Monday, December 20, 2004

Tolerance tested in Holland - The Washington Times: World - December 20, 2004

Tolerance tested in Holland - The Washington Times: World - December 20, 2004

Said Mr. Wilders: "In the last 30 years, the Netherlands population has grown from 13 million to 16 million, about 25 percent, but the immigrant population has grown from 160,000 to 1.6 million — 1,000 percent. Ninety percent of our prison population is immigrants."

"[Immigrants] are the most dependent on our [welfare] schemes. They are non-Westerners and not speaking our language," he said.

"In the next [few] years, 75 percent of our population growth will be non-Western immigrants; only 8 percent will be native Dutch. This is fact, not opinion," he said, dismissing a somewhat different picture that emerges from official statistics posted on government Web sites.

For example, Netherlands' Central Statistical Office shows that about 50 percent, not 90 percent, of the prison population is foreign.

And Mr. Wilders' 1.6 million figure can only be reached by including second- and third-generation children of immigrants, who were born in Holland and are citizens — individuals who would never be considered foreign in the United States.

Nevertheless, the thrust of his argument is gospel for Dutch immigration reformers.


Meanwhile, the population of immigrants, their children and grandchildren is becoming politically active.

"I am not a guest in the Netherlands, and I will not act like a guest, asking permission in someone else's home to sit here or move the furniture there. I was born here. I am a citizen," said Nabil Marmouch, the Dutch-Moroccan head of the Netherlands' Arab-European League, a political action group that plans to field candidates in upcoming elections.

"[Muslims] have nothing to be ashamed of. We can be proud of our religion, our culture, our traditions. We do not have to assimilate or integrate. ... We do have to act like responsible citizens, obey the laws and get involved in the political process," Mr. Marmouch said.

Like other Muslim organizations, he condemned the killing of Mr. van Gogh, but dismissed Mr. Wilders' bodyguards as a "fashion statement" designed to create fear of Muslims and draw attention to his anti-immigration politics.

Some say that the real lesson of Mr. Fortuyn was "kill the heretic, adopt the heresy" as the mainstream parties, including the VVD, scrambled to adopt the Fortuyn prescriptions.

In the days after the van Gogh killing, Mr. Fortuyn was named one of the most important persons in Dutch history, outpolling Vincent van Gogh (of whose brother the slain filmmaker was the great-grandson) and Rembrandt, philosopher Desiderius Erasmus and Anne Frank, who was not Dutch, but a German asylum seeker.

"The VVD understood that you can win an enormous amount of votes playing the migration and integration card," said Rinus Penninx of the University of Amsterdam's Institute of Migration and Ethnic Studies.



Saturday, December 18, 2004

Holland Daze

Holland Daze


THE SMALL CITY of Schiedam, on the Nieuwe Maas river near Rotterdam, has played a big role in the Dutch imagination of late. Five years ago, the historian/journalist Geert Mak entranced the country with a long narrative called My Father's Century. It is still in bookshop windows and is now in its 27th printing. It begins in Mak's great-grandparents' sail-making business in Schiedam, and follows the lives of his family members as they collide with Dutch history in the twentieth century: the Dutch Reformed faith they drifted in and out of, the herring they ate, how much money they made, what it felt like to live under Nazi occupation, their shyness (or boldness) about sex, the jokes they told, and how they faced the 1960s. The book consoled Dutch people that however tumultuous the changes the 20th century had wrought, there was an ineffable 'Dutchness' that somehow perdured. Schiedam played the role in the Dutch imagination that Macomb County, Michigan, or Luckenbach, Texas, did in the American imagination in the mid-1980s: You could look there to see how the 'real' people in the country lived.

