Magazine article The American Conservative

Europe in Transition

Magazine article The American Conservative

Europe in Transition

Article excerpt

I write this from a small village high in the Swiss Alps, where I have just left the tiny police station with a warning: Muslim women are permitted in the Swiss-German part of the country to totally cover their faces and bodies. The Italian part of Switzerland has forbidden it, but I was unaware that the German sector had done a Merkel and allowed the full burqa. Hence I had demanded some women take them off. An eagle-eyed officer whom I have known for years set me straight--after making me follow him to the police station.

The funny thing is the same happened in New York's Kennedy airport as I was leaving the country. I noticed a woman, completely covered up, walking toward a departure gate and asked a transit officer whether it was legal. He just shrugged. "It's called freedom of religion," said the mother of my children, trying to keep me from making a scene.

France, a country with a large North African population and the locus of numerous terrorist attacks, finally outlawed the full cover some years ago. But the police refuse to enforce it. It took some performers from a Paris opera house to uphold the law when a woman in the second row was spotted fully covered. The singers went on strike until the woman and her escort left the theater. That generated a five-minute ovation.

The fear of insulting Islam has led to a situation in major European cities in which mosques spring up, financed by Saudi money, and soon we see the emergence of fire-breathing imams spreading messages of menace against the infidel. British newspapers regularly feature stories of anti-Semitic incidents taking place in London and Manchester, both cities with large Jewish communities. Yet the perpetrators, who are nearly all Muslims, are never named. I lived in London for 40 years and have yet to see an article or a TV program announce that it's the Muslims who are almost solely responsible for anti-Semitic attacks in Britain. As if Britain's four million Muslims didn't exist.

Such are the joys of political correctness. In Holland, it took the murder of two of the country's most prominent citizens--Pirn Fortuyn, a leading politician, and Theo Van Gogh, a descendant of the painter and a talented film director--for the nation to wake up. Both men were murdered because they dared to state openly that the subjugation of women and the harassment of homosexuals by Muslims in Holland were abuses of Dutch freedoms. …

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