2004 November 03 Wednesday
Theo Van Gogh, Filmmaker and Critic Of Islam, Murdered In Amsterdam

Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh has been murdered and most likely by a Muslim angry at Van Gogh's portrayal of Islam.

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands Nov 2, 2004 — A Dutch filmmaker who had received death threats after releasing a movie criticizing the treatment of women under Islam was slain in Amsterdam on Tuesday, police said.

A suspect, a 26-year-old man with dual Dutch-Moroccan nationality, was arrested after a shootout with officers that left him wounded, police said.

Van Gogh's great grandfather also named Theo was the brother of painter Vincent Van Gogh.

The Dutch Prime Minister does not want anyone jumping to the extremely likely conclusion about the motivation for Van Gogh's murder.

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has led tributes to film director Theo van Gogh, who was assassinated in Amsterdam on Tuesday morning.

Balkenende said he was horrified to hear of Van Gogh's murder. But he also called on the public not to jump to conclusions about the deadly attack.

The conclusion that the Prime Minister doesn't want anyone to jump to is that the murdered acted for Islam.

Authorities said the suspect is a citizen of both Morocco and the Netherlands, although they don't know if he is Muslim.

Volkert Van der Graaf, the murderer of Pim Fortuyn, got off with a sentence that will make him eligible for parole in 2014. Will Theo Van Gogh's murderer get off as lightly?

Van Gogh became the target of many death threats after he released a movie critical of Islam in August 2004.

Van Gogh, a chain-smoking social critic and satirist, received threats after the August television broadcast of his movie "Submission," which he made with a Dutch politician who had renounced the Islamic faith of her birth.

In the fictional story, a veiled Muslim woman spoke about her violent marriage, being raped by a relative and later brutally punished for adultery. In some scenes, the actress' naked body is shown through a transparent gown. One scene shows her body with Quranic verses written on it.


The English-language film was written by Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a lawmaker who has outraged Muslims by criticizing Islamic customs and the failure of Muslim families to adopt Dutch ways.

Will Ayaan Hirsi Ali see to it that Van Gogh's two planned sequel movies still get made?

Van Gogh spent 18,000 euros (£12,500) of his own money making the film in secret - and it was to be the first instalment of a three-part series.

The second part was due to look at the issue from Muslim men's points of view.

The murders of Fortuyn and Van Gogh might create a climate of fear that will lead to a decrease in public airings of harsher criticisms of Islam in the Netherlands.

The Van Gogh-Hirsi Ali movie Submission used Koranic verses about the treatment of women painted onto the bodies of actresses.

"All praise to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds," begins the text painted across the actress's throat, which then scrolls down her bare chest. It is taken from the fatiha or opening of the Koran, the lines recited aloud by men, and silently by women, at Muslim prayer five times a day throughout the world.

Four other women act out scenes of torment and repression. One battered victim in a torn dress, exposes her shoulders and arms covered with lash wounds and the text of Verse 34, Chapter 4, The Women.

"Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made them excel and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient. Those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them," it says.

Ms. Hirsi Ali was drawing attention to that verse before she was elected to the Dutch Parliament and well before she collaborated with Van Gogh in creating their mini-movie "Submission". So her use of that verse in the "Submission" short film is a more artistic approach for her on-going efforts to draw attention to the nature of Islam.

"The most important verse, which I still refer to, is in the Koran and it is the verse which says women should obey the male members of their families - their fathers and their husbands - and if they do not do that then the husband may beat his wife," she said.

"That's also a side of Islam and I've pointed to it and I've said there are millions of people who carry out just that simple verse.

"Millions of Muslim women all around the world are oppressed in the name [of] Islam.

"And as a woman who was brought up with the tradition of Islam, I think it's not just my right but also my obligation to call these things by name."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali already required permanent police protection long before the Submission documentary was released.

According to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the emotions incited by her statements, especially among radical Muslims, underscores the state of the Islam. (Radical) Muslims are incapable of self-reflection. Consequently, any critical remark is perceived as an offense.

She believes that the Dutch are insufficiently aware of the threat which a rapidly growing radical Islam poses for the basic values and norms of Dutch society. Because of her outspokenness on these issues she has received death threats and needs permanent personal protection.

Hirsi Ali can't walk the streets by herself.

