Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Dutch hero leaves Holland

What a terrible shame about Hirsi Ali, the Dutch legislator who colaborated with Theo van Gogh on "Submission," a film about the terrible treatment of women by Islamic fundamentalists.

For this exercise in free speech, van Gogh, nephew of the famous painter, was murdered in broad daylight on the streets of Amsterdam by an Islamic fundamentalist. Various fatwas and death threats have been issued against Hirsi Ali.

Now Ali has been evicted from her apartment building because neighbors are upset that the terrorist target is hurting their property values!

As I've read "While Europe Slept" by Bruce Bawer, I keep comforting myself with the notion that surely this cannot continue. Surely Europeans will wake up and defend their way of life from the religious fanatics who openly vow to destroy it. Apparently, not yet.

From today's Wall Street Journal:
In April, his think tank, the Scientific Council for Government Policy, issued a report that found no fundamental clash between Islamic and Western values and condemned a "climate of confrontation and stereotypical thinking." The Council, which helps set Dutch policy, urged Holland and other European countries to reach out to Islamist groups abroad that have been involved in terrorism, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

"They're just sticking their heads in the sand," responds Ms. Hirsi Ali, who dismisses the report as a "political pamphlet to suit the dreams of people who want to believe there is not a problem."

Also in the Journal article:
"Once this lady leaves, the problem is no longer there," says Ger Verhagen, a retired executive who owns a place two floors above the hunted politician. He says he has nothing personal against Ms. Hirsi Ali. But along with other residents, he wants to banish the fears stirred by the proximity of Holland's most acid -- and most frequently threatened -- critic of Islam.
Wrongo, Ger. The problem is there, and it's just beginning.