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Old 11-10-2004, 03:35 PM   #1
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The New Front Lines In The Cultural Battle?

For Dutch, anger battles with tolerance

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The public debate over how conservative Islam fits into Europe's most tolerant, liberal society had already become a no-holds-barred affair before the killing of van Gogh, who had publicly and repeatedly used epithets against Muslims. But his killing has now polarized the country, giving the rest of Europe a disturbing glimpse of what may be in store if relations with the continent's growing immigrant communities are not managed more adeptly.

The anger is such that for the second time in two days an Islamic elementary school was attacked Tuesday, this time in Uden, part of what Dutch authorities fear are reprisals after van Gogh's killing, The Associated Press reported. The authorities said that Muslim sites had been the target of a half-dozen attacks in the past week, The AP reported.

In apparent retaliation, arsonists attempted to burn down Protestant churches in Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amersfoort, the news service quoted the police as saying.

The attacks have scratched the patina of tolerance on which the Dutch have long prided themselves, particularly here in their principal city, where the scent of hashish trails in the air, prostitutes beckon from storefront brothels and Hell's Angels live side by side with Hare Krishnas. But many Dutch now say that for years that tradition of tolerance suppressed an open debate about the challenges of integrating conservative Muslims.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:16 PM   #2
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Damn. This is scary.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:23 PM   #3
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The question becomes is tollerant Europe able to tollerate intollerant Islamism. Allready in France there are some 300 places where Law Enforcement simply will not go, this is a demographic time bomb and I fear for all parties when it goes off.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:29 PM   #4
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But many Dutch now say that for years that tradition of tolerance suppressed an open debate about the challenges of integrating conservative Muslims.
The integration part of the problem is interesting though. The guy who killed Van Gogh was born here, spoke perfect Dutch, had a good education and even used to be a very active charity worker. Somewhere along the way he derailed. This is in my opinion the biggest problem; the so-called second generation immigrants who are born here are torn between their traditional (though not radical) home situation and the liberal outside world. They’re very susceptible to extremism like most people who feel they don’t belong anywhere.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:32 PM   #5
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Is it Islamism, or people who quietly and unobtrusively practice the Islamic religion? I'm afraid a distinction isn't being drawn here. The Dutch have been priding themselves on their tolerant culture for centuries, and deservedly so. They were the first country in Europe to officially grant asylum to the Jews. Jews could go there and not have to worry about being harrassed before they could do so in any other European country.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:32 PM   #6
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The question becomes is tollerant Europe able to tollerate intollerant Islamism.
I agree partially, the question is how to mobilize the 90% of the European muslimpolulation who are of good will to take a stand against intollerant Islamism. The changes will for a large part have to come from the inside.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:34 PM   #7
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I saw the Vlaams Blok was labelled racist (with some cause I might add) in the newspaper, is that an example of free speech being stifeled in the name of multiculturalism. What immigration policy does the Netherlands hold and are there serious moves to tighten it?

I agree that any true change has to come from within the Muslim population, but is there not a danger inherent in allowing more new migrants into the country when the proper integration is not entirely effective.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:39 PM   #8
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Originally posted by DrTeeth
I agree partially, the question is how to mobilize the 90% of the European muslimpolulation who are of good will to take a stand against intollerant Islamism. The changes will for a large part have to come from the inside.
This is the essential key world wide. It will be change, however, that must come from within.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:45 PM   #9
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Since Fortuyn put his stamp on Dutch politics the immigration laws have been tightened to the extend where they are the firmest and, dare I say it, one of the most inhumane of Europe. I don’t know that much about the Vlaams Blok as they are Belgian, but I do know that the most important reason they’ve been forbidden is because they were calling on people to discriminate which is against the law. It won’t do much good I guess because they will continue under another name and with a ‘smarter’ program.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:50 PM   #10
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There does seem to be a resurgence of the right in many quarters, the real problems will emerge if there is a major terrorist attack, I do not think that the domestic response will be as measured as that in the US as far as racism and attacks go.
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
There does seem to be a resurgence of the right in many quarters, the real problems will emerge if there is a major terrorist attack, I do not think that the domestic response will be as measured as that in the US as far as racism and attacks go.
Only time will tell, if I were a sleeping cell I would seriously think about putting on my exploding belt and derailing the country even more. We are in a very vulnerable state right now, even though I'd have to say that the behaviour of the government and muslim big cheezes have been encouraging.

Unfortunately there are extremist on both sides who will milk this for all it is worth.
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:44 PM   #12
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According to the news, 40% of the Dutch are against Muslim immigrants now. This murder has served to let intolerance and hate rise.

Surely, in this case terrorists are to blame. Anyway, sometimes I wonder how easily those actions could be manipulated, as the outcome is so predictable. Who, except of extreme Muslims, has an interest in heating up the racial climate? The authorities should always ask those questions too, just to be aware of potential dangers. Obviously, this time a Jihadist committed the crime, but normally a long hate letter with concrete political assumings would seem fishy to me.
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Old 11-11-2004, 04:06 AM   #13
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Originally posted by DrTeeth
Unfortunately there are extremist on both sides who will milk this for all it is worth.
Good grief, the chairman of the LPF (Fortuyn's party) has been arrested for sending a fake threatening letter supposedly signed my a muslim organisation to himself.
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:33 AM   #14
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
This is the essential key world wide. It will be change, however, that must come from within.
And this is also what has been lacking and what the community is admitting now. From the IHT article:
Quote:
Zaari admits that the Muslim community was slow to respond to the fears within Dutch society. "We didn't feel it was our responsibility to bridge the gap, but now, with the murder, the gap has gotten wider," he said. "All of us want to begin a dialogue now, but the language of the political right is too extreme, and that's preventing discussion," he said. "We all have to cool down and be careful what we say."
Couple this with the quote about discussing the success of integration:
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For many years, such criticism of Islam and Islamic customs, even among Dutch extremists, was considered taboo, despite deep frustrations that had built up against conservative Islam in the country.
You can begin to understand the sudden radical reactions (from all sides). While at first you were frowned upon when you criticised anything, now everyone wants to spit out everything. A new balance has to be sought, so hopefully the extremist views that are around at the moment will fade to a more realistic point of view.

Just tolerating and accepting everything isn't integration.

C ya!

Marty
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