Early this month, another Schiedam native, a 30-year-old man known in his police dossier as Farid A., was found guilty of issuing death threats over the Internet. When the conservative Dutch politician Geert Wilders described Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat last year as a "terrorist leader," Farid A. posted a picture of him on an Islamist website urging: "Wilders must be punished with death for his fascistic comments about Islam, Muslims, and the Palestinian cause." That was a year ago, and since then, Wilders has done even more to tick off Muslim radicals. He left the conservative Freedom and Democracy People's party (VVD) after a personal spat with the party leadership, promising to launch his own "Geert Wilders List," along the lines of the one-person movement that turned the gay populist Pim Fortuyn into the most popular politician in the Netherlands in early 2002. Wilders has focused on Turkey, crime, and the unsustainability of high immigration. He has warned that many of the more than 1 million Muslims who live in the Netherlands "have already opted for radical Islam," and has urged closing extremist mosques.

There is a market for his forthrightness. In early November, a poll in the left-leaning daily de Volkskrant showed that Wilders could win several hundred thousand votes, which would translate into nine seats in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the national legislature. When the gadfly filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot and knifed in southeastern Amsterdam on November 2, the letter that his killer pinned with a knife to his corpse contained a promise to do the same to the Somali-born feminist VVD member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Wilders got similar threats shortly thereafter. There were two results for Wilders. First, his popularity shot through the roof: A second poll in de Volkskrant showed Wilders would now win almost 2 million voters, taking 28 seats, or a fifth of the parliament, and that he was drawing support across party lines and in every single sector of Dutch society, despite--or perhaps because of--perceptions that he is a single-issue candidate.


Friday, December 17, 2004

Terror suspects arrested at nuclear power station

Terror suspects arrested at nuclear power station

16 December 2004

GUADALAJARA- Two men suspected of Islamic terrorist links arrested this week in Spain were arrested near a nuclear-powered electricity-generating plant, authorities said.

Officials in the central region of Guadalajara said on 30 September that a police patrol stopped and briefly questioned Moroccan Mohamed El Ouazzani and Moroccan-born Khalid Zeimi Pardo close to the Zorita nuclear power plant.

The men were asked for their papers at the time, and after it was confirmed that they were in the country legally and had no criminal records, were let go.

Ouazzani and Zeimi Pardo were among five men arrested Tuesday in three Spanish cities in connection with investigations
into the bombings of trains in Madrid last March.

Zeimi Pardo, who has Spanish citizenship, is expected to be questioned on Thursday by an investigating magistrate.

Police claim that Zeimi Pardo was a close friend of Serhane Ben Abdelmajid, 'The Tunisian,' who committed suicide in April in the Leganes section of Madrid, and others linked to the 11 March.

The arrests on Tuesday came in the course of 'Operation Nova,' which, in two previous phases, managed to dismantle several terrorist cells that were planning to attack the National Court complex in Madrid, among other targets.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

How Europe became Eurabia - Bat Yeor

How Europe Became Eurabia

How Europe Became Eurabia
By Bat Ye’or | July 27, 2004

Last Tuesday, the 25 nations of the European Union (EU) voted unanimously to support a United Nations Resolution condemning Israel’s defensive fence (ignoring that this barrier was constructed to keep jihadist murderers from entering the nation via Judea and Samaria). The EU’s craven, morally bankrupt stance was sadly consistent with Eurabian policies evident now for three decades. In fact, the EU has been completing a slow metamorphasis into the "Christian" arm of the Pan-Arab world, different in religious observation (or lack of same) but united in its views of Israel and America.

