EUrabia’s Capital: Rotterdam
Women of Rotterdam
“Here entire neighborhoods look like the Middle East, women walk around veiled, the mayor is a Muslim, sharia law is applied in the courts and the theaters. An extensive report from the most Islamized city in Europe.”
ROME, May 19, 2009 â€“ One of the most indisputable results of Benedict XVI’s trip to the Holy Land was the improvement in relations with Islam. The three days he spent in Jordan, and then, in Jerusalem, the visit to the Dome of the Mosque, spread an image among the Muslim general public â€“ to an extent never before seen â€“ of a pope as a friend, surrounded by Islamic leaders happy to welcome him and work together with him for the good of the human family.But just as indisputable is the distance between this image and the harsh reality of the facts. Not only in countries under Muslim regimes, but also where the followers of Mohammed are in the minority, for example in Europe.
In 2002, the scholar Bat Ye’or, a British citizen born in Egypt and a specialist in the history of the Christian and Jewish minorities in Muslim countries â€“ called the “dhimmi” â€“ coined the term “Eurabia” to describe the fate toward which Europe is moving. It is a fate of submission to Islam, of “dhimmitude.”
Oriana Fallaci used the word “Eurabia” in her writings, and gave it worldwide resonance. On August 1, 2005, Benedict XVI received Fallaci in a private audience at Castel Gandolfo. She rejected dialogue with Islam; he was in favor of it, and still is. But they agreed â€“ as Fallaci later said â€“ in identifying the “self-hatred” that Europe demonstrates, its spiritual vacuum, its loss of identity, precisely when the immigrants of Islamic faith are increasing within it.
Holland is an extraordinary test case. It is the country in which individual license is the most extensive â€“ to the point of permitting euthanasia on children â€“ in which the Christian identity is most faded, in which the Moslem presence is growing most boldly.
Here, multiculturalism is the rule. But the exceptions are dramatic: from the killing of the anti-Islamist political leader Pim Fortuyn to the persecution of the Somali dissident Ayaan Hirsi Ali to the murder of the director Theo Van Gogh, condemned to death for his film “Submission,” a denunciation of the crimes of Muslim theocracy. Fortuyn’s successor, Geert Wilders, has lived under 24-hour police protection for six years.
There is one city in Holland where this new reality can be seen with the naked eye, more than anywhere else.Â 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.
This city is Rotterdam, Holland’s second largest city by population, and the largest port in Europe by cargo volume.
The following is a report on Rotterdam published in the Italian newspaper “il Foglio” on May 14, 2009, the second in a major seven-part survey on Holland.
The author, Giulio Meotti, also writes for the “Wall Street Journal.” Next September, his book-length survey on Israel will be published.
The photo above is entitled “Muslim women in Rotterdam.” It is from an exhibition in 2008 by the Dutch photographers Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek.
In the casbah of Rotterdam
by Giulio Meotti
In Feyenoord, veiled women can be seen everywhere, darting like a flash through the streets of the neighborhood. They avoid any sort of contact, even eye contact, especially with men. Feyenoord is the size of a city, and there are seventy nationalities coexisting there. It is an area that lives on subsidies and residential construction, and it is here that it is most obvious that Holland â€“ with all of its rules against discrimination and all of its moral indignation â€“ is a completely segregated society. Rotterdam is new, having been bombed twice by the Luftwaffe during the second world war. Like Amsterdam, it is below sea level, but unlike the capital it does not enjoy an image of reckless abandon. In Rotterdam, it is the Arab shops selling halal food that dominate the cityscape, not the neon lights of the prostitutes. Everywhere are casbah-cafes, travel agencies offering flights to Rabat and Casablanca,Â posters expressing solidarity with Hamas, or offering affordable Dutch language lessons.
It is the second-largest city in the country, a poor city, but also the economic engine with its huge port, the most important in Europe. Most of the population are immigrants, and the city has the tallest and most imposing mosque in Europe. Sixty percent of the foreigners who arrive in Holland come here to live. The most striking thing when one arrives in the city by train are the enormous and fascinating mosques framed by the vibrant green, luxuriant, wooded, watery countryside, like an alien presence compared to the rest.Â They call it “Eurabia.”Â The Turkish Mevlana mosque is imposing. It has the tallest minarets in Europe, even higher than the stadium of the Feyenoord soccer team.
Many of the neighborhoods in Rotterdam are captive to the darkest, most violent form of Islamism.Â Pim Fortuyn’s house stands out like a pearl in a sea of chador and niqab. It is at number 11 Burgerplein, behind the train station. Every now and then someone comes to put flowers in front of the home of the professor who was murdered in Amsterdam on May 6, 2002. Someone else leaves a card:Â “In Holland everything is tolerated, except for the truth.”Â A millionaire named Chris Tummesen bought Pim Fortuyn’s house so that it would remain intact. The evening before his murder Pim was nervous, and had said on television that a climate of demonization had been created against him and his ideas. And his fears came true, when he was shot in the head five times by Volkert van der Graaf, a militant of the animal rights left, scrawny, head shaved, eyes dark, dressed like an environmental purist in a handmade shirt, sandals, and goat’s wool socks, a strict vegetarian, “a guy impatient to change the world,” his friends say.
Not long ago in downtown Rotterdam, funerary photos of Geert Wilders were placed under a tree, with a candle to commemorate his upcoming death.Â Today Wilders is the most popular politician in the city. He is the heir of Fortuyn, the homosexual, Catholic, ex-Markist professor who had formed his own party to save the country from Islamization. At his funeral, only the absence of Queen Beatrice kept the farewell to the “divine Pim” from becoming a funeral fit for a king.Â Before his death they made a monster of him (one Dutch minister called him an “untermensch,” an inferior man in Nazi parlance), afterward they idolized him. The prostitutes of Amsterdam left a wreath of flowers in his honor beneath the National Monument in Dam Square, a memorial to the victims of World War II….
There is a great deal more. Read it all.