Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Islamophobic" Dutch gays swing to the Right

Multicultural civil war grows in Holland as "islamophobic" Dutch gays respond to homophobic muslim immigrants, in a contest making strange bedfellows out of "right-wing" politicians and Dutch libertines.

A gay activist interviewed in the article named Frank van Dalen does much to reveal the dishonesty and arrogance preventing us so often from moving towards a less violent accommodation of opposite beliefs. If the article is representing his statements in a trustworthy context, he comes across as an unsympathetically self-deluded thinker. It cautions us all to be honest in formulating our opinions of others, and to value truth when seeking a balance between looking for the legitimate good in people, and yet still seeing what is really there...

Translated, [faithfully, I hope, by myself, despite dubious help from babel fish], from the left-leaning 360 degree magazine's website, we can read of Insecurity and immigration: dutch gays caught in a bind :

The picture postcard of an open and tolerant Amsterdam is increasingly fading: a month does not go by without the national gay organization COC not reporting at least one, even two or three homophobic aggressions. According to police statistics, it is already up to 31 since the beginning of the year. And the incidents do not proceed any old place: "When there is violence, or more often still, provocation or intimidation, it is most of the time in the gay districts, on our streets", explains Frank van Dalen, president of the COC. However, in Amsterdam as in other large cities of the Netherlands, it is the young people of arabic-muslim origin, in particular the moroccans of the second or third generation who are singled out. An ethnic dimension which weighs very heavy in the current political climate.

While incivilities, violence and confrontations between young people of foreign origin and the police make the media headlines, the crisis of Dutch identity is also playing out in the background of demographic upheavals. Indeed, according to official projections, the muslim populations should form the majority of the large cities of the country within three years. "All political discussions are centered on these questions of integration of the moroccans and of religions", summarizes Philippe Esnault, a Genevan long living in Amsterdam.
"All these speeches do not reassure the homosexuals, who are taking refuge in populist rhetoric in order to protect their gains."

In fact, the massive rallying of homosexuals to the populist right, had just been predicted by a survey of the magazine Gay Krant, which foresees a [political issue?] for the local “iron lady", Rita Verdonk, ex-minister known for for her xenophobic declarations and her tough stands regarding immigration. The politician has started a new movement baptized Trots op Nederland ("Proud of the Netherlands"). "She is the homosexuals’ diva", says Laurent Chambon, French sociologist and elected Labour official in Amsterdam, with amusement. "Because of her, homosexuals on the right are coming out of the closet."

In a style inaugurated by the gay tribune Pim Fortuyn who was assassinated in 2002, Rita Verdonk and Geert Wilders, the other leader of the populist right-wing, became masters of the art of waving the scarecrow of Islamism after each incident implicating young people of muslim origin. A technique which works on gays at least as well as upon the rest of the population. "There is islamophobia among gays, I would have preferred that it is not the case, but it is a fact", concedes Frank van Dalen.

Frank van Dalen is not easily deceived on the motives which push the youths to attack homosexuals: "I believe that islam hardly plays any role in it. In truth, it is a question of social position, lack of education and of group behavior... the young people simply use it [islam] as an excuse." For Laurent Chambon, the phenomenon is the symptom of a more general malady, which has nothing specific to do with homosexuals. It particularly fits within a territorial dimension, because of the privatization of the municipal real estate, driving out the lower classes from the downtown area. "If the young morrocans come to play the strong arm in the center it is also because themselves, or their close relations, have just been elbowed out of it, sometimes with brutality, in order to make room for white bobos", he explains. "Gays are the first [targets?] because they are perceived as weak [links?]... In that, they pay the price for their visibility... "

This rise of insecurity coincides with a fall of vitality in the local gay scene. A decline that many Amsterdam citizens interpret as the sign that a "moral blanket" is falling upon the city, as bars close and restrictions multiply. Some put forth even the hypothesis that the parties in power (Labour and Christian Democrats) would benefit from the current tensions in order to “clean up” the gay scene, and to roll back certain gains of the homosexual community.

A vision that the COC president contests, for whom there is not any doubt that the authorities support gays, more than ever. "For the first time, the struggle against homophobia has been integrated in the coalition program. We have a minister of State in charge of the dossier and a more important budget to improve measures in education ", explains Frank van Dalen.

The reinforcement of educational measures for diversity are only a single part of the demands of the Dutch gay movement, which call for draconian measures of repression. It thus obtained an increase on required penalties for offences of a homophobic character. Last June, the COC even proposed the installation of a perimeter prohibiting known delinquents around the gay district. Immediately labeled the "gay ghetto", the idea caused an outcry. It measures in any case the confusion of the [gay and lesbian] community vis-a-vis this new phenomenon.

In response to requests from the gay community, the Amsterdam police force innovated by assigning gay and lesbian officers at heart of a special liaison unit, the Homonetwerk, which informs the remainder of the police force about the [gay and lesbian] community and encourages the victims of aggression to come forward with charges. ...

