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Anti-Muslim Dutch politicians in hiding after death threats

 
 
Thok
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2004 10:06 pm
AFP:

Quote:
Anti-Islamic attacks could happen anywhere in Europe: EU

The European Union's executive arm warned on Wednesday that an outbreak of anti-Islamic attacks in the Netherlands could happen anywhere in Europe, urging EU nations to take stock of the threat.

EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Antonio Vitorino "believes that the events in the Netherlands could take place anywhere in Europe", his spokesman Pietro Petrucci told reporters.

"The (European) commission expresses its solidarity with the Dutch authorities, who are managing a situation taking place in the Netherlands but which is a matter for the European Union as a whole," he added.

The Netherlands has seen a surge in attacks against Muslim targets since controversial film director Theo van Gogh was murdered a week ago by a suspected Islamic radical. Three mosques were targeted by arsonists and two by vandals over the weekend, and two Islamic schools have also been attacked. No one was hurt in the incidents.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2004 10:16 pm
Does sound awfully close to home.

It sounds like this has really rocked the Dutch self-perception -- who you are as a country, what Dutch people do and don't do, what does and doesn't happen. Dutch people do not get killed in broad daylight for movies they've made and things they've said and have notes left attached to their bodies with a knife.

You've already dealt with this after Pim Fortuyn, but I wonder if this is more disorienting because a) it happened AGAIN, which means it can't be set aside as anamoly (an anamoly? that always confuses me), b) there is some precedent, however sad and unfortunate, of politicians being assassinated in a way there isn't for artists, no matter how abrasice, and c) how it fits into the larger craziness of the world, 9/11, Al Qaeda, Iraq. Harder to separate it, THEIR craziness while we do our Dutch thing and are more civilized.

Impressions I have.
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Einherjar
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 12:05 am
Anomaly. And I have similar impressions although my opinion isn't very informed on this particular issue.
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Paaskynen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 01:11 am
nimh wrote:
When it comes to explaining the mutual enmity that has grown between parts of the Dutch and Moroccan/Muslim populations, this is definitely at least one half of the story.


Thanks for your additional points Nimh,

I more or less left the Netherlands after 1991, so I am less informed about the details of what happened after that but what you describe seems to reveal an overreaction. Because people felt they couldn't speak their mind about the very real concerns they had living in the cities (or feeling forced to move out), once it was perceived that the lid was off the pressure cooker people went haywire in their venting of discontent and fear. Again, I believe certain politicians must be held responsible for creating that atmosphere. I assume that were at first you couldn't say anything without being attacked for discriminatory remarks, it then became the opposite that if you did not use bold and abrasive language you would be accused of refusing to face up to the problem, etc.

I really do hope the situation will settle down the way it did with the Moluccan extremists (also second generation youths).
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 01:29 am
Yes, thanks, nimh!

As mentioned before, Uden is the twin-town of Lippstadt.

So, in there are a couple of reports in our local paper today, which sum up, what was said here already.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 07:45 am
Yep to Paaskynen and yep to Sozobe, thats all true. In addition to Soz's posts, the most decisive thing of course is how this murder does collide/coincide with the long-standing Dutch/immigrants-Muslims hornets nest; Pim Fortuyn's murder didn't, yet.

I remember when Pim was murdered, and we all held our breath going "please dont let it be a Moroccan please please please dont let it be a Moroccan" - it was, sick as it sounds, such a relief that it had been a white, environmentalist assassin. If Pim had been killed by a muslim, instant chaos would have broken out, much worse still than what we see now. As it is, riots broke out at parliament square, just imagine how the Rotterdammers would have reacted to the minority people in their midst if thats where the murderer had come from ...

We thought we had escaped all that, and yet now here we are after all, right into the 'ethnic war' thingie (its not quite war yet, of course, at least not between the population groups, but its definitely getting very hot), after all. And the murder of Van Gogh copies exactly the very fears and prejudices people had about Muslims, especially after 9/11 - its like someone came out and said, hey: your biggest fears, the thoughts you had about us that you were almost ashamed of to think - they're all TRUE.

Thats bullshit of course, because muslim groups have come out en masse to condemn the murder: the murderers are not a pars pro toto for all Moroccans, even if the extremists are now confirmed to be among us. But I think thats triggering a lot of the things now. Plus, skinheads etc see an excuse to finally act out like its war, and riotous Moroccan youths return the favour, etc ...
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bembelpetzer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 09:52 am
Hi,

I`m new to this board and found it while doing some research on the van Gogh murder. It is actually pretty interesting to see all the opinions set forth here.

