Culture War Hits Europe

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Adam's Apple, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    A CULTURE WAR HITS EUROPE
    Froma Harrop, The Providence Journal
    November 15, 2004

    The murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh has cut yards off the fuse on Europe’s culture war. And we mean war—with shooting and bombing. Boy, would the Europeans love to trade their culture war for ours.

    A gang of Muslim radicals gunned van Gogh down in the streets of Amsterdam, then slit his throat. The killers were angry over a film he had made about abused Muslim women. Van Gogh was a distant relative of artist Vincent van Gogh.

    The Netherlands is a place where marijuana sells openly. And so does sex. Free speech is a given. It is everything Muslim radicals abhor.

    The Dutch government had already tightened its immigration policies. And the van Gogh murder has cleared away the marijuana haze surrounding left-wingers who thought kindness would cool the hotheads. Muslims now account for 6 percent of the country’s population. The Dutch have no choice but to root out the misfits and forcefully integrate the rest. This will not come naturally to the land of utmost tolerance. In the meantime, it’s going to be war in Europe.

    An American myth holds that France has meekly avoided the war on terror. Nothing could be further from the truth. France has aggressively pounced on suspected terrorists and abridged their civil liberties in ways that John Ashcroft could only envy. When France passed a law forbidding girls to wear Islamic headscarves to public schools, Osama bin Laden’s deputy issued a string of bloodcurdling threats. The law stayed. Militants holding two French journalists hostage in Iraq offered to release them if France gave up the headscarf ban. France refused.

    Spain has awakened to its own horrible reality. The terrorist bombings near Madrid last March killed 200 commuters. At first the attacks seemed narrowly aimed at scaring the electorate into voting their pro-Iraq war leaders out of office. That was accomplished, and Spain withdrew its troops from Iraq. Weeks later, similar bombs were found on Spain’s train tracks.

    The Dutch are scared stiff. And so are immigrants who try to fit in. Bodyguards now surround Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born member of the Dutch parliament who has criticized fellow Muslims for not adopting European ways. Van Gogh himself believed that a fifth column of Islamic radicals had infiltrated the immigrant masses.

    Many in the American media haven’t a clue. They apply the American experience to Europe. U.S. immigration comes with its own set of problems, but assimilation is not among them. Immigrants to the U.S. tend to melt easily into the culture. A recent PBS documentary on Muslim-Dutch tensions totally missed this point. Digging into the bag of American immigration clichés, it painted Europe’s challenge as “Welcoming the beliefs and traditions of newcomers while protecting freedom and equality for all.”

    Well, what do you do when the beliefs and traditions of newcomers oppose the freedom and equality of others? A New York Times editorial says the Dutch people’s problem is not Muslim immigration “But a failure to plan for a smoother transition to a more diverse society.”

    What exactly have the Dutch done wrong? Almost 50 percent of the population in their second biggest city, Rotterdam, are from other countries. Immigrants to the Netherlands get jobs, free health care, and education. Should the Dutch shut down filmmakers who say women shouldn’t be beaten?

    The Dutch don’t have to apologize to anyone. They and other Europeans have some ugly choices on the agenda, and no option but to make them. Theirs is the culture war from hell.
     
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  2. Tintin
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    Sure we have alot of problems here with the Arabs/muslims, but to say that we're heading for war is a bit off the mark, to say the least! Alot of the natives hate them - they're the least liked minority in most European countries - resulting in many votes for anti-immigrant parties. And they're feeling excluded from society...especially the younger generations are causing problems.

    I'd say, kick out the extremists, criminals, illegals, etc... and those that adapt to our society can stay. And no more muslims in, period!

    The thing this article doesn't say is that the problems we're having with the arabs are mostly not about religion (not many of the young ones choose to be strictly religious) but about criminality. Especially street crime like mugging, robberies, drugs, gangs...much like the problems you have in your inner-cities or getthos (or wathever you call it...)

    Strange enough most of the little Arabs causing trouble here are the ones that do adapt a 'western' lifestyle. They drink alcohol, do drugs, chase girls, wear American style of clothing (baseball caps, jeans, basket shoes...) and listen to preferably hip-hop or R'n'B. Unfortunatly alot of them don't have a job, so they go out stealing or dealing.

    I can say the extremists are a small minority, but the police/secret services are keeping a close eye on them and i hope they'll get even thougher on them.
     
  3. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Thanks for your input on this news story. The Dutch are wise to try to solve this problem in its initial stage, while it is still considered criminal activity rather than terrorist.
     

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