The Dutch they are A'Changing
When the mythology of multiculturalism is exposed, as it has been in Holland by the murder of Theo van Gogh, the icons crumble fast:
(The concern has long existed that if liberals didn't address the problem of Muslim intolerance responsibly, it would be answered with the intolerance of the far right.)
In the 1930's, Europe faced a struggle and, many thought, a need to choose between two competing totalitarianisms. Many analysts are wondering if this is Europe's future, as well. They also wonder whether the Dutch people's anger will blow over or whether they will act decisively to protect their democracy from the undemocratic enemy within.
At present, most appear to agree strongly with one commentator, Paul Scheffer, who wrote in the daily NRC Handelsblad last weekend: "We cannot hand over our country.... Words such as diversity, respect and dialogue fade against the dark context of this ritual assassination."
Interestingly, the key point in this article is in the parenthesis I have highlighted. If the multicult vision is to succeed, it requires ruthless prosecution of Muslim intolerance. At the moment, in much of Europe and Canada, the imams can preach hate without fear of prosecution or consequence. So long as this is allowed to continue, so long as Muslim intolerance is given a pass while the rest of the culture is asked to make nice, the foundations of multiculturalism will continue to be undermined.
The multicultural enterprise requires a great deal of forebearance on the part of the majority culture. At a point, and that point has been reached in Holland, the working consensus in favour of multicult will collapse and politicians will face calls to abandon the entire enterprise. Tragically, if they do not heed those calls, the extremists will take matters into their own hands.
Toleration is not licence, nor is an invitation to relentlessly call for the destruction of the host culture. Muslims - and others - who do not realize this need to be reminded, initially by their own communities but, if they persist, through the criminal and immigration law.
I do not like hate crimes laws in general; but there is a huge difference between preaching hatred of the Jews or the Gentiles or all non Muslims and inciting the murder of specific individuals. The former should simply embarass the preacher's community, the later should lead to jail time and a one way ticket to country of origin if the hate monger is an immigrant.
If a society is willing to back up its multiculturalism with this sort of firm defence of its own soverign rights then the question of right wing extremism in the face of Muslim provocation should not come up.