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I can't help but read this story as another example of how humility is such an essential component to searching for truth. Can a lifelong atheist not question their certainties about whether they truly do understand religious motivation? Can a die-hard socialist not push aside their own financial obsessions long enough to succeed in imagining something other than money alone as the motivating force behind any choice of behavior?
How authoritatively can we each see the unseen in our lives, to what degree can one man claim to sufficiently understand another, as difference after difference separate their personal experiences, further separating their common frames of reference?

Can the besieged Frank van Dalen really believe he knows what is in the heart of the thugs that repeatedly assault his friends? Is he honestly reporting on what is in his **own** heart, is he being honest with himself, when he claims that the "young people" are simply "...using islam as an excuse"...!?! What does that even mean, anyway; is he promoting the politically incorrect blasphemy that islam is a religion condoning violence, and that young muslims are using this as a license to indulge in all-too-typical adolescent urges to be violent? Does he have the courage of his convictions to follow links of one thought to another, or do his thoughts trespass into a "no-go zone" of the mind? For if the youth were indeed using islam as an "excuse" for their violent homophobia, what does that suggest should be the fate of islam itself in the tolerant Netherlands..? Where does he disagree with Rita Verdonk?

Silently missing from the discussion, as usual in these articles, are what the violent moroccan youths themselves think. In their mind, are they beating up gays because of an oppressively "unfair" distribution of capital?
Why deign to ask them, I suppose, when experts already portend to "know" what the youth believe......


VinceP1974 said...

That article was painful to read.... maybe some on-going knoweldge of the situation would have provided some context to the reader (note: i am criticizing the article, not the blogger :))

What is the point of the story?

1 Is it that gays are for whatever reason turning violent aginst Muslims just because?

2 Is it that Muslim attacks against the gays have created a backlash?

I have the feeling that the story wants the reader to thikn 1.. but I thikn it's 2

Charles Henry said...

The gays mentioned in the story aren't violent, it is the assailants who repeatedly attack them that are violent.

I read the article to say that the dutch homosexual community are being mugged by reality, that the multicultural value system founded on celebrating diversity which allows them to exercise their chosen lifestyle, is also allowing the violent muslim immigrants to indulge in theirs, that the two are not co-existing well, and there is confusion about what to do about that, because it means admitting that they were wrong.

The article insinuates that homosexuals who are turning to support "right-wing" politicians are in effect traitors to their class for doing so, straying from the group-think orthodoxy, trotting out the pc term "islamophobic" in order to scare them away from the heresy of seeing faults with blanket tolerance, using terms like "the scarecrow of islamism" to suggest that the religion of the attackers has nothing to do with their motivations for attacking the gay community.

VinceP1974 said...

thanks for the response... i think i should re-read the article. maybe i had an incident of totally misreading the thing :)

truepeers said...

Frank van Dalen is not easily deceived on the motives which push the youths to attack homosexuals: "I believe that islam hardly plays any role in it. In truth, it is a question of social position, lack of education and of group behavior... the young people simply use it [islam] as an excuse."

-Charles, you raise the question of whether this guy understands religious motivation. I would presume that the head of a homosexual organization named COC must be a self-conscious phallus worshiper. One might think he'd have some understanding that at base there is some sense in which everyone is religious, even atheists. But precisely pinpointing religious motivation can be a tricky thing to do because we are often motivated by conflicting religious ideas simultaneously. Sometimes we can see religious people truly trying to live up to orthodox dogmas. Maybe that is the case here. Islam condemns homosexuality. On the other hand, homosexuality is widely practiced in much of the Islamic world, at least among men. That's got to be confusing because it points to some fundamental contradictions in Islamic culture that no Muslim ever talks about.

If Christianity, in calling on us to love all people as the children of God but not necessarily to like them for what they do (just as we love ourselves though often hate what we personally might do), leads to the formula, often referred to in discussions of homosexuality, "hate the sin but love the sinner," I'm tempted to say the Islamic attitude is "hate the sinner but love the sin if you can project it onto someone else as your sacrificial victim". In other words, love being in the dominant sexual role where you can blame the provocative rape victim for the rape. You may have read about the latest atrocious case in Saudi Arabia.

In the Islamic world, being "homosexual" tends to mean being the guy who gets dominated, not the guy who screws him. Homosexuals and sinners are those who allow themselves to be screwed; the dominant male in the widespread culture of pederasty is not seen as a sinner. Those who are so temptingly "gay" are.

