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Europe Confronts Racism By: Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, November 11, 2004


“War is deceit,” said Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, and deception remains a potent and little-recognized weapon in the hands of international jihadists. Radical Muslims today charge “racism” against anyone who dares to point out their motives and goals — manifesting a canny awareness of what stands as the unpardonable sin in Western political discourse. All too often, the mainstream media plays along, probably because they simply don’t have any conceptual apparatus enabling them to view conflicts any other way. Yet their continued misapplication of conflicts as “racial” interferes with realistic appraisals of what they really involve — most notoriously in a Netherlands still reeling from last week’s murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a jihad terrorist on an Amsterdam street.

The Times of London did this last Sunday with an article entitled “Jihad wrecks Dutch race harmony.” After noting evidence of a “‘brigade’ of Dutch jihadists preparing to murder ‘the enemies of Islam’ in a terror campaign,” the Times worried that all this jihadist activity has “prompted some to rethink their faith in a multiracial society.”

The Times wrings its hands over the possibility that “Dutch tolerance no longer extends so readily these days to immigration and religious diversity.” Ah yes. It’s all about Dutch intolerance and rejection of “religious diversity,” you see. It doesn’t seem to occur to the Times that the killing of van Gogh was a supreme manifestation of the rejection of  “religious diversity” — even while reporting that the note that van Gogh’s murderer impaled on his body declared that “hair- raising screams will be squeezed from the lungs of the non-believers.” Not against “white Dutchmen,” mind you, but against “non-believers.”

 

The Times isn’t the only major media outlet suffering from this myopia. Newsweek International carried a story recently entitled “Racism’s Rising Tide,” quoting a French journalist: “Our Europe cannot be one of racism. Never.” But, according to Newsweek, “more strident voices in Italy are pushing in exactly that direction. Oriana Fallaci, now 74, has developed a niche all her own as a best-selling voice of fear and fury.” Fallaci is the courageous Italian thinker who has published several books now about how jihad ideology threatens Europe. But for Newsweek, it’s all about how “the new antipathy toward foreigners of color, especially in Italy, is a far more worrisome trend.”

 

But why exactly must the killing of van Gogh prompt some to “rethink their faith in a multiracial society”? And why are Fallaci’s warnings signs that “foreigners of color” are being victimized? If everyone in the Netherlands were white and blonde, and yet 5% of the population believed that the society should be remade into an Islamic state, wouldn’t the Dutch be facing the same problem they are now? If everyone in Italy were descended from the ancient Romans, and yet a significant number of them believed that Italian society must be made over to conform to the dictates of Islamic Sharia law, would that be nothing for Italians to be concerned about? If the mosques of the Netherlands and Italy were populated by people like John Walker Lindh (“Johnny Taliban” from Marin County, California), Adam Yehiye Gadahn (a.k.a. Adam Pearlman), Richard Reid (the “shoe bomber”) and Jack Roche (the Australian Muslim convert who met Osama bin Laden and thought he was a “very nice man,”) would Holland and Italy be safe today?

 

The problem, in short, is not the race, but the ideology of Muslim immigrants. For over thirty years, besotted EU officials have concluded pact after pact with the Arab League that made for massive Muslim immigration into Europe without assimilation. Would the new European Muslims accept European pluralism? That was assumed — betraying a shocking naivete and ignorance of what Islam has historically taught about the nature of society and the proper relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims.

 

The problem is not racism, but precisely a clash of civilizations, or a clash between two radically opposing views of how society should be ordered. Another news item from Holland last week vividly illustrated that fact: when Dutch artist Chris Ripke commemorated van Gogh by painting a mural featuring the words “Thou shalt not kill,” a local mosque leader complained to police. The mural, you see, was “racist.” The police obediently sandblasted away the offensive message.

 

If “thou shalt not kill” is racist, then so is the entire Christian civilization upon which Holland (and Europe in general) was built. And that, no doubt, is exactly what the multiculturalist journalists who see the strife in Europe as a race problem believe.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.



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