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.”

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.

Polemics by Henryk M. Broder: How a Film Triggered a Global Panic

It is the kind of stunt that has many fearing the worst: Dutch right-wing populist Geert Wilders plans to release a film about Islam. Politicians worldwide are already trying to stop the project, before a single scene has been shown. Critics fear the film could lead to bloodshed in many countries. Let us summarize what has happened to date. On Nov. 2, 2004, an Islamic fundamentalist murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, a descendant of the painter Vincent van Gogh, in broad daylight on a street in Amsterdam. The killer, a 26-year-old Dutch citizen, the son of Moroccan immigrants, shot the filmmaker at 9 a.m. as van Gogh was riding his bicycle. He then slit his throat and, using a knife, pinned a note to his victim’s chest, claiming responsibility and explaining his motives. The killer’s true target was politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But she, unlike van Gogh, was under 24-hour police protection. The bloody act was also a declaration of war against Dutch society, which, as the murderer was convinced, was controlled “by the Jews.”

Van Gogh Redux? Another Anti-Koran Film Stirs Up Holland

Deja vu in Holland: A Dutch politician plans to release a film that rips the Koran for promoting violence and intolerance. Politicians and Muslim leaders alike are afraid of a repeat of 2004, when filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered on the streets of Amsterdam. A Dutch politician’s plan to release a film that charges the Koran with promoting violence and intolerance has sparked controversy in the Netherlands. Government officials are distancing themselves from the project and stepping up security at home and at embassies abroad, while Muslim leaders fear that it could strain relations between the Dutch and their large Muslim immigrant population. Patrick McGroarty reports.

Islamist comments by German-Turkish Hip Hop Star?

The German-Turkish singer Muhabbet, who recently had a lot of press coverage because of its hip hop performance jointly with the German foreign minister, is confronted by sharp critics. He is supposed to have justified the murder of the Islam critic Theo van Gogh. Muhabbet is a prominent symbol of integration. But pop and politics do not necessarily fit together. Iris Alanyali reports.

Van Gogh monument vandalised

AMSTERDAM (ANP) – The monument to Theo van Gogh in the Oosterpark in Amsterdam was vandalised last week. ‘Al Qaeda’ was written on the statue in black letters, the police said on Saturday. The date ’27-11-2007′ was also written on the monument in black marker. It is still unknown who is responsible for the deed. The statue De Schreeuw (The Screen) is on the edge of the Oosterpark, close to where Van Gogh was murdered by an Islamic fundamentalist on 2 November 2004. The monument was unveiled in March this year.

Mosque Life in Amsterdam

{This article explains how mosque life in Amsterdam has normalized after a period of heightened scrutiny following the assassination of provocative filmmaker Theo Van Gogh. For more information about the 2004 assassination of Van Gogh and Dutch security policies, see the [Netherlands country profile.->http://www.euro-islam.info/spip/article.php3?id_article=294]} Original Title: “Amsterdam’s soft approach to jihadists” By Simon Kuper El-Tawheed mosque could only be in Amsterdam. Across the street is a coffee shop serving soft drugs. The facade of a house a few doors down is painted with naked female figures. And while some women passing the mosque wear veils, others cycle by in T-shirts. El-Tawheed mosque became notorious in 2004 when Mohammed Bouyeri, a young man who had prayed there, murdered the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Mr Bouyeri’s friend Samir Azzouz, now serving eight years in jail for planning terrorist attacks, also prayed at El-Tawheed. The murder of Van Gogh, who had made a film attacking Islam, has been called the Dutch September 11…

Harsh reality dominates non-fiction prize shortlist

This year’s non-fiction prize shortlist features two books related to U.S. military intervention in Iraq and one study of an Islamist extremist murder in Holland Ian Buruma’s Murder in Amsterdam is about the killing of the provocative columnist and filmmaker Theo van Gogh by the son of Moroccan immigrants who was angry because he had collaborated with an anti-Islamic politician. These books edged out other promising biographies-presumably they were favored given the political nature of these times.