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November 13, 2004
The Result Of Desperation

Government exists to protect its citizens, and free societies give up a certain level of their liberty in order to enable their government to fulfill its mandate. The definition of protection varies, but the concept is the same; in America, we traditionally limit government to national defense and a certain level of social support for the neediest, while countries like France and Germany define protection in their cradle-to-grave social systems. But the one definition on which we all agree is the guarding of our lives and our ability to exercise our freedom.

When government fails in this primary obligation, the social contract breaks down and people take action themselves for their own security -- and the chaos that results creates a further distortion in society. Vigilante justice becomes the tyranny of the strong and the law, which exists to ensure liberty and equal treatment for all, no longer functions as people lose more and more confidence in it and its providers. Unfortunately for the Netherlands, at least a few of its citizens have decided that the Dutch government has lost the ability to protect them from Muslim extremists:

Flames engulfed a mosque in southeastern Netherlands early Saturday, the latest in a string of fires at Muslim institutions since the killing of a Dutch filmmaker who was critical of Islam. ...

There have been more than 20 incidents of fires or vandalism at Muslim buildings and a handful of retaliatory attacks on Christian churches since the Nov. 2 killing of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a suspected Muslim radical.

Van Gogh, a distant relative of the famous painter, was shot and stabbed to death while cycling on an Amsterdam street. A note pinned to his chest with a knife threatened Islamic holy war, or Jihad, against non-Muslims.

It's fair to say that the Dutch populace took that threat more seriously than European politicians have so far during this age of Islamofascist terror. After seeing one of their favorite filmmakers butchered on the street for simply speaking his mind, and casting their gaze around the general fecklessness of Europe's leadership against terror, a few Dutch citizens decided to answer this particular declaration of war.

Their actions, unfortunately, do nothing constructive to address the problem and will wind up radicalizing the rest of the Muslims in the Netherlands. Violence unchecked forces everyone to take sides. Unless Europe begins to seriously address their Muslim problem, the entire continent will start to resemble the Balkans. Given their long failure to resolve the conflicts in that small corner of their backyard, they cannot afford to replicate it across the Mediterranean. If they want to avoid that result, Europe's governments have to show their citizens that they offer more for their security than a pension check and a boatload of multicultural pablum.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 13, 2004 5:36 AM

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» Daily Dish from The Cool Blue Blog
One of the reasons we in the US do not see widespread retaliation against Muslims is that the US Government is being aggressively responsive to the citizens need for security by taking the battle to where they live. Captain Ed [Read More]

Tracked on November 13, 2004 10:19 AM

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