Thursday, May 18, 2006

Let Us Make Them All Welcome

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

While you're here, take a look at some of Fjordman's essays on the sidebar (he tells us another one is due shortly). And if you're an ageing hippy, see the Baron's top post, Quick, Flush the Stash!. It's about how "safe" we are when the Coast Guard's SOP seems to be to give plenty of warning to incoming cargo ships that they'll be inspected.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting the beginnings of what could be another sea change for Europe. Remember the 1930’s when so many of Europe’s intelligentsia came to America to escape Fascism? Albert Einstein was one; Karen Horney was another. Our intellectual ranks and our universities were enriched as Europe’s totalitarian rumblings caused the educated ranks to flee to safer shores.

It seems to be happening again. In addition to Hirsi Ali’s imminent departure from the Netherlands, there is a growing feeling that Europe is not safe for those who dissent even a little from the received wisdom of the bureaucratic state, or dare to confront the Muslim taqiyya so prevalent there:

Across Europe, dozens of people are now in hiding or under police protection because of threats from Muslim extremists. Dutch police say politicians reported 121 death threats last year. The number this year will likely be much higher. Geert Wilders, a right-wing member of parliament who also lives in a high-security apartment owned by the state, says he has received 120 menacing emails and letters since January. One of the latest reads: “Oh you cursed infidel! Don’t think you are safe from our mighty organization....It is our wish to kill you by decapitation. Your infidel blood will flow freely on cursed Dutch streets!”


In Germany, several researchers, journalists and members of Parliament receive police protection because of threats by radical Muslims. Hans-Peter Raddatz, an Islamic-studies expert under police protection, recently moved to the U.S.

Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, is also mulling a move to America, at the urging of friends and security contacts. He set off a global storm by publishing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Twelve Danish cartoonists who drew the caricatures are staying out of public for fear of attack.

The article doesn’t mention Paul Belien’s predicament at Brussels Journal. Belgian authorities say he should be tried and jailed for his writings, claiming he inflamed some off-the-wall adolescent to go on a shooting rampage.

Do you really think this kid was reading an online news journal? No, I don’t either. But they have to have someone to blame, just as the Dutch have scapegoated Hirsi Ali.

Well, let’s make them all welcome, shall we? Here in the land of the free and the home of the brave -- despite the ACLU attempts to the contrary -- they would be kindred souls and we would be enriched by having them here.

Hat tip: LGF commenterAbu Maven


FluffResponse said...

Welcome them? Sure. But their exile is not good news.

Europe is the source of much of who we are as a country. Given the nukes in Britain and France, we have even more reason to want the continent to return to its Christian and Enlightenment values and to act as a bulwark against Islam. But what can we expect, when even the Catholic Church asks the Christian faithful to embrace the Muslim immigrants?

The loss of Europe's anti-sharia people reminds me of what happened (for example) to Persian Zoroastrians, who lived with little fear of a few Muslim neighbors, but (as the numbers of Muslims grew) came to live with taunts, then threats, then threats fulfilled. The Zorastrians would move to other villages, only to face the same pressures.

The American immigration laws are likely to allow millions of anyone to come in. (According to the Heritage Foundation, nearly 100 million will come over the next 20 years, if the Senate gets its way.) Given the lack of knowledge about Islam (and the leadership's insistence on describing this political system as benign), the immigration laws will make no attempt to distinguish between the people who flee sharia and those who embrace it.

Does this sound like a recipe for eternal vigilance? Or are the people who are fleeing sharia the new Zoroastrians, joining their kind in new villages where the same pressures will be felt a year or ten in the future?

Sissy Willis said...

While I support Hirsi Ali's courageous stand in the face of Eurabia's creeping dhimmitude, I am also persuaded by Paul Belien' warning of her possible blind spot:

Hirsi Ali is right to oppose the inhumane treatment of women and homosexuals in Muslim societies. But she is wrong where she equates any criticism of feminism and “gayism” by religious people to inhumane treatment at the hands of Muslims . . . But the question must be asked whether, by fighting religion in general through state imposed “measures,” she and other liberal European secularist religion-haters, are not undermining Europe’s capacity to counter Muslim extremism from a healthy Christian foundation.

An unholy comparison

David Foster said...

Twin..."Would you feel the same way about her if you also knew that she despises not only Islam but also Christianity and Judaism? That she is a devout atheist and radical feminist?"

The question isn't how I would "feel" about her; the question is whether I think she has the right to hold and express her beliefs without fear of violence. And yes, I do.

Why do the concepts of free speech, after 200 years of growing acceptance, suddently seem so difficult for many people to understand.

Dymphna said...

Hirsi Ali is not without her blind spots. Seems to me that many disaffected Muslims become atheists. As for the rest of her baggage, she merely adopted the socialist outlook of many, if not most, Europeans.

