Dutch Fear Muslim Reaction to Hirsi Ali’s Gay Movie

The Dutch authorities fear that “Submission 2,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s soon to be released new movie, might make the Netherlands a target of angry Muslims worldwide. The movie criticizes Muslims for their intolerance of gays. In a report published last Wednesday the country’s National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator (Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding, NCTb) warns that one must seriously take into account the possibility of an international Muslim boycott of the Netherlands, similar to the boycott of Denmark by the Islamic world earlier this year over the Muhammad cartoons.

The NCTb writes that “Submission 2” has already attracted attention in the Arab world and in Iran. The Dutch authorities are working on a plan about what to do if the movie does, indeed, stir up international Muslim indignation. “Controversial debates or artistic quotes about Islam in the Netherlands can be abused by radical Muslims abroad to agitate against the Netherlands,” the NCTb report says. It states that the Danish cartoon affair shows how minor local incidents can rapidly escalate into violent tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims. “Not only political interests but also economic interests as well as the safety of embassies and Dutch troops abroad can be in jeopardy.”

The NCTb also warns for possible repercussions within the Netherlands. The report says that Dutch Muslims, including soldiers in the Dutch army, are growing ever more radical. An increasing number is said to visit radical mosques controlled by the Salafi, a Saudi dominated sect which advocates a return to the strict rules of 7th century Islam.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has announced that her new movie will be released later this year. “Submission 2” criticizes the “lack of sexual liberty” of homosexuals in Muslim societies. Hirsi Ali’s first movie, “Submission,” which was released in 2004, criticized the discrimination of women in Muslim societies. The script of the movie was written by Hirsi Ali. The movie depicted verses from the Koran written on the naked backs of battered women. Theo van Gogh, the Amsterdam film maker who directed Hirsi Ali’s movie, was assassinated in November 2004 by a Muslim fanatic. Van Gogh’s murderer pinned a letter to his corpse, threatening to kill Hirsi Ali as well.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born immigrant who moved to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape a forced marriage arranged by her family. She has become one of the country’s most outspoken critics of Islam (and of religious conservatism in general). She began her political career by working for the Wiardi Beckman Foundation, the think tank of the Dutch Socialist Party. In 2002 she joined the Liberal Party VVD, for which she was elected in the Dutch Parliament the following year. Last month however, Rita Verdonk, the Dutch minister for Immigration (who also belongs to the VVD), stripped Hirsi Ali of her Dutch nationality because she had not revealed her real identity when she requested political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992. Next September Hirsi Ali will move to the United States, where she has been offered a job at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank that has asked her to help in “furthering the reconciliation of Muslim teachings with the ideals of individual freedom and responsibility and the ‘open society.’”

The way in which the Dutch threw Hirsi Ali out in an attempt to appease Muslim fanatics has attracted worldwide attention. The famous Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa criticized the Netherlands this week in an op-ed piece in the Lima newspaper El Comercio. He wrote that he had “applauded the Netherlands in the past when it was a pioneer in allowing euthanasia, legalising drugs and institutionalising gay marriage. Now I am disillusioned by the disgraceful surrendering of a government and the public opinion of a democratic country to the blackmail of terrorist fanaticism.

Perhaps Vargas Llosa should ask himself whether the moral relativism of the Dutch, which led to the euthanasia, free drug consumption and gay marriage he applauds, might not have caused the disgraceful attitude of appeasement towards fanatics.

Meanwhile there was a political row in the Dutch Parliament earlier this week, concerning a visit by Queen Beatrix to the Mobarak Mosque in The Hague. The Mobarak Mosque is the oldest mosque in the Netherlands. It was established 50 years ago. Like all visitors the Queen took off her shoes before entering the mosque. However, she also agreed not to shake hands with the imams and radical religious leaders running the mosque. According to the imams, who belong to a radical group, Islam forbids them to touch women other than their wives. Jan-Peter Balkenende, the Dutch Prime Minister, praised the Queen for the “example of religious tolerance” that she had given by not shaking hands. The conservative politician Geert Wilders, however, told Parliament on Wednesday that he had been “greatly irritated” by the Queen and the Prime Minister, who “under the pretext of tolerance are selling out Dutch values such as the equality between men and women.”

