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The growth of a dangerous counter culture?

Reader comment on item: [Theo van Gogh and] "Education By Murder" in Holland

Submitted by Asger Laurids (Netherlands), Nov 18, 2004 at 04:35

According to Mr Illian, a former asylum seeker from Teheran who teaches at the Law faculty of Amsterdam University, the ritual slaughter of Theo van Gogh is a sign that the Dutch government underestimated Islamic fundamentalism. Mr. Ilian told a Network-reporter that the killing is unheard of in Dutch history, Protestants and Catholics might have quarreled vehemently about their theological differences in the 19th century, but they never killed eachother.

Critics of European governments maintain that a islamic parallel society has grown in Holland, Germany, Belgium and France. This is due to the laxity of moderate parties, who often sought electoral support and tolerated the spreading of fundamentalist teachings.
Holland has been proud of its record of religious tolerance, the republic was a safehaven for Portugese and Spanish Jews, the so-called 'Maranen', and French Philosophers were able to publish their blasphemous works in the Netherlands.

There is however a darker side to this tolerance. In the first two years of the Second World War, the Dutch economy grew rapidly, German occupation brought financial relief. And about 95 percent of the Jewish population did not return, as they were, with the help of many Dutch officials, transported to the Camps in Poland and Germany.

There has grown an ethnic division in the Netherlands due to failing immigration-policies. The Dutch government has allowed 'gezinshereniging'—a continued process of matchmaking in Turkey and Marocco, virtually changing the demographic nature of the Netherlands and many parts of Europe. Fundamentalists see this, as they do in the Middle East, a strategy that works their way, this development will enhance their cause—they think.

Dutch parties, such as the CDA (the Christian democratic party), the PvdA (Social-democrats) and leftwing parties as Groen-Links and the Socialst party, led by a former Maoist, Mr. Jan Marijnissen, have been ardent supporters of the multi-cultural society. The main philosophy is a cultural relativism; cultures may exist harmoniously, no culture is superior so any man may follow his own suit..
This ideal of equality is a legacy from the Enlightenment, it has entrenched itself in the American constitution. And now Europe experiences a new wave of religious facism, as Joseph Joffe wrote in the german Newspaper Die Zeit. The islamo-fascists hope to undermine culture with 'our relativism'—they have built fundamentalist strongholds within free countries, such as the King Fahd academy in the German Rhineland, an institution financed by the Saudi Royals, a school in which the killing of unbelievers is taught.
The German 'innenminister' of the Rhineland has declined to take action as the German government does fear that the Saudis might retaliate and close all German schools in Saudi-Arabia.

Another problem is the division along ethnic lines -- Turks and Moroccans go their own mosques which are sometimes used as tools of Turkish or Moroccan policies in the Netherlands. Turkish imams are appointed by the Turkish state.

Turkish and Moroccan immigrants have sought their place in Dutch society; some have sought public office successfully. Mr. Aboutalib, an Amsterdam councillor of Moroccan origin is a vociferous critic of fundamentalists. Others do not engage in the heated debate and wait or question the attitude of Dutch.

Years and years Dutch who questioned immigration policies were decreed to be fascists and Nazis or right-wing, such as the murdered Mr. Pim Fortuyn, a former social-democrat who was an admirer of Joop den Uyl, an influential Dutch politician, and the Prime Minister in the seventies, who allegedly discovered the political talent of Mr.Fortuyn.

Another critic of Islam, Mrs. A.Hirshi Ali is also a former social-democrat. Before becoming an MP she was employed by the social democratic party's thinktank. She is living in a secret location as a result of the death threats and the terrorists' fatwah. Just as Mrs. Bousakla, a councillor in Antwerp, of Moroccan origin who received death threats as she is a critic of Islam. And today Dutch news reported that their will be no immediate sequel to the film Shou, shouf habibi, a successful film about Dutch Moroccans, as the filmmakers received signals that there would come violent reactions to mockery. The director declared: he did not want a knife in his belly, like Theo van Gogh.

In the meantime Dutch parties are quarreling about the blasphemy law.

Last Saturday the Dutch justice minister Hein Donner declared he wanted to revitalise old legislation concerning blasphemy, a sign many took as giving into the terrorists. The prime minister visited a mosque in Eindhoven and the pupils of the torched Bedirschool in Uden were invited to the Hague, to visit the Parliament. Many Dutch feel that the Prime Minister is out of tune with reality and should demand harsher measures and a curbing of islamists and stricter immigration policies.

The Government has failed to act upon the situation. It allowed Mr. Kaplan, the Caliphf from Cologne to transfer his money and organization to the Netherlands.

Some politicians even use fundamentalist idiom in their debates, like Mr. Ali Durmus, a lawyer who is councillor of the Party Leefbaar Den Bosch in the South of the Netherlands, who called his critics crusaders and denied substance to Mrs. Irshad Manji's claims.
Or the moderate Mr. Deniz Ozankali, who is a social democratic councillor and chairman of the local mosque, where - according to Dutch intelligence circles - the Grey Wolves and Milli Görus are extremely active.

On the 24the of january 2002 Yoram Stein wrote in the newspaper Trouw: 'He, mr. Haci, is a man that preaches integration and tolerance. Within his own mosque-organization there is fundementalistic and anti-semite propaganda. Just how credible is the director of Milli Görüs, Haci Karacaer? Almost everyone who knows him, is charmed by his qualities as bridge-builder between muslims and nonmuslims. But is he telling the truth about the goals of his ideological movement that he represents? A portrait 'A splendid candidate'. This was how Haci Karacaer was beeing described by Jos de Beus, chairman of the list of candidates for the PvdA (socialist party) in Amsterdam. Karacaer was 'heaven send' for the party, that was looking desperately for a suitable Turkish representative for the capital. The modern director of the North-Netherlands' (moderate) branch of the mosque-umbrella organization Milli Görüs seemed to be the perfect man for the job. Yet his name was not put on the list for the local council elections. Within the PvdA there was a growing concern that this man was not the 'perfect candidate'. Were his tolerant opinions also shared by his supporters, or was this a onemanshow? Afraid of the possible consequences the PvdA would face when associating themselves with the as fundamentalistic known MG, Karacaer disappered from the list. Indeed, according to freelance journalist Mehmet Ülger, Karacaer is not being honest about MG. "If you hear him talk, you think: this man has got good ideas. But he never tells you what is happening in the mosque. He does not tell you what people think and say there. But that is important, not the nice sugar-coated talk of a spokesman." According to Ülger, Karacaer is playing along with the MG-game.' (Trouw)

Mr. Haci is supported by many moderates, even boardmembers of the coc, the emancipation movement of homosexuals who deny any wrongdoing and see mr. Haci as an enlightened example of religious orthodoxy and tolerance.
Is this tolerance not one-sided?

Jews are threatened in Amsterdam and Antwerp; the minister of a Protestant church in Utrecht which was torched earlier, shortly after 9/11, last Sunday complained that he had not had one single phonecall, not from the local authorities, nor from the prime minister or a parliamentarian about the attack. Nothing. As Mr. Illian commented in the newspaper; 15 million people are scared.

Yesterday the self-styled preacher prime minister Balkenende lectured to the European Parliament advocating: multi-culturalism..
Tomorrow, on the 18th of november 2004, the new reported heavy losses for his party in the communal by-elections in the eastern provinces..




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