Since February 2009 , this blog and Huib's 3 other Euroblogs are together at:

- In Europa Zu Hause [DE]
- L'Europe Chez Soi [FR]
- At Home in Europe [EN]
- In Europa Thuis [NL]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hitchens has been (too) well served by the Dutch Right

A while before the latest Hirsi Ali hype broke loose, Christopher Hitchens started his wooing of the Caged Virgin in a weekly "Slate" Column. I commented on that on this blog. Comments that had some echo in different places in the Blogosphere.
My point of view was, and is, that Hitchens was preparing a new use for the 'Moor' ('The Moor has done his job, the Moor may dispose!' - Fr. Schiller, famous German author, friend of Goethe), after her uses had been exhausted by the Dutch VVD conservative party.
And I also foresaw a new element in the Hirsi-Ali exploitation, to be expected from the American neoconservatives: putting her forward as a witness for the European softness and dangerous appeasement leanings, concerning the Great Muslim Conspiracy, that is a mortal danger to this world.
Now, in his latest column, 'Holland's latest insult to Ayaan Hirsi Ali', he cashes in his gains like a card player who won too early, to much. The Dutch have served him all he hoped for, on a silver plate. He correctly feels, that, like in 'religious sects', or in prison (or, for that matter the Trotskyist sects, which he knows better), the leadership doesn't accept a voluntary good-bye: the dissenting and onerous member has to be evicted before he or she leaves freely. That is, what former prison warden immigration minister Rita Verdonk, cerberus hound against refugees and immigration, last Monday tried to do.

His only problem is, that he did not win where he intended to, i.e.: at the cost of the Dutch and European left. He won from another card-player, the Dutch (and European) populist and pro-Bush RIGHT. Actually, those whom he (and Hirsi Ali for that matter) nails to the pillory as the willing collaborators of the Islam Conspiracy against the West, were the only ones, who timely and worthy protested against the methods and ways, the Dutch populist Right wanted to dispose of Hirsi Magan.
Look here:
"Opnieuw gedwongen te vluchten" (Forced anew to fly) - manifesto of Dutch personalities*) against the right's handling of Hirsi Ali, NRC-Handelsblad, May 16, 2006. Click on the image to see a less unreadable version.

On May 16, 2006, a group of Dutch LEFT-leaning intellectuals, writers, retired politicians, were the ONLY ones to come forward in an open letter in the most prestigious Dutch daily, NRC-Handelsblad, AGAINST driving out Ajaan Hirsi! This was published, BEFORE Parliament called minister Verdonk to order. At the same time, most of the political right was showing satisfaction at the disappearance of Hirsi Ali from the Dutch scene.

How does Hitchens handle this embarrassing anomaly?

He takes on the famous co-author Ian Buruma (professor in the US, of Dutch origin) of "Occidentalism", who wrote an Op-Ed in The New York Times about Holland and Hirsi Ali. Rather timidly, Buruma made some critical observations on the ways in which the Dutch right has manipulated Hirsi Ali during her participation in Dutch politics.
Writing in the New York Times last Friday, Ian Buruma said that Ayaan Hirsi Ali ought to have spoken out more for those who had been denied asylum in the Netherlands. (He is the author of a forthcoming book about the murder of Theo van Gogh, who was Hirsi Ali's partner in the making of a film about the maltreatment of women in the Muslim ghettos of Dutch cities.) This point doesn't seem to me to carry much weight. If she had become the spokeswoman for other refugees, her own story of making a partially false application could (and would) have been used against her even more. Instead, she pointed out that many perfectly legal immigrants to Holland were trying to import dictatorship rather than flee from it, and for this she attracted lethal hatred.
Without daring to do so explicitly, Hitchens categorizes Buruma with the naive lefties, who underestimate the Great Conspiracy and who condone "daily calls by imams in the country to join terrorism". The reason Hitchens gives for Hirsi Ali's systematic refusal to join the protests in the country against the immigration and deportation policies of her own party-representatives in Government, is too ridiculous for words: Hitchens himself mentions, that Hirsi Ali had, long ago, already "confessed" to have lied about her name and birthday, and why she did so. In standing up for people who did the same, there was no risk at all for her. No, Hirsi Ali did not defend the right to immigration for those who fly their countries for a valuable reason, because she is obsessed by the Islamic Conspiracy: a conspiracy of people who, with oil money, send agents to the country, not only in order to kill her, but also to take it over and install the sharia.

