While much of the world's press focuses on the Middle East in the struggle between secularism and radical relgiousity, Christopher Hitchens reminds us of the personal cost paid by the bravest and most vulnerable advocates for human rights. In this case, Dutch parlimentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
One of the problems I have with European liberalism is that while they often boast about having model societies , there appears to be a strong undercurrent of tribalism and racism embedded in them. True liberalism requires a civic nationalism rather than an ethnic nationalism. Once fear sets in, an old sense of tribal/racial identity appears to reassert itself among native Europeans, who often refuse to see immigrants as authentic members of their nations. In a recent Newsweek article, "To Become an American," Fareed Zakaria talks about a German plan to recruit Indian high tech workers to help improve Germany's economy:
The idea of that "volk"--the heriditary members of a nation--have primacy is antithetical to the ideal of the polyglot democracy which is highest political ideal of our century. Let's hope we all find our way to a solution before this century comes to a close.
"There is no such thing as the State/And no one exists alone;/Hunger allows no choice/To the citizen or the police;/We must love one another or die." - W.H. Auden