Thursday, June 11, 2009

Geert Wilders and the Murder of Theo van Gogh

A ZDF journalist apparently linked the murder of Theo van Gogh to the influence of Geert Wilders in Dutch politics. This leads, predictably to outrage on weblogs that are against Islam or, to use their favorite phrase, in favor of "free speech".

And I disagree with the ZDF journalist on this too. Because in my perception Geert Wilders is a symptom of a larger problem. A problem that European politicians refuse to tackle. European politicians apparently lack backbone and vision.

I still think Mike Huckabee, during his campaign to win the nomination last year, in his speech "paths and priorities in the war on terror" had the best explanation for the murder of Theo van Gogh:

"It is also difficult for us to understand that life for European Muslims is different from life for American Muslims. Muslims in Britain or the Netherlands or Germany are second-class citizens because those countries have more homogenous populations that don’t readily integrate outsiders. Instead of melting pots, Europe has separate pots boiling over with alienation and despair. In some countries, like France, it is more a lack of economic integration, while in others, like Britain, it is more a lack of cultural integration, but whatever the reason, Europe is a much more fertile breeding ground for terror than the United States. Unintentionally, some of our closest allies are producing some of our clearest threats. Because of our special relationship with Britain and all our similarities with them, most Americans don’t realize that it is very different to be a Muslim citizen of Britain than a Muslim citizen of the United States, so we have trouble accepting that doctors in Britain become terrorists. We have to understand that while educated Muslims in Europe may not be materially deprived, many of them feel socially and emotionally deprived by a lack of acceptance. Earlier this month we saw the arrest of German citizens plotting a terror attack against American targets there. Also this month we saw Danish citizens arrested for plotting an imminent bombing. Both plots had links to Al Qaeda. "

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee flanked by Jennifer Beal, left, and Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, takes part in a ceremony honoring Martin Luther King, Monday, Jan. 21, 2008, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert.)

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