While it does not take away from her courage, her views add nothing to her wisdom. It will be interesting to see how she makes the "fit" with the American Enterprise Institute. I don't predict a long and happy arrangement...

Evan said...

I have read that more and more Dutch are leaving, not just those well-known people who are explicitly threatened. IIRC they are going to Australia, Canada and Britain rather than the U.S. (perhaps because of the more extensive welfare states), but they are leaving just the same.

An American friend of mine has lived in Amseterdam for years, and the last time I spoke to her she was thinking seriously about leaving the city and country she loves because of the violence in the streets between competing gangs of the flower of Amsterdam youth. An American gay man (whose name escapes me) who had lived there for years got some press attention when he said that he was coming back to the U.S. because he felt safer in Jesusland than in Holland.

David Foster said...

It's noteworthy that both Holland and Belgium declared their neutrality in WWII. It didn't help; they were both invaded and occupied anyhow.

In the case of Belgium, the attempted neutrality had very serious consequences--French military planning had been based on close co-operation with Belgium, which was negated when Leopold III revoked the Franco-Belgian treaty in 1936. "This policy should aim resolutely at keeping us apart from the quarrels of out neighbors," said the King.

Papa Ray said...

Does she get a "path to citizenship"? Does she get in the "Back of the Line"?

Papa Ray

eatyourbeans said...

I got mixed feelings here. True, the Hirsis, Beliens and others are in hiding for crossing Islam and its quislings. That's one thing.

But all these others who just want to cut and run because they're scared? They wouldn't stand and fight for their own countries, why should we give them another?

Like I said, I'm torn here.

eatyourbeans said...

@ NoDhimmitude:

I believe you. It's just hard to see 2500 years of civilization abandoned without firing a shot in its defense.
Do many of the silent Europeans feel like you or are they still asleep?

David Foster said...

twin....the "feel" and "think" distinction wasn't my main point, which was rather the danger of a climate in which people are subjected to death threats because of their opinions.

I agree that we have more than enough leftists here, but we could always use more people with courage.

X said...

I suspect, when exposed to a more libertarian atmosphere, Ms Ali might well begin to shift in the right direction politically. She's lived in a coutnry where the only accepted point of view is the authoritarian Left; the entire place is soaked with leftist thought. It's hardly surprising that she adopted this way of thinking while living there. Without any real alternatives she didn't have a choice. No information apart from left-wing propaganda about the Evil Right, see.

Dymphna said...

Eric Grumbles--

Well said. Why would she need to be "introduced" to a religion? Atheism is in itself a belief and one to be respected. I don't pretend to understand it, as I'm sure my Catholic upbringing would leave her unmoved.

This battle is not about religious belief, it is about pluralism, and *that* I do believe in as a working principle in this country. Otherwise, the Mennonites and the Amish would be long gone. Not to mention the ashram down the road from here.

Pluralism is not the multi-culti "tolerance" which in actuality tolerates very little beyond its own little checklist of acceptable credos.

I will argue with her on any number of points, but I will defend her right to hold those points.

My sense is that she is a courageous woman but I do not find her political leanings congenial to my thinking so I think I'll just wave hello as she passes by.

Dymphna said...

Mark Spittle--

I always admire well-chosen nics. My compliments.

Hypocrisy denotes a lack of congruence between one's words and one's behavior. Ipso, facto, this blog and its writers and contributors are not hypocrites.

If you believe AHA is being booted out of the Netherlands because they suddenly "discovered" she was an illegal immigrant, you haven't been reading Dutch editorials or blogs. Her status has been known for years. She is being booted for the same reason they kicked her out of her apartment: she's a security threat for those around her and it's become an inconvenience.

I suspect that should she continue to be as outspoken about her view of all religion as evil, and her extreme feminism (understandable, given her personal history), she will leave the AEI and find refuge in an academic setting. There her views will be in the mainstream.

I'm not sure what your rant about Michelle Malkin has to do with *illegal* immigration. Your point? Is it that legal immigrants may not comment on the situation? Whom do you permit to speak, Mr. Spittle?

BTW, no surprise, but you missed the point of this post entirely. Not surprising, since you arrived with your own agenda.

Judith said...

"It will be interesting to see how she makes the "fit" with the American Enterprise Institute. I don't predict a long and happy arrangement..."

Why? Is the AEI Christian? Is the AEI mysogynist? Did they extend the invitation without having read any of her writings or listened to her speeches? I think they know what they want and what they are getting.

Also, I would hardly characterize Ali's feminism as "extreme," unless you think denouncing honor killings and wife-beating and forced marriage is extreme. She is just a middle-of-the-road secular liberal, who is unapologetic about classical liberal, Enlightenment values. Which makes her very threatening to some American conservatives as well as European liberals, I guess.

