Saturday, April 29, 2006

Dutch tolerance, fear and NIMBY syndrome

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a target of Islamic terror: she has a price on her head for having the courage to speak out against Muslim honor killings and Islamis tolerance of violence against and the subjugation of women. More about her is available here. She lives in an apartment under heavy guard. And her neighbors want her out.

Worse, they invoked the European Treaty on Human Rights to support their effort to toss a woman under a death threat for speaking her mind out on the streets. The trial court tossed the case but the appeals court upheld the neighbors' complaint. More from Peaktalk (see link in title):

Firstly, it should be noted that Hirsi Ali is now booted out of her own house by virtue of the European Treaty for Human Rights which does indeed supersede Dutch law. Many cases are adjudicated by referring to this treaty, but given the subject matter here I would say: Euroskeptics, go knock yourselves out.

Secondly, and this is the one that really bothers me, is that somehow Hirsi Ali’s neighbors self-interest runs so deep that they are prepared to use the court system to throw someone whose life is in danger out of her own house.

It goes like this: we’re tolerant, we support free speech and a critical attitude, but if it comes too close to our front porch, sorry, we are no longer interested. On the contrary, self-interest is the deciding motivator. True, Hirsi Ali’s flatmates do have a reasonable point in arguing that the Dutch State has an obligation to ensure that their security measures benefit the entire complex. If the State has dropped the ball in that respect, they should be compelled by the courts to correct this, but to put the burden on Hirsi Ali is a very disturbing precedent. Yet, the plaintiffs are quite happy with the ruling . . .

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