Dutch Courage, Liberal Cowardice

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As a parable on the cluelessness of the liberal commentariat about the threat of Islamic extremism, Slate magazine’s feature “explaining” why the Netherlands is supposedly more “anti-Islam” than other nations is hard to top.

The idea that Holland is uniquely given to “Muslim bashing,” as Slate’s headline writers put it, is itself highly suspect. Even the most of prominent of the Dutch Muslim “bashers,” Dutch politician and provocateur Geert Wilders, who went on trial this week for the ludicrous charge of insulting Islam and inciting discrimination against Muslims, has taken pains to differentiate between Islam as a militant ideology and its many peaceful Muslim followers.

It is also worth noting that much of what the popular press has derided as “Muslim bashing” is actually a well-warranted anxiety on the part of the Dutch populace about the increasingly restive, radicalized, and unassimilated Muslim immigrants in their midst. From the killing of libertarian politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002, to the 2004 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a Dutch-Moroccan Islamist, to the upsurge in violent attacks on gays in Amsterdam by Moroccan street thugs, to the death threats and daily harassment that have driven critics of radical Islam like Ayaan Hirsi Ali from the country, the Dutch have become acutely aware of the wages of the country’s immigration policy from the Muslim world. At the same time, the official appeasement of Islamic sensibilities, represented most recently by the Wilders trial, and the crisis of national confidence exemplified by a Dutch justice minister’s notorious assertion that Islamic Shari’a would be welcome in the Netherlands so long as it was democratically introduced, have underscored just how attenuated the country’s defenses against Muslim religious radicalism have become.

But even if one accepts the strained premise that the Netherlands is singularly and unreasonably antagonistic toward Islam, Slate’s explanations for that phenomenon are so utterly divorced from reality that it’s hard to see them as evidence of anything except the intellectual cowardice of the liberal pundit class.

Chief among Slate’s explanations for the intensity of Dutch Islamophobia is the country’s size. In this account, it is the Netherlands’ population density that, combined with a high immigration rate from Muslim countries, has amplified anti-immigrant sentiment in a way that has not happened in other countries. That observation might be interesting if it were true. But it ignores the demonstrable fact that the Netherlands is far from alone in its concerns about its resident Muslim population.

France, Britain and Germany are perhaps the best known examples of European countries struggling to cope with their Muslim minorities, but they are hardly the only ones. Sweden, where one-in-seven residents is now foreign-born, has in recent years witnessed many of the same problems stemming from its unassimilated Muslim community. It has responded by making its immigration policies more restrictive and, just last month, voting into parliament an anti-Islam party for the first time. Policies to limit Muslim immigration have also been passed in Denmark, where the publication of the Mohammed cartoons by Copenhagen-based paper Jyllands Posten tragically demonstrated the gulf in values between the Western and the Islamic world. Norway, where Muslim attacks on Jews have become more common, has similarly struggled to reconcile its tolerant culture with Islam, and the creeping Islamization of the country is now a perennial election issue. Insofar as Islam is now a major political issue, much of Europe is literally going Dutch.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    Jacob Laksin is dead on. But the Left's fear of confrontation with Islam only partly explains their all-too-eager accommodation and appeasement. There is greater fear than the fear of the barbarian….it is the fear of self-repudiation.

    The Left is terrified of losing the political argument here at home and seeing its cultural hegemony wither in the face of uncomfortable truths. They would rather midwife religious fascism than lose the universities, the newsrooms, and the national narrative to their hated domestic opponents.

    In short, the Left would rather see our entire civilization subsumed to the totalitarian "other"…than to acknowledge for one moment that a mere idea, multiculturalism, may have been a mistake.

    • aspacia

      Nope, they are terrified of losing their heads.

    • Alby

      Exactly!

