Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Darker Times for Europe

This news is more disturbing and its long-term consequences might more important for the state of affairs in Europe than the results of US presidential contest.

A decade ago filmmakers used to be assassinated only in emerging democracies or Third World hellholes. But today this practice was reintroduced in what had been perceived to be the most tolerant, most enlightened, most multi-cultural and most laid-back of all European countries. But this image is forever shattered after the killings of Fortuyn and Van Gogh. Enlightened and progressive Europe – a continent that was supposed to forever discard its violent past – is again being faced with the most extreme forms of intolerance and fanaticism.

Judging by the way Netherlands reacted to Fortuyn's killing – trying to portray it as an aberration and the act of a lone and ultimately harmless nut (who got 12 years for his effort) – I'm not so certain that this trend will be recognised in time and Netherlands (together with Europe) be able to deal with this problem swiftly and decisively.


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