The Dutch Grapple with Intolerance / Race, religion spur immigration debate

By Jennifer Hamm

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- After a 19-year-old man of Moroccan descent was run down and killed by a Dutch woman driver trying to recover her stolen purse, mourners blamed Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk for the death.

Gathered at a makeshift memorial here earlier this winter, the mourners said Verdonk's tough immigration reforms have increased Dutch xenophobia against Muslims, spurring the woman's violent reaction against the alleged purse thief.

Though the Dutch are famous for allowing euthanasia, gay marriage and soft-drug use, it is ironically their tolerance that may have laid the foundation for current ethnic tensions.

"The problem is we have been tolerant of the intolerant and now we are paying the bill," said Bart Jan Spruyt, director of the conservative Edmund Burke Foundation in The Hague. "That bill has to be settled first before we can become tolerant again."

In a nation of 16 million, one million residents are Muslim. But according to Spruyt, cultural relativism has reigned so long that there has been little, if any, push to integrate immigrants from Morocco and Turkey into Dutch society.

As a result, he said, "Muslim immigrants...developed their own parallel society" that is not only alienated from the Dutch mainstream, but also has a "hatred of the modern west" that led to the execution-style murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh last November.

Van Gogh, a descendant of the painter Vincent van Gogh, was shot, stabbed and had his throat slit by an alleged Islamic radical with Dutch and Moroccan citizenship. He was killed in the Dutch capital less than 200 feet from where the alleged purse thief died.

The murder was in apparent retribution for Van Gogh's criticism of Islam in a film depicting Muslim women with texts from the Koran written on their bodies. The implication is that that Islam tolerates violence against women.

The film had been scheduled for a screening at Rotterdam's International Film Festival in January but was cancelled due to threats.

Such threats have become commonplace, and have forced several politicians to live in secret locations under constant guard.

Among those is Geert Wilders, a member of Parliament and one of the most outspoken figure in Dutch politics.

"Islam and democracy are fully incompatible," said Wilders, as quoted by the Washington Post in February. "They will never be compatible -- not today, and not in a million years."

He has called for a five-year ban on all non-Western immigrants as well as the pre-emptive arrest of those considered to be Islamic radicals.

Yassin Hartog, coordinator of Islam & Citizenship, a nonprofit group that promotes active Muslim citizenship in Dutch society, said that such measures would only aggravate tensions and increase separation.

Hartog, who is native Dutch but converted to Islam in the early 1990s, said "increased interaction" is the only solution.

"We've had the various groups living along side each other, instead of living with each other," he said. "Muslims will have to move about in Dutch society more, and Dutch people will have to learn that they cannot have a one-sided debate which only serves to give Muslims a message."

Indeed, Muslims and Dutch share core democratic values and there "is no empirical ground for an often assumed incompatibility of Islam with democratic rights and liberties in the Netherlands," wrote Prof. Karen Phalet, a research fellow with the Utrecht-based European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations, in a report called "Muslim in the Netherlands."

The majority of Muslims in the Netherlands are engaged in the democratic process, said Jean Tillie, co-director of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

"I see a lot of reflection within the Muslim community about the relationship between Islam and democracy," said Tillie, who recently completed a study on Islamic organizations in the Netherlands.

But conservatives such as Spruyt argue that Islam prevents a division between secular and religious law.

"That is at the heart of the matter," he said. "You have to understand that the rules of your personal faith are not the rules of your country."

In the Netherlands, those rules are becoming increasingly tough on immigrants.

Efforts are underway to require non-western immigrants to pass an integration exam. The test would compel an estimated 14,000 annual applicants to demonstrate competency in the Dutch language as well as an understanding of societal norms, such as acceptance of topless sunbathing and gay marriage.

Such initiatives are the result of a shift in the political climate in the Netherlands that started with the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, and was strengthened by the slaying of politician Pim Fortuyn.

After the attacks, Fortuyn gained popularity by declaring that "Holland is full," referring to the nation's status as the most densely populated country in Europe.

He pointed the finger at Muslims saying they were "busy conquering Western Europe" and called for a "Cold War against Islam."

The message resonated with many native Dutch, particularly in cities such as Rotterdam and Amsterdam where there is a high concentration of immigrants.

"Pim Fortuyn could not have succeeded if the 11th of September hadn't happened," said Jeroen Visser of the National Bureau Against Racial Discrimination based in Rotterdam.

When he was gunned down by an animal rights activist in May 2002, the country -- in which guns are forbidden -- went into shock.

