May 5, 2006

European Dhimmitude

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is evicted by a court ruling in a case brought by her neighbors, who were concerned that her security against the death threats she faces impacted them negatively. The Dutch MP is being persecuted essentially for thought crimes against the religious radicals who are trying to kill her. She has dared to conceive of a global feminism that confronts and opposes the way radical Islam subjugates women. And that has her in very bad favor with European leftists, and that includes certain Courts in The Hague. I think I remember a time when leftists were on the side of the oppressed women when they came up against the religious fundamentalists, but I could be wrong.

Alexandra has a nice post on the Ayaan Hirsi Ali story at her striking blog All Things Beautiful. And that leads to Bryan Maloney's post

Hirsi Ali hasn’t broken any laws; she has criticized the lack of women’s rights under Islam, which under Dutch law she is supposedly free to do. The threats against her for speaking out are for real: Her friend and co-producer on the film Submission, Theo Van Gogh, was brutally murdered by an Islamist on the streets of Amsterdam. But the law that isn’t doing anything about the Islamists issuing fatwas and threatening death evicts Hirsi Ali from her own home because her security problems are too much to bear for her neighbors, citing an abstract violation of private life. It would seem to me that if there’s a violation of one’s private life going on here, it’s being done by the Islamists who are stalking Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Wherever she ends up, they will continue to stalk her. If her new neighbors sue, she will be evicted again.

A quote from Ayaan Hirsi Ali- (via Atlas Shrugs)

“My criticism of the West, especially of liberals, is that they do take freedom for granted,” Ms. Ali responded. She noted that Western Europeans born after World War II are unused to conflict. “They have lost the instinct to recognize that there can be such a thing as an enemy or a threat to freedom, and that’s what I’m witnessing in Europe now,” she stated. “[There is] a pacifist ideology that violence should never be used in any circumstances, and so we should talk and talk and talk. Even when your opponent tells you, ‘I don’t want to talk to you, I want to destroy you,’ the reaction is, ‘Please, let’s talk about the fact that you want to destroy me!’”

And it is that progressive European Left that is prosecuting Oriana Fallaci for her free expression and her fearlessness. It's another thought crimes case demonstrating Europeans' appeasement of their radical Islamic elements, and the illiberal tendencies of the EU statists. Fallaci is reviewed here (sort of) by the wordsmith Mark Steyn. Read it all, but here's a sample:

Over in Sweden, they've been investigating the Grand Mosque of Stockholm. Apparently, it's the one-stop shop for all your jihad needs: you can buy audio cassettes at the mosque encouraging you to become a martyr and sally forth to kill "the brothers of pigs and apes" -- i.e. Jews. So somebody filed a racial-incitement complaint and the coppers started looking into it, and then Sweden's chancellor of justice, Goran Lambertz, stepped in. And Mr. Lambertz decided to close down the investigation on the grounds that, even though the porcine-sibling stuff is "highly degrading," this kind of chit-chat "should be judged differently -- and therefore be regarded as permissible -- because they were used by one side in an ongoing and far-reaching conflict where calls to arms and insults are part of the everyday climate in the rhetoric that surrounds this conflict."

In other words, if you threaten to kill people often enough, it will be seen as part of your vibrant cultural tradition -- and, by definition, we're all cool with that. Celebrate diversity, etc. Our tolerant multicultural society is so tolerant and multicultural we'll tolerate your intolerant uniculturalism. Your antipathy to diversity is just another form of diversity for us to celebrate.

...here Steyn pulls out 19th century bureaucrat William Tayler to make his critique of multiculturalism:

Mr. Tayler, a minor civil servant in Bengal, was a genuine "multiculturalist." That's to say, although he regarded his own culture as superior, he was engaged enough by the ways of others to study the differences between them. By contrast, contemporary multiculturalism absolves one from knowing anything about other cultures as long as one feels warm and fluffy toward them. After all, if it's grossly judgmental to say one culture's better than another, why bother learning about the differences? "Celebrate diversity" with a uniformity of ignorance. Had William Tayler been around when the Islamification of the West got under way and you'd said to him there was a mosque opening down the street, he'd have wanted to know: what kind of mosque? Who's the imam? What branch of Islam? Old-school imperialists could never get away with the feel-good condescension of PC progressives.

Posted by dan at May 5, 2006 11:28 PM