By "hard work", she refers not to her 11-minute film Submission, which was broadcast on Dutch television and included images of a naked Muslim woman draped with an opaque veil, nor her newspaper columns which criticise Islam; she means dealing with the reaction from the Islamic community in Holland and beyond. Since Submission was broadcast, the threats have intensified rather than died down.

"I don't walk in the streets alone," she says. "Groups of Muslim boys shout out 'whore' and all kinds of sexist remarks and threaten to kill me and so on. They're young men, mostly unemployed, and I don't know how much you can take that seriously but it feels horrible.

"The written threats say 'we will kill you' and they all go to the police. I think most people who kill someone don't ring up first and say they're coming to do it. It's intimidation. They say because I have said I'm not Muslim any more – which I haven't said, I've said I don't believe in God and the hereafter – I have no right to criticise Islam. They don't want discussion."

That she tolerates this daily, while refusing to back down on what she lightheartedly calls her Islam Reformation Project (IRP), has earned her the title of "brave". Admittedly, this is generally among white Dutch people who admire her confidence but don't want to commit themselves on Islam or Dutch multicultural policy, yet it's not without warrant. Hirsi Ali would disagree.

"It started with simply stating some facts," she says. "For example, the position of women in Islam compared to western countries is far worse. That's a fact. You don't have to be brave to say that. In Islam, homosexuals are killed and disowned by their families and in some countries, Egypt for example, they are put in cages. Christians and Jews living in the Netherlands and other western countries are very tolerant towards each other, but Muslims accept only other Muslims and fundamentalists will not even talk to moderate Muslims. These are facts. You don't have to be brave to state these things or discuss them loudly."

In late 2002 Hirsi Ali fled the Netherlands for a while in fear of her life.

To the surprise of many, she became a leading voice condemning the government's support for multiculturalism, programs costing millions of dollars a year that she considers misplaced because they help keep Muslim women isolated from Dutch society.

Then Ms. Hirsi Ali, 32, began receiving hate mail, anonymous messages calling her a traitor to Islam and a slut. On several Web sites, other Muslims said she deserved to be knifed and shot. Explicit death threats by telephone soon followed. The police told her to change homes and the mayor of Amsterdam sent bodyguards. She tried living in hiding. Finally, last month, she became a refugee again, fleeing the Netherlands.

"I had to speak up," she said, in a telephone interview from her hiding place, "because most spokesmen for Muslims are men and they deny or belittle the enormous problems of Muslim women locked up in their Dutch homes."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali says it would be too dangerous for her to return to Somalia.

I am now a member of parliament for the Liberal Party. My subjects - my portfolio - include the migration of non-Western migrants to the Netherlands, the emancipation of women, and development aid to developing countries.

Unfortunately I cannot do this line of work in my country of birth.

Somalia is made up of a population which is 100% Muslim. The radical leanings of a huge number of the population is unfortunately growing, and the position of the Somali woman has never been worse than it is now.

If I were to say the things that I say now in the Dutch Parliament in Somalia, I would be killed.

Hirsi Ali shows guts in the face of threats.

She describes how last Thursday in a bar in The Hague she was tapped on the shoulder and addressed by man of around 24 years that said: “Miss, I really hope with all my heart that the Mujahedeen will get you and kill you.” Confronted with this Hirsi Ali picked up a knife and gave it to the man. The man’s startled reaction was that he didn’t want to do it because he was afraid to go to jail.

Hopefully Hirsi Ali will continue to be given enough bodyguard protection to keep her alive, in the Dutch Parliament, and in the public eye.

Update: Over on Gene Expression Razib thinks the Netherlands might be headed toward an apartheid society.

Well, I talked to a Dutch friend of mine in University, and asked him if he had ever met a person of Moroccan origin in his classes. He thought about it and mentioned one girl, who was rather atypical in many ways (she was a classic nerd). To me, this is a hint that the future is apartheid, if current trends continue. Two killings (first Pim, now Van Gogh) is not a trend, but it is really hard to maintain a sanguine assimilationist perspective in the face of ideologically motivated murders.

Multiculturalism doesn't work in a single society.