Nine days later, his party took second place in the national elections and was ultimately included in the centre-right coalition government that was formed.

Still in power, the coalition pushed through nearly 100 new anti-terror measures in February.

Airports and train stations will be designated permanent security risk zones, allowing police to search anyone at any time.

Terror suspects -- not yet tried in a court of law -- can be banned from public places and from doing certain jobs. Those suspects will also have to report to police regularly.

In the meantime, the trial for the alleged killer of van Gogh is getting underway.

And for the first time, Hartog notes, the defendant's picture has been released to the public. Traditionally, defendant identities are kept private.

The woman driver who killed the alleged purse thief will not be charged, and her identity has not been made public.

"In the minds of many young Moroccans," said Hartog, "all Dutchmen are equal but some are more equal than others."

31 thoughts on “The Dutch Grapple with Intolerance / Race, religion spur immigration debate

  1. Wow!… They murdered a couple of their own,… a purse snatching thief and a supposed radical, thought and believed to be against Muslims,… and this makes them conquerors. Give me a MFA brake… now if you want a conqueror’s story,… just read your history books,… about what they did,…. or had a helping hand in, when being of the first immigrants to land in the new world, and what happened to all the Indians.

    vanrijngo

  2. This is a great article; whereas it demonstrates a common sense and equitable approach, not a total prohibition, but common sense measures to ensure equitable tolerance

    If you want to be tolerated you have to tolerate others, this is what Islasmic world fail to understand.

    Vonnie Phillips

  3. I fear the Islamic domination of Holland will be much longer and far more bloody than even that of the Nazis.

    The Muslim, self-made and fed, ghettos rise into the once lovely Amsterdam sky……and the shadow of Islam falls on all.

  4. Perhaps it is a matter more of deporting radicals and/or arresting them instead of villifying the entire community of Muslims, who are a diverse lot of people and do not necessarily have the same beliefs. Sometimes, it is more a matter of culture, history and politics than of religion.

    A lot of articles and experts have pointed to the effects of radical indoctrination by certain clerics and leading religious figures, in that they brainwash people to support a certain political cause or activity that isn’t found in any particular religion. I call it the ‘Jim Jones’ phenomenon. The problem is not that people are Muslim or the Koran itself but radicalism on the part of fringe groups and leaders.

    Also taking into account the and poverty that affects these communities, along with a lack of national support for immigrations, minority rights and multiculturalism, it all exacerbates the situation. Isolation and experience in Third World conditions can create these situations. This smacks more of segregation and self-imposed isolation than of problems with the traditional Islamic idea of the umma.

  5. Monitor, warn, and if that doesn’t work imprison all extremists,I mean all,dutch & non-dutch alike, to get rid of this scourge that has befallen all peace loving people.

  6. That woman needs to be punished! Do you honestly think that by killing another human being with your car, deliberately because he stole your possesion, that it should simply be put under the rug? Racial profiling then comes into play after the whole thing went down, and it hasd nothing to do with race, its a matter of one man steals a womans purse.. Thats it. Man needs to go to jail and woman needs restituition for the recovery of her stolen possesions and stress. Simply put, this is wrong that the woman will not be put in jail or to death for taking another life.

  7. I am an immigrant in the UK from Romania. I study, work and live like any other citizen.

    I do not agree with people that do not want or even try to integrate in the adopting country. I believe that the main reason of moving to a different country is that you are not happy with your own, so why recreate the chaos and problems you left from, especially in the case of these muslim countries?

    All major western countries face the muslim problem right now and have been terribly hit (US, UK, Holland, etc) And there is now wonder that the countries worst affected have a big muslim community.

    I truly believe that these integration systems should be put in place and stricter control should be made in their religious gatherings, where the indoctrination takes place.

  8. Muslim and Christian religion can not live together. In Islam religion, there is the teaching of killing the infedel, that is anyone who is non muslim. Christian religion teaches love, peace, kindness etc. We all can see the picture. In the west, there is freedom and democracy, although there is pros & cons, that is a good thing. If we want a democratic and peaceful place to live, immigration law needs to act like a seive.

  9. No religion is sacred. Islam is a conservative religion. They want the world to be how it was yester year and not progressing into the world of today. Secondly, No immigrant group is truly accepted with open arms and gum drop smiles in Holland or any other country.

  10. With this level of rabid incitement against their minorities, and against Muslims in particular it is difficult to see by what stretch of the imagination the Dutch can be considered to be a tolerant country. If anything, Dutch tolerance seems to becoming an oxymoron.

