The issue has become crystal clear

Back from the Pim Fortuyn conference in the Hague where leading critics of Islam spoke, and where an unprecedented degree of security was in place for an intellectual conference, just below the level of “national emergency,” with participants required to use fake names and be individually accompanied by security guards, Douglas Murray writing in the Times of London says that fear of Muslim death threats has stifled the most basic freedoms in the Netherlands. The most dramatic illustration of this is that a year and a half into their ordeal, politicians Geert Wilders and Hirsi Ali are still receiving death threats and still must live surrounded in a wall of security, sleeping in secure locations such as prisons and army bases. And where Netherlands has gone, Murray observes, Britain and the rest of Europe are following:

Holland—with its disproportionately high Muslim population—is the canary in the mine. Its once open society is closing, and Europe is closing slowly behind it. It looks, from Holland, like the twilight of liberalism—not the “liberalism” that is actually libertarianism, but the liberalism that is freedom. Not least freedom of expression.

British police tell a paper they cannot protect it from terrorist threats if they publish the Muhammad cartoon, while 500 police are assigned to protect Muslim protesters calling for the murder of those who insult Islam. Orianna Falacci is about to go on trial in Italy for defaming Islam, and the British government is still trying to get a law passed that would make criticism of Islam impossible.

The truth is as clear as daylight. Where Muslims exist in sufficient numbers to have influence, normal Western freedoms cannot long survive. Freedom for Muslims to come to the West and live freely here means the end of our freedom. The practical alternatives are therefore also as clear as daylight. Either we remove the Muslims’ freedom to enter our society and live here and practice their religion here, or we will lose our most basic freedoms—to speak, to write, to express our opinions, to move about, and to maintain a society familiar and recognizable as our own.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 26, 2006 08:03 PM | Send

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