The European Community (EC), and later the EU, has been aligned with Arab policy regarding Israel and the United States since its June 1977 declaration. Disruption of the Western alliance by separating Europe from America, and the piecemeal destruction of Israel were the pillars of the Euro-Arab alliance that gave birth to Eurabia. The formation of this tactical alliance can be traced clearly to a document issued 24 years ago. Prompted by fears of Khomeini's Shi’ite theocracy in Iran, international Arab terrorism and the rise of oil prices, the EC adopted the 1980 Venice Declaration. This declaration made clear that the EC, under French leadership, had adopted Pan-Arab conditions regarding Israel without qualification, including: the 1949 armistice as Israel’s legitimate borders; Arab sovereignty over East Jerusalem; an Arab Palestinian state; the recognition of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinians, as well as its participation in all negotiations, and the obligation of Israel to negotiate with Arafat, exclusively; and the refusal to recognize a separate peace between Israel and any Arab country, for the resolution of the "Palestinian problem." By adopting all those conditions (which contradicted UN Resolution 242) Europeans could in turn justify their ahistorical designation of Judea and Samaria as occupied Arab land. Ultimately, the entire European effort to delegitimize and vilify Israel hinges upon this inaccurate, disingenuous formulation. In the 1970s and 80s, the Communist bloc and the burgeoning Euro-Arab alliance granted international legitimacy to the denial of Israel’s rights by the PLO. France, and to a lesser extent Germany, directed the entire European Community foreign policy in accord with Arab-Islamic sentiments. A careful reading of the Venice Declaration (1980), the Fez Islamic Conference (1980), the Amman Arab Summit (1980), and the Taif-Mecca Islamic Summit (1981) reveals the similarities between the European and Arab positions in relation to Israel. Europe’s modified wording is just a fig-leaf.

This subterfuge allows the EU to pose as a “neutral” agent between Israel and the Arab world and to retain a role in the peace-for-terrorists-process. At the Durban circus in September 2001, European representatives tried in vain to conceal the anti-American and anti-Semitic animus that permeates Eurabian policies, most visibly through the collusion of Eurabian and Arab NGOs. And again, during the recently completed International Court of Justice proceedings in The Hague, Eurabian judges employed similar tactics but joined their colleagues from the Muslim world in finding Israel’s anti-terrorist barrier “illegal” (and thus denying the Jewish state its legal right to self-defense).

Beyond a fleeting awareness, the overwhelming majority of Europeans and Americans do not understand the new Eurabian entity, which only the first step in a steady progression toward its Arabization and Islamization. Europe has evolved from a Judeo-Christian civilization, with important post-Enlightenment/secular elements, to a "civilization of dhimmitude," i.e., Eurabia: a secular-Muslim transitional society with its traditional Judeo-Christian mores rapidly disappearing.

How Europe Became Eurabia

Daily Times (Pak) - Islamist extremism in Europe greatest danger

Daily Times - Site Edition

Islamist extremism in Europe greatest danger

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: The greatest danger to the West from Islamist extremists is now centred in Europe, not the Middle East, according to two experts.

A panel discussion held at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which featured Martin Walker, chief editor of UPI, and Marc Ginsberg, a former US ambassador, was moderated by Arnaud de Borchgrave, who frequently writes on the subject of Islamist extremism.

Ginsberg said that extremist Islamist “sleeper cells” were “rampant” not only in Europe but the US as well. Funds were not a problem. Money came not only from the Saudis but through the mosque network. These cells moved from country to country as the Hamburg cell that did the final planning for the 9/11 attacks had shown. However, there was a lack of coordination between European governments; their joint efforts could best be described as “tepid”. He said the three suspects in the Madrid train bombings had been known to the European police for many years and yet they had been able to mount the attack. There had been 10 terrorist attacks in Europe since 9/11, he stated. There was a new breed of Islamist terrorist abroad. He spoke about the Takfeeri Movement in Morocco and how it has joined hands with al Qaeda. These people believed in all-out jihad. Mohammad Ata, he said, was a Takfeeri, a cult that was very strong in Northern Morocco. It had since spread its tentacles in Europe and beyond. Its operatives did not wear beards and derived a good deal of their finances from petty crime, including the use of women. They were hard to locate as they had made deep penetration into Western life. The Takfeeri and the Salafi movements had linked up in Europe, he disclosed.