  11. A poster up above said that the woman who ran the man over should be punished. The fact she wasn’t was racial profiling? HUH?

    Islam is NOT a race! Being Islamic is NOT a racial identity! Islam is a religion and ideology…. what have you but NOT a race.

    The truth is what it is. Let us call it what it is.

    Here in the Netherlands the muslim population segregate THEMSELVES. No one else is doing it to them. There are so many immigrants here from all over (Myself included from Romania) who are willing and able to adapt themself to Dutch life and culture. As it is supposed to be when you immigrate to another country. However, muslims have their own little communities filled with poverty and crime but who’s fault is that?

    Not the Dutch. Why should they have to spend extra money to help those who decided to come here but not cooperate with the natives? The Dutch can’t be blamed for the Muslim community deciding to create their own parellel place. It is not the fault of the Dutch that Muslims decide not to get education or learn the language to enable them to become gainfully employed here.
    Muslims do this in every country they go to in the West. Look at France and Germany. Is it also France and Germany’s fault that the Muslims decide to make ghettos to live in? (In a country not their own.)

    It is not mean of me to say. I see this everywhere. This is true.

    I feel that no matter who you are, if you decide to go to another country to live…. You need to adapt yourself to their society. You need to agree with their society otherwise MOVE somewhere more agreeable and adaptable to you. Don’t bring your social problems to another country. What was the point in moving in the first place?
    Don’t expect the host country to change to fit your needs.

  12. What I don’t understand is why the most intolerant group of people in the world would chose to live in the most liberal, tolerant nation in the world and then expect that nation to change to accomodate their religon. There are plenty of intolerant Muslim nations to chose from; go live there if the openness of the Dutch offends you. Personally, I would round up all Muslims and pack them off to the Muslim country of their choice, Dutch citizen or not. I know that’s harsh, but it’s obvious they cannot respect the freedom of others and seek to isolate themselves from society. They don’t want to be there; so make them leave.

  13. How can you say that Muslim teach killing and for Christians to say that how can you look ate the prisons they are full with Christians not Muslims so to say that Muslims kill and Christians don’t than you need to take a good look ate our self and how can you writhe this thing god makes’ all people so for differenced religions so only he can say what is wrong and what is not so I just think don’t say thing about people when you don’t wanted them to say it do you We can not say you are not in are society because we are not god so stop trigging to act like god

  14. Interesting readings! I agree with many of the comments made. For instance, people need to consider their motive for moving into a country other than their own native land, and then either accept the good in that new society, or leave.

    No one should be expected to accept societal norms that are oppressive or intolerant based upon factors that no one has the power to change, such as one’s sex or age or race or ethnicity.

    Other factors, which we all have the power to change, such as one’s religious affiliations do not have to be tolerated. And as such, those groups have every liberty to go to their own native lands and practice their own religious beliefs to their heart’s delight, or until stoned, beheaded or otherwise executed or shunned into submission if they dare show differance to that country’s religious practices, no matter how inhumane, sexist and intolerant of basic human dignities and rights!

    I agree. To each, his own…in his own place. You don’t have to agree with me. But you do have to respect me, my decisions about my beliefs and practices, as I do you and yours. Just, you stay in your neck of the world and out of mine, and I will stay out of yours. Anyone who want to come into light and tolerance must come enlightened and also tolerant.

    Waagian

  15. I think none of the people that left comments on this page have ever met or talked to any muslims in their life. Is this true? Has anyone here ever talked to a muslim for more than a few seconds? You might be in for a surprise. There are tolerant muslims just as there are tolereant christians, who can learn to co-operate with one another.

    I think the problem with immigration is that when you have poor people from one country move into a country who is relatively wealthy, both sides don’t want to co-operate with the other. The host dont want the immigrants in their land, and the immigrants dont have a choice but to be there. So if you have 2 parties that dont want to co-operate, they will progress separately.

    And yes, Its true, immigrants dont have a choice to immigrate. When my mother and father made their “choice” to move to a brand new land to learn a brand new language, they didnt do it because they wanted to travel. They did it because there were no jobs, no food, no security. So, death or immigration? No choice.

    As for intolerant extremist people, they should be restained and punished. If a muslim decides to slap my girlfriend because she is sunbathing topless, he will receive a quick kick in the mouth from me, as will any one else who interferes with our nature-given liberty, be it muslim or otherwise.

