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So Long, Queen Beatrix
by Bruce Bawer
Fine. But for anyone who sincerely cares about the Netherlands, the defining day of Beatrix's reign was November 12, 2004. On November 2, the Dutch movie director, author, and TV personality Theo van Gogh had been slaughtered in open daylight in an Amsterdam street by a Dutch-Moroccan jihadist. The murder was payback for van Gogh's forthright criticism of the illiberality of Islam. But it was also a warning to Beatrix and her subjects. A knife thrust into van Gogh's corpse held in place a note by the killer, Mohamed Bouyeri, declaring that, just like van Gogh, America, Europe, and the Netherlands would "go down." It was a time at which any responsible head of state would have felt compelled to make a powerful symbolic statement about her country's dedication to its freedoms and its determination not to yield to jihad.
Beatrix failed the test – ignominiously. She turned down the van Gogh family's invitation to his funeral, saying she had other plans. Many Dutch people longed for her to speak to the nation about the atrocity, but she rejected that idea, too. What she did instead, apparently on the advice of Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen (a loathsome dhimmi of the first order), was to pay a visit to a Moroccan youth center in Amsterdam. There she spoke with a number of young Dutch-Moroccans, made remarks about the equality of all Dutch citizens, and was presented with a gift book about the history of Morocco. (One wonders how familiar these kids were with Dutch history.)
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