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News :: Human Rights
more on Van Gogh slaying
07 Nov 2004
Partial text of message spiked to Van Gogh's corpse with a knife by religious fundamentalists in Netherlands who oppose freedom of expression, speech, and art.
THE HAGUE — The Dutch government yesterday vowed tough measures against what a leading politician called "the arrival of jihad in the Netherlands" after a death threat to a Dutch lawmaker was found spiked with a knife to the body of a slain filmmaker by his radical Muslim attacker.
A five-page letter released Thursday night by the justice minister forced political leaders — including Amsterdam's Jewish mayor and members of parliament — to take on bodyguards.







The document, attached to the body of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, was titled "An Open Letter to [Aayan] Hirsi Ali," referring to a Somali-born member of parliament. She had scripted Mr. van Gogh's latest film, "Submission," which criticized the treatment of women under Islam.
Miss Hirsi Ali, who calls herself an ex-Muslim, has gone into hiding.
"Death, Ms. Hirsi Ali, is the common theme of all that exists. You and the rest of the cosmos cannot escape this truth," the letter said.
"There will come a day when one soul cannot help another soul. A day that goes paired with terrible tortures, ... when the unjust will press horrible screams from their lungs.
"Screams, Ms. Hirsi Ali, that will cause chills to run down a person's back, and make the hairs on their heads stand straight up. People will be drunk with fear, while they are not drunken. Fear will fill the air on the Great Day," the letter said.
"I know definitely that you, Oh America, will go down. I know definitely that you, Oh Europe, will go down. I know definitely that you, Oh Netherlands, will go down. I know definitely that you, Oh Hirsi Ali, will go down," it said.
Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm agreed with comments by other politicians who called Mr. van Gogh's slaying a declaration of Islamic jihad, or "holy war."
"We are not going to tolerate this. We are going to ratchet up the fight against this sort of terrorism," he said. "The increase in radicalization is worse than we had thought."

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