The Times Wrings Its Hands

Here is how the New York Times responded today to the horrific murder of Theo Van Gogh and the ensuing arrest of nine Islamic militants:

Something sad and terrible is happening to the Netherlands, long one of Europe’s most tolerant, decent and multicultural societies.

Yes, that is true. Van Gogh was shot, and then, while still alive, he was stabbed repeatedly and his throat was cut. The murderer then stuck a five-page letter to Van Gogh’s body with the knife; the letter threatened certain Dutch politicians. That is indeed “sad and terrible,” although we would be more inclined to rage than sadness.
But what does the Times propose to do in response to this terrorist murder?

Urgent efforts are needed to better manage the cultural tensions perilously close to the surface of Dutch public life. The problem is not Muslim immigration, but a failure to plan for a smoother transition to a more diverse society. One very real danger is that the public trauma over the van Gogh murder may lead to a clamor for anti-Muslim policies that could victimize thousands of innocent refugees and immigrants.
The challenge for Dutch political leaders is to find ways to reverse this disturbing trend of politically motivated violence without making it harder to achieve cultural harmony.

Notice how blame for Van Gogh’s murder rests not with the killers, but with the Dutch government’s “failure to plan for a smoother transition to a more diverse society.” Whatever that means. And, of course, in the Netherlands as in the United States, the Times’ chief fear is that popular outrage at Islamic terrorism might lead to “victimization” of innnocent immigrants. Let me just hazard a guess here: there won’t be any innocent immigrants having their throats cut. Except, perhaps, for Ayaan Hirsi Ali and others who have been threatened with death by the Islamist terrorists.
The Times concludes with a wistful plea for “cultural harmony.” I think harmony went out the window some time ago; the Times just wasn’t paying attention. At this point, the goal should be not so much “cultural harmony” as rounding up the terrorists before more innocent people get killed.
Reading this nonsense in the Times reminds me of how glad I am that John Kerry lost the election.


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