Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In Dutch

If you want to skip this New York Times piece about Dutch identity and Muslims in the Netherlands, here's a synopsis: multiculturalism good; Muslim immigrants on the whole really good, but victims of Dutch hostility; Geert Wilders really bad because he's "racist" and "a pig" and wants to deport all Muslims (actually, he has said that those who embrace Dutch values are welcome to stay). Here's a favorite bit--the thoughts of Ahmed Marcouch, "son of an illiterate Moroccan immigrant and now a Labor member of Parliament":
Muslims in Europe are not going to leave, Mr. Marcouch said. Pointing to the Arab Spring, he said: “Muslims need to reach out to the others and say, ‘Freedom is our common value, and we must all fight for it and defend it.’ ”       
Pointing to the Arab Spring, freedom's just another word for sharia.

Update: From Mark Steyn's After America:
When the subject of a fast Islamizing Europe first arose in the Oughts, sophisticates protested that one shouldn't "generalize" about Muslims. And it was true that, if you took a stamp-collector's approach to immigration issues, there were many fascinating differences:  the French blamed difficulties with their Muslim population on the bitter legacy of colonialism; whereas Germans blamed theirs on a lack of colonial experience at dealing with these exotic chappies. And, if you were a small, densely populated nation like the Netherlands, the difficulties of Islam were just the usual urban/rural frictions that occur when people from the countryside--in this case, the Moroccan countryside--move to the cities. It was the consequence of your urban planning, or your colonialism, or your wealth, or just plain you. But if you were in some decrepit housing project on the edge of almost any Continental city from Malmö to Marseilles, it made little difference in practice. "If you understand how immigration, Islam and native European culture interact in any western European country," wrote Christopher Caldwell, "you can predict roughly how they will interact in any other--no matter what its national character, no matter whether it conquered an empire, no matter what its role in World War II, and no matter what the provenance of its Muslim immigrants."

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