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Netherlands Sets Plan on Extremism (NY Times)

Interesting article from the NY Times.

This article reminded me of the day after Theo van Gogh was killed.  I was in Amsterdam working at the time, and I remember the night he died, there was loud noise coming from Dam Square – pots banging and people shouting and protesting.  I learned the next day that it was a demonstration against van Gogh’s death.

I rode in a taxi with a Pakistani driver – he told me that extremists should go home, as they’ll never integrate with Dutch society.  I got lots of different views from my Dutch friends – some wanted to expell them all, others thought it was an isolated incident and should be treated like any crime.

For me, I’m sorry it happened for his family, for Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who wrote the movie that inflamed passions – she had to leave the Netherlands and come to the US), and for the Dutch – the thing I think I treasure most about Amsterdam is the tolerance and pragmatic attitude of the people.

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