Update II: 8 Islamic radicals were arrested for suspected involvement in Van Gogh's murder. 6 are from Morocco, 1 from Algeria, and one has dual Spanish-Moroccan citizenship. Also, last week a man was sentenced to 9 months in jail for threatening to fill Ayaan Hirsi Ali and for publishing her address on the internet.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 November 03 12:23 AM  Immigration Culture Clash

John S Bolton said at November 3, 2004 12:55 AM:

Compare the treatment of these people with that given Rushdie. As I recall it being stated in John Milton's Areopagitica, it is not necessary to tolerate the importation of faiths which will not 'unlaw' themselves; not seek to make themselves the law of the land. The moslems keep making clear their declaration of war on us, and they must be made to see some harsh intolerance directed specifically at them. All civilized countries now must legislate a special category of undesirable alien status for the moslem. Egalitarian pretenses, in the face of such vicious tactics are gross violations of morality; of the responsibility to adjudge certain cults as outside the range of what can be tolerated. Osama effectively intervened in our elections, it appears, by the showing of the expanded margin voted contrary to the instruction of the terrorist, in the states which he specificsally threatened.

noone said at November 3, 2004 4:34 AM:

Islam is a supremasist ideology,where ever large populations of muslims come in contact with populations of non-muslims the result is violence.Apartheid will be followed by ethnic cleansing by one group or the other.The Dutch are using a PC form of etchnic cleansing right now in the form of bribes to people who leave voluntarily,but how long before the Dutch decide it's cheaper to simply deport them en masse?

And things won't be much better here.

John S Bolton said at November 3, 2004 10:19 PM:

Christianity speaks of 'those persecuted for righteousness's sake', and regard for those who claim to be such, has aided the infiltration of these violent enemies of civilization. How is that people don't know that, to the foreigner, we do not owe a presumption of innocence? Regarding the asylum-seekers and their relatives; the willingness to live, and even multiply, on net public subsidy, taken by mere aggression, is the most perfect proof of unrighteousness, for which there should be no desire to harbor and assist. A dictator's pesthole, is a most fitting place to send a foreigner who would live on the proceeds of aggression on the net taxpayer, and as an accessory to the treason which shovels out welfare to them.

Curious Citizen from Sweden said at November 5, 2004 1:26 PM:

"Multiculturalism doesn't work in a single society."

How does it work in USA? In Sweden, a lot of people think USA is a multicultural society that works.

Randall Parker said at November 5, 2004 1:51 PM:


It depends on what you define as separate cultures.

First of all, it depends on how different the various subcultures are. If two subcultures differ in their food and musical styles but basically embrace the same moral code on important points then they can coexist.

Secondly, some of our internal differences are less of a problem because we have a federal system with some stuff handled at the state and local level. Different things can be handed at different levels. But that is not a practical system within a single small nation or in a single city.

Also, in the past at least assimilation was heavily promoted by our institutions and the majority culture. The idea of allowing lots of cultures to coexist is a leftist idea that started to be promoted as a way for leftists to dilute and undermine a culture they didn't like. But that dilution causes bigger problems the further it progresses.

The funny thing about this with the leftists is that they are horrified at George W. Bush and the so-called "Red States" of cultural conservatives. Well,. by the leftists' own reckoning how can multiculturalism work if Christian fundamentalism is such an imminent threat?

Mind you, I think the leftists are exaggerating the threat from Christian fundamentalism and that the leftists are a bigger threat to basic liberties than the rightists. But the leftists are preaching a contradiction in my view.

In a nutshell: Some cultural differences are incompatible and can't co-exist. Some are more compatible to varying extents. Islam is not compatible with the Western cultures.

Invisible Intellect said at November 5, 2004 2:08 PM:

Curious Citizen,

Multiculturalism DOES work in the USA, but only in secular neighborhoods. The US is secular overall,
and even the right wing white Christians have become more tolerant when they go to college, and most
American corporations hire the students with the highest grades, without paying too much attention to their
race. I don't have the latest figures, but probably about 10 % of the US citizens were born abroad.
Also, most American Arabs are Christian Arabs, and even the Muslim Arabs who immigrated to the US,
are often better educated and more secular Muslims than the Muslim Arabs who have been immigrating to Europe.
Most of the September 11 terrorists (if not all of them) did not have immigrant status or US citizenship.

The American version of multiculturalism, at least in the good old days, used to be such that those
who immigrated to the USA, were very eager to become part of the society, and they did everything possible
to become Americanized, even if they retained their previous heritage. Currently, there is a trend
among immigrants in the USA, to remain more attached to their previous countries, and many of them have dual citizenships. But this is not the end of America (yet), as long as religious bigotry or foreign ideologies (like
fascism or communism) are not overwhelmingly powerful. During the Great Depression, when the unemployment
approached 25 % in the US, the American intellectual elite started to "study" foreign ideologies
like fascism and communism (foreign versions) to change the local culture, and this can
happen again, to create inner polarization one day, but currently there is no foreign ideology.
In Silicon Valley, many birthday parties look like United Nations meetings.

