So many of us have these quaint notions of the Netherlands as the country of social liberaliam, early adopter of gay rights, the country Anne Frank is a national heroine, a country where euthanasia is legal and where cannabis is virtually legal.
But it seems that a dark ugly side of Dutch society is rearing its head as the racist "Freedom Party" of Geert Wilders soars in the polls and may end up as the largest party after elections in June.
I found this article by Doug Saunders about him in today's Globe very interesting
"It doesn't help that most Muslims in Europe are not religious. And Muslim Turks in the Netherlands average 1.6 children per family, fewer than Dutch-born citizens of similar income levels. Never mind that. Mr. Wilders strongly believes that Islamic ideas are a sort of colonizing ideology – as he says, a Mein Kampf. It is not the Muslim people he opposes but the ideas and, to stop them, we must ban the people who carry these ideas.
I wonder whether he's really read Mein Kampf. Perhaps we've forgotten, perhaps he doesn't realize it himself, but his words and the message of Fitna are exactly – to specific phrases, to the tone of louche brotherliness – what was said about the Jews.
It wasn't the people but the “the code of Jewish ethics,” the well-documented desire of Jewish believers to take over countries and industries and societies. Judaism wasn't another religion but an ideology, closely linked to communism (“Judeo-Bolshevism” was your grandfather's “Islamo-fascism”). And it was the terrorism and violence that Judaic beliefs always seemed to bring to societies. Don't forget that Kristallnacht, the concerted violence by the Nazis against Jews and their property in 1938, was provoked by an act of Jewish terrorism, the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris. The connection between the Torah and the violence was evident to many decent and otherwise liberal-minded people."