Dutch Labour Party joins attack on Muslims, migrants and multiculturalism

PvdA logoUnder the headline “From the left, a call to end the current Dutch notion of tolerance”, John Vinocur reports from the Netherlands (“a country whose history of tolerance was the first in 21st-century Europe to clash with the on-street realities of its growing Muslim population”) on the latest attack on migrants and multiculturalism, this one by the chair of the PvdA:

“Two weeks ago, the country’s biggest left-wing political grouping, the Labor Party, which has responsibility for integration as a member of the coalition government led by the Christian Democrats, issued a position paper calling for the end of the failed model of Dutch ‘tolerance’…. If judged on the standard scale of caution in dealing with cultural clashes and Muslims’ obligations to their new homes in Europe, the language of the Dutch position paper and Lilianne Ploumen, Labor’s chairperson, was exceptional.

“The paper said: ‘The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance.’ Government and politicians had too long failed to acknowledge the feelings of ‘loss and estrangement’ felt by Dutch society facing parallel communities that disregard its language, laws and customs. Newcomers, according to Ploumen, must avoid ‘self-designated victimization’. She asserted, ‘the grip of the homeland has to disappear’ for these immigrants who, news reports indicate, also retain their original nationality at a rate of about 80 percent once becoming Dutch citizens.

“Instead of reflexively offering tolerance with the expectation that things would work out in the long run, she said, the government strategy should be ‘bringing our values into confrontation with people who thinkotherwise’…. And that comes from the heart of the traditional, democratic European left, where placing the onus of compatibility on immigrants never found such comfort before…. Labor’s line seems to stand on its head the old equation of jobs-plus-education equals integration. Conforming to Dutch society’s social standards now comes first. Strikingly, it turns its back on cultural relativism….

“Ploumen says, ‘Integration calls on the greatest effort from the new Dutch. Let go of where you come from; choose the Netherlands unconditionally’. Immigrants must ‘take responsibility for this country’ and cherish and protect its Dutch essence.

“Not clear enough? Ploumen insists, ‘The success of the integration process is hindered by the disproportionate number of non-natives involved in criminality and trouble-making, by men who refuse to shake hands with women, by burqas and separate courses for women oncitizenship. We have to stop the existence of parallel societies within our society’.”

Vinocur’s article concludes with a quote from Frits Bolkestein, former leader of the right-wing VVD (“who began writing in 1991 about the enormous challenge posed to Europe by Muslim immigration”): “The multi-cultis just aren’t making the running anymore. It’s a brave step towards a new normalcy in this country.”

New York Times, 29 December 2008

Daniel Pipes hails what he terms “A Dutch fissure in the Leftist-Islamist alliance“.

Update:  Under the heading “Dutch Left calls for an end to suicidal notion of tolerance” Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch also applauds the PvdA’s stance:

“For years I have insisted that the resistance to the jihad and Islamic supremacism is not a Left/Right, liberal/conservative issue, but one of the defense of our common civilization – however, hardly anyone on the Left has ever demonstrated any awareness of this, perhaps because they have increasingly discarded the values of that common civilization altogether. However, harsh reality is causing some people to wake up in the Netherlands.”