Self-immolation in Europe

During the Vietnam War, one of the most powerful forms of protest was the self—immolation of varaious Buddhist clergy, often carried—out before television cameras and broadcast into the homes of horrified Americans. Many certainly believed that this demonstrated the depth of opposition to the American war effort, and it was influential in sawing publica opinion against the war.

Now, The Brussels Journal reports, the same phenomenon has spread to Europe, and it is a Christian clergyman who is protesting the Islamization of Europe.

On Tuesday a Lutheran vicar set himself alight in the German town of Erfurt. The 73 year old Roland Weisselberg poured gasoline over himself and set fire to himself in the Erfurt monastery, where Martin Luther took his monastic vows in 1505. Tuesday was a national holiday in parts of Germany to celebrate the Protestant Reformation. Bystanders rushed to extinguish the flames. Weisselberg later died of his injuries.

In a farewell letter to his wife the vicar wrote that he was setting himself on fire to warn against the danger of the Islamization of Europe. During the past four years the vicar had frequently expressed his concern about the expansion of Islam, urging the Lutheran Church to take this issue seriously.

If only Walter Cronkite were still on the air at CBS, certainly he would recognize the newsworthiness of this act and bring to a wide segment of the American public. Or maybe not.

The Fall of Europe will not be pretty. This is just a foretaste.

Hat tip: Jim Netolick

Thomas Lifson   11 3 06

During the Vietnam War, one of the most powerful forms of protest was the self—immolation of varaious Buddhist clergy, often carried—out before television cameras and broadcast into the homes of horrified Americans. Many certainly believed that this demonstrated the depth of opposition to the American war effort, and it was influential in sawing publica opinion against the war.

Now, The Brussels Journal reports, the same phenomenon has spread to Europe, and it is a Christian clergyman who is protesting the Islamization of Europe.

On Tuesday a Lutheran vicar set himself alight in the German town of Erfurt. The 73 year old Roland Weisselberg poured gasoline over himself and set fire to himself in the Erfurt monastery, where Martin Luther took his monastic vows in 1505. Tuesday was a national holiday in parts of Germany to celebrate the Protestant Reformation. Bystanders rushed to extinguish the flames. Weisselberg later died of his injuries.

In a farewell letter to his wife the vicar wrote that he was setting himself on fire to warn against the danger of the Islamization of Europe. During the past four years the vicar had frequently expressed his concern about the expansion of Islam, urging the Lutheran Church to take this issue seriously.

If only Walter Cronkite were still on the air at CBS, certainly he would recognize the newsworthiness of this act and bring to a wide segment of the American public. Or maybe not.

The Fall of Europe will not be pretty. This is just a foretaste.

Hat tip: Jim Netolick

Thomas Lifson   11 3 06