    Oh, by the way, its not just muslims who scream to kill the infidel, remember, we have the dark ages and the crusades to thank christians for.

    just my 2 cents.

    by the way,

    http://zeitgeistmovie.com

  16. There is no way to promote interaction. Look at the situation in England, have you followed the headlines? Read what the Islamic scripture says regarding tolerance of infidels and you will realize that they will NEVER, EVER accept a culture that is not lived by their Sharia law. Europe’s political correctness is becoming one of their main weapon.

  17. Being mixed Dutch myself I see that there are a lot of misconceptions about muslims in Holland. Having a lot of friends who are muslim and having been to muslim countries I have seen the diversity of muslims, their beliefs in things etc.

    When I speak to friends in Holland I notice there is a big ignorance of what a muslim is (what exactly it is that they believe in), what they do, what they are supposed to look like, how they look at things etc.

    I think a lot of Dutch ppl need to educate themselves a bit more about their muslim countrymen as they are currently seen as bogeymen. (In a way I can see why as there have been a few horror stories in the media in Holland. But, there haven’t main stream initiatives to explain these occurances and ppl assume all muslims are the same and dangerous). So the media need to help educate the population rather than just print the horror stories and taking them out of context.

    At the same time Muslims suffer from misconceptions they have as well. I have had instances in which both muslim friends and I sat together and talked about our religions (Me being Christian) and we noticed that we shared more beliefs then that we disagreed on. Also big parts of the Bible and Koran are more or less and in some instances exactly the same. It was a real eye-opener for all of us.

  18. As a tree bends with the wind, so too should all Dutch who are not already Muslims convert. The future is Islam. The sooner it is realized, the better for all.

  19. So Christians and Muslims are basically the same, except for a little difference? But it’s WHAT the difference is that matters. One difference is all it takes. This is short-sighted and typical of Western EFFUSIVE NEED TO INCLUDE.

    The West & Europe are always trying to accept intellectually, the primitive or underdeveloped peoples. This is short-sighted.

    Primitive cultures should be left alone, in their own lands to come along at their own pace.

    What separates the Western and European societies from others is its basic conclusion of higher civility — having by rule and law decided the value of non-primitive force, for less barbaric behavior.

    Ever see War Games, the movie, at the end, the characters are watching the computer and waiting for it to LEARN not to play the war game. Educated deduction. That’s the Euro/West.

    Willpower to enforce the fact that we can control ourselves and our society by desire to behave without force and by decision.

    West/Euro societies have CHOSEN WILL POWER but primitive cultures have not. They are closer to animals in behavior. So we go in and try to bring them up to our speed but they are primitive (aggressive or forceful first) in culture and have not realized the decision of free civilized survival ON THEIR OWN. The men tent their women, because they can’t control their thoughts and urges. A primitive solution, which speaks to their inability to civilize to a fairer good of all, including women.

    We must just leave other cultures alone. We can not westernize or CIVILIZE peoples that don’t get it on their own. Hard to swallow for Westerners. They haven’t realized the logic on their own, and that is a critical step in evolution of thought and behavior.

    Lastly, when primitive immigrants flood a more civilized and educated, self-controlled society, the society is shaken, even fails.

    Fact is, like animals, even bees… A colony of bees is functioning just fine. Introduce the aggressive, wilder, Africanized killer queen bee and the whole hive turns killer. Do you know what happens when you take a Euro bee and put it into the Africanized colony. It is attacked and forced out to die.

    THE QUEEN BEE SETS THE TENOR OF THE HIVE. If immigrants don’t assimilate to the culture they intrude into, the whole culture will eventurally become like them… primitive, aggressive and barbaric.

  20. Oh, and all that above about tolerance. That is passive submission. Tolerance is usually begged for by the separatist who means to take advantage but not include.
    Ever heard the term, bend over..?

  21. i know the news from other countrys is important but what about what is happening in your own back yard . the frist nation poeple are dieing of hatred by your own grovement how can we allow that type of in tolrant rto go on . the indian act is one very intolrent part of grovement that should not be allow to go on . at least hitler was not allow that behavior so how can a nation as progressive as canada continue to sudjate the frist nation to they intolrants

  22. John Doe,
    I have spoken with Muslims. I had a lengthy group discussion including a couple who claimed to be informed Muslims and proclaimed that their religion was a religion of peace, supported equal rights for women, democracy, etc, and not the religion of bin Laden. When I asked how I could reconcile those statements with what I had been told was in the Koran, she said that the Koran didn’t say the things I thought it said. When I referenced specific tracts I’d read in the Koran, they both had no response, and simply insisted on changing the subject. I had an open mind; I had two contradictory ideas presented to me, yet both seemed credible. As Islam wasn’t defended in an ideal environment like this one was, it lost most of its legitimacy, in my eyes. What Western country can I move to that accepts this reality?

