14 Feb 2006

Bruce Bawer on European Dhimmitude

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Seattle’s underground paper The Stranger published the cartoons, and along with them Bruce Bawer’s commentary:

Many Europeans agree with Kofi Annan that freedom “should always be exercised in a way that fully respects… religious beliefs, “ and with Sunday Times (UK) columnist Simon Jenkins that the main question here is “whether we truly want to share a world in peace with those who have values and religious beliefs different from our own.” What’s called for, they say, is “respect,” “restraint,” and “responsibility.” And, above all, “sensitivity.” For them, this is simply a case of the powerful mocking the faith of the weak.

On the contrary, what’s happening here is that a gang of bullies—led by a country, Saudi Arabia, where Bibles are forbidden, Christians tortured, Jews routinely labeled “apes and pigs” in the state-controlled media, and apostasy from Islam punished by death—is trying to compel a tiny democracy to live by its own theocratic rules. To succumb to pressure from this gang would simply be to invite further pressure, and lead to further concessions—not just by Denmark but by all of democratic Europe. And when they’ve tamed Europe, they’ll come after America.

After all, the list of Western phenomena that offend the sensibilities of many Muslims is a long one—ranging from religious liberty, sexual equality, and the right of gay people not to have a wall dropped on them, to music, alcohol, dogs, and pork. After a few Danish cartoons, what’s next?

Make no mistake, this is no isolated incident. It’s one step in a long-term effort by extreme Muslim forces to erode Western liberties and turn free, affluent countries into mirror images of their own dysfunctional dictatorships. “Muslims have a dream of living in an Islamic society,” declared a Danish Muslim leader in 2000. “This dream will surely be fulfilled in Denmark…. We will eventually be a majority.” (Or as a T-shirt popular among young Muslims in Stockholm puts it: “2030—then we take over.”) Even after the bombings in Madrid and London and the riots in Paris, many European leaders continue to be in denial about this effort; others, as eager as Neville Chamberlain at Munich to “keep the peace,” seem already to have chosen a policy of gradual surrender, accompanied by flurries of sycophantic praise for Islam and apology for Western liberties.

Hat tip to Charles Johnson.

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