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prophet of God
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Registered: 09/05/04
Posts: 953
Jihad wrecks Dutch race harmony
    #3330914 - 11/07/04 09:03 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

November 07, 2004
Jihad wrecks Dutch race harmony


Matthew Campbell, Amsterdam

WHEN Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, collected his post from the letterbox on Wednesday he got an unpleasant surprise. Among the bills and junk mail was a letter addressing him as ?ugly dog?. It told him he would soon be beheaded.

It was an unnerving way to start the day. Only 24 hours earlier Theo van Gogh, the film maker who had often attacked radical Muslims, had been riding along on his bicycle when a Muslim fanatic first shot and then butchered him on a busy street with the nonchalance of an abattoir worker.

Now other people were being targeted, too, as evidence emerged of a ?brigade? of Dutch jihadists preparing to murder ?the enemies of Islam? in a terror campaign that would be easier to carry out than the bombing of trains or heavily guarded government buildings.

The carefully planned killing of van Gogh plunged into ferment the formerly peaceful ?bicycling monarchy? where, in the good old days, a relaxed Queen Beatrix used to ride about without attracting any attention. It prompted some to rethink their faith in a multiracial society. Others predicted a bloodbath.

?Do not think you are safe,? said the letter to Wilders, who had been planning to set up a party to help to tackle the ?Islamic problem? in Holland, ?because we will catch you and cut off your ugly head.?

He was not the only one to be threatened. ?There will be no mercy? said a document that the killer had held over van Gogh?s chest before skewering it there with a final knife blow to his heart.

By then van Gogh, 47, had been shot several times and was seen by one witness on his knees, pleading with his assailant, ?Don?t do it . . . we can still talk about it.?

The response was a knife to the throat. The killer sawed through the neck and spinal column, almost to the point of decapitating him.

Unlike the murder two years ago of Pim Fortuyn, the right-wing populist, by an animal rights activist, the motive for such savagery seemed horrifically clear ? to spread terror in Europe?s green and pleasant garden with a theatre of blood more reminiscent of the deserts of Iraq. It has succeeded.

Wilders has been taken into protective police custody along with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a liberal MP of Somali origin who also appeared on the list. Her offence was to call herself an ex-Muslim and jointly to produce with van Gogh a film about the Islamic oppression of women.

The Dutch were not alone in their worries. All over Europe media pundits, entertainers and politicians were forced to ponder the chilling possibility that cross-border co-operation among closely connected jihad cells might mean that they, too, were threatened by the new terror.

For some Dutch officials it was evidence of a social experiment gone horribly wrong. ?We were naive in thinking people would exist in society together,? said Rita Verdonk, the immigration and integration minister whose name also appears on the death list.

She added that Moroccan immigrants ?have never learnt about Dutch values?, despite efforts to train them to respect the country?s mores.

It is hardly surprising. Many of Holland?s 1m Muslims consider the Dutch government to be depraved in its acceptance of ?abominations? such as drugs, prostitution and gay marriage. They want nothing to do with it.

At the same time, Dutch tolerance no longer extends so readily these days to immigration and religious diversity. In graffiti scrawled on walls all over the city, the message is seen repeatedly, ?Go home if you don?t like it?.

That was what Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Muslim deputy mayor of Amsterdam, would tell them when he was invited to talk to Muslim groups ? and it was enough to get his name put on the hit list as well.

Also named was Job Cohen, the mayor. Then a newspaper received a telephone call in heavily accented Dutch adding the name of Frits Barend, a television chat show host, to the list.

The day would come, said the note found on van Gogh?s body, when ?hair- raising screams will be squeezed from the lungs of the non-believers ? the sword will be lifted against them?. Enough to give pause to anybody thinking of having a poke at an imam. Free speech itself seemed to be under assault.

?Democracy is threatened,? said Hein Donner, the justice minister, who was horrified to learn from investigators that nine other people had been arrested as well as the killer and were suspected of being part of what one official called a ?brigade of Islamic martyrs? preparing to slit the throats of critics.

Tensions rose. Shouting matches erupted between Moroccans and Dutch people at the scene of van Gogh?s killing where well-wishers left a carpet of flowers and handwritten notes, some of them angrily calling for more control on radical Muslims.

At one point a car filled with dark-skinned young men pulled up alongside the shrine. The windows came down to the sound of blaring Arab music and whoops of delight from the passengers. Dutch men paying their respects to van Gogh, a grandson of the famous artist?s brother, yelled at them to move on.

Things were equally tense at the home of the killer?s parents in a sprawling complex of red-brick council housing. Young Moroccans shouted abuse on Thursday afternoon when a Dutch colleague and I tried to ask about the killer. We were obliged to withdraw when a bucket of water was thrown from the first floor.

At a mosque down the road Shahid, a 19-year-old information technology student, seemed a lonely voice of reason among Muslim men who generally tended not to lament the passing of van Gogh. The pudgy provocateur always had a cigarette in his mouth and is remembered for labelling radical Muslims as ?goat f******?.

?I was not a fan of his,? said Shahid. ?But that does not mean I wanted to cut his head off. The people responsible for this are lunatics who have twisted the Koran to their own purpose.?

But was the killer, who the police referred to only as ?Mohammed B?, really motivated by religion? There was little about his background to single him out as the martyr he apparently aspired to be: after the murder his plan, it emerged, had been to get police to shoot him. They did ? but in the legs, so his journey to paradise was postponed.

As a child he had attended a normal school and spoke fluent Dutch, as did his parents. Later, as a student, however, he changed from a happy and well adjusted computer science enthusiast into an aloof and secretive stranger, according to Aziz, a former friend.

Aziz believed that the death of Mohammed?s mother three years ago from cancer was in some way to blame. ?Until then he used to wear western clothes,? said Aziz. ?But after that he would wear only traditional dress.?

He started to grow a beard. Gone was the Mohammed who enjoyed playing football and drinking a beer over a game of pool in the cafe. ?If you ever asked him where he was going it was always, ?Oh, I have to go home and study?.?

Mohammed started attending the Al Tawheed mosque, considered a hotbed of radicalism. Its imam refers to Christians and Jews as ?kindling for hell fire? and says homosexuals should be thrown off tall buildings, preferably head first.

Mohammed got a job as a volunteer at a governmentsubsidised youth centre for Moroccans. ?He was a fantastic volunteer,? enthused one of the staff, marvelling at his appetite for ?having political debates with the youngsters?.

Then he befriended Samir Azzouz, an internationally connected holy warrior accused of planning to blow up, among other targets, Amsterdam?s Schiphol airport. They stayed at a string of addresses together, watching ?jihad movies?, investigators said.

Mohammed also befriended at least one of the Moroccan construction workers employed by a company not far from the house of van Gogh. The company?s van was occasionally seen outside the killer?s last address and it is believed it might have used the vehicle to follow the film maker.

This weekend ? as a ninth man was arrested in connection with the case ? a political row was brewing over why Mohammed, who was known to the intelligence services as an associate of Azzouz, had not been placed under closer surveillance. Had that been done, it is argued, van Gogh might still be alive. And many other people might be sleeping more soundly.

Additional reporting: Justin Sparks Bas Czerwinski http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-524-1347473-524,00.html

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prophet of God
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Re: Jihad wrecks Dutch race harmony [Re: Great_Satan]
    #3334484 - 11/08/04 09:56 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

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It's notfascist, it's...Neoconservative!

Registered: 11/21/02
Posts: 732
Re: Jihad wrecks Dutch race harmony [Re: Great_Satan]
    #3334520 - 11/08/04 10:05 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

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