Saturday, February 11, 2006

Policy of the leader of Holland

Prime Minister Balkenende has made some rather lame remarks about Hirsi Ayaan Ali.

Ayaan was quoted to say that she wished that Prime Minister Balkenende had as much guts as Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen. The Danish Prime Minister supports the right of Danish newspapers to publish cartoons.

The Dutch Prime Minister has also said that he supports the freedom to publish offensive cartoons. But the Dutch Prime Minister often waffles on the issue of freedom of Speech. During the commemoration of the murder of Theo van Gogh Balkenende stressed the importance of Freedom of Speech. But of the four speakers invited one was a woman who had interviewed locals for a documentary at the time of the murder. She insisted that people should tone down and not speaking their minds "for the sake of her children".

Why was she selected to speak at the commemoration of Theo van Gogh, who was as "knight of free speech"? To turn and twist the occassion of van Gogh's martyrdom and to obscure freedom of speech. Freedom of speech yes, but not if it endangers the life of the children. This was one of the occassions were Balkenende did not speak out unequivocally on behalf of the the right to speak and write freely.

Therefore Ayaan is right to put Balkenende's devotion to freedom of speech in brackets.

The Dutch press came out in several articles to pour oil on the fire. Noting the hesitancy of Balkenende to speak out and the carefulness with which he speaks, it is obvious that Balkenende does not want to clash with Hirsi Ayaan. Ayaan has the fire of the African sun and Balkenende the charisma of a digital travel clock with pneumonia, so it is clear that he does not relish the prospect of a confrontation. More seriously, a confrontation might inflame society's festering, immigration related sores and Balkenende and many other political figures in the political cartel want a cure. The doctor's prescription is lots of peace and quiet, rest and recuperance.

As a aperitif of Multicultural dining this weekend Danish Flags were abused at demonstrations in Maastricht and Amsterdam. When Maastricht passers by laughed at the Muslim demonstrators there were some ugly scenes. The Middle Easterners do not like being laughed at.

Anyway the media like to prick and slash at festering political sores, hoping that a debate between Hirsi Ayaan and Balkenende will create some waves. In my eyes they misrepresented the words of Balkenende stating that he had "bashed" Ayaan's utterances on his attitude. The news was picked up by Expatica however, the English news portal. And little Green Footballs Watch picked it up from Expatica, quoting:
"The Prime Minister also said “we don’t have much use” for Hirsi Ali’s contribution."

Balkenende says that his policy is striving to de-escalate the situation". He also said that the number of Muslims will continue to grow in The Netherlands, as they will in the rest of Europe. There is no will to stop the inflow and Balkenende is supporting and furthering the process that will bring Turkey into the EU.

These two strivings are conflicting. Either the number of Muslims will diminish or the level of conflict will rise. It is that simple.


GayLikeAFox said...

Sheesh, didn't Pim Fortuyn change anything?!

Snouck said...

Well, yes he changed a lot. But he is dead. And there are not many people who can actually THINK, and Balkenende is not one of them.

Balkenende is a part of the political elite. The whole political establishment is manned by little and ambitious men. They have no vision and are happy to operate in a limited frame of reference. I was astounded when Balkenende was interviewed shortly after he was elected and he happily told the interviewer immigration would continue, albeit at a slackened pace. People would have to get used to it.

Immigration has slowed down although it is picking up imperceptibly again. But to really pick out the Muslims and stop all immigration from them, is beyond the scope of the elite.

They are on a collission course but they just do not get it.

José María said...

This was one of the occassions were Balkenende did not speak out unequivocally on behalf of the the right to speak and write freely.

I agree, but I also agree with the right of the offended to kick your ass. I asume that you don´t want to supress the right of people to be very angry, to the point of psysical violence.

Ah, I know, there are Tribunals where differences can be settled!
So everybody has to be a hero and restrain himself of loosing self-control. But of course it cannot be asked anyone to restrain his "free speech" even if that could lead to quarrels.

Interesting theories, it seems to me another Western fetish.

Camera Lucida said...


I do not wish to berate Hirsi Ali. I am sure she is a very nice person, as well as possessing the great courage which she often displays.

But I think it is once again misguided to have her as a spokesperson for Holland’s survival.

She does not understand that the primary problem she is trying to solve – the ability to criticize Mohammed – has no parallel in Christian history. Freedom of speech to criticize Mohammed is not the same as the freedom of speech as it is understood in Western Christian countries.

In Christianity, no-one ever questioned Christ’s words. Ever. What has been the contention throughout the history of Christianity (and still continues to be) is how Christ is worshiped.

Our reforms have never been to change His words, but how to understand and live by His words.

Christ’s words are up for interpretation, discussion, elucidation and further (constant) enlightenment, but it is never necessary to criticize them, because they are fundamentally perfect. It is us, mere humans, who are the imperfect ones, constantly trying to understand and live up to His words.

I know only a true Christian can say this, but the world’s history is testament to this statement.

By equating Christ with Mohammed, Hirsi Ali is committing a great fallacy. Mohammed does not equals Christ.

Hirsi Ali’s fight is not really about freedom of expression, but rather about reforming the unreformable Islam while living in a free Western country.

Even thought I’m sure she’s not totally aware of this, all her activities are really a side-line for this great ambition hers. She will vouche for freedom of expression mainly to reform the unreformable Islam, and for reduced immigration to prevent further Muslims from entering the Netherlands who could further contaminate these efforts of hers to reform the unreformable Islam.

She has entered a quagmire, as I’ve said before. Her problem has no solution. But her position is also fundamentally irresponsible and dangerous to the country she has decided to adopt.

All the best

Snouck said...

"Interesting theories, it seems to me another Western fetish. "

Yes. This is a problem with Westerners. They got their feet planted firmly in the clouds.

Snouck said...

"But I think it is once again misguided to have her as a spokesperson for Holland’s survival."

Yes you are right. Your analisis is spot on. Still, for now I think it is a good thing we have her. I like her but I will not vote for her. I disagree with her stance very strongly and this is one of the mayor reasons why I set up this blog. The course she is charting is not the good course but the ship will have to run aground before the people will know it. So lets sail on and we will find a way to get off the banks once we are stranded. This is how it works in a democracy and it is not a bad thing, it just makes things very tedious and slow.