It is the Dutch and European RIGHT who abused, then chased, their Moor. The same people, who insist on joining Bush in his ways of dealing with Iraq and Afghanistan (Dutch troops to Helmand Province) are the ones who put the new Joan of Arc at the stake!

Hitchens won too quickly, and from the wrong player.

*) It may be interesting to see, who showed real (Dutch) courage and who refused to give a "Dutch fuck", at a moment it mattered most:
  • Geert Mak, writer of a remarkable book on Europe (translated into many languages), co-author and initiator of the manifesto, is the much loathed and ridiculised author of two pamflets written after the murder of film-maker Van Gogh in 2004, in which he pleaded for a less hysterical and more dignified reaction to what happened. Right-leaning intellectuals, friends of Hirsi Ali, continue to attack him in the worst imaginable ways. They even invented a new verb in Dutch, "geertmakken", to describe the criminal way in which, in their opinion, writers and intellectuals like he, paved willingly the way for an islamic coup d'état. Amsterdam's jewish mayor, Job Cohen, another "geertmakker", who fights to keep the city's civic society together, is often accused of "dhimmy-ism".
  • Ed van Thijn, former Amsterdam Mayor, former Minister of the Interior, prominent social-democratic thinker. Marginalised by the actual party-leadership.
  • Hedy d'Ancona and Maarten Asscher: prominent members of the Amsterdam social-democratic liberal circles.
  • Frits Barend, Martin Bril, Max Pam, Adelheid Roosen, Theodor Holman, Mieke van der Weij, Ciska Dresselhuys: Opinion-makers, columnists in mainstream papers. Holman, friend of Theo van Gogh, was and is utterly shocked by his death, leaned a long time towards the radical populist circles (Ephimenco, c.s.), but feels apparently more at home with these people he despised so much for their "weak" stand on Islam.
  • H.M. van den Brink, Sybolt Noorda: Respected scientists.
  • Connie Palmen: Writer and former judge, partner of former minister and founder of liberal party D66, Hans van Mierlo.
  • Betsy Udink: Journalist and writer on Islamic societies, married to a Dutch diplomat, until recently stationed in Pakistan. Last year she published a very critical book on the Pakistani regime.
  • Adriaan van Dis,Tilly Hermans, Freek en Hella de Jonge, Rudy Kousbroek, Jan Wolkers and Joost Zwagerman: Well-known writers and playwrights.


Sonic said...

Took the liberty of linking to your excellent essay.

Huib Riethof said...

OK. Your Hitchenswatch is not bad, either. I'll watch you, too.

Anonymous said...

You lie.

The 'documentary' - which started this whole thing - was aired by 'Zembla/VARA TV, which is notoriously 'left-wing'.

You wrote: "In standing up for people who did the same, there was no risk at all for her"

Are you insane?

In 2004 the group "The Hague Connection" produced and distributed the rap song "Hirsi Ali Dis" on the internet. The lyrics of this song included yet more violent threats against Hirsi Ali's life. The rappers were prosecuted under Article 121 of the Dutch criminal code, because they hindered the execution of Hirsi Ali's tasks as politician. In 2005 the rappers were sentenced to community service and a suspended prison sentence.

After the incident, Hirsi Ali went into hiding in the Netherlands, and even spent some time in New York, a situation which lasted until January 18, 2005, when she returned to parliament. On February 18, 2005, she revealed the location of herself and her colleague Geert Wilders, who had also been in hiding. She demanded a normal, secured house, which she was granted one week later.

On November 16, 2005, Hirsi Ali reported being seriously threatened by the Imam Scheich Fawaz. This Imam, who worked in a mosque in The Hague, announced on the internet that Hirsi Ali would be "blown away by the wind of changing times" and that she could anticipate "the curse of Allah".

