By Ezra Levant
If you think Amsterdam is the gay capital of Europe, you’re half-right, but 10 years out of date. Today it’s the gay-bashing capital of Europe.
Because Amsterdam isn’t just gay. Now it’s Muslim, too. A million Moroccans and Turks have immigrated to the Netherlands, and sharia law rules the streets.
If you doubt it, then you haven’t been paying attention. Actually, that’s not fair. Gay-bashing is front-page news only when it’s committed by a straight, white male.
The media is terribly uncomfortable writing about gay-bashing by minorities. It’s the same reason why Canadian feminists are so eerily quiet about honour killings of Muslim girls.
According to an “offender study” by the University of Amsterdam, there were 201 reports of anti-gay violence in that city in 2007 — and researchers believe for every reported case there are as many as 25 unreported ones. Two thirds of the predators are Muslim youths.
The violence couldn’t be more brazen. It’s not in the back alleys in the dark, it’s in the heart of the city, often in broad daylight. It’s a direct dare to the Dutch government to show who rules the streets.
In 2008, 10 Muslim youths broke into a fashion show, dragged gay model Michael du Pree off the stage and beat him bloody. Last month, several lesbians were hit by beer bottles thrown at their heads as they marched in a parade of thousands to protest violence against gays. There’s a gay community centre in Amsterdam — you’d think that would be safe. Wrong. It’s a target, with home-invasion style beatings. No one is immune. Last year Hugo Braakhuis, the founder of Amdsterdam’s gay pride parade, was attacked.
In 2005, Chris Crain, former editor of America’s leading gay magazine, Washington Blade, was swarmed by seven Moroccan youths. “I was really surprised,” Crain told reporters at the time. “I felt comfortable because it is San Francisco times 10.” Or it used to be.
This didn’t happen all at once. Ten years ago Pim Fortuyn rang the alarm. “I don’t hate Islam,” he said. “I consider it a backward culture.”
He wanted to halt Muslim immigration, at least until those in the country accepted Holland’s liberal values, such as its acceptance of him as an openly gay political leader. “How wonderful that that’s possible. And I’d like to keep it that way.”
Fortuyn was a Marxist professor, a champion of gay rights, women’s rights, liberal drug laws and euthanasia. Yet, because he opposed Muslim immigration, the CBC called him “right wing.”
Fortuyn was assassinated in 2002 by a leftist radical opposed to his views on Islam.
Next came Theo van Gogh, a descendant of artist Vincent van Gogh. He made a movie about Islam’s treatment of women, called Submission.
A 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan named Mohammed Bouyeri shot him eight times and tried to cut his head off. Then Bouyeri stabbed a knife into van Gogh’s chest with a letter threatening Western governments, Jews, and van Gogh’s collaborator, a liberal Muslim named Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Hirsi Ali was placed under police protection, until a judge ordered her out of her safe house. She now lives in the United States. Fortuyn, van Gogh and Hirsi Ali are gone from Holland, but the Moroccans and Turks aren’t.
Now comes Geert Wilders. Wilders is the leader of the Party for Freedom, the third-most popular party in Holland. The party joined the new government coalition in return for immigration cuts and a ban on burkas, the face-covering shrouds worn by some Muslim women.
His ideas are mainstream enough to become government policy. But this week, Wilders stood trial for “hate crimes” for those very same ideas.
Prosecutors say it’s a crime to compare the Qur’an to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, as Wilders has done, and that he has caused too much of the human emotion called hate.
Mohamed Rabbae supports the prosecution. He’s the chairman of the National Moroccan Council. He wants a judge to order Wilders to apologize. “We are for correcting him,” he said.
Rabbae is for a coerced apology and forced political re-education. And the Associated Press calls Rabbae a moderate.
These days, in Holland, unfortunately that’s true.