    • stephencuz

      Right on Chez! This harkens back to Justice Breyer saying "you cannot yell fire in a theater" when talking about the small time Pastor in FL, proposed book burning. Someone pointed out that you most certainly can yell Fire! ~ When the place IS ON FIRE! Well, pointing out the vile, totalitarian dictates of the Islamic system, including the tenets of Jihad and Sharia is in like manner, a public service and not the evil act they so desperately try to stifle. People like you, Hugh, Wilders, Spencer and Geller, et al are the true good in all this and ought to be celebrated rather than criticized.

      • Chezwick_Mac

        Appreciate it, Steve. Don't forget David Horowitz…who has inspired so many for so long with his wisdom and his vision.

      • wsk

        Actually ( fire in a theater) comment was Henry Cabot Lodge or Oliver Wendel Holmes.

    • Rob

      Chezwick hits the nail right on the head.

      In History, we recently read about William Penn similarly allowing "everybody" to settle in Pennsylvania with the intention of having freedom. The idea was so successful that it defeated itself, as the swarm of incoming settlers eliminated voting privileges for Jews and non-believers.

    • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

      It is not only that the Lefts hate to acknowledge that their

      "multi-minus-own-culturalism" may have been a mistake.

      And what about "as though" a conservative Glen Beck, daring to call Wilders a fascist? Or Ron Paul, who sees no harm of Islam in America and the 9/11 mosque in New York, and who sincerely believes as though the 1st Amendment legitimizes Islam in America.

      Traitors and collaborators ushering Islam into the West and Christendom comprise a trend covering the entire political spectrum.

      • Chezwick_Mac

        Only partially true, Alex. Yes, collaborators can indeed be found on both sides of the political spectrum. But only on the Center/Right will you find the voices of the anti-Jihad. There is nary a Liberal/Lefty I can think of who has openly voiced opposition to the Islamization of the West.

        Meanwhile, on the Right, we have Tom Tancredo, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and a slew of other Republicans who have issued public warnings against Islamization…as well as David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, Dennis Prager and many other conservative intellectuals doing all the heavy-lifting for the anti-Jihad.

  • andres de alamaya

    If they are determined to commit cultural suicide, what can the rest of the world do? If the Netherlands ever adopt Sharia then the rest of Europe will need to practice apartheid, surround the country with a 50 ft wall and allow no traffic in or out.

  • Michael

    The Netherlands is futher concrete proof that …"An addition of Muslims to a Nation is a subtraction in civilization"
    American Christian Infidel
    Michael Canzano

  • jacob

    IT SHOULD BE TOLD TO THE ANNOITED ONE OF THE WHITE HOUSE

  • George

    It is no wonder that Geert Wilders is hated by the liberal elite and media. He is certainly not 'politically correct', but has the temerity to speak plainly about what he sees. The problem with liberalism (well, one of them) is that it wants to apply cultural marxism to every aspect of life including religion. All religions are not equally valid. Tolerance has its limitations. Sooner or later the Dutch have discovered, is that they are not tolerated by the very 'guests' to whom they have extended their tolerance.

    • tanstaafl

      "All religions are not equally valid" – Upon careful study, I'm not sure that Islam even qualifies as a religion.

  • Michael

    I've seen signs in Britian carried by Islamics saying "Behead those who insult Islam " and "KIll those who insult Islam" and Islamics killed Fortuyn and Van Gogh . They forced Hirsi to seek refuge out of the country. Wasn't it Islamics who bombed the World Trade Center? Didn't they riot because of the cartoons? What if Christians immulated Islamic behavior and killed the "Christ Pissed" artist , bombed CAIR , carried signs advocating the beheading and murder of anyone insulting Christianity ? My guess is th MSM would have 24/7 loop videos running.
    Should the Netherlands convict Wilders it is convicting itself of denial and insanity.
    France is tired of their non assimilating Muslims. Get a clue. Mark Steyn said it best…Embracing Multi Culturism is denying your own culture.
    American Christian Infidel
    Michael Canzano

  • WildJew

    Mr. Laksin wrote: "Dutch politician and provocateur Geert Wilders…." etc.

