Van Gogh

An editorial in today's New York Times thankfully draws attention to the murder of Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh, at the hand of Islamist extremists who didn't like his film about the treatment of some women within their world. It rightfully expresses outrage over the death. And it's right to note that immigration itself is not the problem, and that a backlash against Muslims would be an injustice.

But the Times attributes the problem to "a failure to plan for a smoother transition to a more diverse society." It treats the problem as if it's just another social issue that can be addressed by a better government plan, like health care or social security. It doesn't acknowledge the global nature of the conflict. Islamist extremism didn't rise up in the Netherlands as a result of poor social engineering in Amsterdam. The violence thrives in many different environments, under many different kinds of government.

Better planning by goverment officials in the Netherlands and other countries may very well help ameliorate the tension. But ultimately, the problem exists because a certain number of Islamist extremists are utterly intolerant of free speech and are bent on killing people who disagree with them.

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