I would like to state the following:
I live in Germany. We haven`t had any murders of the van Gogh type here (yet). However, I believe our immigrant and appeasement strategy regarding militant muslims has failed in a similar way as the Dutch one. Radical fundamentalists only make up a small portion of the muslim population. However, there activities often embrace scattering hatred against the West and anything that is being associated with it- such as the people of the country surrounding them. As in the Netherlands, I believe that we have been too tolerant regarding those groups of people. Therefore, I was appalled by the van Gogh murder. Some people here posted they didn`t like van Gogh since he tended to insult others. That might apply. However, I assume the only thing van Gogh really wanted is to live his freedom, to have the right to say whatever he desired. That is a fundamental position to any democracy. This essential right was taken away from him along with his life solely due to the fact that some others didn`t like the essence of what he stated. Acts of this kind are intolerable. They imply that someone else will determine what you`re allowed to believe- the farewell to liberty. This is the reason I do believe a tougher crackdown on muslim fanatics is not only necessary, but essential to the continuity of basic human rights. Not only in the Netherlands.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 11:23 am
Welcome to A2K, Bembelpetzer. Your views are surely widely held ones. And fundamentally, they're true. Someone was murdered for what he said, for the films he made. That is intolerable. And the presence of militant cells among the larger Muslim population has indeed probably been underestimated. I know that I was surprised for a moment, there, at least. Now how to get the genie back in the bottle. That of Islamist extremism, and that of the tit-for-tat retaliatory attacks by Dutch and minority radicals in its wake.
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bembelpetzer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 07:44 am
Yes, NIMH, you`re right.
We surely don´t know what we will have to expect in the near future. When I recall the police stand off at The Hague and the arsoning of a Quran school, I´m not sure what else we will be going to see. I have always enjoyed visiting the Netherlands, especially the city of Amsterdam. However, right now, you just don`t know what you have to expect there. But the terrible thing is: It can happen anywhere in Europe.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 11:21 am
The Dutch parliament today asked the government to draft laws restricting the employment of imams at Dutch mosques only to those who have studied Islam in the country. A vote on the new law was delayed after Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said it may be considered discriminatory unless applied to all religions. If enacted, it would likely take effect in 2008. The legislation has support from both the government and opposition.

Associated Press: Dutch Parliament Wants Imam Limits

Guardian: Liberal culture under threat in Dutch religious and ethnic crisis

Dutch Justice Ministry (November 9)
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 11:26 am
It's been pointed out to me that I am supposed to be active on threads I create.

Thank you for your posts on this thread. They have been most informative. That is all.
0 Replies
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 10:36 pm
bembelpetzer wrote:
Hi,

I`m new to this board and found it while doing some research on the van Gogh murder. It is actually pretty interesting to see all the opinions set forth here.

I would like to state the following:
I live in Germany. We haven`t had any murders of the van Gogh type here (yet). However, I believe our immigrant and appeasement strategy regarding militant muslims has failed in a similar way as the Dutch one. Radical fundamentalists only make up a small portion of the muslim population. However, there activities often embrace scattering hatred against the West and anything that is being associated with it- such as the people of the country surrounding them. As in the Netherlands, I believe that we have been too tolerant regarding those groups of people. Therefore, I was appalled by the van Gogh murder. Some people here posted they didn`t like van Gogh since he tended to insult others. That might apply. However, I assume the only thing van Gogh really wanted is to live his freedom, to have the right to say whatever he desired. That is a fundamental position to any democracy. This essential right was taken away from him along with his life solely due to the fact that some others didn`t like the essence of what he stated. Acts of this kind are intolerable. They imply that someone else will determine what you`re allowed to believe- the farewell to liberty. This is the reason I do believe a tougher crackdown on muslim fanatics is not only necessary, but essential to the continuity of basic human rights. Not only in the Netherlands.


Amen! I keep hoping I'll read something saying the appropriate elected officials have made statements in the strongest of terms denouncing this type of terrorism. I can't bring myself to criticize another country's politics, but I will continue to hope that the authorities will see this incident for exactly what it is. Ordinary citizens shouldn't have to be afraid of saying anything...much less making a 15 minute movie about the cruelty of a religion.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 10:51 pm
JustWonders wrote:
Amen! I keep hoping I'll read something saying the appropriate elected officials have made statements in the strongest of terms denouncing this type of terrorism.

Ehm ... our vice-PM has said the murder signals "the beginning of the holy Islamic war in the Netherlands" and "declared the war back" - is that strong enough for you?

Just read up ... ^^
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 10:54 pm
In "lighter" news today, the chair of the (populist rightwing) List Pim Fortuyn was apprehended by the police for making a false statement ... You see, he and Mat Herben, MP and former leader of the LPF, had received threat-letters after the murder of van Gogh, signed by a hitherto unknown extremist Islamic organisation, and he had gone to the police with those threats ...