That, it seems to me, is what we have to understand when we start to speculate on the motivations for gay bashing among young Muslim men who are presumably sexually excited when they are bashing; I mean, I can't quite imagine that they do it calmly, after having spent long hours at the local madrassa, boning up on the finer points of Islamic law, disciplining themselves in prayer, and then going out to dutifully carry out the law by beating gays. In this sense, only, one might be able to claim their motivation is not strictly Islamic; but how could it be since strictly Islamic requires a country to be ruled by Sharia law, and the Netherlands is not yet so ruled. Thus it becomes a question of Jihad, the rules for which, as I understand it, are somewhat more ambiguous on the finer details of conduct. I don't think Mohammed anticipated the gay scene in Amsterdam when he started laying down the law.

Anyway, I started this by thinking I was going to comment on what van Dalen says, what I quoted above. You say he is an atheist, and I'd suggest everyone, even atheists, are religious. I fancy reading his words as a kind of corruption of Christianity. In saying "Islam has nothing to do with it", but that the bashing is caused by social conditions, isn't he trying to say, don't hate the youths for what they are at their religious or "ethnic" (personal-political) core - i.e. Muslims - hate them for the sins of society in which they are trapped? In other words, any easily politicized group identity that is not straight, white, or Christian, and perhaps especially the Islamic identity, is now perversely accorded the sacred inviolability once accorded all persons in Christianity; the individual is now primarily, religiously, his politicized identity; it is only secular - "societal" - matters which are the domain of sin. Thus we can still hate the gay bashing sin but not the gay bashing "sinner".

Furthermore, since, under the sacred law of today, we cannot criticize homosexuality, this would suggest that phallus worship is indeed sacred and not in the domain of the secular. Thus anything having to do with gays is a religious question in Holland. And Islam is of course infatuated with the Infidel's false religion. But that is what the COC won't say. It suggests that one can't even begin to think the question of a truer religion.

What confusions liberalism has wrought. Or am I just indulging my intellectual fancies?

Dag said...

Charles, that is a very astute critique, lovely to read. And Peers' points are well taken here. However, I diverge. I see this matter as one of sado/masochism: That one must be dominant and the other submissive, but that neither can exist fully without the other, creating the other if need be.

COC-man says "They beat us because they actually love us but don't know so because they are equally tormented by the forces who torment us. If we can be together alone without the enemies that divide us, then we could be happy together. Muslims only beat us because they are unable to see how much they love us, twisted by the system."

Now. of course they don't say any such thing, but it seems to me they mean exactly so. It's unending, and it is destructive of all involved; but there will not be a good resolution because there is an initial bad faith on the part of the homosexuals and the Muslims, both determined to ignore reality in favor of sexual power phantasies.

In conclusion, I write: YUCK.

VinceP1974 said...

I think the characteristic that is the most responsible for the COC guy's stupid statement is not his gayness but his Leftism.

The COC guy's blind spot regarding the Muslim's motive, is the same blind spot your typical leftist has.

I know all of us can come up with reasons as to why the Left is so blind (or dare I say complicit?) to the threat of Islam.

As an example.. i'm a gay guy but since I consider myself a rational , logical person there is absolutely no way i would ever be a Leftist.

Dag said...

Vince, we might all find it good to stand shoulder to shoulder in our struggle to assure the continuation of our beautiful Modernity in which man is free to own his own life as his own private property, to do with, for good or ill, as he sees best. By God, there are many people who outrageously piss me off; and so what? Many of them are my friends, and once in a while one of them is me. The best of our struggle is that I get to meet those I wouldn't know otherwise when I set aside whatever my petty personal prejudices and allow others to fill my on little darkness with their personal lights. It takes some genuine efforts at honesty and humility to take the hood off ones head to see others as they are and to allow them that freedom to be and to allow oneself the freedom to be decent at the same time.

As Peers writes in a post above, we like people if we like people. I find one of the better ways of liking others to be in meeting them. We here in Vancouver meet once a week at the public library to discuss things of a community nature and beyond. "As strangers meta night we talked between the rooms." The Internet is great till the time comes when one really does need a person in the flesh to look at and hear, to know the reality of the person. Now I would ask you to meet others in the flesh as well. We meet each Thursday evening at 7-9:00 p.m. to sit in the atrium at the main branch of the public library. It's gone on for nearly two years.

And you, Vince? Can you find friends to meet with to discuss the problems we all face? I would think so; and in that meeting we would join in spirit each week, creating an aethereal bond that will in time connect with others, real and solid, people who are committed to people, people who like people because it's our nature and our nature to do it more often and deeper.

I'm pleased to meet you, Vince.

Rob Misek said...

Until the scientific community can explain homosexuality, we can only assume it is a choice.

Many governments are forcing their citizens not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

This is logically wrong.

We all are obligated to discriminate between unequal things especially choices. Our survival depends on it.

Homosexuality is not equal to heterosexuality as defined by reproduction, the result of sex, the act by which they define themselves.

Is is possible that this basic truth is why most religions oppose homosexuality?

Too many people aren't discriminating between right and wrong. They don't care about the truth.

In this universe the truth is our only common crucible. join with me in a covenant of the truth.