The Muslim immigration to Europe has been much faster and more dense recently. The first wave of Muslim Arabs
who immigrated to France, were already educated in French high schools, and they were the elite of their former
countries, in such a way that they knew more about the French culture than the average French citizen. Although
that generation of Arabs were very assimilable, the new generation of working class Arabs are much less
educated, and they are NOT secular like the previous wave of immigration. This is the reason the current
10 % Muslim Arab population is becoming more difficult to assimilate in France. Additionally, the Muslim
children in France are probably 20 % of children in France, once again due to the fact that the Mosques are
full and the Churches are empty in France, which was not an issue in the previous generation.

Iqbal Haroon said at July 26, 2005 10:39 AM:

I think the best is to respect al others as religion was there to tame man not arouse hatered . A good person should only love humans never hate anybody

Born American said at June 5, 2007 5:46 AM:

In America we have always tried to offer opportunity to all who come here reguardless of faith or background. It is becomming more clear that Islam presents a threat to our way of life. I see more often a propensity to lie on their part. They deny involvement in anything that will show their true intentions even when proof of their lies is easily found. Edina Lekovic, who serves as MPAC’s communications director , appeared on CNBC’s Kudlow & Company with counterterrorism specialist Steven Emerson on May 23, where they discussed a Pew Research Center poll on U.S. Muslim attitudes. The following quote was sited in the interview “When we hear someone refer to the great Mujahid …, Osama bin Laden, as a ‘terrorist,’ we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter; someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah’s cause and speak out against oppressors.” This statement was made after the ’98 bombing [in Kenya and Tanzania ], and this was made in Al-Talib magazine.
She can be clearly heard denying that she was editor of the Al-Talib magazine when this was published. However he name appears on the cover of that very publication on the day the article was published. Deny, deny, deny! Most people will not take the time to verify the truth. I did! From now on I will try to verify everything they say, if I can't, I will not believe it.

Listiani Lestari said at September 19, 2009 9:38 PM:


It seems that Indonesia also adapted an Islam Cult totally different from the great Prophet instructed us to practice peace, respect, honesty and tolerance between use brethren in Allah. Instead, Islam Extremism is transformed into a cult of bloodshed-entertainment, terror, arson, rape and massacres.

reference to: Atlas Shrugs Indonesia.

The Cult of Islam is a believe in Satanic manifestations that do not accept dialogue or criticism. Reference to the brutal murder of Theo van Gogh by a paid Muslim assassin Mohammed Bouyeri who lost all contacts away from society for the rest of his life. While Samir Azzouz and Imam Hermanto who paid him to kill Theo van Gogh are free and enjoying life to the full. To die soon for Bouyeri is a relief and so let him meet his end with Satan. But to be locked away from all the beauty of God's creation is a desperation.

The Jemaah Islamiah is an Islamic militant guerrilla combat network that is synonyms to Indonesia. In the urge of revenge against America. The Jemaah Islamiah Military Strategies, they Bomb America in Jakarta or in Bali. Perhaps, they may learn better geography as the Top Islamiah Chief Noordin Mohammed was killed in ambush in Solo by Indonesian Police.

Reference to: Jakarta and Bali under siege by Islam Jihad.

The Special Assignment Anti-Terrorism Police in Jakarta, needs our assistance and cooperation in the fight against Islam extremism.

I just want to name one particular location where Islamiah Jihad are trained. Jobless young innocent Indonesians schooled to believe in the Jihad-Slaughter and the sort of group I mean in the South Jakarta district of Tebet Timur Dalam "Rahima". A center for education and information on Islam.

Reference to: http://www.rahima.or.id
Rahima Sipkema Amsterdam

In particular to the Rahima curriculum of the NGO's academy of studies inclusive of hatred towards America and Europa. And do-it-yourself-Jihad. An easy and effective revenge of opportunity towards those who oppose, offend
or ridicule the Cult of Islam.

The solution is one, indeed to challenge in adapting Islam to Indonesia. But adapting Indonesia to Islam.

