Saturday, November 05, 2005


Francis Fukuyama has a fairly reasonable article on the Islamic problem in Europe which points to Islamic terrorism as being more the product of Western Leftism than of traditional Islam. No argument there. But his ideas for solving the problem would seem to be good only in theory. His main proposal is that Europe should somehow put into practice the American "melting-pot" idea (which America has now abandoned, anyway). One of my Dutch readers comments:

"Francis Fukuyama's recipe for warding off Islamofascism in Western Europe includes such bromides as "fashioning a national identity that will connect citizens of all religions and ethnicities in a common democratic culture, as the American creed has served to unite new immigrants to the United States."

Well, pish. This is what the Netherlands have done for centuries. They welcomed Jews from Spain and from Eastern Europe, they welcomed Pilgrims from England, Chinese and Moluccans from the East Indies - the list goes on. While expecting everyone to pull their weight in their adopted society, they granted every new group full civil rights. The Islamists of the 20th century got the same deal. The key difference - and this is true elsewhere in Western Europe - is not the lack of "a common democratic culture"; it is the modern welfare state. In Holland, second and third generation Islamic teenagers no longer need to look for work after they finish school. The government will pay them a stipend until they find work - if ever. Thanks to this official generosity the murderer of Theo van Gogh was able to spend his days in a radical Islamist hangout in Amsterdam, to become properly brainwashed for his dirty deed. No need to go out and find a job.

Every radical philosophy of the past - the French revolutionary creed, Communism, Fascism, and whatever the Baader-Meinhof gang believed - was hatched and nurtured not among the oppressed but among the privileged, the people with leisure. "Idleness," as Hippocrates noted, "and lack of occupation tend - nay are dragged - towards evil."


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