I don't have time to comment much, but I want to point you to an important story.
Reader_iam at Done With Mirrors reports at length on the successful suit by neighbors of Somali-Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who lives under a death fatwa for her courageous stand against Islamist fanaticism, to evict her from their apartment complex.
An [EU] appeal court sided with her neighbours who complained her presence put their own safety at risk and caused disruption to their lives. [ . . . ]
"I think this is dreadful, horrible to have to move. I am happy living here and I feel safe," Hirsi Ali said in response to the judgement.
The neighbours lost their case initially but they won on Thursday when an appeal court accepted Hirsi Ali's presence meant they no longer felt safe in their own apartments or in the communal areas of the complex. The court ruled that is contravened Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights which guarantees respect for a person's private and family life.
The Dutch State had contravened these rights by moving to the apartment complex without seeking their consent and without taking measures to diminish the neighbours' valid fears, the court said.
Justice Minister Donner said he is considering appealing the decision to the Supreme Court "otherwise it will create difficulties for the protection of various people".
The neighbours said in a statement that their court action had not been directed against Hirsi Ali personally, but against the State for exposing them to danger.
First of all: if the state is providing special security for Hirsi Ali it should extend that protection to her neighbors. Both she and they would be within their rights to demand that.
But to turn on her, and cast her out, rather than stand in protective solidarity with her, is shameful and worse: it is capitulation to terror, which emboldens terror and fattens it with success.
Reader_iam is right to quote Nazi-era pastor Martin Niemoller: ""First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. . . . "
On a much smaller scale, I felt the same chill when Comedy Central censored "South Park's" neutral depiction of Mohammed (with all due respect, I refuse to genuflect with his obligatory title or that four-letter pious gesture that sounds to me like spitting). And I felt a worse chill when some of my friends in the blogosphere chided me that this was just a normally prudent business decision. What!!!
I understand that Hirsi Ali's neighbors are afraid. Terrorists would not hesitate for a second to take them out as collateral damage in a car bombing aimed at her. They have a right to protection. But every time you allow fear to manipulate you, fear grows exponentially in power. Fear is the fifth column, softening us up for a conquest that should be absurdly unthinkable. To paraphrase FDR, we should be far more afraid of fear than of the terrorists themselves. Simply to be brave together disarms them. Is there a word for that, for solidarity in courage? "Conspiracy" means "to breathe (whisper) together." What is the word for "to resist together?"
Start by reading reader's post, Evicting Moral Courage.