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Old 12-12-2004, 06:25 PM   #16
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Originally posted by sharky
Well, you also have to take into account WHY they would've attacked the red light district -- try the fact that it is against their religion to be hanging with prostitutes etc. I wouldn't worry so much about the rest of Amsterdam or the Netherlands. Every country has a spot that would be considered a place to attack.

right -- this gets to the heart of the issue. it's the Dutch tolerance (some out of liberalism, some out of sheer pragamatism) that has allowed the co-existence of both conservative Muslims and state regulated prostitutes. now, one wants to destroy the other, though one wouldn't exist without the other.

also, how much of a right do immigrants have to change and alter the societies to which they immigrate? i think we can say that some of this is natural -- i live in a hugely latino area, love being able to get empanadas at 3 am. however, as AW has pointed out, the European birthrate is shrinking while the Muslim birthrate is exploding. at some point -- what will Europe look like? will it still be Europe? is there an essential European character? is European identity non-exclusive enough (like American identity, we're all immigrants to begin with, so it's probably easier for us to absorb new people ... we've also go the space ... and to constantly deal with newness; crazy as things are, we're the essence of dynamism) to be able to absorb very different cultures without too much of a shock to the old?

what is Europe going to do over the next 100 years?
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Old 12-12-2004, 07:32 PM   #17
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I'm not surprised that they targeted the Red Light district. Like Sharky said, they'd find that area highly offensive because of their religion. I would imagine a lot of Muslims in Europe feel torn between two almost polar opposite cultures. They're born and raised in a conservative, strict families and communities in liberal, anything-goes countries. They're taught one thing from their families about women's rights, separation of religion and state, and sexuality, and so on, and then they step out of the house and its an entirely different world. Its got to be confusing and frustrating.

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originally posted by Dutch Partygirl
Now, the third generation is growing up in our country and I've got the feeling that they don't really know where they belong. A lot of the Dutch don't see them as Dutch people and in their own country they're seen as not part of the culture. I think it's one of the reasons they're attracted to extremistic views.
Also, when they visit their parents' home countries they feel they don't belong there either because the people in those countries see them as Europeans, and not Middle Eastern or South Asian. So they don't seem to fit in anywhere. I also read that some of the children of immigrants are disappointed and even angry at their parents for kind of giving up their religion by migrating to a liberal society that doesn't share the same views. And they rebel by joining extremist groups.

I don't think the Netherlands and the rest of Europe should put up with all the extremism though. It is a danger to their society. More and more young Muslims are joining extremist groups, and its scary. They obviously got a lot of hate and anger, which is understandable, but who knows what they might do. These countries need to somehow balance preventing extremism from spreading and also somehow try to make the two groups - the immigrants and the Europeans - accept each other's culture, if that's possible.
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Old 12-12-2004, 07:33 PM   #18
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originally posted by Irvine511
what will Europe look like? will it still be Europe? is there an essential European character? is European identity non-exclusive enough (like American identity, we're all immigrants to begin with, so it's probably easier for us to absorb new people ... we've also go the space ... and to constantly deal with newness; crazy as things are, we're the essence of dynamism) to be able to absorb very different cultures without too much of a shock to the old?

what is Europe going to do over the next 100 years?
Well, the difference between American and European reaction to immigration is that, like you said, all Americans are descendants of immigrants; we are not indigenous here. Europeans, on the other hand, are. Their people have been there for thousands for years, and when they read their history books, they read about their ancestors, not someone else's.

What would become of Europe probably depends on how Muslims handle extremism. They say the majority of Muslims do not agree with it, but it doesn't look like too much action is done. And extremists want to set up Taliban-like states all over Europe. If most Muslims don't want that, they should do something about it.

Another thing to point about why so many young Muslims are joining extremist groups might be because a lot of immigrants are unemployed and live in poor neighborhoods. So, you got a people brought up with values drastically different from the country they were born into, they've been rejected from their country for not belonging, they're living in poverty...it all adds up.
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Old 12-12-2004, 07:44 PM   #19
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Somehow try to make the two groups - the immigrants and the Europeans - accept each other's culture, if that's possible.
See now here is the crux of the issue. Should the native Europeans and their governments be forced to accomidate the practices of immigrants. It seems to me that this is suicidal state enforced multiculturalism where pure acceptance of foreign practices that should have no place in European society become tollerated. I do not think that acceptance of hardline Islamism in Europe is wise and could well be it's own undoing. As it stands these individuals live in Europe therefore they must abide by European laws, failure to do so should be met with arrests and deportations. Seeing the intoduction of trial Sharia courts, allowing the broadcasting Hezbolla propaganda and just allowing ghettos to have formed are examples of this - nobody will admit that there is a problem and it just compounds; this isn't just bad for Europeans it is bad for the genuine innocent people who come there to make a new life only to have the shit their running away from catch up with them. Having waves of immigration can build great societies but only if each group gives leeway and these issues are ironed out - such discussions are no longer taboo but there is a very long way to go before the problems can be adressed in a composed and open manner without cries of racism and Islamophobia.

