Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Tolerance of the Intolerable"

Courtesy of Martin Kramer, a discouraging article from the Toronto Globe and Mail on the tribulations of a Muslim critic of Islamism living in Germany:

Bassam Tibi is an unabashed alarmist. He is among Germany's foremost political scientists, and an expert on political Islam. And he says that even now -- after 9/11, after Madrid, after 7/7, and all the rest of it -- the European elites don't have a clue what they are up against.

"Europeans don't know what Islamism is," he argues. "We are talking about a new totalitarianism. And Islamists are establishing themselves in Europe with great success." They thrive, thanks to Europe's tolerance of the intolerable.

Dr. Tibi, a Muslim born in Syria, is persona non grata there.

He's not too popular in Germany either, where he has been accused of inciting Islamophobia. "It is most disturbing to see how writers who try to warn about the totalitarian character of Islamism are defamed as racists," he says. "This wrong-headed political correctness prevents any honest discussion about the subject."

(Emphasis added-DD)

The situation is so bad that Dr. Tibi is leaving the country:

There's a twist to this story, and it, too, is not a happy one. Dr. Tibi is getting out, moving to the U.S., where he has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Cornell -- not only because his views are more respected there, but because, after 44 years, he still feels like an outsider here. "I love Germany," he says. "I love the German language, and there are many decent Germans.

"But I believe Germany is an ethnically exclusive country. Bassam is not a German name. A Muslim is not a German. And there is no space for me in an ethnically exclusive country."

If Germany can't make a truly moderate Muslim like Dr. Tibi feel welcome, then they are in serious trouble.


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