Sunday, February 26, 2006

Intolerance of Intolerance

The cartoon controversy has finally shaken sense into Europe and revealed that there is one thing Europeans cannot tolerate - intolerance.

Dutch borders have been virtually shut. New immigration is down to a trickle. The great cosmopolitan port city of Rotterdam just published a code of conduct requiring Dutch be spoken in public. Parliament recently legislated a countrywide ban on wearing the burqa in public. And listen to a prominent Dutch establishment figure describe the new Dutch Way with immigrants. "We demand a new social contract," says Jan Wolter Wabeke, High Court Judge in The Hague. "We no longer accept that people don't learn our language, we require that they send their daughters to school, and we demand they stop bringing in young brides from the desert and locking them up in third-floor apartments."

"All the burden of change is placed on the immigrant." notes Tariq Modood, director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship in Bristol.

Which is as it should be. If you don't like the country you're emigrating to, then don't.

"Next year I expect to speak to you in Dutch," said Dutch Integration Minister Rita Verdonk through an interpreter to an Imam who refused to shake her hand because she was a woman.


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