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Wednesday, 2 November 2005
One Year Today, Lest We Forget
From From Wikipedia

Theo van Gogh (July 23, 1957 – November 2, 2004)

Van Gogh was murdered in the early morning of Tuesday November 2, 2004, in Amsterdam in front of the Amsterdam East borough office (stadsdeelkantoor) on the corner of the Linnaeusstraat and Tweede Oosterparkstraat streets. He was shot with eight bullets from a HS2000 (a handgun produced in 2000 in Croatia) and died on the spot. His throat was slit, and he was then stabbed in the chest. Two knives were left implanted in his torso, one pinning a five-page note to his body. The note (Text) threatened Western governments, Jews and Hirsi Ali (who went into hiding). The note also contains references to the ideologies of the Egyptian organization Takfir wal-Hijra.

The murderer Mohammed Bouyeri, a 26-year-old man of Dutch and Moroccan nationalities, was apprehended by the police after being shot in the leg. Although born in Amsterdam, well-educated and apparently well-integrated, Bouyeri became a Muslim extremist and has alleged terrorist ties with the Dutch Hofstad Network. In most Dutch media the suspect is called Mohammed B., since it is common practice in The Netherlands to abbreviate the surnames of crime suspects (or even convicts) in order to protect their privacy.(WHY?) He is also charged with attempted murder of a police officer and bystander, illegal possession of a firearm, and conspiring to murder others, including Hirsi Ali. He was convicted on July 26, 2005 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Until his murder Van Gogh was working on a movie about the assassination of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn. The film was officialy released on the internet on December 15, 2004 and had its cinema premiere on January 30, 2005.

Van Gogh was cremated on November 9, 2004 in Amsterdam

The day after the murder Dutch police arrested eight Islamic radicals. Six detainees were of Moroccan origin, one was Algerian and one had dual Spanish-Moroccan nationality. By November 11, 18 religious sites (mainly Muslim, with some Christian) had been vandalised or subjected to arson.

The murder led to a wider and more polarized debate about the position of the more than one million Muslims in the Netherlands. Many ethnically Dutch citizens fear that Holland will lose its traditional tolerance and Western liberalism, becoming increasingly influenced by Islamic viewpoints on these issues, including the position of women in society and sexuality. These fears are fueled by population growth studies and projections that show the Muslim community growing much faster than that of the "autochtonen" (autochthonous Dutch). In the four largest Dutch cities, the majority among children under 14 are Muslims, according to the conservative Washington Times. [2] It is projected that the major Dutch cities will soon have a majority Islamic population. On the other hand, many Islamic Dutch residents feel discriminated against and singled out. The increasing polarization has led to calls from many religious leaders and politicians for calm and improved communication between the communities.

In an apparent reaction against controversial statements about the Islamic, Christian and Jewish religions, such as those Theo van Gogh was renowned for, the Dutch Minister of Justice, Christian Democrat Piet Hein Donner suggested the existing Dutch blasphemy laws should either be applied more stringently or made stricter. This had led to a counter call by the liberal D66 party to scrap the blasphemy law altogether.

Independent Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders (who was previously forced to leave the right-wing VVD party because of his views) advocated a five-year halt to non-Western immigration in the wake of the murder of Theo van Gogh stating: "The Netherlands has been too tolerant to intolerant people for too long, we should not import a retarded political Islamic society to our country". [3]

In opposition to such anti-Islamic sentiments, campaigns for a kleurrijk Nederland [colorful the Netherlands], such as Stop de Hetze were started.

Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali went into hiding for several weeks.

They have been under the protection of bodyguards ever since.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 5:13 PM CST
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Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005 5:16 PM CST

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