Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Cat Born in a Fish Shop is Not a Fish

Below are excerpts from an interview with Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter, posted last Tuesday on Knack.be and translated by our Flemish correspondent VH:

Dewinter: “Being a Moroccan, you have an advantage”

Six years ago they clashed on “De Zevende Dag” [“The Seventh Day”, a political debate program on Belgian TV]. Last week they again were sitting face to face. And this time Filip Dewinter did not walk out, but stayed put for hours for a tough marathon interview with our reporter [Joël De Ceulaer]. This week at eight full pages in Knack.

Here is a brief excerpt.

Your infamous 70-step plan of 1992 [proposals for the immigration problem] was fully adapted to the collective return of immigrants [to their home countries]. What has changed since then in your thinking?

Dewinter: In my thinking nothing has changed, society has changed. Since then we are almost two decades further along. And that means that a large group of people are growing up as second or third generation [of immigrants]. For a large number of them it is an illusion to think that they will ever return. The situation has evolved, but unfortunately not in the positive sense, anyway. Bu our principles have remained the same.

Then apply those to the second and third generation, those who are born here.

Dewinter: Well, I always have been of the opinion that it is a matter of adjusting or returning to…

Hold on a minute. Someone who is born here, where should he return to? Back to the delivery room?

Dewinter: (laughs) No-no-no, don’t make a caricature of it.

But what then?

Dewinter: I think we have to explain much more clearly what we require of those people, and what we do not require of them. And that clarity is not present now, rather the opposite. The principle is simple: a halt to immigration, the doors closed. We cannot sweep the floor while the tap is running. While the family reunifications continue to happen, the number of illegal immigrants increases, the asylum procedures are not adjusted, the number of naturalizations increases and dual nationality is not abolished — well, then all efforts are useless. Then it makes no sense to let people who are here adjust themselves. Thus the mass immigration must stop. And then the real work can begin.

Okay. How must that to be done, be concrete?

Dewinter: Simple. To begin with we abolish dual nationality. We let those people know that there can be only one loyalty: to our community, our values and standards. The second point, this has for once and for all be stated on the record, in a declaration of loyalty, similar to what exists in the United States of America.

Excuse me? Who is born here is not at all obliged to sign anything? As Belgians they have as many rights as you and I.
- - - - - - - - -
Dewinter: But also obligations. And that is what they prefer not to talk about.

Who does not prefer to talk about it?

Dewinter: A large number of the Muslims residing here say so. And ever louder.

But the overwhelming majority of Muslims residing here are living in a simple and neat way, according to the country’s laws.

Dewinter: A vast majority do so, yes. But that majority is totally irrelevant, because they are not in charge. It is the extremists who are pulling the cords of the Islamic societal groups. Moreover, many immigrants are not at all encouraged to integrate, because they live in neighborhoods with only Moroccan shops and mosques and on top of that Quran schools, in some sort of imported souk. What would they have to integrate?

Do you know what I think? If you were born as a Moroccan Belgian, you would be attracted to emancipation policy yourself, you would then also demand equal rights.

Dewinter: But I’m not born Moroccan, I am born a Fleming in Bruges. Let me give another example. If I were moving to Morocco, I’d understand that I need to adjust. And I don’t want that. Therefore I am not moving to Morocco.

But that is not the point. The matter is that the emancipation process of the immigrant community today is as necessary as it has been to the Flemings, the workers and the women, in the twentieth century. They also had to enforce equal rights.

Dewinter: There is a big difference. We are on our home field. On our own ground.

Whoever is born here as a Moroccan Belgian, is also playing on his home field.

Dewinter: That stranger is not playing on his home field. That stranger is a guest here and should behave as a guest. There maybe are some guests who have been here a while longer, but they still are here as guests. And they must realize well…

Who was born here is not here as guest. This is as much their country as it is yours.

Dewinter: I still am of the opinion that a cat that is born in a fish shop has not therefore become a fish — to explain it with an expressive metaphor. It may take a few generations before one is fully assimilated. But that is ultimately the objective: Becoming a Fleming amongst the Flemings. But then we also must do our part of the effort to make this clear to them. And we are not doing that.

Should we not above all make an effort to eliminate discrimination? Just imagine that you were born in Antwerp of Moroccan-Belgian parents…

Dewinter: (sigh) Here we go again.

Then you are already are disadvantaged at birth.

Dewinter: I think that in this society I would have an advantage though, if I were born a Moroccan in Antwerp. There will be immediately a few street corner workers [outreach work] standing ready to guide me personally. I can count on positive discrimination, there is a mayor who pampers me. (loosely) I’m okay for the rest of my life.

That is nonsense, and you know that.

Dewinter: Those people are not the victim of our so-called racist society. Period.

