December 27, 2004 4:24 PM   Subscribe

Update from Holland. After the filmmaker Theo van Gogh's murder by Mohammed Bouyeri, the Dutch creed of tolerance has come under siege.
posted by semmi (12 comments total)
Or the creed of realism has come Out of Siege, depending on how you look at it.
posted by HTuttle at 4:31 PM on December 27, 2004

Best article I've read on the subject. Thanks, semmi. (Though your fpp is a little oversimplified. The question -- or the most important one -- is how to afford muslim women their rights without stepping into bigotry. It's telling that van Gough was one of the few dutch filmmakers to use moroccan actors; I'd be interested to know if anyone here's seen "Najib en Julia".)
posted by Tlogmer at 4:49 PM on December 27, 2004

Nice distinctin, HTuttle.
posted by 1016 at 5:06 PM on December 27, 2004

under siege?
posted by neckro23 at 6:44 PM on December 27, 2004

Very brief FPP, indeed, but a brilliant article. Thanks.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:07 AM on December 28, 2004

I'd be interested to know if anyone here's seen "Najib en Julia"

"Najib and Julia" basically is "Romeo and Juliet" retold, with Julia as the spoiled daughter of a well off family, and Najib as the street smart pizza delivery boy from Moroccan origin.

Najib's brother is a drugs dealer, to complicate matters. But, the TV series basically picture both families as neither completely good nor completely rotten.

I liked the first two and the final episodes. But on the whole the series had too many little story lines that weren't particularly helping my appreciation.

And, because Van Gogh always had to do everything on the cheap, the sound was awful.
posted by ijsbrand at 7:03 AM on December 28, 2004

What the hell, I'll take a whack at tolerance.

Tolerance. Has a nice pat-yourself-on-the-back kind of ring to it. A passive virtue, it got Holland first rate ethnic restaurants and cheap trash haulers. It also let them indulge a warm moral superiority.

A less charitable person might call it indifference.

Either way, not a lot of thought seems to have gone into the policy making. Even assuming the best will in the world (and really, do we have to?), one has to ask, what favors did Holland do to the veiled girl who is now neither Dutch nor Morrocan? Or France to the Algerian unemployables the ring the suburbs of Paris?

There is a reason that the Arab gulf states don't tolerate non-muslims the right to proselytize, much less build churches. They value their religion, their cultures, and wish to seem them extend down throughout the ages .

The Dutch, let us say Europe as a whole - possibly less so.

As a final thought- I wonder how Najib and Julia would have gone down if Julia had been Muslim and Najib Dutch.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:38 AM on December 28, 2004

is is not what I experience in daily life: i live on that Allebee-square. Petty crime happens here like it happens everywhere; in the five years i've lived in this house I never witnessed much personally.. Ok, my old car got stolen once. ;) .. they caught the guy & he did time. I do witness local-politics defending only the interests of the 'haves' in Amsterdam. The atmosphere in the neighborhood has actually gotten better since Van Gogh's death; people tend to talk more. That is to say: all under 45 years: most elder are still stuck in their shell of complaining 'vroeger was alles beter'..

Originaly being from a little town in the south of Holland with quite some immigrants, when I grew up there were always some maroccan, turkish or iranii kids around; in class, sports etc.. I never realised any big diffences between us unless somebody mentioned the situation in Israel or Iraq in a discussion; where we cheeseheadz tend to approach the subject from a western point of view, they enlighted the other side of the story for us.. And listening to them I often had to admit that our vision was severly limited.. These problems have since not been solved, continued for years and years, even gotten worse. Result: besides p.e. a whole generation of Palestinian and Israeli kids totally fucked up(being shot at messes you up bigtime!), the western world is not being taken seriously anymore.. Who would want to be a part of the Hypocrit Nations or the Hypocrit States of America?
We are now merely reaping what we sowed.. and are still sowing with our patriachal approach

"& what favors did Holland do to the veiled girl who is now neither Dutch nor Morrocan?"
ever been to Marocco? shit ain't that great there .. they do realise things are better here..
posted by borq at 8:22 AM on December 30, 2004

Not sure what "shit" we are talking about. How does it compare to the "shit" of the "Hypocrit Nations" or "Hypocrit States of America". Would Holland fall into this category of "Hypocrit"? Is it therefore in the end more or less "shit[ty]" than the HN or the HSA?

My point was not the relative merits of Morocco (a country with much to recommend it) or Holland (ditto) as desirable places to live. It was to the question of cultural identity, of food, climate, ancestral history, folk music, children's stories, landscape, legend, law. Ms Veil is clearly not embracing the liberating ethos of her new country, nor is she all that comfortable with her country of origin. She has in effect been banished from what borq sees as her "shit[ty]" patrimony, and found nothing to replace it- a tragic situation as the Greeks could have told you.

And what encouragement does Holland give her? Consider- a Rotterdamer tries to mourn the murder of Mr Van Gogh by painting a mural proclaiming "Thou Shalt Not Kill" on his own property. Muslims neighbours are offended, complain, and, instead of being reminded that they have chosen to live in a tolerant country and that if they cannot show even a little outrage at the crime of murder they should at the very least shut up, they are instead indulged, the painting destroyed, the witnesses jailed.

Now if the governing bodies have this little faith in themselves, where is the unassimilated immigrant left? Should Ms Veil follow the bold lead of Ayaan Hirsi Ali (now in hiding, probably for the rest of her life), or continue to wear the veil and continue to be subject to the petty abusesof a Dutch (say Western) population that takes out their predictable frustration on her?

By refusing to adhere to their own principles, Holland is telegraphing the world that this is a country and a culture with no self confidence and no future. In so doing, they betray not only themselves and their own patrimony, but also the Ms Veils and Ayaan Hirsi Ali's of this world. As I said- no favors.

But what the hell do I know? I'm over forty five....
posted by IndigoJones at 3:43 PM on December 30, 2004

"Thou shalt not kill" is different from "don't kill". It's a christian reference. (I'm just saying.)
posted by Tlogmer at 5:05 PM on December 30, 2004

Indigo: no offence meant regarding your age. The thing is that in our neighborhood the elder who still live there have the same view as mentioned in the article.. it's hard for them to accept things have changed, understandable but not helping at all.

Morocco, 'a country with much to recommend it' indeed but only in a few regions! btw surfers: they've got kick-ass waves there and good food :D

about the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" issue: there are a lot of finger pointing towards the muslim-society; this finger was problably too close in their face to let it go over their side. We must stop blaming a whole group based on the actions of one idiot.

'ask not what your country does for you ...... " ;)
posted by borq at 5:25 AM on December 31, 2004

The ten commandments are found in the 'Hebrew Bible', so it's not an enterily xtians only thing there.
posted by dabitch at 5:55 AM on December 31, 2004

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