shake hands with women. And there are others whose hands the Dutch Queen will not shake. Politicians from Belgium’s largest party, the Vlaams Belang, learned today that they will not get to see the Dutch Queen during her official state visit to Belgium next month. While in Brussels Beatrix will meet members from all the parties represented in the Belgian Parliament except the VB. This allegedly “far right” party aims for the independence of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern half of the country, and many of its members feel Dutch rather than Belgian. However, the VB also opposes the “islamization” of the country and voted against bills legalising abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and other legislation which the Belgians copied from the Dutch. Earlier this year, during a visit to Belgium, Ayaan Hirsi Ali told a Belgian newspaper that the VB should be banned because, she said, “On many issues they have exactly the same opinions as the Muslim extremists: on the position of women, on the suppression of gays, on abortion. This way of thinking will lead straight to genocide.”

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1110
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:11 am

<div align="center">I keep my mouth shut</div>

While not a story about Hirsi Ali, this is a report on the growing violence of European Muslim gangs, and the effect it has on ordinary citizens. It is this kind of violence that put Ali, and Van Gogh and their neighbors, and their fellow citizens, at risk in the first place.

“Youths” Kick Man to Death on Crowded Antwerp Bus
From the desk of Paul Belien on Mon, 2006-06-26 21:38

The Belgian state is no longer able to guarantee the security of its citizens. On Saturday afternoon Guido Demoor, a 54-year old Flemish train conductor on his way to work, was kicked to death by six “youths” on a crowded bus near Antwerp’s Central Station. The incident recalls the rush-hour murder ten weeks ago of Joe Van Holsbeeck, 17 years of age, in a crowded Brussels Central Station on 12 April.

Guido Demoor, a father of two, intervened when six “youths” got on bus 23 in Antwerp and began to intimidate passengers. There were some forty people on the bus. Demoor asked the “youths” to calm down, whereupon they turned on him, savagely beating and kicking the man. At the next stop thirty passengers fled the bus. The thugs kept beating Demoor. They then pulled the emergency brake and jumped from the bus leaving their victim to die.

Three Moroccans, two of whom are minors, were arrested today. The website of the Dutch paper De Stentor reports tonight that a fourth suspect, believed to be the ringleader, fled into a shop as the police were poised to arrest him. He managed to escape from the shop when dozens of “youths” came to his rescue. Witnesses had described the culprits as immigrant youths of between 18 and 21 years of age. During the weekend the police had called for witnesses as only four people had come forward. The police offered the witnesses absolute confidentiality and promised not to reveal their identities. “Obviously people fear reprisals,” Gazet van Antwerpen wrote today.

Belgians do not have a constitutional or legal right to bear arms, not even purely defensive arms such as peppersprays. With the police and the government failing to protect law-abiding citizens the latter are, however, totally unprotected. Saturday’s murder has shocked bus drivers and train conductors, but they stress that they are not in the least surprised. Violence on public transport has become a fact of life.

“You see what happens if you intervene,” one of Guido Demoor’s colleagues at Belgian Rail is quoted in the newspaper De Morgen today. “If Guido had not opened his mouth he would still be alive. [...] He was a good man. I would not have dared to do what Guido did. I was beaten up once and since then I have become very careful.”

Another colleague told the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: “After the Van Holsbeeck murder some whined that no-one had intervened. Guido did intervene and paid with his life.” After the assassination of Joe Van Holsbeeck Belgium’s Cardinal Danneels had said that Joe was a victim of “the indifference in Belgian society” because no-one had come to his rescue when two youths stabbed him to death for not handing over his MP3 player.

Today the Cardinal issued a statement saying: “Guido Demoor acted very bravely. The fact that he paid with his life does not mean that he acted wrongly.” In contemporary Belgium it is heroic for an unarmed adult to tell immigrant youths to calm down.

An Antwerp bus driver told De Morgen: “These youths can be very aggressive. If you say one wrong word they throw themselves on you. I do not dare to say anything. I keep my mouth shut.” Public transport passengers declared: “They call you names in a language you do not understand, shouting and abusing you. What can you do? Who can you call for help? I do not know.”

A train conductor told Het Nieuwsblad: “This incident happened on a bus, but it could also have happened on a train. To be honest, I have been working in Brussels’ Midi Station [where the international trains from Paris and London arrive] for 27 years and I am happy to be still alive. I have been eye to eye with aggressive pickpockets on many occasions. These men have no qualms about hurting people. I am not sure that I would intervene if I witness an incident. I do not want to risk my life.”