Martin Walker, formerly of the Guardian, London, said if Turkey got admitted to the European Union, the number of Muslims in Europe would jump from three percent to 20 percent which would have a dramatic political and social impact on the Continent. While most European Muslims were reasonable people, he said, and “EuroIslam” was liberal and democratic, the extremist elements had a very different worldview and a very different agenda. He said the increase in Muslim populations in Europe had serious implications. For instance, even today there were 72 Labour Party seats in Britain that were dependent on the Pakistani and Bangladeshi vote. In France, the French Socialist Party was out to woo the Muslim vote in order to win seats. The number of conversions to Islam in European prisons was on the rise and in Holland there was a “state of incipient civil war,” as one Dutch writer had put it. It was clear, he said, that the ideal of multicultural Europe had come unstuck. It was a policy failure. He said Muslim customs, such as “honour killings,” had been reported from different European countries, a large percentage of them from Britain. In the last 10 years, there had been 110 “honour killings” in Britain, according to British authorities. He said the Tableeghi Jamaat was active in Europe.

The two presentations were followed by a question-answer session in the course of which Ginsberg said that Iraq was now seen by the jihadis as the “second Afghanistan”. The flow of money into Europe for these elements was “staggering.” According to his count, 55 new terrorist cells had come up in the Middle East and Europe since the invasion of Iraq. He said another area of concern was “cyber-terrorism”. He was also afraid that the “Takfeeri model” would be adopted in Europe and it would ultimately be carried to the United States. Walker agreed and called the situation “serious.” He said there were “no-go areas” in European cities where Islamic mafias ruled. He said the “challenge” of Islam should be met by the West in the same way as it had met the challenge of communism during the Cold War. The struggle should also be taken to the cultural and economic front with the help of moderate Muslims, but there should be no “clash of civilisations.” He said that there had been a 30 to 50 percent increase in Muslim populations in Europe and the most popular name for newborn babies in Europe now was Muhammad. By 2030 or 2040, the number of Muslims in Europe would be formidable and the “underclass” would have taken over by outbreeding white Europeans. He said Muslims had not assimilated well in European society and few of them, for instance, cared to join the police or the armed forces of their countries of adoption.


French-Algerian believed to be leading insurgency group in Iraq: officials

French-Algerian believed to be leading insurgency group in Iraq: officials

Received Wednesday, 15 December 2004 18:28:00 GMT

PARIS, Dec 15 (AFP) - A French-Algerian man is believed to be leading an Islamic insurgency group of around 20 combatants in Iraq against US-led forces there, French intelligence officials said Wednesday.

The suspect, identified as Fawzi D., was thought to have left his family in western France to go to Iraq via Syria in the middle of 2004, France's foreign intelligence service, the DGSE, said, confirming a report in Le Monde newspaper.

'There are no more than around a dozen French citizens' in Iraq fighting alongside insurgents there, an anti-terrorist official said, adding that some of them were thought to be in Fawzi D.'s group.

Most or all had Arab north African background and some had been schooled in radical Islam in French mosques, officials said.

[Getting training for the future of France??]


Monday, December 13, 2004

Returning jihadis new risk for Europe - (United Press International)

Returning jihadis new risk for Europe - (United Press International)

Returning jihadis new risk for Europe

Paris, France, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- As many as 7,500 foreign jihadi fighters could have joined the anti-U.S. resistance in Iraq, a well-informed French intelligence source told UPI.

Reports that many of them may be heading back to Europe are raising concerns.

Claude Moniquet of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center in Brussels, who monitors Islamist terrorism, told UPI the Europeans are not adequately prepared to handle the influx.

The former jihadis -- now armed with hardened combat experience -- may become members of active or sleeper cells on which al-Qaida could call for future terrorist operations in Europe.


Saturday, December 11, 2004

Scotland on Sunday - UK - Mosques 'security threat'

Scotland on Sunday - UK - Mosques 'security threat'

Scotland on Sunday
Sun 12 Dec 2004
Mosques 'security threat'

SURVEILLANCE of mosques must be stepped up to combat terrorism, security experts have advised European leaders ahead of this week’s EU summit in Brussels.

Security services have told ministers there needs to be an increase in intelligence-gathering around places of worship in order to head off Muslim extremists seeking terrorist recruits.

A report from the EU’s Counter Terrorism Group and the EU Police Chiefs Task Force claims that the main international terrorist threat faced by Europe is that of Islamic fundamentalism and says that Eurpol, the European police agency, needs to undertake more profiling of Muslim extremists.

