Van Gogh Murderer Has No Regrets

According to a letter obtained by newspaper AD, Mohammed Bouyeri has no regrets about his murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. The murder occurred six years ago in
Amsterdam. Bouyeri is currently serving a life sentence for the killing and reportedly wrote in the letter that he has not regretted his actions, “not one second in all these
years”.

Hirsi Ali receives newspaper honor

Ayaan Hirsri Ali, the former Dutch politician born in Somalia, has received a free speech award from Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005. The paper named Hirsi Ali, well known for writing Theo Van Gogh’s film “Submission”, as winner of its Prize for Freedom of Expression. She is now lives in the United States

South Park Mohammad episode censored

Following warnings of violence, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creator of South Park, censored an episode about religious figures including prophet Muhammad. Prior to the airing of the episode, a posting on the website of a US-based group, Revolution Muslim, had warned the creators of South Park that they might face the same fate as Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by an Islamic militant in 2004. Van Gogh had made a movie in which Islam was accused of violence against women. Comedy Central has declined to comment on the issue.

Dutch court rules on witnesses for Wilders’ trial

The witness list for Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders’ upcoming trial has been released. Wilders requested that 18 witnesses, including Mohammed B., Theo van Gogh’s murderer, legal experts, Muslim “radicals”, and “ex-Muslims” be called for his trial. Of the requested list, only three Islam experts will be heard, and will testify behind closed doors. In addition, the court has denied the prosecution’s call for Wilders to be interviewed behind closed doors. Wilders has said that he wants to be questioned publicly.

The right wing politician faces five counts of religious insult and anti-Muslim incitement. ANP reports that the trial will take place sometime between June 1 and October 31, 2010.

Dutch Hofstadt group faces retrial for terror charges

The Netherlands’ high court ruled Tuesday that a case against seven alleged terrorists will be heard for a second time. The court ruled that a 2008 not guilty verdict for the seven men accused of being members of a terrorist organization was incorrectly based on overly strict definitions of the “existence and nature of a criminal organization”.

The so-called “Hofstadt group” is named after a common moniker for the Hague, the city in which it was based. Mohammed B., who murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, is the group’s most well known member.

Netherlands marks five years since Theo van Gogh’s murder

This week marks five years since the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh was killed on an Amsterdam streetcorner in 2004 by Mohammad B., a Muslim of Dutch Moroccan origin, in retaliation for his film Submission.

The city organized a tour for journalists of the Slotervaart neighborhood in which Mohammad B. grew up. During the tour, the borough chairman, Moroccan-Dutch youth workers, mosque representatives, and integration experts presented material “aimed at connecting different ethnic groups in the city” to prevent over-simplified stories from making international headlines, NRC Handelsblad reports.

Media outlets marked the occasion with a series of commentaries and interviews. Radio Netherlands Worldwide noted the anniversary with an evaluation of the “debate on the influence of Islam on Dutch society” which the incident generated, noting that “it is a debate between indigenous Dutch in which Muslims hardly participate. The fierce criticism of Islam does not tempt them to respond.”

RNW also published a commentary likening van Gogh to populist right wing politician Geert Wilders. Het Parool published an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, with whom van Gogh made Submission. Ali commented that, “after the murder it became clear that there was a very nasty confrontation between Islam and the ethnic [white] population.”

IslamOnline.net covered Holland’s attempts to “grapple with immigration” on the occasion, highlighting developments since van Gogh’s murder including Amsterdam’s “emergency plan” to fight extremism through immigrant subsidies and dialogue building with mosques, the “hardening” of debate through right wing political figures such as Wilders, and the election of Rotterdam’s Muslim mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb.

Disgraced critic of Islam launches children’s book

A disgraced former Dutch MP and outspoken critic of Islam has published a children’s book, about a friendship between a Muslim boy and a Jewish girl, that she says seeks to fight prejudice in both communities. Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been living under heavy guard since the 2004 murder of Theo van Gogh, himself a provocative critic of Islam, who directed a film she wrote that accused Islam of condoning violence against women. Her new book, “Adan and Eva,” tells the story of a Moroccan boy and a rich Jewish girl living in Amsterdam. Adan takes Eva to Koranic school, while Adan gets drunk on wine served at a Jewish meal. Their families eventually decide to break up the friendship and Eva is sent to boarding school in Switzerland, while Adan is banished to Morocco. “Everything starts at school. That is where children learn about each other and learn to respect each other. We live in a world of adult prejudice,” Hirsi Ali told De Telegraaf daily. “Reconciliation starts with children.”

Fitna film fails to shock some

Wilders’ anticipated and controversial film ‘Fitna’ did not make as grand as an entry as expected, and hype assumed. While the film is dotted with Quranic verses and violent imagery of terrorist attacks in recent years, some cited the film’s content as highly predictable and nothing new. Maurits Berger, a professor of Islam at Leiden University told the Associated Press it’s a serious of photos, headlines from recent years which we already know. It appears Wilders is also running into some legal problems with the film; a photograph of the rapper Salah Edin was mistakenly used as the photo of Mohammed Bouyeri, the murder of Theo van Gogh. The rapper is consulting his lawyers on legal action. In addition, Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is suing Mr. Wilders, alleging he infringed copyright by using a cartoon of his without permission.

Quran film by Dutch Islam critic is released on the internet

A Dutch lawmaker who produced a film criticizing Islam and the Quran, released the short film on Thursday by posting it on the internet. The film by Geert Wilders cites verses of the Quran interspersed with images of violence, and scenes from terrorist attacks in the United States and Spain, and the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. The Dutch government had warned the legislator that such an offensive film could spark protests in Muslim countries. A Dutch judge was due on Friday to hear the petition of a Muslim group seeking an independent review of the film to examine whether or not it violates laws on hate speech. The Dutch Islamic Federation was asking the court to impose a fine of _50,000 ($79,000) for every day that the film was available to the public. The film, named _Fitna,’ was released on the public video website LiveLeak after the internet domain hosting Geert’s website removed the site from public view, upon review of the site’s content.

Opinon: Wilders’ Political Propaganda

Geert Wilders has kept his word. He has circulated his film Fitna before April 1 and has, as he puts it, been ‘properly’ restrained. The film, which nevertheless appeared unexpectedly on the Internet on Thursday, is indeed not as shocking as expected during the hyped-up prelude to the premiere. This might still prove a problem and he will probably have to explain himself before the courts. For example he used material from the Danish cartoonist without asking permission and wrongly said a photograph of a rapper was the murderer of film-maker Theo van Gogh. And he has dragged others along with him – proof of a stunning lack of responsibility. The Dutch public prosecution department is also looking into whether Fitna incites hatred in the legal sense.