Are they Finally Waking Up in the Netherlands? [Mark Hemingway]

International Herald Tribune:

Two weeks ago, the country's biggest left-wing political grouping, the Labor Party, which has responsibility for integration as a member of the coalition government led by the Christian Democrats, issued a position paper calling for the end of the failed model of Dutch "tolerance."

It came at the same time Nicolas Sarkozy was making a case in France for greater opportunities for minorities that also contained an admission that the French notion of equality "doesn't work anymore."

But there was a difference. If judged on the standard scale of caution in dealing with cultural clashes and Muslims' obligations to their new homes in Europe, the language of the Dutch position paper and Lilianne Ploumen, Labor's chairperson, was exceptional.

The paper said: "The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance."

Government and politicians had too long failed to acknowledge the feelings of "loss and estrangement" felt by Dutch society facing parallel communities that disregard its language, laws and customs.

Newcomers, according to Ploumen, must avoid "self-designated victimization."

She asserted, "the grip of the homeland has to disappear" for these immigrants who, news reports indicate, also retain their original nationality at a rate of about 80 percent once becoming Dutch citizens.

Instead of reflexively offering tolerance with the expectation that things would work out in the long run, she said, the government strategy should be "bringing our values into confrontation with people who think otherwise."

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Comment by Joseph on December 31, 2008 at 7:07pm
Ralph Peters in his book,"Wars of Blood and faith", believes the Europeans will rid themselves of their muslims instead of falling to them. I hope he's right but do not believe so. As Mr. Massey said above, "its probably to late". Way too late.
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on December 31, 2008 at 10:57am
Ones thing that I NEVER teach are moral relativism and cultural equivalence. Some values are worth defending against others.
Comment by Lee Massey on December 31, 2008 at 2:27am
It may be too late already!
Comment by Ted Henkle on December 30, 2008 at 8:45pm
Several of my friends & I like to read Mark Steyn. He discusses a lot of demographic issues--especially Europe. Their low birth rate and high Muslim immigration is setting the continent up to be called Eurabia within a generation. Let's hope it's not too late.
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on December 30, 2008 at 8:35pm
I'm certain that tolerance is a virtue, but as is said about the American Constitution, shouldn't be suicide pact. This has been coming from the right of center, including in the Netherlands, for years, and as the late Pim Fortuyn liked to point out, tolerance shouldn't always extend to those who would take exploit it to create a revolution of intolerance.

I admire the Netherlands and its traditions, and I'm glad to see more parties there standing up for them.

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