Yes, the European neighborhood is changing. Who are the people in your neighborhood? Mister Roger's Neighborhood is a friendly place where everyone gets along and sings songs together. In the European Neighborhood this may not be the case... or is it?
The news out of the Netherlands (Holland for the rest of us) is quite fascinating. It teaches us a very important lesson about democracy. Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner believes that the Muslims living in his country need more freedom to live according to their traditions. Now, I am not really sure who is stopping these poor Muslims from practicing their peaceful religion, but I digress.
Donner came out against Integration Minister Verdonk who had been upset with an imam who would not shake her hand. Donner believed that this sent the wrong message to the Muslims in the country, the message with "a tone of: 'Thou shalt assimilate. Thou shalt adopt our values in public. Be reasonable, do it our way'. This is not my approach."
As a religious Jewish woman it is a struggle whether or not to shake a man's hand. However, I must say that Donner has lost track of the larger picture. In order for the world at large to be safe, Muslims must assimilate into the culture around them. The Western culture that believes that all people are equal, not that some are more equal than others.
Donner goes on to give us an excellent lesson in democracy, one I would not have thought possible - although in todays European society, who knows anymore. "For me it is clear: if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist." Really?! "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'." How good of Donner to be so open minded. I sincerely hope that whatever group put him in power remove him immediately.
Adolf Hitler was elected democratically, then turned around and made himself a dictator. Does Donner actually believe that after Sharia law is democratically imposed on the population that the country will stay a democracy of any stripe? Has he taken a look at any of the tens of Muslim countries that are run by Sharia law lately? Do any of them look like bastions of democracy? Do women have basic rights... like voting? Or even more basic... the ability to walk the street without a male escort?
We know that the European Neighborhood has been changing for a while now. We have seen it recently with the Muslims in the United Kingdom who have those great British accents while planning to blow up 5-10 airliners over the Atlantic Ocean. We have seen it in the riots and destruction caused due to the horrible, terrible, disgusting drawings of the wonderful, didn't do anything wrong pedophile Muhammed that were published in the newspaper.
Yes, the Neighborhood is changing. The question is what to do with this change. We can move out (where aren't there Muslims?), sing along with our new neighbors (like Donner) or fight. Unless your head is in the sand (pun intended), you are interested in your women wearing a potato sack, or have an interest in freedom of religion, speech, assembly... or any of those silly things we call Rights in the United States, there is no choice. The first shots of the War have rung out. This War will be fought on the ground as well as in the ballot box. We must not let the Donners of the world destroy western civilization. It is time to fight.