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Tiptoe Through the Tulips: Why Holland is nervous -- and an alarming case for the entire West -- Pim Fortuyn and Netherlands

Rod Dreher

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This column appears in the July 15, 2002, issue of National Review.

Amsterdam -- Dildos, tulips, and waffles, all on the same block: Welcome to the Netherlands, a country renowned for the bourgeoisification of vice.

I have just entered Amsterdam's red-light district in -- honest! -- an attempt to visit the Oude Kerk, the medieval "old church" that is the capital city's oldest stone building. Because the streets are so clean, orderly, and nonthreatening, you hardly realize you've entered the louche part of town, until you notice that the sickly-sweet aroma of burning hashish from the "coffeeshops" never really goes away...

Like many of the great old churches of Holland, this place is barely used for worship anymore -- one hour on Sunday morning, for what's left of the Calvinist community -- and is instead primarily a monument and exhibition hall...

And these overwhelming images have everything to do with why I'm in this country. If not for the Islamist terrorist attacks, the fear and loathing many Dutch people have concerning the presence of Muslims in their country would not have been aired in Holland's politically correct public square, and certainly would not have found a voice in the late Pim Fortuyn...

"The things you Americans are facing today, Holland faced ten or fifteen years ago," says Rob Hondsmerk, a child psychologist who directs Focus on the Family-Netherlands. "I see America going down the same path, and if things keep going at the present rate, it's not going to take you fifteen years to get there."

Read the entire article on the National Review website (new window will open).

Posted: 12/08/04



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