Refugees from religious persecution have fled to Holland for a long time, finding there a tolerance now traditional. English Puritans who went on to America in search of safety were one such group.
Thus the adoption of formal Dutch multiculturalism a few decades back was unsurprising. Tolerance was their thing. More of a shock was the recent outright abandonment of that policy, flowing from the trial of politician Geert Wilders, a right wing, anti-Muslim rabble rouser for what amounted to a charge of hate speech. Wilders was reacting to the socio-cultural impact of Islam upon Dutch society as the numbers of arriving Moslems grew.
Multiculturalism being the pervasive shtick of the Dutch regnant Left, it was a shock when the court upheld rather than slapping down Mynheer Wilders. In short, the decision said that an existing historic culture has a right to protect itself from attack with public discourse, appealing to all or not. That was the death knell for multiculturalism in the Netherlands, at least as an official policy.
The multiculturalists forget or ignore the simple aggressiveness of some cultures. Islamists in Somalia warned recently of ‘immoral conduct’ at hotels, beaches and other public places; the message was basically: “All behave as we decree or we will kill you.”. ‘Religious War’ is encouraged among Palestinians when Jews visit the Temple Mount, the site of the original Jewish Temple, taken to build a mosque during the Moslem conquest of the Holy Land. Some cultures simply are not open to “multi.”
In U.S. political culture, both parties want the same things; President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and open borders are desired by both political parties so elaborate political theater is used to pretend otherwise. Real gaps exist now among the voters, a pro-life Christian has little to bend in accommodation with a pro-abortion atheist. Multiculturalism is nevertheless used as a desirable goal … so long as the accommodation remains on the right. It is in other words, a political fake.
The volume of Middle Eastern and African refugees arriving in Europe in real desperation and the Latinos arriving at the U.S. Mexican border are both large enough as to begin imposing their cultures onto the locals, ever an explosive encounter. Multiculturalism has always seemed better in theory than in real world, face-to-face encounter. Europe and North America are now beginning to have their faces rubbed in that reality.
The people, not for the first time, seem more aware of this than do the politicians. Holland had Mr. Wilders, the U.S. has Mr. Trump. The E.U. seems stuck in the recent multicultural past, with Hungary, Austria and now even Italy beginning to stir in the real and clearly cruel world.
It’s only just begun …