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Who Would Want To Kill The Village Idiot?
The usual barbarians, that's who. When Dutch Filmmaker and provacateur Theo Van Gogh flippantly tossed around derogatory remarks about both Christians and Jews, both got pretty peeved at him, but they only used words to express their displeasure, as civilized people are wont to do. Then, he made a serious film about the abuse of Muslim women. When he received death threats from Muslim barbarians, he refused protection, insisting, "No one can seriously want to shoot the village idiot."

Big surprise: It was a Muslim fundamentalist who hunted him down, while he was riding his bicycle, then shot him as he begged for his life, slit his throat, and planted a note (in or) on the body (depending on which news report you read). This one below is by John Henley in The Guardian:

The Dutch justice minister, Piet Hein Donner, said yesterday that the suspect, captured after a shootout with police and currently in a prison hospital with gunshot wounds, "acted out of radical Islamic fundamentalist convictions" and had contacts with a fundamentalist group that was under surveillance by the Dutch secret service. Dutch media also reported that the suspect was a close friend of Samir Azzouz, an 18-year-old Muslim of Moroccan origin who is awaiting trial on charges of planning terrorist attacks on targets including a nuclear reactor and Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

The assassination has sparked a heartfelt national outcry in the traditionally tolerant Netherlands, sparking fears of a dangerous rise in racial tension in a country whose population of 16 million includes some one million Muslims, mainly of Turkish or North African origin. Fanning fears further, a recent government estimated that by 2010, several large Dutch cities like Rotterdam, Amsterdam, the Hague and Utrecht would have Muslim majorities.

Recent opinion polls show the Dutch to be increasingly hostile towards immigrants and fearful of Muslim extremism. Islam, immigration and integration have shot to the top of the political agenda since the rise of Pim Fortuyn, the populist anti-immigrant politician who was himself shot dead by an animal-rights activist in May 2002, and whose party finished second in general elections just days later. The centre-right Dutch government has only succeeded in fanning the flames by calling for greater integration of immigrants through language tests and citizenship classes, and recently fuelled even more controversy with plans to repatriate up to 26,000 failed asylum seekers.

In the midst of this tinderbox, insisting on their right to speak freely and with the support of many Dutch people, Hirsi Ali and Van Gogh scattered their sparks - a blistering critique of Islam - with magnificent disregard for the feelings they might be offending.

How long before this kind of violence -- personal attacks on individuals speaking out against the barbarians -- starts happening in America? By the way, don't be so sure there aren't a few atypical-looking converts to the barbarian point of view.

Posted by aalkon at November 4, 2004 8:28 AM


The diaper-head could've cut off one of Van Gogh's ears and called it "performance art." Sorry--that's sick.

Anyway, don't blame "god" on this, or on the incident at the airport. Blame religion. There's a difference, though Sam Harris would probably make a good argument against this point.


Posted by: Lawaneke at November 4, 2004 4:15 PM

Well stated, that point about the benign vocal histrionics of civilised people versus the throat slicing and beheading on the part of the Islamists. History shows how some religions are born advocating physical retribution but then gradually evolve into one using emotional kind of punishments for control.

The past few years have brought a huge escalation of Islamic killings of infidels. Mostly in Iraq, but now in Asia and Europe. Of course, 9/11. A civilised people may end up going to war over differences, but only after other measures fail.

With the newly revived Islamic radical factions we are witnessing an ancient violence centric movement overpowering a moderate Islam that had been hitherto evolving slowly away from its violent past. The moderate voices within the Islamic nations are deafeningly silent to this reversal.

Just go back a little and recall how life was with the Taliban in charge. Moderate voices were nowhere to be found. My guess is that today's Muslims while appearing to have found a place in this modern world, are stymied into paralysis against this burgeoning killing kind of Islam because they still fear what their fathers feared and their fathers before them. Allah is a fearful god. The western religions took the old testament fearful god of the Jews and turned him into a powerful Santa Claus who sometimes didn't play nice. But not a wrathful, vengeful, killer god like before. Islamists are ruled by fear. Don't look to any moslem moderates for help in stopping the violent Islamo-fascists. They themselves will be at the head of the pack running like hell. To Europe, to the US, to Canada, if they can. But maybe these moderates aren't even safe in Europe anymore. The radicals are killing their hosts now in righteous violence in the name of Allah. Kansas must be looking awfully good about now.

Posted by: allan at November 4, 2004 7:54 PM

That's quite a bleak picture, Allan. I've always hoped, naively I guess, that the best approach for dealing with these lunatics would be some kind of pressure from within Muslim communities. But, as you point out, the non-crazy Muslims are seen as sinful, sold-out infidels by the crazy ones. One of my best friends from college is Muslim. She and her husband are really distressed and disgusted by the Islamo-fascists. They've been working abroad for the past few years, so I haven't had much opportunity to hear their views. I look forward to their return.

Posted by: Lena at November 4, 2004 10:08 PM

Yes, that was rather bleak. But I try to take the real road, in contrast to the high and low. If your friends do come back sometime soon, it would be quite interesting to hear their perspective on the growling mob taking over Islam. Maybe you could post their comments?

Perhaps it's just the press attention given to the violent attacks. But it sure seems even more pervasive month to month. At some point, one has to believe that enough is enough. And there will be equal force in like kind toward the violent ones. I can just see this being headlined as a holy war. But to me it's much more a war of different eras and cultures. One seeking individual/national peace, growth, and freedom, and the other one seeking utter control by the religious oligarchy.

The religious right in our society does have a penchant for infusing their morality into various governmental policies, if not the actual code of law, but at least there are not unfettered public beatings for not wearing a beard or a woman leaving her house without male permission.

To me the most frightening aspect of this killing Islam is that children, young adults, both sexes, are quite willing to strap on explosives and end their lives to kill just one infidel. More is better, but one is enough. How do you threaten such a people? And isn't the threat of war the strongest deterrent we have in the West? Night of the Living Suicide Bombers. Zombies we could deal with by turning the channel to a comedy. These people are for real.

Look at Europe lately. The Dutch are sounding more like Pat Buchanon everyday. Spain might be next, despite the last move to the left. And the UK is making some little squeaks over the radical Islamics in their country now. You see it in some of their recent movies and documentaries. Gotta love those big oceans for keeping our US immigration woes limited to declining wages for non-union skilled workers and long lines of non-emergencies at the emergency ward.

Posted by: allan at November 5, 2004 6:44 PM

"If your friends do come back sometime soon, it would be quite interesting to hear their perspective on the growling mob taking over Islam."

I work with a couple of Muslims as well. Their views on the fundamentalists in their religion sound a lot like what you'd hear from moderate Christians -- eg, "these people are distorting the word of the Koran/Bible, God is not war but love, etc."

Janet and Ian are my good friends who are Muslim. I went to their wedding, which was done by a Muslim holy guy with lots of Muslims around, and it was probably the most beautiful ceremony I've ever attended. I'd never been to a wedding where the groom wept openly. It was real different.

Posted by: Lena at November 6, 2004 6:14 PM

The village idiot? Would that be the big earred jackass that just got re-elected to some high office in the U.S.?

Posted by: Sheryl at November 8, 2004 3:16 PM