The Irony of Freedom

Through Dave Wiegel, I learned to day that the Dutch Party of Freedom has taken 24 parliamentary seats in the last election, making them the third largest party in the Netherlands. I don’t know a lot about the organization, but according to Wiegel, a part of their platform is “a ban on Muslims entering the country and a tax on headscarves”. I find this ironic because, were the religious positions reversed, this would be a classic example of dhimmi. There is, of course, a second bit of irony in that the “Freedom” Party appears to be dead set on denying religious freedom.

It seems to me that in the case of the Netherlands, further support for this type of forced assimilation is more likely to create more Islamic radicals who are opposed to the Dutch state–not actually further any assimilation. Governments can’t make assimilation happen–nor should they try, as their attempts nearly always backfire. Protection of freedom of conscience, protection of freedom of speech, and protection of entrepeneurialism is the best way to promote assimilation. Taxes on certain cultural practices and campaigns to root out unpopular cultural practices just creates a core of people who are too proud to let the government tell them what to do and are willing to fight back as a consequence.

FILED UNDER: Europe, Islam, ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    If I’m not mistaken, leader Geert Wilders also supports banning the Koran. He’s an, um, interesting fellow, though. I understand he also believes that (non-human) animals should be protected in the country’s constitution. He doesn’t actually fit the American left/right divide in any obvious manner.




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  2. I don’t support much of what Geert Wilders has to offer, but I understand completely how political pendulum swings too far in one direction generate pendulum swings too far in the other.




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  3. TangoMan says:

    . Governments can’t make assimilation happen–nor should they try, as their attempts nearly always backfire.

    Governments can’t make multiculturalism bloom–nor should they try, as their attempts always backfire.

    There is, of course, a second bit of irony in that the “Freedom” Party appears to be dead set on denying religious freedom.

    And restoring freedom to revel in Dutch culture without making any accommodation, whatsoever, to cultures from Islam-characterized societies, for when this freedom is denied you, then you are oppressed.

    Now if we take your two statement in sequence we see a rough cause and effect order. Leftist impose multiculturalism on society without putting the issue of cultural replacement/eradication on the ballot so that the people can speak and then all the problems that result from this imposition result in forced compromises on Dutch values and finally the imposition of foreign values becomes too much to bear and the Dutch seek to find freedom from their oppression.

    The left and their schemes to shape society away from its organic roots and into some internationalist, multiculturalist nirvana is the cancerous agent at the root of this problem. What we’re seeing are the body politic’s reaction to the foreign agent.




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