James Taranto’s Best of the

James Taranto’s Best of the Web linked to this story on the BBC’s website. It describes a former Muslim woman from Somalia, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is running for the Dutch Parliament. Ms. Hirsi Ali called Islam a backward religion (for which she has since apologized); death threats sent her into hiding, from which she has now emerged. The BBC interviewed Ms. Hirsi Ali “with her bodyguards waiting outside.” The interview concludes with Ms. Hirsi Ali saying: “And I think that is also another horrible side of Islam – the fact that there is absolutely no toleration.” Which prompted the following editorialising by the BBC:
“Tolerance was a key issue for the Netherlands in 2002.
“The murdered populist politician Pim Fortuyn, who was killed nine days before elections in May, also called Islam a backward religion.
“He did not want to tolerate immigrants. His self-confessed assassin, an animal rights activist, could not stand his intolerance.
“A cornerstone value of Dutch society, tolerance is bound to be central to the January election campaign.”
It seems like the more central tolerance is, the more politicians get shot. Apparently Ms. Hirsi Ali’s bodyguards are there to protect her from those who can’t stand her intolerance. No indication, however, that the Muslims have to hire bodyguards to protect themselves from her. It’s hard to say whether the BBC’s correspondent is an intentional or unintentional ironist.


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