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Education by Murder
FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | 11/16/04 | Daniel Pipes

Posted on 11/16/2004 1:40:15 AM PST by kattracks

Education by murder” describes the slow and painful way people wake up to the problem of radical Islam. It took three thousand deaths to wake up Americans – or at least to wake up the half of them who are conservative. Likewise, it took hundreds of deaths in the Bali explosion to semi-wake up Australians, it took the Madrid assault for Spaniards and the Beslan atrocity for Russians. Twelve workers beheaded in Iraq awoke the Nepalese.

But it took just one death to wake up many Dutch. Indeed, one gruesome killing may have done more to arouse the Netherlands than 9/11 did for Americans.

The reason for this lies in the identity of the victim and the nature of the crime. He was Theo van Gogh, 47, a well-known radical libertarian, a filmmaker, television producer, talk-show host, newspaper columnist, and all-around mischief-maker who enjoyed the distinction of being a relative of one of Holland’s most renowned artists, Vincent van Gogh. In recent years, Theo garnered attention by critiquing Islam in a 2003 book (Allah Knows Best) and a 2004 film (Submission).

He was murdered at 8:40 a.m. on Nov. 2 in his hometown of Amsterdam, while bicycling down a busy street to work. In the course of being shot repeatedly, Van Gogh beseeched his killer, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Have mercy. Have mercy!” Then the killer stabbed his chest with one knife and slit his throat with another, nearly decapitating van Gogh.

The presumed murderer, Mohammed Bouyeri, 26, a Dutch-born dual Moroccan-Dutch citizen, left a five-page note in the Arabic and Dutch languages stabbed to Van Gogh’s body. In it he threatened jihad against the West in general (“I surely know that you, Oh Europe, will be destroyed”) and specifically against five prominent Dutch political figures.

Police investigators quickly realized that the assassin was an Islamist whom they knew well – and had been following until just two weeks earlier; they also placed him in the “Hofstadgroep” network and charged him and six of his associates with “conspiracy with a terrorist intent.” The authorities additionally asserted that these had possible connections to the Takfir wa’l-Hijra and Al-Qaeda terrorist groups.

That a non-Muslim critic of Islam was ritually murdered for artistically expressing his views was something without precedent, not just in Holland but anywhere in the West. Dutch revulsion at the deed shook the deep complacency of what is perhaps the world’s most tolerant society. Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, one of the five persons threatened, publicly rued the country’s having long ignored the presence of radical Islam. “For too long we have said we had a multi-cultural society and everyone would simply find each other. We were too naïve in thinking people would exist in society together.”

Jozias van Aartsen, parliamentary leader of the VVD party, went further, warning that “jihad has come to the Netherlands and a small group of jihadist terrorists is attacking the principles of our country. … These people don’t want to change our society, they want to destroy it.”

One day after the murder, 20,000 demonstrators gathered to denounce the killing and 30 people were arrested for inciting hatred against Muslims. Interior Minister Johan Remkes announced

that he could not rule out unrest. “The climate is seriously hardened.” Proving him right, the next two weeks saw more than 20 arson and bombing attacks and counter-attacks on mosques, churches, and other institutions, plus some major police raids, giving the country the feel of a small-scale civil war.

Dutch attitudes toward Muslims immediately and dramatically hardened. A poll found 40 percent of the population wanting the nearly million-strong Muslim community no longer to feel at home in the Netherlands. Double that number endorsed more stringent policies toward immigrants.

De Telegraaf, a leading paper, published an editorial unimaginable before the van Gogh murder, calling for “a very public crackdown on extremist Muslim fanatics.” Even left-wing politicians woke up to the need to speak “harsh truths” about immigration, focusing on the disproportionate criminality of Muslims.

Islamist terrorism in the West is counterproductive because it awakens the sleeping masses; in brief, jihad provokes crusade. A more cunning Islamist enemy would advance its totalitarian agenda through Mafia-like intimidation, not brazen murders.

But if Islamists do continue with overt terrorism, the tough Dutch response will everywhere be replicated.

Daniel Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org) is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers).



TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: danielpipes

1 posted on 11/16/2004 1:40:16 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks

It's time for the rest of the world to recognize Islam for what it really is: the enemy.


2 posted on 11/16/2004 1:49:30 AM PST by Malleus Dei ("Communists are just Democrats in a hurry.")
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To: kattracks; All
 
Islam versus Holland- Red Cresent Rising?

3 posted on 11/16/2004 1:53:04 AM PST by backhoe (-30-)
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To: kattracks

Great article, Kattracks.


4 posted on 11/16/2004 3:23:24 AM PST by bd476
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To: kattracks

The author is right about US (at least more than HALF of us did) waking up to the threat of the world-wide threat from the "religion of peace" (as Ann Coulter calls it), and WE (the smart, realistic, and don't F**K with the U.S. half did) VOTED ACCORDINGLY. On the other hand, the ignorant, naive pacifists in Spain were SLEEPING through their education process in Madrid. They voted for left-wing pussies that will make them LESS SAFE. Stupid bastards. I think the ignorant, naive, pacifists among us (read that liberal demonRATS) should move to Spain, where they will be "safe" :)


5 posted on 11/16/2004 4:03:08 AM PST by DocH (Release ALL your Navy records AND your private journal Kerry!)
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To: kattracks
"These people don’t want to change our society, they want to destroy it.”

Do I smell coffee?

6 posted on 11/16/2004 4:09:03 AM PST by shezza (Looks like some people are finally waking up)
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To: kattracks

Thanks for posting this. Pipes is eloquent and on target, as usual.


7 posted on 11/16/2004 4:12:19 AM PST by hershey
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To: kattracks
We were too naïve in thinking people would exist in society together.”

You are still too naive but at least you are awake now.

8 posted on 11/16/2004 4:47:52 AM PST by Tom Bombadil
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To: kattracks
The American People Dutch have suspected for some time that in the Uninted Stated Holland, their world famous attachment to tolerance was turning into a one-way street. There was an assumption that the indigenes of the great United States tiny Holland (population 250 16 million), would tolerate large-scale illegal hispanic Islamic immigration without a mew of protest because they were so famously tolerant. That the immigrants owed a duty to their host country to acculturate themselves, learn the language, and adopt the tolerance they had made their way to the United State Holland to enjoy seems never to have occurred to anyone in government. From a related thread.
9 posted on 11/16/2004 5:12:08 AM PST by raybbr
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To: kattracks

Excellent article!


10 posted on 11/16/2004 5:39:17 AM PST by Gritty ("These people donít want to change our society, they want to destroy it"-Dutch Parlimentary Leader)
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