John Leo

    Much of the Muslim assertiveness is an outgrowth of Europe's disastrous love affair with multiculturalism. In theory, immigrants were to be encouraged to maintain their own identity and traditions in exchange for accepting Europe's system of shared values. In practice, it has mostly been a plan for hands-off separatism and resistance to assimilation. Government offers financial help in building schools and places of worship, and encourages the importing of imams from Arab countries, many of them predictably haters of the west. Raed Hlayhel, an imam in Denmark, for instance, was part of an entourage that toured the Middle East building rage over the cartoons. He and the other imams took along several fabricated cartoons, one showing Mohammad as a pedophile and another depicting him having sex with a dog. Shouldn't these provocations earn each of these imams a one-way trip back to the Middle East?

    As Historian Fred Siegel of New York's Cooper Union points out, many of the imams have taken a page out of Yasser Arafat’s book, speaking tolerantly in Europe, but calling for blood when on the Arab media. He says Muslim spokesman know how to game Western liberalism, demanding free speech when they deny the Holocaust, then dropping the free speech argument and arguing that anti-Muslim criticisms and cartoons should be censored on grounds of multicultural sensitivity.

    Europe has a hard decision on what to do with the so-called "conveyor-belt" Islamist groups that do not commit terrorism themselves, but recruit, and indoctrinate young males, then turn them over to terrorist groups. One of them, Hizb ut-Tahrir, active in Denmark and more than 40 other countries, played an incendiary role in the cartoon controversy.  "By combining fascist rhetoric, Leninist strategy, and Western sloganeering with Wahhabi theology, HT has made itself into a very real and potent threat that is extremely difficulty for liberal societies to counter,” Zeyno Baran of Washington’s Nixon Center wrote in Foreign Affairs. The conveyor belts are designed to take advantage of the West’s protections of free speech and civil liberties. But they are dangerous parts of the broader terrorist operation. Germany banned HT. Other nations should too. If the West doesn't stop the spread of Islamic radicalism, the danger will soon be far graver than it is now.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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