Turned out he wrote them himself. Rolling Eyes
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 11:04 pm
In less light news, two more churches in Utrecht and Rotterdam suffered arson attacks, while an arson attack on a mosque in Venray was prevented and the city hall and a mosque in Veendam were sprayed with swastikas and White Power graffiti.

The kids on both sides are clearly having fun in the aftermath of the murder Shocked

On the murder of Van Gogh, right-wing liberal party leader van Aartsen said that it "strikes at the heart of our identity, the freedom of expression. The polder model [of consensus through dialogue], our World Trade Center, has been taken down. The murder is a product of the international jihad."

"Our World Trade Center"? Rolling Eyes

On the retaliatory attacks on churches, mosques and schools, Christian-Democrat Minister of Justice Donner said that if we continue in this pace, we'll be left with only smoking rubble soon. "Not the murder makes the Netherlands less livable, less tolerant and less together, but the way we deal with it."

Well, both, no, I'd say ... ?

But he's right, we're dealing with it in the worst possible way. We're faced with the sudden intrusion of extremist Jihadists, and what do we do? We use the opportunity to violently settle old ethnic scores. Great.
0 Replies
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 11:11 pm
nimh wrote:
In "lighter" news today, the chair of the (populist rightwing) List Pim Fortuyn was apprehended by the police for making a false statement ... You see, he and Mat Herben, MP and former leader of the LPF, had received threat-letters after the murder of van Gogh, signed by a hitherto unknown extremist Islamic organisation, and he had gone to the police with those threats ...

Turned out he wrote them himself. Rolling Eyes


Unreal!
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 11:18 pm
Nothing surprises me anymore about the List Fortuyn people ...

's what you get if you put a team of dilettants out to implement a programme of resentment. Well, thats my wholly subjective take on 'em, anyway.

He did/was immediately resigne(d), tho.
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JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 11:47 pm
What kind of support have the local artistic community shown?

Or, for that matter, where are the European artists and intellectuals who should be speaking out on the Islamo Fascists? What, if anything, are they saying?
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 10:35 am
Dunno about other European countries. Here, the opinion pages and myriad columns of all the newspapers have been overflowing ever since with all kinds of takes on the issue, from "see, we should have clamped down on all those muslims a lot sooner" to "i wasn't a big fan of his, but when anyone is murdered just for their opinion, it is an outrage" to "this is an outrage, but perhaps also a warning call".

A lot of the trouble is in who van Gogh was ... in this overview of various columnists' reactions I probably put a grossly unrepresentative focus on what you might call the waverers, but the thing remains that for many this is a, "i dont agree with a word you say but i will defend with my life your right to say it" kind of situation (who was it that famously said that?). So you get a lot of the, "i didnt like what he was saying or how he said it myself, but ...".

Nevertheless, there's plenty of outrage of course. Van Gogh's funeral was attended by many, and there isn't a writer or columnist who hasn't by now expressed his horror and condemnation - including the many writer-columnists of Muslim/minority background. The place where van Gogh was murdered has been a sea of flowers and protest notes and people gathering to discuss what happened. And there was the commemoration/protest march the night of his murder in Amsterdam, of course, and the later smaller demonstration by Muslims in the Hague.

But a lot of the discussion is now sidetracked or doubled over by the new layer of problems that has followed van Gogh's dead. All the arson attacks, the bomb explosion. That has people now talking about the ethnic tensions, about the increasing violence between Dutch and Moroccans, which all really has quite little to do with the actual Jihadist thread and a lot more with the problems that have been simmering for so long. Its not that people dont talk about the murder anymore - another three pages of opinions in today's NRC - but that those two different layers partly overlap and partly represent different problems, taking us into different discussions. Thats why you get such a weird juxtaposition like that of Van Aartsen's and Donner's statements in my post above.
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JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 12:19 pm
Well, just after I turned off the computer last night and was getting ready for bed, CNN did a two or three minute "update" on Van Gogh. Geesh...they seemed to be more interested in his "famous name" than to offer any substance of what's currently going on.

Quite brave that Ephimenco guy ... considering.

He should lead the charge to show the movie everywhere. A kind of "in your face" response to the terrorists, if you will. I know you'll disagree with me on this bit Smile

Then again, I can't believe you'd agree that it's the Dutch (or any country's) intolerance of Arabs that's responsible for this. Ephimenco seems to realize that those responsible for Van Gogh's murder will simply kill any artist who exposes their evil or dares to criticize.

And he's right.

I hope his movie is being shown over and over there. Everywhere.
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