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Mar 13

Written by: Diana West
Friday, March 13, 2009 8:31 AM 

From the Netherlands, a disquieting report on the number of threats Dutch policitians, led overwhelmingly by Geert Wilders, have received in the last year is out.

THE HAGUE, 13/03/09 - The police corps in The Hague region received 428 reports from threatened politicians last year. Two-thirds came from Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders....

The number of reports of politicians being threatened has risen enormously in recent years. The number had reached 264 by 2007. The 2008 figure shows a further sharp increase.

The Hague being the seat of parliament means the police corps of this region receives the bulk of reports from threatened politicians. The corps has for some time had a special Threatened Politicians Team (TBP).

Public Prosecutor Nicole Vogelenzang, with special responsibility for threats to politicians, partly explains the increase by a special regime set up for Wilders. He receives so many threats that it is impossible for him to keep making separate reports in each case.

Wilders is allowed to 'save up' his hate-mails and other threats and deliver them once a week to The Hague police as a package. ...

Behold the accommodation of jihad--the institutional, bureacratic apparatus now entrenched to manage--not eradicate--the threat to Western societies posed by the influx and reach of specifically Islamic agents of violence and destabilization. This accommodation is not unique to Wilders' situation; it's endemic to Western society and manifested in every new, expensive and repressive security measure in place since the advent of mainly Palestinian terror in Europe in early 1970s, as chronicled by Bat Ye'or in books such as Islam and Dhimmitude. That's where I first came across this concept of dhimmitude--strict new limitations on Western freedom of movement, freedom of worship, etc. as a direct result on the incursion of jihadis into  Western communities.

I wrote about this little-understood but crucial phenomenon in The Death of the Grown-Up (pp. 194-195), beginning with the following quotation from Bat Ye'or, who wrote:

It was in the early 1970s, with the outbreak of Arab Palestinian terrorism worldwide, that dhimmitude erupted on European soil through violence and death deliberately inflicted on one category of persons: the Jews, who were singled out as in the Nazi period by their religion. Security precautions and instructions posted on synagogues and Jewish community buildings implied that being Jewish and practicing the Jewish religion in Europe might again incur the risk of death, and that the freedom of religion and freedom of thought had been restricted. 


So, that’s how it started. When I first read that passage a few months after 9/11, something clicked. I remembered a visit to Brussels in December of 1990 during which I saw armed guards posted outside a city synagogue. Such security precautions in Europe, as Bat Yeo’r writes, were by then routine, but it was the first time I had witnessed them. And it was only after 9/11 that I realized what they really meant: It wasn’t that government authorities were preparing to target a specific, limited threat of violence to battle and eliminate it; on the contrary, the authorities were responding to a an ongoing threat that reflected the permanent fact that Jewish citizens in Belgium (and elsewhere) were no longer able to exercise their religion freely. And why weren’t they able to exercise their religion freely? As in the 1970s, the reason in 1990 was Arab Palestinian terrorists. In retrospect—namely, post-9/11—it seems odd that these terrorists have always been called “Arab terrorists,” or “Arab Palestinian terrorists,” and have never been labeled according to the animating inspiration of their religion as “Muslim” terrorists. Such coyness has buried a relevant part of the story: the Islamic context. Just as a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, it was Muslim terrorism that had come to Europe, and, as a result, Jews were worshipping, if they dared, at their own fearsome risk.

And not just Jews. By now, the same fearsome risk extends to whole populations, in houses of worship and the public square alike. After reading Bat Ye’or, I realized that the now-familiar strategies of fearsome-risk management—guns around the synagogue, for example--represents a significant capitulation. The security ring around the synagogue—or the airport ticket counter, the house of parliament, or the Winter Olympics--is a line of siege, not a line of counter-attack. The threat of violence has become the status quo, and, as such, is incapable of sparking outrage, and is certainly not a causus belli. Guns at the synagogue door—or St Peter’s Basilica, or the Louvre--symbolize a cultural acquiescence to the infringement of freedom caused by the introduction—better, the incursion—of Islam into Western society. Thus, dhimmitude--institutional concessions on the part of non-Muslim populations to Islam—has arrived in the West.

And it’s here in the U.S. of A., as well. Brandishing automatic weapons, police and soldiers patrol our cities, our buses, our banks, our institutions, our subways, our trains, our stadiums, our airports to prevent specifically Islamic violence. This, lest we forget, is a situation unparalleled—unimagined--in our history. Official Washington has become an armed camp. No longer does traffic stream down Pennsylvania Avenue past the White House; the historic street is now a cement-dump-lined “plaza” blocked off by retractable security stumps. The Capitol, meanwhile, sits behind a hamster-cage Rube Goldberg might have designed, its grand staircases blocked, and metal posts—called “bollards,” I recently learned--bristling down the sidewalks. The fact is, we are living in a state of siege. After 9/11, the United States embarked on an open-ended, war against Islamic terrorism, with varying degrees of foreign cooperation. But even as we fight abroad, we simultaneously assume the status of victims at home, surrendering our bags and purses for security searches, erecting aethetics-destroying metal detectors, transforming our ennobling vistas and public halls into militarized zones under 24-hour-surveillance. This is necessary, we understand, for public safety: But is it the new “normal”? Or do we ever get Pennsylvania Avenue back? Do we ever get to make that mad dash down the airport concourse onto a plane just pushing off from the gate again? (This was an odd, if recurring point of pride of a family friend who used to time his drive from Kennebunkport, Maine, to Logan Airport with perilous precision). Don’t hold your breath; these homeland defenses sprouting up across the country look and feel like they’re here for good.

I hope I'm wrong. There are signs of hope. Here's some good news to take into the weekend that I just received from the UK:

The Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) has learned that the UK Home Office has barred Hezbollah spokesperson Ibrahim el Moussawi from entering the UK.

The announcement follows the CSC's pledge to seek an arrest warrant should el Moussawi enter the country.  The CSC had previously revealed that el Moussawi had been due to address a conference of police and government officials at the School of Oriental and Africa Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.

Douglas Murray, Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, says:

'The decision to bar a spokesman for the terrorist group Hezbollah is a victory for all those who believe that terrorists and their spokesmen should not be allowed to incite violence and hatred in the UK.

'Last month the Home Secretary forbade the elected Dutch MP Geert Wilders from entering Britain in case he "threaten community harmony and therefore public security."

'El Moussawi's job is to act as a spokesman for a group currently engaging in terrorism with a specifically genocidal intent against the Jewish people.

'It is perverse that the government ever considered barring Wilders from entering Britain and even more perverse that they ever considered allowing Hezbollah in.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, a researcher at the Centre for Social Cohesion, says:

'The barring of el Moussawi will now prevent him from teaching pro-Hezbollah propaganda to British civil servants and the police.  It is a pity however, that SOAS refused to recognize the danger he posed and that it required the government to step in and stop them.'

Now, as Robert Spencer says, the British still owe Geert Wilders an apology. Yea, verily--and I would add, a knighthood.


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