For years I have insisted that the resistance to the jihad and Islamic supremacism is not a Left/Right, liberal/conservative issue, but one of the defense of our common civilization — however, hardly anyone on the Left has ever demonstrated any awareness of this, perhaps because they have increasingly discarded the values of that common civilization altogether. However, harsh reality is causing some people to wake up in the Netherlands.
“From the left, a call to end the current Dutch notion of tolerance,” by John Vinocur for the International Herald Tribune, December 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):
AMSTERDAM: Two years ago, the Dutch could quietly congratulate themselves on having brought what seemed to be a fair measure of consensus and reason to the meanest intersection in their national political life: the one where integration of Muslim immigrants crossed Dutch identity.
In the run-up to choosing a new government in 2006, just 24 percent of the voters considered the issue important, and only 4 percent regarded it as the election’s central theme.
What a turnabout, it seemed – and whatever the reason (spent passions, optimism, resignation?), it was a soothing respite for a country whose history of tolerance was the first in 21st-century Europe to clash with the on-street realities of its growing Muslim population.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, the Netherlands had lived through something akin to a populist revolt against accommodating Islamic immigrants led by Pim Fortuyn, who was later murdered; the assassination of the filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, accused of blasphemy by a homegrown Muslim killer; and the bitter departure from the Netherlands of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali woman who became a member of Parliament before being marked for death for her criticism of radical Islam.
Now something fairly remarkable is happening again.
Two weeks ago, the country’s biggest left-wing political grouping, the Labor Party, which has responsibility for integration as a member of the coalition government led by the Christian Democrats, issued a position paper calling for the end of the failed model of Dutch “tolerance.”
It came at the same time Nicolas Sarkozy was making a case in France for greater opportunities for minorities that also contained an admission that the French notion of equality “doesn’t work anymore.”
But there was a difference. If judged on the standard scale of caution in dealing with cultural clashes and Muslims’ obligations to their new homes in Europe, the language of the Dutch position paper and Lilianne Ploumen, Labor’s chairperson, was exceptional.
The paper said: “The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance.”…
That would be a good starting point, but the wind is still largely blowing in the opposite direction.
Read it all.