    Why use a term of opprobrium to describe this courageous man? A provocateur is "a person who provokes trouble, causes dissension, or the like; an agitator."

    • lovezion

      I agree withh you WildJew, why repeat the bad names they give us??? At the same time I feel upset when our organizations keep reproducing the repugnant cartoons against us and Israel. I say, don't reproduce those things, if you want your readers to see them, just refer them to the link. Right???

  • MyObservations

    This reminds me of Martin Niemoller’s famous quote about why no one spoke out against the Nazis: “First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists…. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.” If Islamism continues to grow unabated, we may look back years from now and say: “First they Islamicised the Netherlands, and we did not speak out because we were not Dutch. Then they Islamicised…. Then they tried to Islamicise the United States and there were no free people left to speak out for me."

  • Yephora

    The more Muslims in your midst the more trouble. It couldn't be simpler.

  • RiverFred

    At an average birth rate of 8 per family their goal will succeed in conquering the world. What amazes me is why on earth would anyone believe a mass-murderer, brutal plunderer, sex maniac lusting for power and wealth whose many revelations were strictly self serving would even consider Muhammad a prophet.
    9-11 Is all I need to know about Muslims and Islam. Support Geert Wilders

    • alvin maldonado

      Wow what an analogy. I could add to that about the pervert of Islam but to you… Salud

    • lovezion

      Hey RiverFred, this line really I loved…along with all the others!

      9-11 IS ALL I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MUSLIMS AND ISLAM. SUPPORT GEERT WILDERS!

  • RiverFred

    Every American should be aware that our smuck president Obama spent millions of tax dollars to immigrate thousandsof Gaza Palestinians (Hamas supporter) to the U.S. They will receive assistance with housing, education, food, etc. I AM PROUD TO BE NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT. VOTE THE BUMS OUT IN NOVEMBER.

    • Isahiah62

      the schmuck G BUSH did it first!!
      both parties have opened the door to many more MUSLIMS

      only HIspanic birthrates will keep USA from being demographically overwhlemed by MUSLIM birthrates (future Jihad, future politicians, future SHARIA)

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    It is not only that the Lefts hate to acknowledge that their

    "multi-minus-own-culturalism" may have been a mistake.

    And what about "as though" a conservative Glen Beck, daring to call Wilders a fascist? Or Ron Paul, who sees no harm of Islam in America and the 9/11 mosque in New York, and who sincerely believes as though the 1st Amendment legitimizes Islam in America.

    Traitors and collaborators ushering Islam into the West and Christendom comprise a trend covering the entire political spectrum.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    With all due respect Mr. Laksin, Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali aren’t criticizing radical Islam, they are criticizing Islam and the Koran. Please keep your facts straight. Now with that said, I agree with everything else you said.

  • Indioviejo

    Geert Wilders is the Hero of our times. In America, our 1st Amendment is constantly under attack by the ACLU and the rest of the liberal establishment, including the Democrat Party. Just recently Rev.Jones, the would-be Koran burner, was pressured to shut up, by Obama, the MSM, Fox NC, and now the Tallahassee Police Dept., is billing him for protecting him from mad muslims I believe we should stand up for freedom even to say offensive things. Who needs a 1st Amendment so as to be politically correct?

  • Stan

    One factor to consider is that the left views Islamic radicalism as a legitimate form of anti-imperialism.

  • houteklomp

    Speaking of apartheid, it is still widely practiced in the 57 states* of the OIC. Women and non-Muslims are treated as second class citizens and have not even close to the rights Muslim men have. When South Africa's apartheid system needed boycotting everybody was falling over each other to jump that bandwagon but now with this apartheid system inspired by the Quran it apparently falls under the catagory of freedom of religion!!!
    I bet you Stalin and Hitler could kick themselves for not thinking of that: turn your ideology into a religion and you can do whatever you like, especially in the US.

    *One of BHO's mistakes was to refer to the US as "the 57 states".