The unrest among railroad employees after the Demoor murder is huge. Some want to go on strike to pressure the government to give them protection. The Independent Union of Train Personnel (OVS), however, has asked its members not to strike. “Laying down our work would only harm the passengers and make them the victims of incidents for which they are not to blame,” OVS spokesman Hugo De Rycke said. He stressed, however, that the authorities have to do something. De Rycke explained that bus 23 on which Demoor was murdered is known to be dangerous. “Because [bus 23] is so dangerous Belgian Rail at one point provided taxis to take employees to work [in Antwerp’s Central Station]. However, the taxi service was abolished because it proved too expensive,” he said.

Problems occur not only in major Belgian cities, such as Antwerp and Brussels, but also in provincial towns, such as Sint-Niklaas. Last week bus drivers in Sint-Niklaas refused to drive out in protest against the aggressive behaviour of immigrant youths on the buses. In today’s De Morgen drivers, who have all asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, relate experiences of “buses being demolished while en route” and of “youths harassing girls, who beg the driver to protect them.” One of the drivers said: “If they refuse to buy a ticket I leave it. I do not want to be beaten up for one and a half euros.”

Another driver said: “Last week an old man was beaten up on my bus. The youths were angry because he did not put away his luggage fast enough. They hit him on the eye and threw the luggage on his lap. [...] A bus drive lasts forty minutes. Sometimes they pester and provoke you for a full forty minutes. I remain calm, but some of my colleagues are not able to do so and get into trouble. If I ever get into trouble, I will do as one colleague did recently. He left his vehicle at the bus station and got off, never to return to this job.” Guido Demoor never even got off the bus.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

jack stowaway
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:17 pm

Post by jack stowaway » Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:28 am

The Netherlands has become a de facto bellwether for the future of Europe and freedom on speech on that continent. A precedent has already been established with the uproar over the Danish cartoons and the pitiful faillure of Western politicians to defend free expression.

One can predict that Islamofascist thugs from Islamabad to Londonistan will use every lie and deception in their considerable armoury to exploit the emotions of their fellow Muslims upon the release of 'Submission 2'.

The Dhimmitude continues apace...

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:05 pm

Mourning, I was hoping you would find this thread and comment on it from an insider's perspective.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Haydnseek
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 7:59 am
Location: Maryland, USA

Post by Haydnseek » Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:28 pm

I'd like to hear more from Mourningstar too. I'm not sure this is the fall of a domino at all. The Christian Democrats, VVD and LPF have an opportunity in November to build a coalition and get some things done without the center-left D66 putting on the brakes. Maybe Balkenende is glad to be rid of them and would rather take a gamble on achieving an overall right of center mandate. I believe Dutch voters have become much more security and immigration conscious lately. Look at the end of the article below which I've put in bold text.

New Dutch minority government takes power

by Stephanie van den Berg
July 7, 2006

A temporary centre-right minority government under Christian Democrat Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has taken office in the Netherlands to lead the country to early elections in November.

Balkenende, whose previous centre-right administration collapsed last week in a row over immigration, has formed a minority government with his Christian Democrat (CDA) party and the right-wing VVD, although many of the faces in the cabinet remain the same.

The new cabinet presented a government policy statement in parliament on Friday, followed by a debate to assess whether the new administration has enough support.

While the debate was continuing Friday afternoon the government was expected to have a majority in parliament because of the backing of several small opposition parties. Early elections have been set for November 22.

Balkenende told parliament Friday that his government was "conscious of the limits" of a minority administration.

The prime minister stressed that in the four months until the elections the government would work on "expanding the financial, social and economic position of the Netherlands in the future". It will also present the 2007 budget in September.

Balkenende also recalled that in August some 1,400 Dutch troops will be stationed in Afghanistan. The mission "deserves our full support".

"This cabinet will do its utmost to carry out its mission in the best possible way," he promised.

The Dutch government fell last week after D66, a junior coalition partner, withdrew its support in a row over the handling of the citizenship of Somali-born former lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Immigration minister Rita Verdonk initially insisted that Hirsi Ali hand in her Dutch passport because she had lied about her name and birthdate on her asylum application.

Last week Verdonk changed her mind but refused to apologize for the way the case was handled, infuriating D66.