On April 27 a Dutch judge ruled that Hirsi Ali had to leave her house - a highly secured secret address in the Netherlands. Her neighbors had complained that living next to her was an unacceptable security risk for them.

No risk at all, huh.

YOU and the overly PC people on the 'left' [how you can maintain being a lefty and support an orthodox religion like Islam is beyond me] YOU are the ones that betrayed Hirsi Ali.

I hope you sleep well.

Huib Riethof said...

Thank you! Next time, please read, before you start writing. I said, that defending refugees who hide their identity, was no risk for H.A., for she had already told many times that she had done the same. It was Hitchens who brought that up. I explained that nonetheless, she never ever defended refugees who were deported for similar "lies".
Hirsi Ali risked indeed her life, and she needed protection. She still needs it.
The apartment-owners in her flat, presumably right-wing VVD-voters, are to be blamed for the scandalous treatment in Holland, that made her decide to leave the country.
This time, mr. Klaver, the 'bullet' came from the right.

Anonymous said...

"Presumably VVD voters"?

Have you got a source for that?

Anyway: The LEFT started this whole thing by airing the 'documentary'.
Btw: The makers paid the relatives of AHA to tell their lies.

The 'left' knew Rita Verdonk would react the way she did, thereby the 'left' got rid of two opponents: AHA & Verdonk.

[at least: that was the plan. Sadly enough for the 'left' the Dutch people saw through the whole plan and now the 'left' is losing in the polls]

The LEFT have done nothing but critizing AHA.
The LEFT is the champion of appeasement to a religion that allows our homo-sexuals and jews to be beaten up.

You really ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Huib Riethof said...

I accepted this second comment of Mr. Klaver, just to show you the intellectual and emotional level of most debates on the Islam issue in Holland.
Hirsi Ali, since 2002, has much contributed to this hysterical climate. Otiginally a moderate Muslim, she indulged more and more in a depiction of a "great conspiracy" of all Muslims against the rest of the world. Maybe, she believes in it, herself. If that is true, I can excuse her for that.
But that people like Mr. GJK cannot see, that a liberal democracy should leave her citizens alone in their religion, at the same time as maintaining the law against abuses and against practices inconsistent with the Constitution, is a very bad omen. This concept of democracy and law, I am happy to share, not only with most of the Left, but also with most of the political Right.
So, if Mr. Klaver accuses me of protecting the right of Muslims to be Muslim in Holland, in spite of the fact that I am no fan of any religion, I am proud with that distinction. For real citizenship is not about protecting your own prejudices, but to tolerate those of others, as long as they are within the limits of the law. I will defend Mr. Klaver's right to his opinions, too, as long as he doesn't call for a pogrom on muslims or on the left. :-) I will even continue to discuss with him, if he stops shouting and complaining, and starts reading what I write.

Anonymous said...

You wrote: "For real citizenship is not about protecting your own prejudices, but to tolerate those of others, as long as they are within the limits of the law."


That's what I've been doing for the last 30 to 40 years.
And not just 'tolerate' either.
I've been working [as a volunteer] for - and with - muslims since they started to arrive in the Netherlands.

You KNOW that islam teaches it's followers not to accept any law, but their own: The shari'a.

You KNOW that our laws are being broken on a daily basis by the muslim-community.

You KNOW islam is completely incompatible with democracy.

You KNOW all that and you still maintain a liberal democracy should leave her citizens alone in their religion?

Will you get your head out of the sand and, for once, admit that you're wrong?

Anonymous said...

You DO have guts.
I'll grant you that.

Thanks for posting my reaction.

Huib Riethof said...

