Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Intolerant who? (media reaction to Van Gogh murder)

There has been an extensive coverage of the Theo van Gogh murder all around the world. It was followed by a wave of violence and attacks against mosques, immigrant centers etc.
In addition, Dutch voted Pim Fortuyn as the Greatest Dutchman.
Reporting it, Reuters attempted to connect the dots:

"The telephone and Internet vote was held amid an upsurge in sectarian attacks, including the recent killing of filmmaker Theo van Gogh and retaliatory arsons against mosques, churches and schools, which have strained Dutch traditions of tolerance."
"Dutch traditions of tolerance" had been already strained by the act of violence against the filmmaker who got slain simply because somebody, for whatever reason, didn't like what he had done.

The violence that followed is reprehensible but understandable. As Instapundit explains so well:
Nothing breeds that sort of freelance violence like the perception that the duly constituted authorities aren't willing to protect the citizenry. People in the United States didn't doubt that; people in the Netherlands have had reason to.

There is little doubt that the perpetrators will be caught and brought to justice.
But from what I know about Holland and modern Europe in general, there will be little willingness to address the 'root causes' of this incident to treat it from a broader perspective. The way media has reported such stories only confirms this point.

Update: more in the same vein from Boston Globe:
"A shameful succession of retaliatory fires and bombings at mosques and Islamic centers suggests that just below the surface of Holland's open society runs the molten lava of xenophobic intolerance."


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