In truth this “tolerance” of Beatrix is a sham, which is proved by the fact that in 1982 she refused to visit a group of radical Orthodox Jews because they... refuse to shake hands with women. And there are others whose hands the Dutch Queen will not shake. Politicians from Belgium’s largest party, the Vlaams Belang, learned today that they will not get to see the Dutch Queen during her official state visit to Belgium next month. While in Brussels Beatrix will meet members from all the parties represented in the Belgian Parliament except the VB. This allegedly “far right” party aims for the independence of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern half of the country, and many of its members feel Dutch rather than Belgian. However, the VB also opposes the “islamization” of the country and voted against bills legalising abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and other legislation which the Belgians copied from the Dutch. Earlier this year, during a visit to Belgium, Ayaan Hirsi Ali told a Belgian newspaper that the VB should be banned because, she said, “On many issues they have exactly the same opinions as the Muslim extremists: on the position of women, on the suppression of gays, on abortion. This way of thinking will lead straight to genocide.”

Excellant insight. Appreciate ongoing reports from the front.

Personally, I see the citing of moral relativism as a primary cause as logical. I think that many people are not really engaging in logical "problem solving" and typically are not identifying root causes and I see Belien's view as an exception. We have been on this road a long, long, long time now, the roots go way back. The problem most face in seeing that is that because the situation has so accelerated in the last 50-100 years that the drama of that is blinding them to tracing back beyond that to causes of those causes.


Specifically on the moral relativism -- when you have no solid belief in anything, the only thing worth anything to you is your hide and your comfort. That alone is a good enough reason to agree to indirectly participate in the execution of someone that threatens that comfort and hide.


And of course on the surface many muslim beliefs are much like traditional Christian beliefs. Doh. The pagan nutcase modeled his religion on his perverted understanding of the Christians that surrounded him.  But just because someone produces a twisted parody of something doesn't mean the original should be thrown out. Human nature abhors a vacumn -- if you throw out the original it will be replaced. And overwhelming odds are that it is Islam that is going to replace it. And that's why Ayaan Hirsi Ali's approach is part of the long suicide march of Western civilization.


The great irony is that those that hold views closest to hers harbor the segment that is willing to sacrifice her life, while those of us that most strongly disagree with her are under an absolute moral imperative to defend her life.

The blind leading the blind?

@ European muslim

What is exactly the point of your 'contribution'?  To illustrate that anybody can 'parrot' what someone else is saying?  Where lies the value in that?

Where do you think the 'liberal' Washington Post gets its information on Belgium?  I use the world "liberal" here in the American sense of 'culturally naive-left worldview', which also translates broadly in 'perverse western self-hatred and moral relativism'.  That clearly applies to the main Belgian media outlets and certainly to that 'Centre' at the University of Ghent.  Alternatively, one could also view it as the 'victory' of ideology over empiricism.

What does empirical observation (actual statistics) teaches, as opposed to ideology?   Well, it teaches that, both in America and Europe, PROPORTIONATELY there are more crimes commited by 'foreigners' against 'locals' than vice versa.  While there is no excuse for any crime, it seems ridiculous then to stick the 'racist label'  on 1 of these crimes and not on all the others.  

But, if you want to give "muslims" a bad name by partaking in these intellectually-dishonest propaganda games, go ahead.  In so doing, however, you are certainly not promoting respect for 'muslims' among serious nonmuslems.  And, if anybody wants to see to what the victory of ideology (including religious ideology) over empiricism in the end leads, all they have to do is to observe the actual 'conditions' of 'la condition humaine' in the muslim world today.  You can only lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink.   The same applies to ideological people: you cannot force them to see with their eyes that what contradicts their ideology.   


still blind

Pat Patterson

Interesting that the WaPo article cited is actually a wire service story from the very liberal internet SFGate, which is owned by the San Francisco Chronicle. What I find intriguing is that the article has been taken down from SFGate's archives.

And like abc, European muslim must dazzle with citations and not reason. I'm sure that I can find some black kid in the US that will claim that a supposed rise in hate crimes is caused by the Republicans while a white kid might claim that the New Black Panther Party is out to get him. Colorful, interesting and without a shred of truth other than a human interest story.

Le Washington Post analyse les crimes racistes en Flandre

Many of them blame that atmosphere on Vlaams Belang, or Flemish Interest, a xenophobic and hugely popular separatist party in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium. Members of Van Themsche's family hold prominent positions in the party.

