Thursday, February 03, 2005

Fighting Jihad with Wristbands

We've seen some progress in Iraq this as millions voted and the terrorist were reduced to using a man with Down syndrome as a suicide bomber in one case and faking a hotage with a doll in another. But we shouldn't forget that Iraq is just one battleground in the War Against Jihad.

Europe is another. And the war is no going too well over there. Watch.Winds of has two stories in particular. At the AIDS-exhibition at World Culture Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden, museum officials have removed this painting from the exhibit due to the volume of death threats they received. Reuters downplays the threats. Here's one to read for yourself: ”You and your disgusting work will set the Muslims in Sweden on fire, take a look at Holland! The greatest superpower in the world can't protect you so the question is how will you protect yourself.”

Speaking of Holland, the decline continues. I already wrote about murdered director Theo van Gogh's film Submission was pulled from a Dutch film festival for "safety reasons" (how festive). Meanwhile, an Internet video complete with "Arab song automatic-weapons fire, and a photograph of the intended target," is the latest in a series of threats directed at Dutch MP and Islamic critic Geert Wilders.

"He is an enemy of Islam and he should be beheaded," the narrator of one video clip posted on the Internet says in Arabic, against the crackle of gunfire. Behead him, "and you will earn a place in paradise." Wilders is not a marginal figure either. He is a popular politican who party may win a substantial number of seats in the next election. He travels with six armed bodyguards.

How does the Dutch Prime Minister respond to the proliferation of death threats, including against at least two MPs? He joined a group of Dutch celebrities to promote wearing an orange wristband that says Respect 2 All. I am not kidding. The wristbands are made in Taiwan. He took the first one off the plane.

It's great to wear the orange wristbands but not the flag. Students are forbidden to show the Dutch flag on the bags or clothing at several Dutch schools. One, Cals College, says the Dutch flag could provoke Moroccan students. Another school denies access to students who display the Dutch flag on their bags or clothing, in the interest of the students' security. Mmm, security from whom?

All this sheds light on the other story at Watch which quotes from an article in the Spectator (I read it earlier today but it's been moved to the subscription only site, bastards). The author writes of "broader fears" beyond the immediate threats.

"One recent study suggested that within six years at least three large Dutch cities will have an effective Muslim majority. There’s also the nightmare scenario of the Low Countries’ caliphate. There are enormous and growing Muslim populations in towns and cities dotted along the coast from Lille to Rotterdam — populations which will one day be in the majority."

Are the Dutch, like the Elves in The Lord of the Rings, preparing to fade away, to move into the realm of legend? No one can really think that wearing wristbands, banning the flag or not showing certain films (even to Dutch film-goers) will help integrate Muslims into Dutch society. But all this gives people something to do and it's "nice" and "tolerant" not to provoke people, even as they intimidate you. I guess there's no point in making a fuss as your culture is eroded and replaced.

One day I'll tell my children about an odd, mythical people and the interesting little country they once had. And my children simply won't believe me.

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