Roger Cohen har en lang artikkel på nett om et Nederland som har våknet opp til en ny realitet etter drapene på Pim Fortuyn og Theo van Gogh. Han har blant annet møtt Ayan Hirsi Ali.
Hirsi Ali, raised partly in Saudi Arabia, talks a lot about individual freedom. The Netherlands is «a man-made society,» an elaborate contract in which citizens enjoy great liberty and pledge to respect the same liberty for others.
Into this elaborate democratic construct came a large group used to a different relationship with government, of fear rather than participation, and unused to individual choice, even in such matters as the selection of a spouse.
«I’m going to say something very controversial now,» she continued. «I think that immigrants from rural areas, most of them, are at a certain phase of civilization that is far behind that of the host countries, like the Netherlands, and because of that, these terrible events can occur.»
She alluded to a famous 17th-century painting in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, of the lynched De Witt brothers, their corpses slashed with a knife, just like van Gogh’s in 2004.
«Can you imagine that?» Hirsi Ali asked, eyes wide. «We know that’s not how we want to live now. And here come people from another world who are living in the period when people are lynched publicly, immigrants who have not thought about individual freedom, and it’s clear to me that the Dutch and the Germans and the French all made this huge mistake, saying, O.K., their kids will go to school, and take on more liberal or secular views, and instead you get Bouyeri.»
Europa er fremdeles «in denial»
The contract involved in becoming Dutch was never spelled out. And one day, the country, like others in Europe, woke up to find strangers in its midst.
«All of Europe is in a state of denial,» she argued. «It thinks these killings will go away, but they will not. The Holy Book says infidels must be destroyed.»
She added: «We should acknowledge that it’s a very violent religion, say, yes, you are right, instead of pretending, like Bush, that this violence is not true Islam. And then we should encourage Muslims to say that they will re2_kommentar Muslims, but reject those verses incompatible with human rights, with a decent coexistence between men and women. We should demand an Islamic Reformation.»
Nok en kommentator truet til taushet
But tensions are high. Jensma, the Handelsblad editor, said a bright Dutch-Moroccan columnist, Hasna El Maroudi, 21, recently had to abandon her column after receiving death threats in relation to a piece portraying Berbers from Morocco’s Rif mountains as backward «importers of goats.»
«It is a typical example of the chilling effect of threats,» he said.
Noe skjedde underveis:
For a moment, the roots of trouble in the Netherlands seemed clear: Pour Islamic immigrants from remote villages into Europe’s most liberal culture and the chances something might go haywire were real, especially once the boom times passed.
«It’s funny,» said Folkert Jensma, the editor-in-chief of the respected Handelsblad daily. «We now want to teach immigrants more about our identity, and we discover that we’re not sure what’s left of it!»
Dutch virtue of tolerance under strain
By Roger Cohen International Herald Tribune
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2005