"It was not only a racist murder but a political one, because the guy who did it was from the circles of an extreme right party and was influenced by their ideology," said Meryem Kanmaz, a political scientist at the University of Ghent's Center for Islam in Europe


read the article here:


a qualification #2

@ Snorri Godhi

I fear that your "qualification" can only create a lot of confusion, unless perhaps you would explain what you mean by the term "moral relativism".  For my simple purpose here I will define it as (a) a refusal to make moral judgements, (b) a tendency to see moral equivalencies between 'positions' that are manifestly NOT morally equivalent, and/or (c) some combination of a and b.  Neither Americans nor Europeans these days have any great reluctance to make moral judgments (usually of others), so that definition (a) is not relevant here.  But it is clear that contemporary Europeans IN GENERAL are much more likely to explicitly (and more often implicitly) adhere to many absurd moral equivalencies than contemporary Americans do.

Extreme moral relativism remains of course a problem for the whole of western civilisation.  It is the tendency to make absurd moral equivalencies that undermines the willingness to stand up (make concrete sacrifices) for 'own values'.  Indeed, when the latter are just seen as merely 'in conflict' or 'different' - but not morally 'superior' - from competing other values, that there will be toleration of these other values.  That attitude is destructive for the survival of one's own civilisation in the long term, and clearly that problem of moral relativism afflicts Europe today much more than America.

more moral relativism

Thanks Markfrans for defining what you mean by moral relativism. If we agree that the first thing which needs to be changed is the public attitute how then to do it? Education, which is controlled by the state? Or discussions such as this one? We are yet to see what the reaction will be to Hirsi Ali's film - how long before such films are banned for fear of the public reaction? I fear kicking her out to avoid the problem is a sign that it won't be long at all...

Mobarak Mosque

Mobarak Mosque is an Ahmaddiyan mosque, a sect which is not considered "Muslim" by most Muslims.  I'm guessing this is similar to how most Christians see the Mormons. 

I do not think it is right to describe them as "radical", as I think this sect is pretty moderate.  Besides not shaking a women's hand, what radical ideas do they support?

Which radical Jewish group do you refer to? Would the Chief Rabbi in the Netherlands or in Amsterdam shake the Queen's hand?

Islam In Europe

a qualification

Perhaps it should be clarified that I do think that moral relativism is a problem - in Britain and America. I just do not think that it is much of a problem in continental Europe. This impression is based on talking to people from different parts of the World, mostly academics. If European academics are not relativists, who is a relativist in Europe?

The reason European politicians choose appeasement cannot be reduced to moral relativism. Take Vlaams Belang: the other Belgian parties have an obvious incentive to brand it as "racist"; that does not mean that Belgian voters are moral relativists. Take Ayaan Hirsi Ali: some Dutch politicians have an obvious incentive to ease her out of the country; that does not mean that Dutch voters are relativists.

moral relativism and antibureaucracy

@ antibureaucratic

It is good that you are not enthralled by "bureaucracy", but that is no 'free pass' for hiding behind politicians.  If politicians tend to appease certain fanatics it is because they think that that is what the public wants them to do.  At least in political systems where politiciams need to get elected from time to time.   And, of course, there are always exceptions.

So, it is the general public's attitudes that are in play here, and that is also where moral relativism comes into the picture.  Why moral relativism has become so widespread in the Netherlands and elsewhere over the past quarter century or so, that is a long story.......


Symptomatic cures for moral relativism

Perhaps Vargas Llosa should ask himself whether the moral relativism of the Dutch, which led to the euthanasia, free drug consumption and gay marriage he applauds, might not have caused the disgraceful attitude of appeasement towards fanatics.

If moral relativism leads to euthanasia, legalization of drugs, and gay marriage, then prohibition of euthanasia, drugs, and gay marriage will not do anything to eliminate moral relativism.  The Netherlands has a tradition of appeasement going back at least to 1940, well before euthanasia etc were legalized.

They also have a tradition of peaceful and prosperous multiculturalism (Protestant, Catholic, Jews, and free thinkers all living together) that stretches back for centuries. Perhaps the problem is not "moral relativism", or perhaps the problem is that relativism has gone too far. I'd think that the welfare state is a bigger problem.

moral relativism

I do not think it is "moral relativism" that is the root cause of this problem either, rather the weakness of the politicians to make a stand because they are afraid of public opinion.