Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Wow! From A German Editorial

Davids Medienkritik has been posting some of the most telling things out of Germany for quite awhile now. Interestingly since the election, there have been more rays of hope, but to me, this is the most promising voice in the darkness, we'll hope it's not too little, too late:

Zero Tolerance for the Enemies of Open Societies
An uncompromising editorial in the Sunday paper Welt am Sonntag:
Zero Tolerance for the Enemies of Open Societies

German version. Translation by Hartmut Lau.)
Lead Editorial
By Otte, Romanus
Mosques, Muslims schools and churches are burning. More than 20 attacks motivated by religious hatred or xenophobia have been recorded by the police since the murder of Theo van Gogh, the filmmaker and critic of Islam, almost two weeks ago. A fanatic Muslim murdered van Gogh on a public street. Artists, politicians and human rights advocates who made remarks critical of Islam are now living under police protection. Many Moslems live in fear of revenge by xenophobic zealots.

The Dutch shock themselves. How could such a thing as a religiously motivated murder happen? Where did the hate that led to this deed by a single fanatic come from? Why did it happen, of all places, in The Netherlands, a society that of course considers itself among the most tolerant in the world?

The answer partially is, "Precisely because The Netherlands are one of the most tolerant countries in the world." A critical debate about what tolerance means has started in The Netherlands. This debate is both painful and long overdue – not only in Holland, but also, since that which happened to our neighbors could happen here at any time, here in Germany.

An explosive mixture has come to exist here just as in Holland. Its ingredients are the same: sub-cultures of fanatic Islamites, fanatic right-wing extremists, and fanatic left-wing extremists. More than anything else

it is the fact that a large number of young men in either society cannot see a future for themselves assures that extremism of all strips can find numerous recruits. And our societies call that tolerance.

This attitude, developed under a cloak called exemplary tolerance, is in fact a mixture of well-meaning illusion, disinterest, conflict aversion and self-hatred. . .

There's more, especially interesting is the line about Europe being based on Judeo-Christian heritage. Read the whole thing.

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