Dutch school officials order two boys to remove Dutch flags from their backpacks because Moroccan students might find them "provocative". A Swedish high school sends two girls home for having tiny Swedish flags on their sweaters; another bans national team shirts from class photos lest the flags on the shirts seem "xenophobic". In England, prison officers are directed to stop wearing English flag pins – and a black dustman is instructed to shed a bandanna featuring St. George's cross – for fear Muslims will cry "racist" Call it vexillophobia (vexillum, of course, being Latin for "flag").
Militant Muslim leaders have exploited it, but they didn't create it: for that, blame multiculturalism for so effectively training Westerners to trash not only their own freedoms but the totems thereof. Since 9/11 the poster girl for this ailment has been Nation columnist Katha Pollitt, who after that atrocity famously forbade her daughter to fly Old Glory from the window of their flat near the World Trade Center. "The flag," she preached as the ruins were still smouldering, "stands for jingoism and vengeance and war".
Such vigorous vexillophobia, of course, is a boon to the ‘soft jihadists’ – those who seek to bring down civilization not with planes or bombs but with gentle words about "understanding" and "respect". (The kind of "respect," for example, that led U.K. pension authorities to embrace Muslim polygamy.)
You might expect a country like Norway to be Ground Zero for vexillophobia. Its leaders, after all, are world-class multiculturalists; polls confirm that no country has been more bamboozled by the U.N.'s B.S. Soft jihad has already enjoyed major triumphs here: in 2005, criticism of religion was criminalized; in 2006 government officials, cowed by radical imams, bullied a small newspaper into apologizing for reprinting the Danish cartoons. In a country where the media love analyzing piddling issues to death, these massive betrayals of democratic principle were quickly dropped down the memory hole.
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