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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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Whazzup with secular Europe?

Bruce Bawer
Crisis in Europe


My learning curve was steep. When I look back, it’s as if one day the whole business wasn’t even on my radar screen, and the next day I understood that it was the most important issue of our time.

It happened in Amsterdam, a city I flipped for in 1997 and moved to a year later.1 But it wasn’t till 1999, when I lived briefly in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, that I took in the fact that the city was divided into two radically different and almost entirely separate communities. One of them, composed mostly of ethnic Dutchmen, was secular, liberal, and (owing to a very low birthrate) dwindling steadily; the other, composed of immigrant Muslims, lived in tradition-bound, self-segregating enclaves whose autocratic leaders despised democracy and whose population (thanks to high birth and immigration rates) was climbing rapidly. This division, I soon realized, was replicated across Western Europe. Clearly, major social friction—and more—lay down the line.

Yet nobody talked about it. Or wanted to. And when I went to the Amsterdam library in search of information about this subject (the Internet then being far less fecund a resource than it has since become), I found little other than books like The Islamic Threat (1992)—in which the American scholar John L. Esposito insisted that there was no such threat, period—and A Heart Turned East (1997), in which the British writer Adam LeBor celebrated Muslims for bringing to Europe something “intangible, but nonetheless vital,� namely “God and spirituality.�2

To be sure, a few thoughtful observers had made public their concern about Europe’s ongoing transformation—but I didn’t find this out until later, after I’d moved to Oslo. In the 1996 memoir Min Tro, Din Myte (My Faith, Your Myth), Iraqi immigrant Walid al-Kubaisi depicted a Norwegian elite that not only failed to encourage integration but, motivated by a misguided, condescending romanticism about exotic foreigners, actively discouraged it to the point of chiding freethinkers (like al-Kubaisi) for whom part of the appeal of living in the West was its democracy.3 Then there was Unni Wikan, a social anthropologist who, it turned out, had been calling for stronger integration efforts for years. Invited by the Norwegian government to propose a plan for immigrant families, Wikan urged authorities to attend to the civil rights of Muslim women and children, many of whom, she knew, suffered severe abuse in patriarchal homes; yet her recommendations were rejected on the grounds that it would be disrespectful for the government to challenge the authority of Muslim husbands and fathers. And of course there was the Dutch sociologist turned politician Pim Fortuyn, whose book Tegen de islamitisering van onze cultuur (Against the Islamicization of Our Culture) took a position opposed to Esposito’s, arguing that the rise of an illiberal Muslim subculture in his country did indeed threaten democratic values and that the Netherlands was doomed unless it seriously addressed this threat.4 Though Fortuyn’s book had appeared in 1997, I didn’t hear about it, either, until much later.

These were strong voices; but they were also voices in the wilderness, taking on a political, academic, and media establishment that refused to listen. If al-Kubaisi’s arguments were virtually ignored by that establishment, and if Wikan’s proposals were dismissed out of hand, Fortuyn—while finding a receptive audience among ordinary Dutchmen—was demonized by the Dutch elite. Though he was a liberal, committed to freedom and sexual equality, politicians and journalists labeled him a fascist. This systematic misrepresentation led directly to his murder on May 6, 2002, by a Green Party activist whose account of his motives read like a précis of the establishment line on Fortuyn.

