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Whitewashing Amsterdam's Islamization
by Bruce Bawer
I love Amsterdam. I've loved it ever since I first visited it in 1997, and when I moved there from New York a year later, after three more visits, I was still bewitched. Not until I'd lived there for several months did I grasp that this beautiful city, which had played such a pivotal role in the development of the modern concept of individual liberty, faced a serious threat from a certain pre-modern, liberty-hating religion to which I realized I'd been paying insufficient attention. I haven't lived in Amsterdam for fourteen years, but I've returned to it many times, and I've witnessed the dire consequences of its steady, and increasingly manifest, Islamization. I still love it, but I tread more carefully now on those cobbled streets; and precisely because I do love it, I worry about what's happening to it.
Russell Shorto also professes to love Amsterdam. A longtime New York Times Magazine contributor, he's lived there since 2008, serving (until recently) as director of the city's John Adams Institute, which, according to its website, seeks to reinforce Dutch-American cultural ties by hosting talks by "interesting American thinkers and writers…such as Al Gore, Toni Morrison, Jesse Jackson, Jonathan Franzen, Madeleine Albright, Spike Lee, Paul Auster and Francis Fukuyama." (Don't worry: as its website is careful to underscore, it's not the kind of "'patriotic' organization" that "waves a little American flag and tries to promote America.")
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