The WSJ yesterday had a front page article: “Islamist Threats to Dutch Politician Bring Chill at Home: Ms. Hirsi Ali quits Parliament, plans to resettle in US after losing safe house; a debate over extremism.” Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somalian immigrant who describes herself as a “Muslim atheist,” helped filmmaker Theo van Gogh by writing and narrating the film “Submission” for which he was assassinated. After that, she and another parliamentarian, Geert Wilders, who has spoken out against radical Islam were moved by the government on a regular basis, between army bases and other safe houses, for their protection. Eventually, the government purchased a flat and outfitted it with bullet-proof glass and other security features so Ms. Hirsi Ali could have a safe place to live. 11 of the 14 other flat-owners in the building then sued to evict her, on the grounds that she was a security risk for the whole building. (Which is probably true, since she continues to receive death threats.) The Dutch court ruled that she was violating the human rights of the other tenants by putting them at risk and lowering their property values. Ms. Hirsi Ali responded by resigning from Parliament and making plans to move to the US, where she has been offered a position with the American Enterprise Institute thinktank (conservative, in case you couldn’t guess).

What can be said about the cowardice of the Dutch? The WSJ helpfully 😉 reviews their history of helping the Nazis to deport 78% of their Jewish population, more than any other invaded European country in WWII. One of Ms. Hirsi Ali’s neighbors across the street, an 84-yr old Jewish man who was hidden from the Nazis, was interviewed. He expressed gratitude to his helpers, but said that Ms. Hirsi Ali is in a different situation, since she is deliberately provoking the Muslims. Several other neighbors were quoted to the same effect. The WSJ also quotes a report by a government-sponsored research project with the Scientific Council for Government Policy, which found that there is no fundamental clash between the West and Islam, and condemned a “climate of confrontation and stereotypical thinking.” The head of this project, Jan Schoonenboom, said, “She [Hirsi Ali] spits in the face of all Muslims.” Sounds like a real neutral, unbiased investigator the government’s got there!

This is not just cowardice and betrayal of a woman who sought refuge in their country; this is downright stupidity. The Dutch, along with far too many other Europeans, fail to recognize that the Muslims will not be satisfied with anything less than their total submission and subjugation. They’re not asking for fairness, or equal participation in society. Every other modern religious group tolerates open discussion of its history and failings. (I may not be happy, but I won’t try to assassinate you if you talk about the Crusades or the Inquisition.) Muslims are not looking for an equal place in society. They are looking for domination of society in America and Europe. They will not be satisfied till their laws are supreme, till their religion is respected without discussion, till their mores are enforced on the West. Every single retreat – every journalist or politician who is thrown to the wolves – every concession in Iraq – every speech against the US’s bold stand – is simply an encouragement, a promise that the rest will be given soon, if they keep pushing.

As for Ms. Hirsi Ali moving to the US, wonderful. I’m proud that this country is still recognized as a refuge for people who are oppressed or persecuted. (If only we could extend the protection more generously, to North Korean refugees in China, etc.) Will she be dangerous for the people who live and work near her? Of course. But it’s already dangerous to live in the US. Unless we’re prepared to surrender our freedom and our choice of lifestyles, it’s going to keep being dangerous. I live near a military base. I want to get a residency in a state capital. I intend to keep saying unpleasant truths about Islam whenever possible.

The Dutch need to remember, if they ever understood, Patrick Henry’s immortal lines: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”