Monday 8 November 2004

The New York Times knows nothing about The Netherlands

I grew up in the neighbourhood where the killer of Theo van Gogh lived. I went to a party at the high school he attended. We rode the same tram (us immigrants don't ride bicycles much). So I think I know a little bit about the mentality of fanatic muslims and it amazes me that the The New York Times writes the following about the situation in the Netherlands:

'The problem is not Muslim immigration, but a failure to plan for a smoother transition to a more diverse society. One very real danger is that the public trauma over the Van Gogh murder may lead to a clamor for anti-Muslim policies that could victimize thousands of innocent refugees and immigrants.

The challenge for Dutch political leaders is to find ways to reverse this disturbing trend of politically motivated violence without making it harder to achieve cultural harmony.'

Oh, really? In that case, I can't wait for the 'culturally harmonious solution' the New York Times has that could have stopped Mohammed Atta and his pals flying into the World Trade Center.

Because the problem, of course, is muslim fundamentalism and religious terrorism. Not 'the failure to plan for a smoother transition to a more diverse society.' Obviously, we shouldn't make muslims or colored people suffer when fighting terrorism. My stepfather is a muslim and a few years ago I discovered that I am colored; so yeah, you can say I am biased. But to put the blame for terrorism on the victims, would be a joke if it wouldn't be such a terribly tragic subject. Next time, before writing an editorial on this topic, The New York Times should do something really, really wild and crazy: it should send a journalist over to talk to one our fundamentalist muslim Dutch-Maroccans. Actually knowing some of these people helps to shape your opinion.

On a more positive note: keep in mind that among all muslims living in the Netherlands, the fanatics are only a minor fraction. The Economist has a more balanced view on the situation.

Note: Dutch journalist Arjan Dasselaar follows this story closely.

04:48 AM | category: Media |

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