I pointed this out on a previous post, but the Dutch helped create Enlightenment values. The Golden Age of Dutch prosperity owes a lot to the Netherlands welcoming those persecuted by the Spanish inquisition, many of whom had entrepreneurial talents that were not welcome in Spain. This openness helped shift the balance of power from Spain to Holland. This ushered in a vibrant culture of arts and scientific experimentation and philosophy: Erasmus, Leuowenhoek, Spinoza, Rembrandt. In that Holland was similar to the USA in our day: becoming powerful through attracting the most thoughtful venturesome minds and encouraging individual achievement. Those are the values Ali advocates, she has been very explicit about this.

Judith said...

"An American gay man (whose name escapes me) who had lived there for years got some press attention when he said that he was coming back to the U.S. because he felt safer in Jesusland than in Holland."

Bruce Bawer - he just wrote a book about it.

Dymphna said...

Mr. Spittle--

My remark about citizens' arrests was made in high irony as a response to Mexico's laws about the ability of citizens there to apprehend anyone they think is illegal. I was saying "tit for tat." If you had read that remark in its context that might have been comprehensible to you. The whole section in that post was dealing with the incredible inflexibility and hostility of the Mexican govt toward our citizens. Our consulates are recommending that Americans not visit there because of the number of kidnappings of business men and tourists right in broad daylight.

Read the whole post. Or not. But this is the last cherry pick of yours that I'm going to respond to.

We ain't marching to the same drummer, son.

Dymphna said...


AHA rec'd several offers. She turned down the Brookings because they didn't have enough money. She turned down John Hopkins bec. it was too small. She chose to take the AEI offer even though they are not a close philosophical fit. That's why I predict the arrangement will eventually be called off by both sides.

I don't know why the AEI made the offer since I haven't been to their site to look at their reasoning. However, I do know she is very feminist and gay-rights and they are not. That's why I predict she'll end up in academia, as it is more congenial to her thought.

Here is an email from Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal, just before he fled Belgium because he was being threatened with arrest for stating his ideas about the dangers of secularism. He has followed her case closely and agrees the "illegal status" was a mere convenience for the Dutch:

Dear Dymphna,

She proposed to change the Dutch Constitution [re religious schools], but changing the
constitution is not easy and she needed the support of her own party for it, which she did not get.Consequently, there was no vote on the proposal.

As you know, I have been very critical of Hirsi Ali because, owing to her personal experience with Islam, she equated islam with religion and concluded that religion in general is bad, while I believe that it is not religion but secularism that is killing Europe.

The AEI is a conservative think tank. Although I disagree with Hirsi Ali and think that her anti-religious ideas are dangerous and
incompatible with conservatism, there is, however, one thing that has to be said about her: she was/is a very courageous woman. If the ordinary European had just a tiny bit of her courage, we would not be in the mess that we are in today.

Why have the Dutch turned against her? Perhaps because the Islamists
want to kill her and threaten the Dutch with terrorism because of what she says. Hence, what do the Dutch do? They throw her out!

I repeat: I disagree with her, I think her ideas are dangerous, but the mere fact that people want to kill her for her ideas make it a moral duty to take her into your home. If this is the reason why the AEI is taking her in, they should be praised for it.

As for me, I am going abroad for a fortnight, hoping that things will
have calmed down here by the end of May.
Thanks for your support,

As I said before, my disagreement with AHA is what seems to be a blind spot about pluralism -- which includes respect for all the shades of belief and unbelief across the spectrum. AHA has said that religion in and of itself is an evil and should be eliminated, beginning with banning religious schools. She is free to say these things and I am free to disagree with them. Fortunately, our Constitution does not support her understanding of this subject.

That said, I have no quarrel with her being here, though I doubt she will be able to live with less security. There are some very determined people who want her dead. The same ones who killed Theo van Gogh because they couldn't get to her -- as the killer said in court.

temp said...

The Dutch have scapegoated Hirsi Ali.

First they drove her to the highest point of media attention by the liberal VVD party gave her a seat in Parlement before the election three years ago.

The old party garde like Wiegel and Dijkstal who are to blame for the failure of labor participation of the non western premodern newcomers from Muslim countries to a post modern kapitalistic society and turning Holland in a prison industri have wiped the dirt of their hands on her blaming with Islam bashing and polarisation.
The goat was ready to be trown off the klif.

Then the same VVD drives her out of the land by minister Verdonck stripping Ayaan of her Paspoort as a ritual sacrafice for the moloch Eurabia to please it's muslim inhabitant's.

Now the Dutch Cabinet minister Donner
says the do not pay for the cost of protection in Amerika and first they said the Dutch State would protect
her regardless of the place.