Hirsi Ali, who came to international attention in 2004 after her friend and collaborator Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim extremist, has since stepped down as a lawmaker and left for the United States.

Balkenende has kept his cabinet virtually unchanged, only replacing the cabinet posts formerly filled by D66 ministers. Joop Wijn (VVD) will be the new minister of economic affairs and another liberal, Atzo Nicolai, will take the post of minister of government reform.

Christian Democrat Ben Bot remains minister of foreign affairs and the controversial Verdonk will stay on as immigration minister.

Dutch media reported Friday that Verdonk has been advised by Balkenende to consult the cabinet when dealing with "sensitive matters". Verdonk, known for her unapologetic manner, has also been warned to soften her usually harsh tone in parliamentary debates, the de Volkskrant paper wrote.

Despite the controversy surrounding her, Verdonk, nicknamed "Iron Rita" is very popular with Dutch voters.

The Christian Democrats and the VVD are eager to stay in power for at least a few more months in the hope it will boost their success in the polls.

Although the government's budget austerity was unpopular, the parties are hoping the economic upswing the Netherlands has seen in the last months will continue and mollify voters.

Polls show that if elections were held now the opposition PvdA labour party would win 44 of the 150 seats in parliament, compared to 38 for the Christian Democrats and 29 for the VVD


http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060707/wl ... 0707163708
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

mourningstar
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by mourningstar » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:50 pm

first of all, this isn't the first time "balkenende's goverment fails, it's the second" .. second, ayaan was just oil on the fire. they already had issues because of "rita's intergration policy, and offcourse the huge mistakes she made during this whole time" .. the left parties filled a motion 2 times before they did the last and fatal one.

and the thing with Ayaan was just ironic, Verdonk was measuring with two sizes, i think it was the perfect oppurtinity for the left wing to attack her. they were already some big doubts. so this was thé oppurtinity to get rid of her. but she just wouldn't leave.

question; How are they portraiting Ayaan hirsi Ali in the United states??
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:34 pm

mourningstar wrote:first of all, this isn't the first time "balkenende's goverment fails, it's the second" .. second, ayaan was just oil on the fire. they already had issues because of "rita's intergration policy, and offcourse the huge mistakes she made during this whole time" .. the left parties filled a motion 2 times before they did the last and fatal one.

and the thing with Ayaan was just ironic, Verdonk was measuring with two sizes, i think it was the perfect oppurtinity for the left wing to attack her. they were already some big doubts. so this was thé oppurtinity to get rid of her. but she just wouldn't leave.

question; How are they portraiting Ayaan hirsi Ali in the United states??
I haven't heard about it in the US. I heard about this first from Jack.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:08 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
mourningstar wrote:first of all, this isn't the first time "balkenende's goverment fails, it's the second" .. second, ayaan was just oil on the fire. they already had issues because of "rita's intergration policy, and offcourse the huge mistakes she made during this whole time" .. the left parties filled a motion 2 times before they did the last and fatal one.

and the thing with Ayaan was just ironic, Verdonk was measuring with two sizes, i think it was the perfect oppurtinity for the left wing to attack her. they were already some big doubts. so this was thé oppurtinity to get rid of her. but she just wouldn't leave.

question; How are they portraiting Ayaan hirsi Ali in the United states??
I haven't heard about it in the US. I heard about this first from Jack.
*****

The fate of civil liberties in Holland may well keep me awake tonight.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

mourningstar
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by mourningstar » Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:56 am

I'm not surprised it came to this. The decision to strip Hirshi Ali of her Dutch citizenship was an outrage. She is one of the very few Muslims who defended Dutch values.
let's get the fact straight, she is an atheist. she was muslim.
Holland's most famous immigrant -- Ayaan Hirsi Ali -- has been stripped of her citizenship overnight following television revelations about news that's long been public: she lied a little on her application for asylum years ago. The controversial decision by the country's immigration minister has sparked outrage, and many are calling it a dark day for Dutch democracy.
i think the dutch people were behind the decision of revoking her dutch passport...
One can predict that Islamofascist thugs from Islamabad to Londonistan will use every lie and deception in their considerable armoury to exploit the emotions of their fellow Muslims upon the release of 'Submission 2'.
An irani muslim terrorgroup announced that when "holland" releases submission 2, it is in big trouble...
Despite the controversy surrounding her, Verdonk, nicknamed "Iron Rita" is very popular with Dutch voters.
she is just following "Pim fortuyn". She also has the same campaignleader as Pim fortuyn. (she even quotes him all the time).
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

Haydnseek
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 7:59 am
Location: Maryland, USA

Post by Haydnseek » Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:34 am

Here is my inexpert prediction: The Christian Democrats and VVD combined will gain a majority of seats in the November election. Labor and D66 will be wondering what the hell happened. The media people will miss the story as nobody they know professionally or socially would even consider voting CD or VVD. You read it here first, folks.

