Heeding the Times from Harry Antonides' Desk

Rotterdam, Capital of Eurabia*

September 14, 2009

 

Rotterdam, Holland’s second largest city and Europe’s busiest port is undergoing a revolutionary change that is more powerful in its impact than the bombing on May 14, 1940 that devastated the heart of that city. 

Evidence of this momentous change is everywhere writes Sandro Magister, who calls Rotterdam “the most Islamized city in Europe.” He writes: 

Here, entire neighborhoods look as if they have been lifted from the Middle East, here stand the largest mosques in Europe, here parts of sharia law are applied in the courts and theaters, here many of the women go around veiled, here the mayor is a Muslim, the son of an imam. 

Giulio Meotti, Italian journalist, published a seven-part survey on Holland in the Italian newspaper  il Foglio. The second in this series, entitled “Islam in Europe: In the Casbah of Rotterdam,” is available on Catholic Online (www.catholic.org). The following is a summary of that article. 

Pim Fortuyn, who was murdered on May 6, 2002 for his outspoken criticism of radical Islam, made his home in Rotterdam. His house was bought by a millionaire who wanted to keep it intact in memory of the former owner. People still bring flowers and leave cards at the house. Someone left a card: “In Holland everything is tolerated, except for the truth. ” Not far from a Muslim neighbourhood  stands a granite statue of Fortuyn, with the Latin inscription  “Loquendi libertatem custodiamus,” let us safeguard the right to speak. 

How Not to Safeguard the Right to Speak

Muslim lawyers in Rotterdam demanded changes in court room rules because Islam teaches that all men are equal. They recognize only Allah as a superior being and therefore they do not want to show deference to anyone by standing when the judge enters the courtroom. The lawyer  Mohammed Enait  who heads the legal office  Jairam Advocaten  has persuaded the  court of Rotterdam that he has the  right to remain seated. The court explained that there is no legal obligation on Muslim lawyers to stand in the court because such a demand  is “in contrast with the dictates of the Islamic faith.”  Presumably, Mohammed Enait’s notion of the equality does not include all humankind, because he has refused shaking hands with women. 

A well-known Rotterdam theater company has complied with sharia law by creating separate seating arrangements for men and women. Another theater group wanted to stage a performance about the life of Mohammed’s favourite wife Aisha.  The Muslim actors in the company told the director Gerrit Timmers that they had received death threats. An article appeared in a Rabat paper saying that the actors would end up like Salman  Rushdie if they went ahead. Timmers explains why he cancelled the planned performance: “For me, it was more important to continue the dialogue with the Moroccans, rather than provoke them.” 

The mayor of Rotterdam is a practising Muslim and several of the city council members are Muslims. One of them is Bouchra Ismaili, who caused a stir last year when in a letter to newspapers he wrote: “Listen up, crazy freaks, we’re here to stay. You’re the foreigners here, with Allah on my side I’m not afraid of anything. Take my advice: convert to Islam, and you will find peace.” 

Sylvain  Ephimenco  is a prominent  Franco-Dutch journalist who is well-known as a sharp critic of radical Islam . Shortly after 9/11 he wrote an open letter to all Muslims in Holland in which he warned that they are allowing Islam to be taken hostage by the jihadists unless they begin to speak publicly against them without equivocation. 

Ephimenco explains the growing popularity of Geert Wilders as a response to what many see as a threat from radical Islam.  He tells his interviewer: “ Wilders is against the Frankenstein of multiculturalism.” Ephimenco, too, is against what he calls the “betrayal” of the Enlightenment ideals of equality of men and women, and  freedom of expression. 

A Great Chill

Chris Ripke is an artist who has a studio close to a mosque. Shocked by the murder of Theo Van Gogh by a Dutch Islamist in 2004, he decided to paint an angel on the wall of his studio with the biblical commandment “Gij zult niet doden,” thou shalt not kill. His neighbours at the mosque found these words “offensive” and complained to the city mayor. The mayor promptly ordered the police to  erase the painting  because it was “racist.” A television journalist camped out on the spot in protest. The police arrested him and destroyed his film. 

Ephimenco joined this protest by putting up a big white sheet with the same biblical commandment, which was reported on radio and television. He says, “if you can no longer write ‘do not Kill’ in this country, then you are saying we are all in prison…. There is a great chill. Islamism wants to change the structure of the country.” 

Ephimenco thinks that a big part of the problem is that since the 1960s, religion was dying, “a unique event in Europe, a collective de-Christianization. Then the Muslims brought religion back to the center of social life. Aided by the anti-Christian elite.” 

Behind Ephimenco’s house is a flourishing middle class  Islamized neighbourhood  with Muslim signs everywhere, including Turkish flags. Close by is an important church, but it’s empty, “no one goes there anymore.”  In the middle of one square  stands a mosque  with Arabic writing outside. Ephimenco explains to his visitor: ”That used to be a church.” 

These six simple words tell a story that is astounding in its depth and meaning.

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*Bat Ye’or, a specialist in the history of non-Muslims in Muslim countries has coined the term “Eurabia” to describe the direction in which Europe is moving, that is, submission to Islam, or “dhimmitude.”