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Criticizing any kind of Islam at all, I gathered, felt too much to them like voicing racial or ethnic prejudice.While freely condemning Protestant fundamentalism–which hardly exists nowadays in that once strictly Calvinist country–they couldn’t bring themselves to breathe a negative word about Islamic fundamentalism.
If fundamentalist Muslims in Europe do not carry out these punishments, it is not because they’ve advanced beyond such thinking, but because they don’t have the power. Let it not be forgotten, after all, how countries ruled by Koranic law treat their homosexual citizens.Even in Egypt, with its relatively moderate and secular government, a widely publicized mass arrest of suspected homosexuals in early 2001 resulted in the torture and imprisonment of dozens of males as young as fifteen.And these figures are undoubtedly dwarfed by the annual number of “honor killings” of female family members who have strayed sexually (or who have shamed their families by being raped)–a form of murder that is so much a part of traditional Muslim culture that it goes unprosecuted even in relatively moderate Islamic countries like Jordan.Most people of non-Dutch origin were fundamentalist Muslims, and most, even after years or decades in the Netherlands, remained largely unintegrated.
The attitudes of Dutch officialdom, and of the Dutch generally, hadn’t helped: although in America the U.I grew up in New York, the world’s most multicultural city, and for some time lived only a few blocks from the imposing Islamic Center on Third Avenue between 96th and 97th Streets.