I was reading a report in English on the situation by a Dutch reporter and I sensed the same kind of cluelessness that causes the American media to misread the mood of the public, overestimate the Democrat’s chances and underestimate the Republican’s. There was even the application of the term “right-wing” to describe voters who are probably firmly in the center. I’ll bet Balkenende took a cold look at polling data and when D66 threatened to leave the government his attitude was “go ahead, make my day!”

What are the parties of the left going to run on? Less security? The glorious legacy of multiculturalism? No integration for Muslims? Preserving welfare benefits for people who don't really need them? Choking the dynamic Dutch economy with new regulations?
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

mourningstar
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by mourningstar » Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:12 am

Here is my inexpert prediction: The Christian Democrats and VVD combined will gain a majority of seats in the November election. Labor and D66 will be wondering what the hell happened. The media people will miss the story as nobody they know professionally or socially would even consider voting CD or VVD. You read it here first, folks.
I doubt it, I am not sure about another 4 year balkenende. I don't think people will vote for him after this debacle. Alot of people want the "purple" goverment back. With Labour party and Groenlinks combined. With Wouter Bos as the leader of the Labourparty.

I won't vote for the Christians democrats though nor the VVD. they had their chance. twice.
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:22 pm

A very proper "huddled masses" ending to this deplorable incident. Ali lands up where she should have been all along, in America.

Europe’s Loss, America’s Gain
The story of Ayaan Hirsi Ali

DAVID PRYCE-JONES

Those who know the Muslim world have long maintained that the necessary reforms will occur only when women are no longer willing to put up with the injustices that its culture and customs do to them. Comes the hour, comes the woman. Her name is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and she was born in Somalia in 1969. In person she is graceful and soft-spoken, determined but not combative. In the language spoken in Somalia, Ayaan means “lucky,” and her adventures and pitfalls have elements of a fairy tale in which our heroine has the courage and the intellect to take her life into her own hands and set an example for others to follow. For one thing, she is challenging Muslims to find a modern definition of themselves; and for another, she recently brought down the Dutch government.

Somalia is an almost exclusively Sunni Muslim country, though divided into clans and sub-clans constantly at war with one another over “land, women, horses, and water,” as she puts it. In her childhood, the country was in the grip of Mohamed Siad Barre, a typical Third World dictator ruling with the secret police, a self-proclaimed Communist and therefore supported by the Soviet Union. Throughout her childhood, her father was away from home, in exile conspiring with his clan to overthrow Barre. Thanks to this politicking, the family had to move, first to Saudi Arabia, where Ayaan could tell which direction the veiled women were facing only by the pointing of their shoes; then to Ethiopia, and finally to Nairobi in Kenya, where she learned English.

For a good Muslim girl like Ayaan, everything had to follow a preordained course. At the age of five or six, she was strapped down by her grandmother and mother in order for a passing tinsmith or tinker, a male, to circumcise her — in plain words, to mutilate her genitals. This traumatic assault was supposed to make her “pure,” but it is only customary, without Islamic sanction. Staying “pure,” women are perceived as the bearers of the family honor, and husbands have to be chosen for them by their father because they cannot be trusted on their own and might bring disgrace and shame.

At the age of 17, Ayaan was a firm believer in the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement from which political Islam derives. It was, she explains, as if she had a shutter in her mind. Nevertheless Islam’s obsession with codifying sexual conduct was the original spark of her rebellion. Furtively Ayaan agreed to marry a boyfriend, but she spent only a single night with him before he left to study in Moscow, and they never met again. When the news reached her family, the whole episode was treated as though it had never taken place. Such is the hypocrisy that custom enforces. Soon afterward, Ayaan’s father announced with finality that he had found a husband for her, someone from their own clan, who was now making his life in Canada. On her reluctant way to Canada and her wedding, Ayaan stopped over in Germany. Picking up rumors that Holland was a liberal paradise, out of an impulse of self-preservation she fled there.