If the present demographic trends continue Europe in 100 years will be Eurabia, if something big happens in between then that demographic time bomb will be defused and Europe will be a very caucasian continent indeed and if in the near future people start to wake up the the problems within certain circles and the European birthrate rebounds then a stable Europe will continue to exist in peace and prosperity. I am really hoping for number 3 because both 1 and 2 would be catalysts for furthur violence and/or expansion of radical violent activist millitant Islam.

I do not think that poverty is the critical factor in this extremism, I think that conditioning through religious belief is what drives it and I think that that is bad. There will be a big drop in terror when it isn't fostered by some sections of the religious leadership. I think that you could probably nab a few individuals from the Finsbury mosque with religious vilification laws considering the way that they describe Jews in their sermons (check the website). I am not saying that Islam equals terrorism but I am saying that there are some that abuse their positions as religious leaders, as holy men, to incite violence and justify terror and that this problem cannot just be swept under the carpet as a minor contributing factor or excused because its a religious practice or justified because there are Christians out there that want to get rid of Islam.

And for the record for anybody who just read that and does not know me may assume things before writing a response, to clarify;
> I am not religious
> I believe that people have the freedom to worship (or not to worship) whatever way they want as long it does not hurt others or infringe on their rights.
> I do not think that Islam is a religion of peace, nor do I consider Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism or any religion to be any more deserving of that title.
> Maintaining free and secular government is an important function of government - I consider that any action that brings religion into government to be a bad thing.
> I believe in freedom of speech and that inciting violence against others is criminal.
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Old 12-13-2004, 02:00 AM   #20
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I do agree with a lot of the views stated here. I think the key to this issue is, like Popmartijn said, is finding a balance. But that's a difficult thing that could take years. Years in which the hatred will grow (from both sides if you ask me).

It's even difficult to find a balance in freedom of speech. If an Imam here says that homosexuals are the lowest of the low the whole country is shocked and the media is all over it shouting that stuff like that can't be said. If Theo van Gogh says that muslims are goatf*cking idiots than everybody thinks that he should be able to say that. Where do you draw the line? (by the way, I don't agree with both views and to me it's unthinkable that somebody is killed for saying stuff like that).

If you think freedom of speech is the most important thing in a democracy, should you let for instance the extremist right wing have their say?

Sorry, it's a bit of an off topic rant, but it's something that I've been thinking about ever since the murder of Theo van Gogh...
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Old 12-13-2004, 02:25 AM   #21
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What about calling Mohammed a paedophile? Now this is an interesting situation because he did marry Aisha at age 6 and consumate their relationship age 9 so using evidence this is a fact, it may well be unsavoury but I think that having to be silent about the facts in the name of political correctness can be a bad thing.

Now some may well say that Muslims are goatfuckers and some may also say that homosexuals are lower than low, but it is when they start talking about violence upon others that it becomes an issue.
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Old 12-13-2004, 06:14 AM   #22
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In those days marriage took place at a much earlier age for both sexes. I do think marriage ages can be explained by "cultural" differences. All over, marriages were arranged by the parents. There were often political or economic considerations involved. The men had to develop a skill to support a family. Until the twentieth century few, if any, thought that a woman needed this skill. Thus the older marriage age for the man. The age thing is still a major deal in Arab culture, they still want the man to be older and the girl to be really young.
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Old 12-13-2004, 07:36 AM   #23
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i'm still really interested in Europe -- and i'd love to hear some European voices on this question.

Does Europe have to be white and Christian to remain European? Does Europe have an "essential" character, and is this character necessarily defined by difference to the Muslim World (as well as Asia, the US, etc. all countries and continents define themselves, in part, against those to whom they are different)?
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Old 12-13-2004, 07:52 AM   #24
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I don't think Europe has got an essential character, I think all the different countries in Europe have all got their own essential character.

