November 11, 2005

Diversity Means Death

In the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson opines:

The riots in the suburbs of Paris and other French cities ought to wipe the smirk from the lips of even multiculturalism's smuggest critics. Those who lobby against bilingual education or get upset when their children learn about Cinco de Mayo should look at France and realize that multiculturalism is a lot like democracy -- it's the worst system except for all the others.

The French example presents an ideal laboratory experiment. France, like the United States, bases its sense of nationhood on a set of Enlightenment ideas about the rights of individuals in a society. France, much more than this country, also draws identity from language and an ancient cultural heritage.

But then immigrants began to arrive -- mostly former colonials from North and West Africa, people with darker skin and a different cultural and religious heritage. France essentially said to the immigrants: "Look, these are our ideals -- liberty, equality, fraternity . We're not adding diversity to the list."

It was a deliberate decision, of the kind that opponents of multiculturalism in the United States would have our country make: As a matter of policy, the French refused to acknowledge that cultural and religious differences even existed.

Apparently, Eugene doesn't read the rest of his newspaper, because then he could have told us about how well multiculti is working out in the officially multicultural Netherlands. From the Washington Post:

As Prof. Afshin Ellian arrived at Leiden University law school one day recently, two bodyguards hustled him through the entrance and past the electronically locked doors leading to his office. For the rest of the day, the men stood sentry outside those doors, scanning the hallways for any sign of the people who want him dead.

Ellian is one of a soaring number of Dutch academics, lawmakers and other public figures who have been forced to accept 24-hour protection or go into hiding after receiving death threats from Islamic extremists. In a country with a tradition of robust public debate and an anything-goes culture, the fear of assassination has rattled society and forced people such as Ellian to reassess whether it's worth it to express opinions that could endanger their lives.

"The extremists are afraid that if Dutch society becomes a safe haven for an intellectual discussion of political Islam, it will be very dangerous for them," said Ellian, an Iranian-born professor of social cohesion who escaped to the Netherlands two decades ago from Afghanistan after receiving death threats from communists there. "This is normal behavior in the Middle East, but not in Europe. They think it's their obligation to kill people they consider to be enemies of Islam."

In other European countries and in the United States, Islamic extremists have generally sought to spread terror with indiscriminate attacks -- bombing trains and hijacking airliners. In the Netherlands, however, radicals have embraced a different strategy: singling out individuals for assassination...

The wave of political violence began in May 2002, when Pim Fortuyn, an anti-immigration populist and biting social critic, was assassinated by an animal rights activist. While the crime shocked the Dutch, many people dismissed it as a freak occurrence, not a sign of overheating in the passionate rhetoric and vigorous debate that the country has always cherished.

It drives me nuts that the media keep on lying about Pim Fortuyn's assassination. The reason they lie is precisely because the media and political establishments have some of Fortuyn's blood on their hands.

Fortuyn, a potential prime minister, was murdered by Volkert Van der Graaf, a white lawyer for an environmental organization on May 6, 2002. Tellingly, that was the day after the French Presidential election of May 5 between Chirac and Le Pen, which climaxed the continent-wide Two Week Hate toward anti-immigrationists that Le Pen's qualifying for the final round on April 21 had initiated.

The respectable elites were so enraged at immigration restrictionists at the time that Fortuyn's murder was widely greeted by establishment figures with variations on he-had-it-coming. As I reported for UPI on May 8, 2002:

In response to his killing, El Mundo, a leading Spanish paper, cast much of the blame on the victim in convoluted but clearly angry prose: "A criminal response to the incendiary racist calls of these distant heirs of Nazism, introduces a terrible new element in a Europe that is fearful and harassed by demagoguery: that of vengeful violence, which can only engender more violence."...

Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel implied that the dead man had been just too darn democratic for a modern Euro-democracy: "Democratic parties have to campaign in a very cautious way, and in a balanced and serene way to try to orientate the debate toward democratic values.

The Irish Times editorialized, "It is the very essence of democracy to allow anti-democratic views to be expressed." Apparently, trying to win an election on an anti-immigration plank is inherently "anti-democratic."

Mainstream newspapers and politicians hinted that Fortuyn was a racist, a fascist or even a Nazi. The Irish Times went on: "Nevertheless the murder will serve to highlight the rise of the far right in European politics and may in the long run gain votes for those involved in simplistic, racially-motivated campaigns. Today, on the 57th anniversary of the defeat of fascism, such trends strike a sad note."

Norman Lamont, the former Tory chancellor of the exchequer, wrote, "Britain has been fortunate to avoid the rise of extreme Right-wing, hateful politicians like Jean-Marie Le Pen and Pim Fortuyn, the Dutchman who was murdered in Hilversum."

Aftonbladet, the leading circulation Swedish newspaper, weighed in with, "The brown parties of Europe have a new martyr." Brown was Hitler's color.

The media soon seized upon the self-exculpatory theory that the assassin was some animal rights nut who had shot Fortuyn not because of the politician's voluminous politically incorrect statements about immigration and Muslims, but because of a tiny number of glancing references to animals in his writings.

This was disproved when the murderer finally appeared in court and explained why he did it, but by then, the convention wisdom was set in stone.

First, he wasn't crazy. The BBC reported:

A psychiatrists' report presented to the court concluded that Van der Graaf was sane. It said he was a highly intelligent perfectionist who was emotionally uncommunicative and intolerant of those with different values to his own.

Second, as I wrote in VDARE in "Pim Fortuyn’s Murderer Revealed As Immigration Enthusiast:"

The assassin, Volkert van der Graaf, finally made his confession in court this last week. And -- what do you know! -- he says he killed Fortuyn largely for opposing Muslim immigration.

The London Daily Telegraph reported:

"Facing a raucous court on the first day of his murder trial, he said his goal was to stop Mr. Fortuyn exploiting Muslims as 'scapegoats' and targeting "the weak parts of society to score points" to try to gain political power. He said: 'I confess to the shooting. He was an ever growing danger who would affect many people in society. I saw it as a danger. I hoped that I could solve it myself.'"

The Boston Globe noted:

"Van der Graaf said that he had sensed an increasingly unpleasant and anti-Muslim atmosphere in society after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States—a time when Fortuyn's star was beginning its meteoric rise. Van der Graaf said Fortuyn, 54, had tried to use that atmosphere for his own aggrandizement. 'I saw him as a highly vindictive man who used feelings in society to boost his personal stature. The ideas he had about refugees, asylum seekers, the environment, animals. . . . He was always using or abusing the weak side of society to get ahead.'"


"Van der Graaf claimed, according to the Algemeen Dagblad, he was greatly influenced by politicians who compared Fortuyn with Austrian far-right leader Jorg Haider and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini."

Obviously, I take Fortuyn's murder pretty personally. He wasn't shot by some Muslim loony but by a well-educated person who swallowed the media's demonization of outspoken immigration restrictionists.

The "respectable" press and politicians bear some of the blame for Fortuyn's murder.

Nor am I crazy about the fact that the assassin will be eligible to get out of jail after serving only 12 years.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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