VH adds this background material:

Note on the 70-step plan of 1992

In the “70-point program for solving the immigration problem”, put together by Filip Dewinter in 1992, he stated that Islam was an “anti-Western and intolerant religion”. In Filip Dewinter’s view it had become increasingly obvious during the past several years that there was a “fundamental and irreconcilable antagonism between Islam and Western values”.

Therefore, it was of paramount importance to do everything possible to stop and reverse the expansion of Islam in Belgium, particularly by drastically reducing the number of mosques in the country. Given the fact that mosques served not only as houses of worship but also as community centers, they contributed to the formation of separate ethnic and cultural communities and thus to the “Maghrebization” (megrebijnisering) of whole districts in Belgian cities.

Putting a stop to the construction of new mosques was thus the best way to respond effectively to the formation of ghettoes in the country’s cities. At the same time Dewinter warned of the growing danger stemming form Islamic fundamentalism. As early as 1993, the party [then Vlaams Blok] maintained that fundamentalism was intrinsic to Islam, for a doctrine that “preaches holy war, assassination, forced conversions, oppression of women, slavery, and extermination of ‘infidels’ will automatically lead to what we now call fundamentalism.”

[Quote from: Christina Schori Liang; “Europe for the Europeans: The Foreign and Security Policy of the Populist Radical Right”; Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007; p.40]

Note on the clash between Joël De Ceulaer and Filip Dewinter:

Filip Dewinter was invited to debate on in a political debate program on TV [broadcasted by the VRT] in 2002 with Abou Jajah of the AEL [Arabic European League]. Jajah had stated in an interview with Joël De Ceulaer of Knack, that he wanted the constitution to be changed to accept Arabic as the fourth language (the others being French, Dutch and German).

After the debate, when Filip Dewinter went to sit amongst the audience and off camera, Joël De Ceulaer was extremely rude to Dewinter in a sort of monologue straight in the camera, in a talk afterwards with the anchorman Siegfried Bracke.

Because Dewinter was not allowed an opportunity to defend himself, he left the studio, saying that De Ceulaer misused his position and accusing the VRT of deliberately trying to damage what had been for ten years largest party in Flanders. The audience agreed loudly with Dewinter.

Invited afterwards by the TV broadcaster to a debate on this clash, Dewinter agreed, but De Ceulaer refused.

13 comments:

Czechmade said...

I would not start with dual citizenship, I would start with the term "security risk". The immigrants failed in the loyalty test. They deny the existence/validity of B. statehood and laws Those who did not, might be praised and protected.
Not so those who pledged their loyalty to their clans only or islam.

They decided so freely. If not they should have approached some legal authorities or started their own organizations. Yes - those integrated and enjoying Fleming culture and way of life should do that themselves to themselves.

Approach straight the topic of violence. Who is responsible? The government and the immigrants.

The violence is unacceptable. Point. Ask those of some importance to repond and act. We might create or own reporters to pressure those.

Our task is not to wait for some disaster which might be the pretext to act, we should act in advance.

We should study and discuss similar issues - Lebanon, Israel, Chinese wall, various kingdoms and empires under onslaught of violent folks - creating thus a neutre ground/platform to involve more people. "Fifth column and problem of loayalty" a nice topic for endless lectures.

Czechmade said...

It is not us who should deal with the problem. It is them.

We can only tell them to go, if they do not change radically.

There is an important term, which never occurs in our discussion:

The grey zone. The grey zone decided the fast change in the Soviet block countries except Russia where the change was largely mismanaged in the headquarters.

The grey zone among immigrants will start acting as soon as they feel the pressure/support. You will find suddenly news talents able to voice our demands from among them. It is not important how many we get - it will matter they will speak a very clear language.

Our pressure will create the space for them. Hence the accusations of xenophobic or racists tendencies evaporate through them.

The leftists might start loosing the ground, crumbling, creating a power vacuum - and what next? We - non-leftists - will be caught unprepared to deal with the optimal situation! We should anticipate that and worry about our ability to create all of a sudden a trustworthy administration, policy, public discourse. Suddenly we will miss qualified people. That might be the danger - adding to further complications. Victory might have many forms - not all so fascinating.

Old Atlantic Lighthouse said...

No one had the right to take Western lands from Westerners. One has to look at the facts and the law. The law was it was not valid to take these lands. The facts are then the means used. Dewinter is right. The ethnic cleansing is not so complete and historical that it can't be reversed. There is no legal principle of successful ethnic cleansing, which is what the interviewer is claiming.

Afonso Henriques said...

I didn't like this (De Winter's words and thought). But then, De Winter knows more about Flanders than I do.

"A Cat Born in a Fish Shop is Not a Fish"

And meanwhile, to whom does this apply to?

1) To muslims only?
2) To all Third Worlders?
3) To Spaniards, Russians and other Europeans as well?
4) Does that apply also to Waloons?
5) Off course, the Jews?