  23. I am sorry to hear that this site is visited by so many morons unless all these posts are fake…I have known many muslims and have only met one radical muslim that made me feel uncomfartable. I had an Iranian friend and she was great! I think you lot need to study a bit of sociology and psychology and then you need to try and prove what you say not by comparing humans to bees but by studying history…I actually find that most muslims are smarter and nicer to women than say British men who treat their women like meat..not to mention Italian men who will only give you a job if you have sex with them..come on..free people? Have you studied the US’s practices? You cherish the death penalty? 35 years to an HIV positive beggar for spitting at a police officer…land of freedom and democracy? Switch your telivision off it’s bad for you and go back to school, books are not expensive. There will be no advancement until poeple like you get a proper education, that should be forced upon you not legalising xenophobia. Democracy? Have you seen the situation in Italy? what about Pinochet thatcher’s friend or saudi arabia US’s friend…that is all fine because it makes us rich at the expense of “primitive people”. I have read the Koran and it does not say to kill infidels it actually says that christians are the nearest people to Allah..you are all very ignorant…if it weren’t the muslims it would be the gypsies as it is in Italy now and if it weren’t the gypsies it would be the Jews or the poles or the indians or the chinese, read the history books, in Italy christians hate christians (north-south divide), in France Christians hate christians (French-black africans)in the UK christians hate christians (Irish-British). You are very sad poeple. the education system has failed to teach us logic, what good is our freedom to any one if we are all morons? You are probably the kind of people that beleive that firing and killing jurnalists is fine and that torture for muslims is great? If so then YOU should leave Europe and go live in the US in the land of the free and when your kid wants to become a jurnalist and is killed by your own troups because you are a jurnalist then you can smile peacefully…ah can’t you smell the civilised free world….what a smell!

  24. Does any one know if the Dutch woman was really targeting a Muslim? Perhaps she was just insane with anger and any thief would have suffered the same fate.

  25. In my liberal moments I think that its all ok about every nation in the world coming to the west but really on any number of levels it is not. Every race by implication is racist otherwise clearly defined races. Culture also plays a part and this is clear in the case of both Britain and the Netherlands and rather than planning our policy to limit and assimilate we have given in to short term concerns for our insane belief in the need for perpetual economic growth. Here in Britain Gordon Brown has used the influx of immigrants to seemingly grow the economy (in real terms not at all I recommend http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1538421/Migrants-'add-4p-a-week'-to-your-pocket.html
    ) and not for any more charitable motive. Now our troubles are coming home to roost and we are, like the Dutch the proud owners of monumental problems that are not just going to go away. Its all very well to be right on and accept people as they are but there are many in our societies who refuse the invitation in all cultures. While things are going ok on the whole people tolerate each other but just what happens when the economy hits the skids. Not so long from now we are going to go into energy free fall and what are we going to do with our spare human capacity then? I recommend http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/
    For an overview of the coming energy crash.

    As much as I wish it were not so human psychology dictates that one identifies with those closest to us, who look like us, who think like us and believe like us. It’s selfish and morally wrong but that’s just the way we are perhaps not all of us but sometimes some of us. To take the most infamous case of pre 1939 Germany, as with many social movements it didn’t spring fully formulated from Hitler’s bedroom, rather he became the mouthpiece of a movement already in its early stride. Anti Semitism did not start in 1923 it was something that had been building up for some time due to a series of events. I recommend http://www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/
    .
    Now we have the Muslims who are to some extent like the most Diaspora more comfortable to live in their own communities if they exist. Again it’s human nature, how many of the British intermingled with the Indians or Africans during the Empire, some but not many. The fact was that the British saw the natives as backwards and in many cases immoral, and treated them accordingly. Like America today they believed in exceptionalism of the British nation and the Empire and that God had had raised the nation to embark on a civilising mission for the benefit of mankind. Has it dawned on anyone in the West that Muslims might be drawn to such notions themselves? A biased enquiry of our own vulgar elements might lead to such conclusions. I recommend this video as an example of the most extreme view http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-871902797772997781&q%22=

