The situation in the Netherlands is pretty grim. The Washington Post reports:
Sometimes the threats come by e-mail. Other times, warnings show up on Internet chat sites. Occasionally they are short video clips. The latest has a soundtrack of Arabic song and automatic-weapons fire, and a photograph of the intended target — a Dutch lawmaker, Geert Wilders.
“He is an enemy of Islam and he should be beheaded,” the narrator of one video clip posted on the Internet says in Arabic, against the crackle of gunfire. Behead him, “and you will earn a place in paradise.”
Wilders is among the more provocative critics of radical Islam and immigrants in the Netherlands. He wants the preemptive arrest of suspected terrorists, whom he calls “Islamo-fascist thugs.” And he wants immigrants expelled from the country for even minor infractions.
Since the execution-style killing last November of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam, and the discovery of an Islamic extremist cell in the Netherlands with a “death list” that included Wilders, police are taking seriously the threats against him and other people whose names have appeared on the list, often for far more moderate statements.
Wilders now travels everywhere with six bodyguards. He cannot sleep in his own home, but is moved around between various undisclosed safe houses. He sees his wife twice a week, at a safe house. Visitors to his parliament office must be cleared in advance and are thoroughly searched; even ballpoint pens are carefully examined.
Meanwhile, the Dutch are not exactly resolute in standing up to the terrorists. From yesterday’s New York Times:
Can angry young Muslims dictate what is and is not acceptable in the traditionally open-minded world of Dutch arts? In the last few weeks, it appears, the answer has been yes.
The Netherlands’ main film festival, now going on in Rotterdam, canceled a showing of a short documentary denouncing violence against Muslim women that was made by Theo van Gogh, who was killed 10 weeks ago. An Islamic militant is accused of the crime.
The film’s producer said he had pulled the film on the advice of the police after receiving threats.
I think it’s safe to say that this is not the path to a long-term solution.