Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Politics and terror

Dutch ParliamentToday parliament was debating government proposals to fight terrorism. The proposals discussed are intentions to develop new anti terrorism laws and did not include law proposals it self. It is expected that these law proposals will not be ready before the end of the year or early next year.

The proposals are the result of the terror attack on Theo van Gogh. Dutch politics was surprised by the attack and now four years after 9-11 they are still debating how to handle the problems with the Islamic insurgents. The whole debate was live on national television, probably to show the Dutch how seriously they take the situation.

But do they take it seriously? Not enough according to Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentary member who seems to be The Netherlands sole neo-conservative representative. Although the prefix “neo” is not needed, because there are no other conservative parliamentary members.

Wilders calls the proposals of the government, “paper measures” and questions the government’s practical actions. He says that there is not a single mosque closed and not a single website. “There has happened nothing since November [assassination Theo van Gogh]”. He points out that paper plans are not the solution, it is all about execution and producing real results.

Wilders was also critical about Donner, the Justice minister. And he referred to a statement of an other minister. Remkes the interior minister has said last year that there are 25 radical mosques in The Netherlands. Wilders now complains, why not even one of them is closed.

Wilders: “Remkes said there are 25 radical mosques”
Donner: “There are at this moment no mosques we can prosecute”
Donner: “That is a success”

Wilders: “Close these hate palaces!”
Donner: “The goal is not closures, but combating extremism, if that can be done without closure that is much better”.

Apparently Donner sees incompetence to act to extremists as a success. How sad.

Not that his Christian party (CDA) was today the most naive political party in parliament, unlike Donner, there seems to be forces in the parties rightwing, that wants tougher measures against extremists. Today the leftwing of the Christians (CDA) was silent when party leader Maxime Verhagen spoke about thousands of radicals and said that he wanted to stop also the non-violent political Islam (Dawa).

Maybe he was referring to the recent launched Islamist party that expressed the intention to run in local elections. Cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag soon will have Islamic majorities. But the social liberal D66 reacted angry on his proposal to forbid the political Islam in The Netherlands, in their eyes that would mean: dictator ship. Would they mean, the dictator ship of democracy? Well I don’t know.

But don’t think the Christian party (CDA) see Muslims as an insurmountable danger. They think the Islam is a cultural source, which we should try to embed in Europe. We should go to a European Islam. By saying that, they implicitly seem to say, that the now existing Islam is a danger and that they hope it will transform. But will that happen in the near future? The Christians seem to hold the protection of religion still more important then the dangers that an other religion, the Islam, holds for The Netherlands.

The debate seems to be a big demonstration that Dutch parliamentary members, are still not aware of the urgency of the situation. They all speak about that there should be done something, they all want more government action, but they refuse to accept the consequences of it. This is well illustrated by a reaction of Boris Dittrich of the social liberal D66 party when he addresses Wilders:

Dittrich: “You want the interment of people, like it is war. I am against that!”

Also liberal party (VVD) leader Van Aartsen, who is not satisfied with the results the government producing, does not accept the consequences. The AIVD is monitoring 150 Islamic radicals, at the time they did not include Mohammed Bouyeri on this monitoring list of 150, because he was not radical enough (Mohammed Bouyeri is the murderer of Theo van Gogh). When Wilders asked him, if the 150 radical Islamists under surveillance should be preventively detained, Van Aartsen says he thinks there are more than 150 but that he does not want to go that road. When Wilders answers that these extremist will not be harmed by the proposed measures, he answers:

“You don’t drive us crazy”

Van Aartsen says he thinks that Mohammed Bouyeri would not have killed Theo van Gogh, if he had to report to the police on a regular schedule (one of the government proposals). That sounds a bit naive if you ask me… But that is not all: the liberals (VVD) and socialist (PvdA) both said that anti discrimination measures are key in fighting terrorism. That does sound even more naïve…

The Socialist (PvdA) said they did not oppose the proposed measures, but didn't wanted at this moment to express their support either. But they did complain that the government does to little to start the dialog with the moderated forces in the Islamic world. The government should also make alliances with moderated Islamic forces.

And what to think of Wouter Bos the party leader of the socialists (PvdA), when he said that the extremist of today, may bee not seen as moderates in the future. That sounds pretty scary don’t you think?

But the more extreme leftwing parties are even worse. The Greens (Groenlinks) argued that it is an expression of freedom of speech as young Islamic youth on websites expressed their support for Jihaad. They argue that many youth, just do that to impress each other and that, they say, has nothing to do with a call for Jihad. They further complained that wearing Islamic clothing and growing beards should not be used to identify radicals. They are afraid of stigmatizing Islamic youth.

The left maybe very naïf, the mainstream parties are no less. They all still think they can find ways to include the “moderated Islam” and think that they should use the dialog and other soft measures to reach out to the radicalizing Islamic youth. They totally ignore the street violence coming of these groups.

The communist (SP), thinks also that preventive measures are the solution against extremism: abolishment of black and white schools, anti discrimination measures, spreading [Islamic] immigrants over white areas. They also think the verbal support for Jihad attacks are a part of the freedom of expression. And say that Muslims are world wide daily offended by the Palestinian conflict and Iraq.

It seems that Wilders is right, only an other attack will change the minds of these naïve politicians.

See also:
New anti terrorist measures
Government goes over board
Islam & Socialism

Other blogs:
Sered - Trias Politica polluted


Blogger felix said...

While monitoring and keeping track of radical islamists is a good first step, why would Holland or any country want to allow allow radical islamists to reside in their country. The next logical step is to adopt a policy to deport them. It is not the job of Holland to spend time and money in an unsuccessful attempt to assimilate them. Why bother?

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