But Muslim leaders have warned the controversial plan risks alienating their communities.


Telegraph | Exodus as Dutch middle class seek new life

Telegraph | Exodus as Dutch middle class seek new life

For years Holland was celebrated as a symbol of racial tolerance. But two high-profile murders have changed all that, reports Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Escaping the stress of clogged roads, street violence and loss of faith in Holland's once celebrated way of life, the Dutch middle classes are leaving the country in droves for the first time in living memory.

The new wave of educated migrants are quietly voting with their feet against a multicultural experiment long touted as a model for the world, but increasingly a warning of how good intentions can go wrong.

Australia, Canada and New Zealand are the pin-up countries for those craving the great outdoors and old-fashioned civility.

The illusion that all was well in the Netherlands died in May 2002 when Pim Fortuyn, the shaven-headed, gay populist, was shot by a Left-wing activist in the country's first political assassination since 1584.

Fulminating home truths than nobody else dared utter, Fortuyn swept on to the political stage protesting that Europe's most densely-populated country was full to bursting point, and that Muslim immigration, leavened with Salafist extremism, had reached a level where it was starting to destabilise Dutch society itself. His movement won more seats than the ruling Labour party in the 2002 elections.

Theo van Gogh, his friend and disciple, was next. The mischievous film-maker had his throat cut by an Islamic fanatic last month as he bicycled to work through the heart of Amsterdam, punished for a film about repression of women in the Muslim world.

A shrill provocateur, Mr van Gogh was not to everybody's taste. He once filmed kittens being mangled to death in a washing machine, which he thought was hilarious.

But his ritual execution, apparently by an Islamist hit squad, has shocked the country. Two leading MPs known to be targets are in hiding. The political class has been chilled to the bone, while white gangs have firebombed or attacked around 20 mosques and Islamic centres. "This was our 9/11. It was the moment the Netherlands lost its naivety. We always thought that we were the country of multicultural tolerance that could do no wrong," said Prof Han Entzinger of Rotterdam University.

Frans Buysse, the head of Buysse Immigration Consultancy, said he received more than 13,000 hits on his emigration website in November, four times the usual level. His office in Culemburg is flooded with fresh applications.

"Van Gogh's death was a confirmation for them of what they already sensed was happening," he said. "They're accountants, teachers, nurses, businessmen and bricklayers, from all walks of life. They see things going on every day in this country that are quite unbelievable. They see no clear message from the government, and they are afraid it's becoming irreversible, that's why they are leaving.


Pizza courier 'targeted' Amsterdam sex zone

Pizza courier 'targeted' Amsterdam sex zone

Pizza courier 'targeted' Amsterdam sex zone

10 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — Justice authorities arrested a Moroccan man last month after receiving a tip-off that Islamic extremists were allegedly planning an attack on the Red Light District in Amsterdam, it was reported on Friday.

The pizza-delivery courier allegedly conducted reconnaissance of the capital's prostitution zone while riding through the area during work hours on his scooter. He was arrested on 5 November. Newspaper De Telegraaf described him as a "radical Moroccan pizza deliverer".

The National Detectives Unit was alerted to the supposed attack plan by three anonymous emails, the first of which was received on 14 September. Emails dated 27
September and 11 October gave further details of the suspects and addresses.

The emails warned that "terrorists in Amsterdam East" were plotting an attack on the Wallen area in Amsterdam, De Telegraaf reported. Muslim extremists, the paper said, were allegedly furious at the lack of morals in the prostitution zone.

Justice authorities took the tips very seriously and arrested the pizza deliverer at the Nasr mosque in the Celebesstraat in Amsterdam East. The man has been identified as a 20-year-old Amsterdam resident of Moroccan descent, Bilal L., alias Abu Qataadah.