The messenger was silenced—but his message lived on in the writings of other heterodox Europeans who, stirred by 9/11, began to find their voices. Legendary Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, for example, responded to 9/11 with The Rage and the Pride, a cri de coeur in which she wrote: “I am very, very, very angry. Angry with a rage which is cold, lucid, rational . . . . I spit in their face.�5 “They� being not only the terrorists but also the European elite, which, she demanded, must shake off its fashionable anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, recognize where the real threat to Western freedom lay, and act to defend that freedom. Civilization, America, freedom, individualism, the West: for Fallaci, all these things are indivisible, and those who defend them are heroes, those who fail to recognize their preciousness are fools, and those who seek to destroy them are a peril not to be taken lightly. In passionate, rambling, highly personal prose, Fallaci, a longtime left-winger, decried her fellow leftists’ affection for Arafat, praised Rudolph Giuliani, condemned Muslims’ treatment of women, and recalled interviewing Pakistani leader Ali Bhutto, who, tearfully telling her of the marriage he was forced into as a child, concluded, “No religion is as oppressive as mine.� Fallaci followed this book with La Forza del Raggione (The Force of Reason), in which she charged that the left, like Islam, “regards itself as kissed by a god of Goodness and Truth. Like Islam it never admits guilt or error. . . . It is no coincidence that ninety-five percent of the Italians who convert to Islam come from the left. . . .�6

much more at http://www.hudsonreview.com/bawerWi06.html
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 05:46 AM
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RE: Whazzup with secular Europe?

No surprise.

People often don't like to face the truth until they have to. Esp when they are fed propoganda to the contrary.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 07:14 AM
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RE: Whazzup with secular Europe?

And we have seen it in France all this year. But the article is quite true, at least in the Netherlands. I have spent a lot of time there and the "us vs. them" mentality is alive and well.

Every time a crime is in the paper - the response is "oh must have been a ...."

I do not have a response on how this could have been avoided. It is easy to say myopia on the "elite" - but the immigrant "enclaves" do not go out of their way either. Makes a self fulfilling prophesy imho
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 08:37 AM
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RE: Whazzup with secular Europe?

Democracy belongs to the people who live in a given country. Why should I give a shit if the Danes are turning Arab? Apparently they were ok with it, or the fuckers wouldn't be there. Fuck this racist, fascist bullshit.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 09:10 AM
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RE: Whazzup with secular Europe?

Quote:
kvining - 4/11/2006 10:37 AM

Democracy belongs to the people who live in a given country. Why should I give a shit if the Danes are turning Arab? Apparently they were ok with it, or the fuckers wouldn't be there. Fuck this racist, fascist bullshit.
Or if the US is turning Latino :-)

Same thread - different politics & faiths ....

President Juan Montoya anyone ????
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 09:19 AM
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RE: Whazzup with secular Europe?

Who cares what his fucking name, race or religion is? If he gets the votes, he wins. You got a problem with that, you got a problem with democracy itself. People come and go. Italy is no longer full of Romans, its full of the descendents of the barbarians who started out as their slaves, same thing we are doing with the Mexicans and the Europeans are doing with the Muslims. It's true everywhere except in those societies historicall ruled by racism, like Japanese and the Germans. It's the flow of history. Those who fight it are called "National Socialists".

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 09:46 AM
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RE: Whazzup with secular Europe?

Quote:
kvining - 4/11/2006 9:37 AM

Democracy belongs to the people who live in a given country. Why should I give a shit if the Danes are turning Arab? Apparently they were ok with it, or the fuckers wouldn't be there. Fuck this racist, fascist bullshit.
Exactly. Why don't you fear mongers just get off your high horse and join the rest of humanity. ALL OF IT! Societies and civilizations change, it is the way that dominates history. Anyone or thing that has tried to control that has failed. Silly suckers are trying to retain a fictional past America that only exists in their mind.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 09:47 AM
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RE: Whazzup with secular Europe?

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430 - 4/11/2006 6:46 AM

No surprise.

People often don't like to face the truth until they have to. Esp when they are fed propoganda to the contrary.
And of course you are man enough to "handle the truth." [xx(]
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 09:49 AM
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RE: Whazzup with secular Europe?

Am I getting zapped by NSA brain zapper or something ?? I ain't seeing where racist or fascist is coming in here ...
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 09:57 AM
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RE: Whazzup with secular Europe?

^^^The article implies that national pride is available only to a certain type of people, not those with different religions, looks, values, etc, who refuse to totally assimilate to what is considered recent historical norms by that society.
The whole piece's tone is to awaken the masses to a new threat they might be ignoring due to their liberal "all inclusive" ways.
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