Amsterdam, today 20th.September,2009. My name is Listiani Lestari id:530971312 converted to traditional Islam by my Dutch husband.

Davies said at November 22, 2009 2:23 PM:

Van Gogh was a loud and obnoxious atheist slob, who has said some pretty dispicable stuff about things I hold dear. However, I never felt he should have gone to jail (let alone being skewered like a shish kebab in the streets of Amsterdam). But I have to draw a line somewhere. I will not knowingly defend a lie, even if it is presented as just another opinion.

Imagine walking into a poor black USA neighborhood with a megaphone, shouting something like: "Yo pussy ass niggas! I'm here to use my fundamental right to freedom of speech so listen to da message! You're all a bunch of criminal motherfucking idiots and it's about time someone said something about that. [...] (include 10 minutes rant)". Most probably you're not going to finish this 'message' before bullets will be flying around from all corners of the neighborhood.

The bullets will be flying towards... you. And I'm sure most people will agree you'll look pretty stupid if you start crying about how mean everyone's been treating you for simply exercising your right to freedom of speech.Free speech has within it 'responsibility'. You can say whatever you like,but,if you yell 'fire' in a crowded room & there isn't one...You're an ass.

The film I believe was intentionally done to incite the response they got. Its a bunch of atheist assholes getting what they should expect.

Listiani Lestari said at December 17, 2009 2:38 PM:

Davies, you hide in your dark desperate sickness under the anonymous name of " Davies ". Theodor Van Vogh in his film was delivering a message that Islam is just a Sick Primitive Cult of bloodshed and he was doing so in his own motherland not like you animal. In your poverty and desperation came to the Netherlands to seek a better life where human respect and freedom exist.Islam is destroying the pride and freedom of the Dutch people and a deadly fear follows and can strike at any time by a sick Muslim who comes from behind and cut off your throat just for the sack of winning eternal happiness.

It is unacceptable for the EU., member states that Islam is a domestic problem in the Netherlands. Where Islam has gained strong strategic legal and political domination and Holland is furnishing Europe with Islam terrorists via the Schengen-Junction. Muslims who settles in the Netherlands are all devoted believers and are such potential killers and they are spread all over the Netherlands and not easy to identify and Muslims themselves fear death if they renounce Islam.

If Islam is a religion. It must be treated like one. But facts and history teaches us that Islam is just an Animal Cult of bloodshed and terror. Same like it's founder. Islam is governed by too many sick ideas. Meaningless ideas with no logic to understand. Because there is nothing to understand. The mythical theology of Islam is just a fabrication of any common sick Muslim invent.

Shari'a generates debate and concern on many issues especially with women emancipation. Islam treats women like a bunch of animals with no respect at all. While the Koran stands in the heart of jihad with a litany of hatred.

Today,17th December,2009., Amsterdam my name is Listiani Lestari (Spiteri) converted from Islam by my Dutch husband.
I am originally from Jakarta Indonesia. But was successful in reaching Europe legally by my Passport No.M768670. Indonesian id:530971312.

Sigit Hendra Gunawan said at January 3, 2010 4:53 PM:

My name is Sigit Hendra Gunawan born Islam at Jl.Tebet Timur Dalam III-D No.16 Rt.005 Rw.003 South Jakarta and my telephone home number is 0062 21 83703958 my cellphone No. 0062 818958608 or 0062 81574490078.

Actually,I did witness many extraordinary Muslim traditions. These may seems strange but it happens still in Indonesia.
If any Muslim man is caught having sex with a goat. It is a Muslim law that the man caught is forced to marry the goat and take the goat as his wife. Goat-sex by Indonesian men is very common in Indonesia.

Massive attendance to Islamic Mosques in South Jakarta is a continuation of a litany of hate against progress in Indonesia
The Muslim preachers inject hatred and jihad towards those infidels who corrupt Islamic traditions with progress that makes easy and comfortable life. As if it means that comfort is anti Islam.

Congratulations to our great President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhonyano. Finally the long Saga of the Jemaah Islamiyah is crushed completely ending first the lives of the most radical Islamist Noordin Muhammed Top and all the
mythical theology of Islam that generates war, and terrorism towards our Nation in the name of Allah whom they
kill every day. Ending also the Jihad al-Mukim Pondok Ngruki Islamic Academy in South Jakarta where Syaefuddin Jaelani groom young Indonesians into a useless Islamic revenge of suicide-bombing in the name of Islam

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