-------------------------------

Czechmade, I am all for dual citizenship in fact, I think that one thing is Nationality and another thing is Citizenship. We are all Citizens but not all Citizens are Nationals... a Non National Citizen (or resident) should be treated in different ways than a National Citizen.

And of course, there are the ones I believe one can absorb easily (read, Europeans) than others...

"It is not us who should deal with the problem. It is them."

Sorry mate but it is "us" indeed.
If you aloud some teenagers to party in your home and they suddently start breaking everything, you will have to put them out because *you aloud them in*.

The immigrant's acts are usually normal. What is not normal is our inability to deal with it. And yes, I'm talking of all those horrible things. What is in process is the colonisation of Europe pain and simple, and all those good behaving "ethnics" are colonisers as much as the worst criminals.
Just like XIX century abolitionists in Brazil were as much as colonists as the slave owners and slave hunters;
Just like a good inoffensive Britt born in India was as much a coloniser as the ones who conquered it by the sword.

"The grey zone."

Now you don't make any sense? What is a gray zone in this scenario?
The relativeley, read relatively, Third Worlders free rural areas? Oh wait, maybe it is the good behaving immigrants.
Wait for Prague to be 10% non-European and you will see...

Between, that is what scares me about Eastern Europe (Russia excluded). You have so much to study (The Americas, SE Europe, Lebanon, Ex-Yugoslavia, etc) and, despite you being well oriented and good-hearted, you still are, as a rule, naively in love with "the West" (yes, the body in putrefaction of what was "Europe" in the XIX century). But then again, you are a Czech, and your views are as radically pro-Western as an Eastern Ukrainian or a Latvian will be the opposite...
Add to that the never ending danger of a German and thus E.U. "Western" oriented "Mittel Europa" :) :
-Czechs,
- Poland, Croatia, maybe even Hungary and the Baltic States...

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Afonso, I don't really see your complaint. A cat born in a fish shop isn't a fish; it's a cat. That doesn't mean it can't live there, just that it isn't a fish.

See? The problem with multiculturalism is that it refuses to acknowledge that cats can't become fish... except perhaps via evolution, but that takes at least a couple of generations. ;-)

Czechmade said...

My idea is very simple - they had to deal with their integration willingly themselves. They did not - they failed - ergo let them go.

No Gazas in Europe. Bye, good luck with islam in dar-al-islam.

We are not naive, google "Entropa" in Brussels. Sorry for removing cartoon of mohamed from the map od Denmark last wensday, enjoy Holland.

Afonso Henriques said...

1) A cat will eat the fish in the store whenever he can. So if I were a fish I wouldn't be confortable to have a cat around.
Another better analogy would be with dogs without collar in a porcelain shop. They may come in as long as they are shown "their position" and are "controlled". When we claim that everybody can come in and be part of Nation x American style, we are freeing them from the collar. And of course, that does not make any sense to say that x is this and is not that because y if we not define things properly.

2) "good luck with islam in dar-al-islam." That's the talking!

3) I loved the "offensive to all Europeans" Entropa. It appeared in the news here! I liked the French: "Gréve!". However I don't know how (not) naive is Entropa. Great initiative, though.

Czechmade said...

Entropa - is very naive, we think we cannot fool Brussels or the farmers intellectually toiling around their patropolis. How did you like Britain?

Piggy Infidel said...

Loved this Entropa artwork, would have preferred Britain to be represented something along the lines of (I believe) how Mark Stein describes us becoming ie. "Sudan with fish and chip shops"

Any artists out there who can come up with a stylised version of the map, something to show the state of affairs vis-a- vis Islamification - maybe a famous national figure from each country holding up a white (surrender) flag, written on each flag is the date when Islam becomes a majority ie Britain 2040, Holland 2025 etc (if I remember rightly the tshirts apparently worn by some young Muslims in Sweden with a slogan like "2030 - the year we take over" - a real eye-opener for some if that ever gets onto the front pages of newspapers)

Czechmade said...

I have a T-shirt with 2015 and a carnivorous monstre eating muslims with their mosques during Friday prayers plus HALAL on it.

Afonso Henriques said...

Czechmade, you racist!

And I wondered to buy a shirt with D.Afonso Henriques, his famous sword (who could only be held by him because it was so heavy ten men couldn't lift it up) and the saying:

Reconquista, fizemo-la uma vês, fá-la-emos de novo. (Reconquista, we did it once, we will do it again).

But I figured out it was too politically incorrect.

P.S. - About U.K. I didn't understood that! And Portugal, nice to consider Brazil an ex-colony ;) It's like consider the U.S. as part of the British Comonwealth.

Czechmade said...

Use some archaic words on T-shirts, you can always claim you did not understand.

Those nasty artists did not put UK in "Europe" at all, but claimed it to be some work of a British artist Khalid Asidi...

Afonso Henriques said...

Hm... now it lost the funny.

My favourite was the French one: Raw and simple. Though intelligent.