All that was required in Holland to obtain asylum, almost unimaginable benefits and subsidies, and finally citizenship, was a little lying — white lies about personal status and motivation. “We refugees invariably tell such lies,” Ayaan says, and in print and speech she has often described how she handled this one-way procedure with the authorities. Clan elders from Somalia then tracked her down and held a meeting resembling a trial. If she did not go to Canada and marry the man her father had chosen, she would bring shame on the family and the clan. “The will of the soul,” as she told them in a beautiful phrase, prevented her from going through with an arranged marriage. The die was cast. She was in the West now, and on her own.

Inch by inch, she raised the shutter that her upbringing had fixed in her mind. Working as a translator and interpreter, she had insights into the tragic destinies of Muslims driven from their own countries but not integrated in the West. At Leiden University, she studied political science, reading Spinoza and Bertrand Russell. A prestigious think tank advertised for a researcher, and she obtained the job; her talents were recognized; and the VVD, the liberal party — which Americans and others would call a conservative party — put her on its electoral list. As though by the wave of a wand, she found herself a member of parliament.


Image
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Darren Gygi


How was it possible, she had asked herself, that Holland enjoys peace and security and wealth, while Africa does not? “A man’s honor rests between the legs of his daughters and sisters. This is culture?” she further asked with scorn. Increasingly, Islam came to seem stultified, imposing codes of conduct that encourage ignorance and violence. Declaring herself a free thinker, she became one of the most controversial figures in the country. The Caged Virgin, a collection of her essays, has a dedication Voltaire would approve: “To the spirit of liberty. ” Apostasy from Islam is forbidden on pain of death, as Salman Rushdie and others have learned. Holland has a million or so Muslims, and Islamist extremists there and abroad have ceaselessly threatened to kill Ayaan. For some time now, she has been obliged to live in protected housing, and bodyguards always accompany her.

In 2004, she made a short film, entitled Submission, with Theo van Gogh, great-great-nephew of the artist, as producer. The film’s subject is the brutal treatment of women in Islam; and its emotional charge derives from her own experiences. Passages from the Koran were projected onto the body of an abused and semi-naked woman. Islamists were quick to incite a scandal, and this precipitated one of the more dreadful of the many recent jihadist horrors. Openly on a street in Amsterdam, a young man of Moroccan origins butchered van Gogh, who had time only to carry the liberal Dutch mode to tragic absurdity by pleading, “Can’t we talk about this?” Brought to trial, and condemned to life imprisonment, the murderer said that he would kill all over again if he had the chance. Ayaan was obviously next on the jihadists’ list.

At which point, Rita Verdonk, minister for integration and immigration, and a VVD-er as well, rehearsed what was an open secret when she accused Ayaan of telling lies to the immigration authorities, and revoked her citizenship, parliamentary immunity notwithstanding. After the van Gogh murder, Ms. Verdonk had arranged the deportation of thousands of illegal immigrants. An ambitious politician, perhaps she believed that she was displaying bureaucratic zeal and impartiality, but her action against Ayaan suggested punishment for upsetting relations between the Dutch and the Muslims in their midst. The scandal immediately changed direction. Ms. Verdonk was depriving the country of an internationally recognized champion of integration and covering it with ridicule. The governing coalition fell apart, and later in the year there will be elections. The Dutch government, like the Spanish government before it, was brought down essentially by the consequences of Islamist terror, and Ayaan is in the eye of the storm.

On a visit to London, she retains her bodyguards, but seems as calm and collected as ever. Her father lives in the city, but refuses all contact with her. In spite of attending an American college in his younger days, he is apparently shackled to Islamic and tribal codes. Her mother, lonely and embittered, lives in the desert region of northern Somalia, and Ayaan says, “Hers is the saddest of sad lives.” For Ayaan, a return to Somalia would be tantamount to suicide. Al-Ittihad, an Islamist movement akin to al-Qaeda or the Taliban, is taking power at gunpoint, and she foresees nothing but violence and war. “The country is torn apart.” Somalian piracy in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean is a growing menace to international shipping. The only way to prevent and cure these Third World self-inflicted injuries, Ayaan says, is Western intervention. She further says that the colonial powers left before people were ready to rule themselves, in Somalia as in Iraq and elsewhere. To be able to reach such a conclusion proves that hers is a mind without even the most residual of shutters.

