Murder of Dutch Filmmaker Highlights Europe's Tension With Muslims

November 8, 2004

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On November 8, 2004 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "The murder of a controversial Dutch filmmaker has reenergized an uncomfortable debate over Europe's relationship with its growing Muslim minority. Theo van Gogh, whose latest work cast a critical spotlight on Muslim treatment of women, was gunned down and stabbed last week as he road his bicycle in Amsterdam. A letter left on his body threatened lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim who worked on the movie, as well as Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen.

Prosecutors have targeted what they say is a gang of young Muslim extremists. They have also arrested two men who made a video that promised paradise to those who could behead Geert Wilders, a right-wing politician opposed to immigration.

The slaying and disclosures of other threats underscore growing tensions in the Netherlands over the integration of Muslim immigrants and their tolerance of Western values. Moderate Muslims, meanwhile, say they are being victimized because of the actions of a few."