Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, Vol. 15/16
“Vulnerability” and “tolerance” are pretty vague notions. A lot of suggestions, images, and good intentions cling to them, while scientific clarity is virtually absent. The same goes for the Netherlands. Abroad, my country had the image of a tolerant, liberal, and free society, a place where things could be said and done that were forbidden elsewhere. So the question is: how on earth did this country turn into a battlefield due to a clash of civilizations almost overnight?
I will try to explain to you how and why in the past decades the Netherlands became so vulnerable that in 2002 a political revolt broke out quite unexpectedly, a revolt that lasted for years and still is not over yet. The crisis resulted in two people becoming victims of political killings, while a third had to flee the country. Because all three of these people were liberal individualists who criticized two types of religion—the political-cultural left, or “Red Church,” and fundamentalist Islam—I will refer to them as the unholy trinity, an unholy trinity that had to be exorcized to restore the peace.