L. was allegedly in contact with Syrian Redouan al-Issa, the fugitive leader of the terror network Hofstadgroep (Main City Group). The Syrian was an illegal immigrant in the Netherlands and gave Koran lessons in the home of Mohammed B., the suspected murderer of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. B. is also a member of the Main City Group.

The emails claimed the Syrian was involved in the plans to attack the Red Light District, while another target was the Dutch Parliament in The Hague. L. is alleged to have bought equipment needed to carry out the attack.


Friday, December 10, 2004

Telegraph | News | Dutch desert their changing country

Telegraph | News | Dutch desert their changing country

Dutch desert their changing country
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Hague
(Filed: 11/12/2004)

An exodus of native-born Dutch in search of a new life abroad has reversed immigration flows for the first time since the post-war era.

Last year more people left the Netherlands than arrived as migrants or asylum seekers, even though unemployment remains low at 4.7 percent and per capita income is higher than any major country in Europe.

Ellen and Peter Bles
Ellen and Peter Bles are planning to leave their home near Tilburg for Perth, Western Australia

Lawyers, accountants, computer specialist, nurses, and businessmen are lining up for visas to the English-speaking world, looking to Australia, New Zealand and Canada as orderly societies where people have the space to breathe.

The new wave of 'middle-class flight' has quickened this year following rising ethnic violence and crime committed by and against immigrants, and in response to fears that social order is breaking down. In the first six months there was a net outflow of 13,313 people.

They are disengaging from a multicultural experiment once hailed as the model for the world but now stretched to breaking point. They are also escaping traffic jams and chronic over-crowding.

Requests for visa information have exploded since the murder of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch film-maker and acerbic critic of Muslim views on women.

An all-party report by the Dutch parliament this year concluded that the country's immigration policy had been a failure, leading to sink schools and ethnic ghettoes.

The Netherlands has been transformed in barely 30 years from a tight-knit Christian society into a polyethnic state, with three million people of immigrant background.

Telegraph | News | Dutch desert their changing country - Terrorists using cash machines to fund networks - Terrorists using cash machines to fund networks

Dec. 10, 2004, 9:46AM

Terrorists using cash machine scheme to fund networks
French judge says the Caucasus is al-Qaida's key training ground

Associated Press

PARIS - Radical Islamic cells in Europe are using an ingenious way to finance terrorist networks that's virtually impossible to trace: withdrawing hundreds of thousands of dollars a month from cash machines with fake credit cards, according to France's top anti-terrorism judge.

Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who's been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism for 20 years, said the Caucasus has replaced Afghanistan as a key militant training ground for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and other groups around the world.

Bruguiere said militant financing networks are small, scattered around the world and represent millions of dollars in fund-raising for terrorists.

The judge said authorities caught on to the cash-machine scheme two years ago when investigators uncovered one such financing cell operating in France.

Ten suspected Islamic militants were withdrawing more than $100,000 a month from cash machines in other European countries, where they were arrested.

"The (Islamic) European networks finance themselves primarily through microfinancing systems — criminal activity that is very profitable," he said Wednesday.

Judges who specialize in financial crimes are trained only in macrofinancing investigations — large sums involving banks, Bruguiere said. Therefore, little attention has been paid to this "fraudulent use of bank cards," the judge said. "So it is very difficult to catch."

Bruguiere said he calls the cards "clones."

The technique appears to be similar to a sophisticated electronic scam that involved cash machines in Britain in March. There, police found cloning devices attached to the machines.

The device, which is attached to the card slot of the machine, works by recording the details on the magnetic stripe of the card as it passes through.

In the case of the Islamic militant cells, Bruguiere said they also purchase electronic equipment and resell it to help finance "large operations," although he wouldn't say what terrorist attacks might have been paid for through such financing schemes.

In March, France launched a judicial investigation after a cash-machine technician was accused of faking a robbery to help fund a Moroccan network.


The Ents of Europe

Victor Davis Hanson on Europe on National Review Online

December 10, 2004, 8:41 a.m.
The Ents of Europe
Strange rumblings on the continent.

