Wednesday, November 3

November 2nd

330° 10' NET

It is November 2nd. This day probably will be remembered as a day when the voters of United States chose their course through the deep waters of history. In United States.

Here in The Netherlands it will be remembered as a day when the spirit of free men and free speech got murdered a little bit more.

Theo van Gogh. A director, journalist, columnist, writer. Man of the word and the pen was shot dead in bright daylight in Amsterdam around 9 AM, in a city which is perhaps one of the most tolerant cities in the world.

He said what he thought and that didn't always please people. He was a critic of Islam and it's extremist, fundamentalist teachings. He thought it was a real threat in modern world. He made a short movie about womens situation in Islam together with a Somali born dutch politician - Ayaan Hirsi Ali - who happens to be a woman and also was a muslim. That wasn't received too well in the islamitic circles. She and he both have had threats to their lives.

The difference between these two is - apart from that one is dead and one alive - that she has bodyguards with her when she goes somewhere, she has no doubt that there are people out there who would like to see her dead.
Theo van Gogh didn't. He may have thought about it, but I think he didn't really really believe deep down that someone would really go so far.

The guy who did it, has a double nationality, Dutch and Moroccan. He shot van Gogh multiple times and also stabbed him with a knife. I think he had an issue with van Gogh which he had made a personal issue. A knife is a up-close-and-personal weapon. If he just wanted van Gogh dead, the gun would have been enough. I think he wanted to make a point - which probably is put down on the letter he left to the body. What it says there comes out later, maybe.

Most of the people I know were shocked about the whole thing. They made references to Pim Fortuin, who was murdered a few years back for no real reason other than he also said things which made some people angry.

At 8 PM there was a gathering of people in Amsterdam who came together in memorial of Theo van Gogh and made sure that his death would not go by silently. They made a huge noise with drums, pans, pancovers and whistles and all kind of things which made some kind of a sound. The trains which were at the train station were blowing their whistles.

The elections are going on in the US, but today I have not seen very many reports about that.

Theo van Gogh 1957 - 2004

BBC News

Vector at Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Comments 7


03 November, 2004 04:02 Blogger mightymerk said...

Very Tragic. I am at a loss for words.

07 November, 2004 07:06 Blogger mightymerk said...

I can not get this story out of my head. When a film-maker in a liberal Western country is brutally murdered and then has a manifesto pinned to his flesh with a knife in broad daylight, more people need to be concerned.

The end of this translates to:
I know for sure that you, Oh America will go under;
I know for sure that you, Oh Europe, will go under;
I know for sure that you, Oh Holland, will go under;
I know for sure that you, Oh Hirsi Ali, will go under;
I know for sure that you, Oh unbelieving fundamentalist, will go under.

Any Questions?
Will anybody take notice to this? Or is everybody still occupying themselves with the American election?

07 November, 2004 14:26 Blogger Vector said...

It is under investigation. They knew about this guy before, but he was not included in the extremists.

His old teachers said he was a good student, friendly and did not make any trouble. Obviously at that point he was just a normal guy.

The last I heard of it, they were figuring out if they would call it a terrorist attack or not. It may be that they don't do that. At the moment he is a murderer.

He was prepared to die as a martyr I believe, probably expected to be shot. But Holland is not Israel and he was only wounded to a leg and will go to trial later on. So, this issue has a chance to run its course and we'll see what comes out of it.

People are feeling the impact of the murder, but they also keep perspective - one quick gallup showed that 87% of the people strongly believe in tolerance in the society and keep it in high value. They do think that it is possible there are more of these kind of attacks.

There is a history of terrorism in Europe, something the US didn't have, as far as I know, until the first WTC bomb in 1993 and then Murrah Federal Building bombing 1995.
In Europe it has happened more and it is part of the picture in some countries (Spain, France, UK, Germany etc.)

So, it all is going to be studied and investigated and analyzed and so on and so forth. Some people are going to capitalize on this, probably drawing support for anti-muslim movements, which might generate more problems later on. We'll see.

Fundamentalism and extremism are troublemakers, no matter the religion or ideology.

PS. Oh, yeah, they still talk about the elections :) George has a tightrope to walk and I hope he doesn't slip.

17 November, 2004 00:40 Blogger mightymerk said...


This story still has me digging around.
Can you confirm or deny that the Dutch Secret Services was infiltrated by at least one muslim extremist?

If there is a news article to confirm this (even in Dutch) please forward me the link.

18 November, 2004 23:55 Blogger Vector said...,,2089-1358233_1,00.html

They are investigating it. It is not clear if this guy is extremist or symphatizer.
It has not 'panicked' the AIVD, but it is an embarrassment. And the information is not only for the "Hofstad cell", they think same info has circulated to other extremists too.

Anyway, it's still too early to say anything more specific.

24 November, 2004 23:02 Blogger mightymerk said...

Interesting enough I just read this article at

Mr. van Gogh was murdered exaclty 911 days after Pim Fortuyn.

26 November, 2004 00:26 Blogger Vector said...

He was also directing a movie about the murder of Pim Fortuyn at the time.
It's going to the theaters, but you can also watch it on-line next month.

They have footage from the set.


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