November 02, 2004

Controversial filmmaker Theo van Gogh shot and stabbed to death in Amsterdam this morning. Prior to the attack, Van Gogh had received threats to his life, especially after the airing of a short film dealing with the status of women in Islamic culture. Ironically, he is also known for a recent film chronicling the events leading up to the last high-profile assassination that shocked the Netherlands: that of controversial politician Pim Fortuyn.
  • wow, wtf is going on in the netherlands these days?
  • At the moment? People are gathering at the Oosterpark, where he was killed. The murderer was wearing a traditional arab jalaba. I am worried.
  • "..murderer was wearing a traditional arab jalaba.." Sounds very suss. A frame-up? But Amsterdam can be rough. He should have gotten himself a bodyguard.
  • from what i hear of the northern nordic lands, while legally liberal, privately people can be extremely racist/provincial as point of course, and more unchecked because of the legal openness-- --who knows-- i remember when a kidnapped korean director and his actress wife were finally freed from making propaganda films in north korea-- --didn't even make the english speaking news
  • A bodyguard is no insurance against assassination -- a determined assassin, sooner or later, can get in a shot, and that's all it takes. There were bodyguards with both Kennedy and with Reagan when they were shot.
  • Religious wingnuts kill people they don't like, news at 11.
  • BTW Fortuyn was killed on May 6, 2002, that's 911 days ago, today. 911 is American, but the Dutch alarm number is 112. Fun with numbers.
  • Bodyguards would have been better than nothing. There is no absolute preventative. Anyway, which Kennedy? The Secret Service in Dallas were a tad lax, shall we say. There were lots of mistakes made that day. The shenanigans in the Ambassador Hotel service area were equally confusing. Neither of these really relate to the van Gogh murder; he was not so high profile nor surrounded by multitudes. He could have been protected by a bodyguard. Either way.. it's dreadful.
  • This kind of thing always seems so much worse when it happens in one of those countries that (however much you acknowledge the superficiality of such an instinct) yuo've always put on a pedestal for being better than your own. You know the ones - the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand... The shift of many people from the traditional left to the non-traditional right (a position which one could almost characterise as "liberal racism", if one was feeling controversial) in Holland is fascinating - disturbing yet thought-provoking.
  • the northern nordic lands Huh?
  • Religious wingnuts kill people they don't like, news at 11. MeFi is back up, you know.
  • "..murderer was wearing a traditional arab jalaba.." Sounds very suss. A frame-up? Why would this sound suspicious to you? He made a very controversial film about Islam, and had received death threads from Muslim groups. Sounds very cut-and-dried.
  • This is so terrible. I read Irshad Manji's The Trouble With Islam last weekend and the whole time I was worrying about how she might wind up dead because she wrote it. And the book's thesis is right on - the muslim religion needs to open itself up to criticism and discourse in general.
  • rocket88: If you don't get with the program, it's back to conspiracy school for you. I was in Rotterdam when Pim Forteyn was murdered.It was sad, but uplifting to see the response of many thousands of Dutch people