Thank you, GJK, we are in a real conversation now. But I regret to say, that I cannot admit being "wrong" about muslims.
I too worked in Holland since 1975 with muslims, as a volunteer and professionally. In 1979 I reorganised the Amsterdam Foundation for foreign employees, which still exists as "ASC", having found out from field experience, that "cuddling" of so-called representatives was a plague. From 1982 on, I was a project leader at the ministry of the Interior at the Coordination of Minorities Directorate. I introduced and implemented the neighbourhood-oriented city policies there.
Essentially, that was an effort to replace the existing ethnicity-oriented policies with an approach that made it possible for local authorities and local projct managers to tackle the really existing problems for *all* inhabitants. Pim Fortuyn, in his "Puinhopen van Paars"-book (2002) has an entire chapter about this neighbourhood-oriented approach and its advantages for an effective integration policy.
Later on, I was assistant project-leader of the Dutch government project "Employment for Minorities" (1988-1992).
And I have quite different experiences with muslims than you have had.
1. The law. In day-to-day life, I have seen no difference between muslims and non-muslims regarding respect for the law. Disrespect for law and official rules has more to do with the economic and social situation of people, than with the prescriptions of some fanatic fundamentalists, if they are Calvinist or Muslim. When the law and the rules are manipulated in order to make life more difficult for immigrants, like the Rotterdam Code or Verdonk's abiding by non-existing rules on nationality, you may expect, that people (muslims and non-muslims) will be looking for justifications to disobey.
2. *The* Muslim community does not exist. A vast majority of Muslims are law-abiding people.
3. Islam is NOT incompatible with democracy. You know better than Bush? Last week, Bush repeated for American television, that democracy is his goal in Iraq. He works for that objective with shiite muslims, people who are deeply religious, making -in my view, and you will agree- too many concessions to their actions to install the sharia for "family matters", making an exception to the rule of law.
4. Freedom of religion and of non-religion. Yes, I still believe that a democratic state should respect that freedom. And the different religions should repect each other, as well as the agnostics.

Anonymous said...

1) The majority of young men in prison for rape, theft and abuse are muslims. [see CBS]

There is such a thing as the muslim-community.
A muslim will always choose for another muslim first, whether they live in the South or the North of Holland.

3) Bush will fail.
As long as muslims believe in the words of the Koran, democracy will fail as well.

4) Islam has NO respect for other religions.
The koran says:

(Koran 3:85)
If anyone desires a religion other than Islam,
never will it be accepted of him; and in the
Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have
lost all spiritual good.

But we were talking about the Left-wing guilt of the loss of our Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Here's someone else's complaint about the left-wing:

"When I came to the West in the beginning of the 1990s, I was faced by the fact that the majority of intellectuals, the mainstream media, the academic world, and many feminists, in the name of respecting other cultures and religions, were trying to justify Islam by dividing it into fundamentalist and moderate, progressive and reactionary, Medina's and Mecca's, folksy and non-folksy, poisonous and edible. For people like me, first-hand victims of the Islamic holocaust, it was suffocating to listen to and to have to refute endless tales to justify this terror, atrocity and misogyny. Parallel to this Islamic carnage, apologists for Islam try to divert people's righteous loathing for Islam and for the political Islamic movement, to limit it to a hatred of 'fundamentalism'. They attempt to reduce the anti-Islamic struggle to anti-fundamentalism. They keep telling us that what we loathe is fundamentalism, not the 'true', the 'real' Islam. They pledge 'reform in Islam' and the application of a 'positive interpretation of the Koran' to women's rights by 'linguistic turn'. They raise the idea of Islamic feminism and try to attach a human face to the monstrous face of Islam against women.

The truth should be spoken. We shouldn't let apologists for Islam play with people's lives any more. We should say clearly and loudly that it is all about Islam. What we have seen is the reality of Islam in power. The fact is that Western liberal and left-wing intellectuals feel guilty about past colonial history and are apologetic to the 'Third World'. They consider the 'Third World' a given entity, where people are keen to suffer under the rotten rules of Islam, where people are happy to be deprived of the achievements of human civilization in the 21st century. According to them, women desire sexual apartheid, girls love to be segregated from boys, and people hate civil rights and individual freedom. In their view, people are the allies of Islamic movements and Islamic governments. This is indeed a distorted image of the realities. This is an inverted colonialism. In this picture, people who are fighting for civil rights, secularism and against political Islam do not exist. This self- centred mentality in which everything should revolve around the guilt of Western pseudo-intellectuals is appalling. The rights of freedom of expression, equality of men and women, and a secular state apply to people in the 'Third World' too. Isn't it shameful that we have to argue about it?"

Related Posts with Thumbnails