    • houteklomp

      The most urgent question that needs answering and further investigation is: what is the definition of religion in the US? If the US fails to see that Islam is more than just another religion, it might be in for way more trouble than Europe is experiencing right now. The freedoms guaranteed in the US will be taken advantage of to the max by the Islamists. Lawsuits will stifle further critique on Islam and after it is allowed to firmly root it can start with the demolition of the US from within. Europe might seem more vulnerable at the moment, but they still have the option to slam the door shut by altering some laws (not very elegant but will do the trick). I seriously do fear for the US and not in the least because of the current president.

      PS I know that there are tons of lovely muslims that are only interested in the religious side of Islam, but in their ignorance they give the political side more weight and importance than it should have. We need to educate these Muslims about the dangers they have been unaware of for so long.

  • waterwillows

    I don't suppose the Dutch proscutors have bothered to understand or realise that they are trying to convict Wilders for speaking about the facts.
    And if the facts are not allowed as a defense, then how to they propose to convict him? Do they intend to use rumors instead?
    What are the Dutch trying to tell us with their distaste for facts? Do they intend to now round up their scientests in the middle of the night and proscute them for being known dealers of facts?
    Or will they be hounded and discredited because they have offended the people who know the world to be flat? They surely must know that the Dutch prisions are inadquate to incarcerate the large numbers of people who speak in terms of fact.
    I guess the Dutch will just have to build a wall around their country and make sure the entire population is in jail. Something like the Saudis did against women.

  • The Infidel Alliance

    Geert Wilders speaks the hard truth about Islam.

    Another hard truth that we must face is the global intifada that is raging. It is, in actuality, nothing less than THE ISLAMIC WORLD WAR and we should start calling it that.

    THE ISLAMIC WORLD WAR is raging on every continent, against every kind of non-Islamic people, culture and land.

    THE ISLAMIC WORLD WAR is raging against:
    - the Catholics in the Philippines
    - the Buddhists in Thailand
    - the Hindus & Sikhs in India (a particularly savage, centuries old Jihad)
    - the Zoroastrians and Baha'i in Iran
    - the Christians in Pakistan
    - the Jews in Israel (and wherever they live)
    - the Chaldeans in Iraq
    - the Copts in Egypt
    - the Protestants and Catholics in Nigeria
    - the atheists in Europe (current prime target because Israel dare defend themselves while Europe capitulates)
    - cafe patrons in Bali
    - the good people of Australia
    - the Jews in Argentina & Venezuela

    THE ISLAMIC WORLD WAR (CONT'D…)

  • The Infidel Alliance

    THE ISLAMIC WORLD WAR (CONT'D…)

    - schoolchildren in Beslan Russia
    - the Han Chinese in Xinjiang
    - medical doctors in Afghanistan
    - soccer fans in Uganda
    - U.S. Embassies in Nigeria & Tanzania
    - office workers in New York
    - airline passengers everywhere
    - journalists like Daniel Pearl (beheaded)
    - Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia (beheaded)
    - schoolgirls in Afghanistan (attacked with poison gas)
    - homosexuals in Iran (lynched)
    - cinematographers like Theo VanGogh (slaughtered)
    - cartoonists like Lars Vilks (death fatwa)
    - authors like Salman Rushdie (death fatwa)
    - Islamic apostates like Ayaan Hirsi Ali (death fatwa)
    - the formerly Christian French (torched car terrorism)
    - Military recruiting centers in Little Rock (our soldiers murdered)
    - our soldiers in Ft. Hood (slaughtered by a traitor in our own uniform)
    And on, and on, and on…..res ipsa loquitur.

    THE ISLAMIC WORLD WAR

    It's the hard truth.

    ~ The Infidel Alliance

  • dan

    I'm basically a Glen Beck supporter but he's wrong in his attempt to paint Geert Wliders as a Fascist.If a people are not willing to assimilate into their adopted country ,they should get the hell out.The native people of any country ought to have the right to chose their mores,culture,and political views without having them forced on them by an outside force hell-bent on desroying them.