Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Van Gogh Murder: One Year Later

Links Updated: 11-4-06

Today marks the first anniversary of the horrific murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by jihadist fanatic Mohammed Bouyeri. Van Gogh was literally slaughtered on the streets of Amsterdam in broad daylight. At his trial, Bouyeri was unrepentant. He told Van Gogh's mother that "I cannot feel for you ... because I believe you are an infidel".

As I have written before, Van Gogh's killing was not a random crime; it was an act of blood-stained censorship. Van Gogh was an outspoken, controversial, sometimes over the top critic of Islam. He had recently made a short film on the treatment of women in the Muslim world called Submission.

At his trial, Bouyeri made it abundantly clear that he murdered Van Gogh as punishment for his views. His explanation of his crime was that "I was motivated by the law that commands me to cut off the head of anyone who insults Allah and his prophet."

The Van Gogh killing is just one example of radical Islamists' often murderous opposition to intellectual freedom. Just in the last several weeks, four people were killed in riots sparked by Islamists in Egypt over a play performed in Coptic Christian churches. Even more recently, a death threat was made against veteran actor Omar Sharif on a jihadist web site, after he portrayed St. Peter in a film for Italian television.

Sadly, according to an article from the Radio Netherlands web site, it appears that the Van Gogh murder has indeed had a chilling effect on free speech in the Netherlands:

One of the consequences of the murder of Theo van Gogh has been that many people in the Netherlands have become more cautious about making statements about subjects such as Islam. Fear of threats, or actual threats, have seen columnists, politicians and entertainers and satirists become more likely to exercise self-censorship. This restriction on the freedom of expression is therefore not government imposed but a response to the fear of violence.

(link via LGF)

Above all, the killing of Theo Van Gogh stands as a stark reminder that radical Islamists do in fact hate our freedom, and they will take it away if we let them.


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