Must read essay. Here's an excerpt: Eurabia Has a Capital: Rotterdam (read it all)
Here entire neighborhoods look like the Middle East, women walk around veiled,
the mayor is a Muslim, sharia law is applied in the courts and the theaters. An
extensive report from the most Islamized city in Europe
by Sandro Magister
ROME, May 19, 2009 – One of the most indisputable results of Benedict XVI's trip to the Holy Land was the improvement in relations with Islam. The three days he spent in Jordan, and then, in Jerusalem, the visit to the Dome of the Mosque, spread an image among the Muslim general public – to an extent never before seen – of a pope as a friend, surrounded by Islamic leaders happy to welcome him and work together with him for the good of the human family.
But just as indisputable is the distance between this image and the harsh reality of the facts. Not only in countries under Muslim regimes, but also where the followers of Mohammed are in the minority, for example in Europe.
In 2002, the scholar Bat Ye'or, a British citizen born in Egypt and a specialist in the history of the Christian and Jewish minorities in Muslim countries – called the "dhimmi" – coined the term "Eurabia" to describe the fate toward which Europe is moving. It is a fate of submission to Islam, of "dhimmitude."
Oriana Fallaci used the word "Eurabia" in her writings, and gave it worldwide resonance. On August 1, 2005, Benedict XVI received Fallaci in a private audience at Castel Gandolfo. She rejected dialogue with Islam; he was in favor of it, and still is. But they agreed – as Fallaci later said – in identifying the "self-hatred" that Europe demonstrates, its spiritual vacuum, its loss of identity, precisely when the immigrants of Islamic faith are increasing within it.
Holland is an extraordinary test case. It is the country in which individual license is the most extensive – to the point of permitting euthanasia on children – in which the Christian identity is most faded, in which the Moslem presence is growing most boldly.
Here, multiculturalism is the rule. But the exceptions are dramatic: from the killing of the anti-Islamist political leader Pim Fortuyn to the persecution of the Somali dissident Ayaan Hirsi Ali to the murder of the director Theo Van Gogh, condemned to death for his film "Submission," a denunciation of the crimes of Muslim theocracy. Fortuyn's successor, Geert Wilders, has lived under 24-hour police protection for six years.
There is one city in Holland where this new reality can be seen with the naked eye, more than anywhere else. Here, entire neighborhoods look as if they have been lifted from the Middle East, here stand the largest mosques in Europe, here parts of sharia law are applied in the courts and theaters, here many of the women go around veiled, here the mayor is a Muslim, the son of an imam.
This city is Rotterdam, Holland's second largest city by population, and the largest port in Europe by cargo volume.
The following is a report on Rotterdam published in the Italian newspaper "il Foglio" on May 14, 2009, the second in a major seven-part survey on Holland.
The author, Giulio Meotti, also writes for the "Wall Street Journal." Next September, his book-length survey on Israel will be published.
The photo above is entitled "Muslim women in Rotterdam." It is from an exhibition in 2008 by the Dutch photographers Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek.