Saturday, July 23, 2005

Frattini has the answer

Commission Vice President Franco Frattini has announced that the London bombs have proved that effective action needs to be taken against Islamic terrorists. And that is?

They should all be made to swear an oath of European citizenship, “so that they recognise our basic rights”. It is not clear whether those who are already citizens of member states would also have to swear this oath or only those who come in.

After all, if a British citizen does not recognise other people’s basic rights to surviving a journey on a London Underground train or a bus, it is not entirely clear why he should suddenly have a change of heart on becoming a European citizen.

Signor Frattini’s idea is “a mature intercultural and antireligious dialogue”. That should go down well in the one or two madrassahs and mosques.

And just to show his tremendous broad-midedness, he expressed worry about the case of Oriana Fallaci, the highly regarded Italian journalist who faces a two-year sentence in Italy for “offending” Islam by a book she published last year. In it she argued that western Europe has given up the fight for its principles and has allowed the creation of a Eurabia.

Signora Fallaci is in her seventies and seriously ill. She cannot return to her home because of the looming sentence and has to stay in the United States. Still, I am sure she will agree that if all the Muslims in Europe will take an oath of European citizenship, the problems she has outlined and the problems that have made her life so difficult will disappear in a puff of smoke.

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