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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

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Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

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Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

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Jewish World Review Jan. 17, 2005 / 7 Shevat, 5765

Dutch politician turning to American conservatives for ideas in reining in — and keeping-out — radical Muslims

By Alicia Colon


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | New York City is the epitome of the great melting pot of America. In just a five-block radius around my house, I can find residents from eleven different countries. My neighbors include Albanian, Palestinian and Pakistani Muslims; Polish, Puerto Rican, Honduran and Mexican Catholics; Korean Methodists; Hindus from India; and Buddhists from Sri Lanka. Everyone seems to get along without too much fuss. As much as we think that immigration is a serious problem here in the United States, we should thank our lucky stars we don't live in Holland.


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Last week I attended a dinner meeting of think-tank representatives, foundation executives and other corporate luminaries there to meet two Dutch visitors, Dr. Bart Jan Spruyt, founder of the Edmund Burke Foundation and a Member of the Dutch Parliament, Geert Wilders.


MP Wilders has been making the rounds here in the States to publicize what is happening to his country because of the rise of radical Islam and why he is promoting a moratorium on non-western immigration. He is also on record as objecting to Turkey joining the European Union. He resigned from the Freedom and Democracy People's Party (VVD) and is starting his own conservative political party.


Dr. Spruyt is the head of a Dutch conservative think tank and brought Wilders to America to network with those who advise him on how to proceed with promoting conservatism in the Netherlands. Holland has always been known for its liberalism and tolerance but the death of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in November is turning out to be Holland's 9/11.


Geert Wilders is an MP in hiding when he is at home. He makes public appearances only when the legislature is in session. Dr. Spruyt, who has also received death threats from radical Islamists, told me that Wilders no longer has a home he can stay at. He travels with armed guards and lives on various military bases.


Exactly 911 days after the murder of another popular Dutch figure, Pim Fortuyn, the grandson of Theo Van Gogh, Vincent's brother, was slaughtered in broad daylight. He was a filmmaker who dared to do the unthinkable in Europe. He made a short film called "Submission" which dared to criticize the Islamic treatment of women.


"In broad daylight," Wilders said, " Van Gogh was shot eight or nine times, then he was stabbed several times. His throat was cut and he was almost decapitated. A five page- anti-Semitic rant was found held in place by a knife through Van Gogh's body."


Someone asked Wilders if there was any condemnation of this heinous act from moderate Muslims. He answered, " there was one or two but generally the response was silence. Television reporters went around to these moderate Muslim communities and we heard them say things like, 'he deserved it. '"


According to Wilders, the Dutch Prime Minister went to the Muslims in a gesture of charity telling them that this is the time for everyone to stay together. Instead of getting tough on the radicals, he went around wearing an orange bracelet, which signifies tolerance. Wilders said, "That is the trouble. We have been too tolerant for too long."

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I have a strong feeling that liberal reporters will portray Geert Wilders as a Dutch supremacist. He admits that he has already been accused of being a racist. That is far from the truth. Wilders says that moderates will be the first to benefit from a tough policy on the radical Islamists. Holland has bent over backward for the Muslim immigrants. The government created Muslim schools. It even used public money to build mosques. The Netherlands foolishly believed that the new immigrants would assimilate into the Dutch culture. Instead, Wilders claims, over a million Muslims there, have already opted for radical Islam."


He considers Turkey to be a "Trojan Horse" because it is an Islamic country and does not share the same values as Europe, which is Judeo-Christian. After the Van Gogh slaughter, police discovered Pakistani, Kurdish and Moroccan terrorist cells. An Islamic mole was uncovered working as a translator in the AIVD, the national investigative service. Wilders is hoping his government will pass a Patriot Act to coordinate the different agencies. He fully supports President Bush's war on terrorism and recent polls indicate that Wilders is gaining support across all party lines.


In Holland, the people are starting to feel that perhaps it is not just the radicals that are the problem but Islam itself because it does not co-exist well in a democracy. It will take the determination of moderate Muslims to prove them wrong by cleansing their religion of the extremists.


How likely is that to happen?

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JWR contributor Alicia Colon is a columnist for The New York Sun, a paper that every pro-Israel, pro-democracy New Yorker should be buying. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, Alicia Colon