    Finally it is not the fault of those who take advantage of cheap travel and more affluent communities to better their situation even if that is at the expense of resident populations. The point is that most people, if they are doing well living a reasonable life are much happier to stay with their families and friends in their own familiar surrounding’s. However the ruling classes seem more interested in maintaining the class war than even some Marxists see it in their own interest to maintain uneven playing fields, supporting kleptocratic governments, madmen and other assorted ‘our sons of bitches’ all over the world for gain. This arrangement fuels the very problems we are talking about but seldom do people ever lay the blame on those really responsible. The sad fact is that those who make the rules do not have to live by them or live with the consequences of them. They move like wolves on a flock of sheep and could not care what havoc they reap. In the case of the Netherlands the exponential rates of growth in immigrant societies will pose a threat the to integrity of the Dutch as they see themselves but what is to be done short of mass repatriation or eventual all out civil war and that of course is unthinkable. As the Irishman said, when asked the best way to Dublin, “if I were you I wouldn’t start from here”.

  26. These people feel they have a right to be here but they also have the right to leave if they are unhappy with their lot and they could if they want to go back to their land of origin if they so choose

  27. i still feel in shock at the fact that i have o live on this planet with you all….
    when will you all realize that, well, in terms of religion, all you are is a bunch of people who happen to believe roughly the same thing… because, as we are individual, we ALL interpret that which fits into our own world
    All religion is, is a way of life… a way to live… a way to live that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin on this giant freaking planet with it’s millions of people.
    I just don’t get it. How can it be a way of life to exterminate or repress people.
    AND so you all know… freaks-of-nature come in all shapes and sizes – that’s evolution my friends… we have bujilt in timebombs… from radicals to serial killers they HAPPEN, and there is NOTHING we can do to change that – only keep a vigilant eye, and treat others, no matter what they look like, dress like, from muslim to goth – with the respect afforded to them by being a human being
    it’s not hard…. honestly….
    perpahs when we stop looking at each other so cockeyed all the time, and start looking at each other head on, perhaps then we will have the greatest peace possible.
    sick f*cks will turn up anywhere – the US has produced more serial killers than anyplace else-
    over there, money rules extreme, and so become the murders = but in place of extreme poverty where there is no money to be had, there is no peace to be had… and as the multitudes suffer all at one time, thus happen the murders – the multitudes are killed all at one time
    Newton was not full of crap my firends-
    for EVERY ACTION, there is an EQUAL and OPPOSITE reaction
    the solution would be an equal and WORLDWIDE democracy… a land where any cult… oops , i mean religion, can flourish and grow as it will. There is a use to religion… and, for the most part, it does help teach people proper behaviour, no matter where they’re from (as you all may have realized, each religion developed the way it did depending on the REGION in which it is developed… how else did we get catholic, and orthodox catholic, etc…) – and of course, as humans, suffering in the same world, looking for someone to blame all these 100′s of years – we completely screwed it all up. We can get it back though!!!
    but we are years from that… that is the dream i have for my kids’ kids…
    a Worldwide democracy – a TRUE democracy, much like in holland, where you can do and believe as you will, in so much as you harm no one else
    AHHHH… to dream….
    …one where we say we are all equal and actually mean it
    if only the aliens would come (they don’t even have to be evil) :) that’d show us all…..
    …hey, it worked in independance day (LOL)
    at least we’d have something to be together for.. something to show us all that we’re really THE SAME
    Kat

  28. So much hate in this world. We were all created equal, we need to treat each other that way. If a person is guilty of something, then deal with it. If they haven’t done anything, then leave them alone. Not all Muslims are extremists (and yes, I do know several), some are. Take out the extremists and leave the rest in peace. I am married to an immigrant from South Asian and know many other immigrants who are not particularly happy in Canada. They want to bring their society here, they want to go back home to be buried, etc. My husband will tell them, as will I, if you are not happy here return home where you can be happy. Never would I force anyone to leave or bully them until they left. Do not assume that because a person is Muslim that they are evil. Most aren’t. I do know the bible very well and it does NOT teach intolerance. I do not know the Koran at all so I can’t say what it teaches. I do know that peace between Christians and Jews with the Muslims is not likely due things that have happened, on all sides, in the long ago past. That is unfortunate. Even though we probably will not have true peace between the religions does not mean we can’t behave in a civilized manner. All people were created equally and for a purpose. Learn your purpose and get on with it. Keep your judgements to yourself, or better yet, don’t judge at all as one day you too will be judged in the same measure as you have judged. Yes, I am a very devoted Christian and proud to say so!

  29. There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.

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