“All true, when you see the border post ahead of you down the road, or when the customs inspector demands ‘Your papers, mein herr.’ But what if instead the border comes to you? Not explicitly, but in a kind of demographic equivalent to the overlaid area codes of a North American metropolis. Amsterdam is the city of legalized pot and prostitution and a gay hedonist paradise. But it’s also a Muslim city, overlaid on the pothead playground. At what point does the nice Dutch gay couple realize they’ve crossed a border? That, without getting their passports stamped or changing their currency, they’re now strangers in a strange land.
“Earlier this year, Channel 4 in London broadcast a documentary called Undercover Mosque in which various imams up and down the land were caught on tape urging men to beat their wives and toss homosexuals off cliffs. Viewers reported some of the statements to the local constabulary. The West Midlands police then decided to investigate not the fire-breathing clerics but the TV producers. As the coppers saw it, insofar as any ‘hate crime’ had been perpetrated, it lay not in the urgings and injunctions of the imams but in a TV production so culturally insensitive as to reveal the imams’ views to the general public. As The Spectator’s James Forsyth put it, ‘The reaction of West Midlands police revealed a mindset that views the exposure of a problem as more of a problem than the problem itself.’
“…what the Rotterdam police managed to enforce rather more successfully when they destroyed a mural created to express disgust at van Gogh’s murder. Chris Ripke’s painting showed an angel and bore the words ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill.’ But his studio is next to a mosque, and the imam complained that the mural was ‘racist,’ so the cops showed up, destroyed it, arrested the TV crew filming it, and wiped their tape.
“A ‘tolerant’ society cannot tolerate any assaults on its most cherished myths.”