One of the many wondrous peoples that poured forth from the rich imagination of the late J. R. R. Tolkien were the Ents. These tree-like creatures, agonizingly slow and covered with mossy bark, nursed themselves on tales of past glory while their numbers dwindled in their isolation. Unable to reproduce themselves or to fathom the evil outside their peaceful forest — and careful to keep to themselves and avoid reacting to provocation of the tree-cutters and forest burners — they assumed they would be given a pass from the upheavals of Middle Earth.

But with the sudden arrival of two volatile hobbits, the nearby evils of timber-cutting, industrial devilry, and mass murder became too much for the Ents to stomach. They finally "wake up" (literally). Then they go on the offensive — and are amazed at the power they still wield in destroying Saruman's empire.

For Tolkien, who wrote in a post-imperial Britain bled white from stopping Prussian militarism and Hitler's Nazism, only to then witness the rise of the more numerous, wealthier, and crasser Americans, such specters were haunting. Indeed, there are variants of the Ent theme throughout Tolkien's novels, from the dormant Riders of Rohan — whose king was exorcised from his dotage and rallied the realm's dwindling cavalry to recover lost glory and save the West — to the hobbits themselves.

The latter, protected by slurred "Rangers," live blissfully unaware that radical changes in the world have brought evil incarnate to their very doorstep. Then to their amazement they discover that of all people, a hobbit rises to the occasion, and really does stand up well when confronted with apparently far more powerful and evil adversaries. The entire novel is full of such folk — the oath-breaking Dead who come alive to honor their once-broken pact, or the now-fallen and impotent High Elves who nevertheless do their part in the inevitable war to come.

Tolkien always denied an allegorical motif or any allusions to the contemporary dangers of appeasement or the leveling effects of modernism. And scholars bicker over whether he was lamenting the end of the old England, old Europe, or the old West — in the face of the American democratic colossus, the Soviet Union's tentacles, or the un-chivalrous age of the bomb. But the notion of decline, past glory, and 11th-hour reawakening are nevertheless everywhere in the English philologist's Lord of the Rings. Was he on to something?

More specifically, does the Ents analogy work for present-day Europe? Before you laugh at the silly comparison, remember that the Western military tradition is European. Today the continent is unarmed and weak, but deep within its collective mind and spirit still reside the ability to field technologically sophisticated and highly disciplined forces — if it were ever to really feel threatened. One murder began to arouse the Dutch; what would 3,000 dead and a toppled Eiffel Tower do to the French? Or how would the Italians take to a plane stuck into the dome of St. Peter? We are nursed now on the spectacle of Iranian mullahs, with their bought weapons and foreign-produced oil wealth, humiliating a convoy of European delegates begging and cajoling them not to make bombs — or at least to point what bombs they make at Israel and not at Berlin or Paris. But it was not always the case, and may not always be.

The Netherlands was a litmus test for Europe. Unlike Spain or Greece, which had historical grievances against Islam, the Dutch were the avatars of the new liberal Europe, without historical baggage. They were eager to unshackle Europe from the Church, from its class and gender constraints, and from any whiff of its racist or colonialist past. True, for a variety of reasons, Amsterdam may be a case study of how wrong Rousseau was about natural man, but for a Muslim immigrant the country was about as hospitable a foreign host as one can imagine. Thus, it was far safer for radical Islamic fascists to damn the West openly from a mosque in Rotterdam than for a moderate Christian to quietly worship in a church in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Algeria. And yet we learn not just that the Netherlands has fostered a radical sect of Muslims who will kill and bomb, but, far more importantly, that they will do so after years of residency among, and indeed in utter contempt of, their Western hosts.

Things are no less humiliating — or dangerous — in France. Thousands of unassimilated Muslims mock French society. Yet their fury shapes its foreign policy to the degree that Jacques Chirac sent a government plane to sweep up a dying Arafat. But then what do we expect from a country that enriched Hamas, let Mrs. Arafat spend her husband's embezzled millions under its nose, gave Khomeini the sanctuary needed to destroy Iran, sold a nuclear reactor to Saddam, is at the heart of the Oil-for-Food scandal, and revs up the Muslim world against the United States?

Only now are Europeans discovering the disturbing nature of radical Islamic extremism, which thrives not on real grievance but on perceived hurts — and the appeasement of its purported oppressors. How odd that tens of millions of Muslims flocked to Europe for its material consumption, superior standard of living, and freedom and tolerance — and then chose not merely to remain in enclaves but to romanticize all the old pathologies that they had fled from in the first place. It is almost as if the killers in Amsterdam said, "I want your cell phones, unfettered Internet access, and free-spirited girls, but hate the very system that alone can create them all. So please let me stay here to destroy what I want."

Turkey's proposed entry into the EU has become some weird sort of Swiftian satire on the crazy relationship between Europe and Islam. Ponder the contradictions of it all. Privately most Europeans realize that opening its borders without restraint to Turkey's millions will alter the nature of the EU, both by welcoming in a radically different citizenry, largely outside the borders of Europe, whose population will make it the largest and poorest country in the Union — and the most antithetical to Western liberalism. Yet Europe is also trapped in its own utopian race/class/gender rhetoric. It cannot openly question the wisdom of making the "other" coequal to itself, since one does not by any abstract standard judge, much less censure, customs, religions, or values.

So it stews and simmers. Not to be outdone, some in Turkey dare the Europeans, almost in contempt, to reject their bid. Thus rather than evolving Attaturk's modernist reforms to match the values of Europe, the country is instead driven into the midst of an Islamic reactionary revival in which its rural east far more resembles Iraq or Iran than Brussels. So the world wonders whether Europe is sticking a toe into the Islamic Middle East or the latter its entire leg into Europe.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Analysis: Europe's failed multiculturalism - (United Press International)

Analysis: Europe's failed multiculturalism - (United Press International): "Analysis: Europe's failed multiculturalism

By Claude Salhani
UPI International Editor

PARIS, France, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- For almost 50 years, Western Europe weathered the storm of the Cold War, living with the threat of the Soviet Union on its doorstep. Now Europe is waking up to a new threat, only this time the danger comes from within.

From Paris to Amsterdam and from Brussels to Berlin, decades of liberal open-door immigration policies are making their mark on Europe's domestic politics, not to mention the demographics of the old continent.

The arrival of several million immigrants -- mostly from North Africa, Turkey and Southwest Asia, and mostly Muslims -- has forever changed the face of a once largely white, overwhelmingly Christian Europe. Germany alone has some 7 million non-German residents, mostly Turks.

This influx of immigrants has caused a reaction from worried Europeans who have turned to rightwing parties for answers. Witness France's National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who came close to winning the last presidential election.

The failure of many immigrants to integrate has resulted in communities living parallel to one another instead of blending. Compounding the problem, Islamist activists have found refuge and anonymity among these communities, where they can easily blend in.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

FrontPage :: Spain Battles Illegal Muslim Immigration by Steve Harrigan

FrontPage :: Spain Battles Illegal Muslim Immigration by Steve Harrigan: "FoxNews | December 2, 2004

TANGIER, Morocco - The bodies are anonymous, rotting in the shallows of the Straits of Gibraltar. The fortunate ones are dragged out for a hasty burial. They are Africans trying to make it to Europe, betting their lives on a nine-mile ride, thousands losing that bet each year.

Spain used to be an open door for illegal immigrants. An estimated one-quarter of all smuggled immigrants into Europe came through the Southern coast of Spain, most setting off from Morocco.
The sticks and stones of frustrated border guards had little effect against a rising tide of human traffic.

But all that changed on March 11. Most of the terrorists who killed 190 people on commuter trains in Madrid were Moroccan. Suddenly, the immigrant problem was a security problem.

Under pressure at home and from other European nations, rubber batons at the border were replaced by speedboats but success, so far, is limited.

'The numbers are down here by 50 percent,' said Lt. David Oliva of the Spanish Border Guard. 'But the smugglers are just moving to other parts of the coast.'