I do think there are a lot of differences between the Muslim world and the 'European' countries. That's the reason for all the problems that are surfacing right now. And to be honest, I don't mind Muslims living here, but I do think that we should be able to contain our own identity.
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Old 12-13-2004, 09:56 AM   #25
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this is true -- when i compare the US to Europe, the US is a much more fluid place. we have no myth of origin, we have no official language, official religion, we have no roots in the soil itself (those that did were killed off, sadly). in 200 years, the US could be Spanish speaking, and it would still be the US. Europe, because of its much longer, deeper, and more violent history where ethnic conflict regularly arose, is much more defined. we can say that someone looks German, or looks Dutch, or looks Italian. much harder to say that someone looks American -- we can say they "dress" american, or that they're "fat like an american," but there are no real racial characteristics.

so we've got a clear idea of what a Dutchman looks like. i think this is changing, since, for example, i wouldn't bat an eyelash at an African or Pakistani (used to denote ethnicity, not citizenship) speaking with a South London accent. but what does this mean for everyone else? what does this mean when you've got a group of immigrants who refuse -- often to violent extremes -- to adapt to, and adopt, the culture to which they are immigrating?

is this going to cause an equal reacton on the part of the European? a resurgance of nationalism?

i've no idea --- but, gosh, am i curious.
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Old 12-13-2004, 12:49 PM   #26
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At first I thought I wouldn't mingle in the discussion, it was all a bit 'too close to home' to step out of it and see the trends that are being set after the recent killing.
But Irvine511 and the rest pose some serious and thoughtful discussions on the issue.

In theory we would be ready for a coup d'etat now here in The Netherlands...
First off, there's a massive disappointment amongst large groups of people about hwo recent events are being handled. We have big issues that seem unsolvable with a chance of them to explode in something disastrous, we have weak -very weak- leadership, and there are some very shady characters waiting in the sideline to step in and 'offer the people hope and salvation'...

Of course I'm only exagerating, but just a little - look at these premises and they could apply for almost any 2nd or 3rd world country that recently dealt with a coup d'etat.

In all seriousness, not much will change in the next few years. The idea was that everything would be different after 9/11, then after the killing of Fortuyn - truth is nothing really happened in way of change etc after those events.
This time around the same people will say they can no longer tolerate it etc. Only diference is, is that opinions will be a bit more harsh and rough than last time as this action was founded, for the first time, in political AND religous hatred.
But it will not change that dramatically, not now and not in 2/3 years time when elections are due.
And perhaps that isn't too bad. Yes we've been tolerant and I hope we will remain tolerant and a safe haven for those that need us in their run for peace, as well as remein tolerant in our bid to legalizing drugs (hard and soft - but don't get me started on that ) and prostitution etc. It's how we live as a society it's what makes us tick and progress. I just hope that people now see that it is OK -and certainly not racist- to question certain groups of people (e.g. fundamentalists and those that will not judge them - be it muslim or christian), especially those people that oppose that progression and see it as their duty to make us want to believe otherwise through acts and not through words...

from amsterdam, with lots of love to ALL
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Old 12-13-2004, 02:24 PM   #27
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and lots of love back to Amsterdam -- one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with one of the world's great art museums. and to paint all of you with a broad brush, most Dutch people i have met are models of decency and manners. and lovely English-speaking skills. and attractive, too.

i think the important thing that was mentioned is the ability to talk about race and ethnicity, and differences, without being racist or ethnocentrist and without calling someone who disagrees with you racist or ethnocentrist. is it racist to burn down a mosque in protest? absolutely. is it racist to question the teachings of a mosque and how those teachings may not be able to function in this particular society? absolutely not.

nuance. it's a good thing!
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Old 12-13-2004, 03:20 PM   #28
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thanks! well, your Hershhorn Museum is pretty nice as well ...I must say I don't remember the DC women that well though...

But you're right. It's something that is only possible since the last couple of weeks, before that it was very black or white to discuss these sort of issues. Though It's not that the whole country just made a swing to the right. It's indeed the continous search for nuance.
And that makes the debate going on here very interesting. Despite recent events, these are some very exciting times to live here and see a society re-inventing their structures.
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Old 12-14-2004, 01:10 AM   #29
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Klappie and Irvine: You are both so right! Couldn't have said it better...
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