She is now leaving for Washington, to take up an invitation to work at the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think tank. But did she change things in Holland? “Oh yes. I took away the illusion that only white people are capable of racism.” Beyond that, she exposed the extreme weakness of what others have called the continent’s “civilizational awareness.” Will Muslim men ever consent to treat women as equals? “That will take a long time and much bloodshed. There is good and evil in human beings, and Islam gives justification to cultivate evil.”

Ayaan’s extraordinary career proves that those born into Islam are able not just to contribute to the modern world but to illuminate it. Moral purpose and intellectual curiosity like hers offer a way out of the ever-growing crisis of Muslim alienation and separation. While in Washington, Ayaan will no doubt be productive. She proposes to write a book in which the Prophet Muhammad engages in Socratic dialogues with John Stuart Mill, Karl Popper, and Friedrich Hayek. The story is familiar: Europe’s loss is America’s gain.

Mr. Pryce-Jones, an NR senior editor, is the author, most recently, of Betrayal: France, the Jews, and the Arabs, forthcoming from Encounter.

http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/? ... BjMzUwMjc=
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:47 pm

Pryce-Jones wrote:Those who know the Muslim world have long maintained that the necessary reforms will occur only when women are no longer willing to put up with the injustices that its culture and customs do to them.
The recent thread on Osama's worst nightmare, and the book Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, and the World Bank's micro-loan program have convinced me that Pryce-Jones' statement is absolutely true. I heard an interview recently with a westernized American Muslim woman. Her take on it was that because Islam didn't really treat women as important social beings, they could accomplish reforms under the radar. I hope it's true.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

mourningstar
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by mourningstar » Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:31 pm

thing is, Hirsi ali is an atheist, not only that, she's is a head-strong activist. That's the real reason she left The Netherlands, She says what she wants, disturbs the peace and then leaves when she don't get what she wants.

i don't like her at all. I hope you take good care of her :lol: . I won't miss her a bit.
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:38 pm

mourningstar wrote:i don't like her at all. I hope you take good care of her :lol: . I won't miss her a bit.
:lol: That's the way most of the folks left behind think of the ones who leave. That's okay. We're all happy now. :wink:
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

jack stowaway
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:17 pm

Post by jack stowaway » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:22 pm

Corlyss,

Good call re. thread title. And an appropriate time to bring it back up.
“Oh yes. I took away the illusion that only white people are capable of racism.” Beyond that, she exposed the extreme weakness of what others have called the continent’s “civilizational awareness.”
I am a firm believer in Samuel Huntingdon's formulation of a liberal society protected by a conservative ring of steel. The pressing problem for the West is that the protective ring was never intended to defend against a threat from within. But loss of belief ('civilisational awareness') in the Western heritage by those upon whom the onus should fall to articulate and assert that heritage, coupled with the social fragmentation caused by multiculturalism and mass migration represents a Trojan Horse for Western liberal culture.

The anxiety for tolerance has led to a situation where the most primitive and maladaptive elements of Third World cultures are lauded as somehow equal to the best of Western civilisation. Islam, in particular, is falsely represented as a foundation of compassionate enlightenment while the indispensible and magnificent contributions to humanity of the West are correspondingly demoted in order to provide balance.

Mark Steyn has spoken of the 'moral squeamishness' of the West in condemming barbaric cultural practices and asserting the superiority of Western values. Why should the next generation defend liberal values and social democracy when they learn --in school and from the media-- that these things are indefensible? They hear loud voices constantly proclaiming the superiority of Islam but no voices raised in support of their own culture.

Like it or not, the West is engaged in an ideological war with extremist Islam. In the end, this is a war that can only be won in the hearts and minds of people. When enough people are convinced that extremist Islam has nothing to offer beyond nihilistic terror then support for that hateful ideology will fade away.

But in this crucial battle for ideas the West has effectively disarmed itself through fear of political correctness and a lack of conviction of the value of what it is they are defending. Our enemies know no such restraint. As Yeats prophesised: 'The best lack all convictions, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.'

Huntingdon called for a military culture steeped in sober realism. We now need our universities and intelligensia to engage the enemy with the same awareness of what is at stake. They could do a lot worse than start with a precise formulation of what we are defending and why it is worth any sacrifice.

lmpower
Posts: 877
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 2:18 pm
Location: Twentynine Palms, California

Post by lmpower » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:43 pm

Europe is the greatest civilization the world has ever known, and I mourn its demise.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest