Van Gogh Murderer Gets Life Sentence

July 26, 2005

Source: The Boston Globe

On July 26, 2005 The Boston Globe reported, "A Dutch court sentenced the self-confessed killer of a Dutch filmmaker critical of Islam to life in jail on Tuesday, calling the murder which whipped up racial tensions in the Netherlands a terrorist attack. Mohammed Bouyeri, an Amsterdam-born Muslim, was convicted of killing Theo van Gogh as he cycled to work on Nov. 2, 2004. Van Gogh, a descendant of the brother of the 19th century painter Vincent van Gogh, angered many Muslims by making a film which accused Islam of condoning violence against women. Bouyeri fired seven bullets into Van Gogh with a pistol in a busy Amsterdam street in the morning rush hour, slashed his throat and plunged two knives into his body. Bouyeri was later arrested after he was wounded in a gun battle with police. 'Theo van Gogh was mercilessly slaughtered,' judge Udo Willem Bentinck told a packed hearing of Amsterdam District Court, guarded by heavily armed police. Bouyeri, a devout Muslim with Moroccan parents, had wanted to die a martyr and regarded himself as an instrument of Allah, the court was told. He killed Van Gogh because he regarded the filmmaker as an 'enemy of Islam,' the judge said."