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Liesbeth
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welcome to the free world

Post by Liesbeth »

If after the murder of politician Pim Fortuijn in 2002 anyone in the Netherlands still thought they lived in a tolerant country, they will know we don't today.

Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered today. There is no official news regarding the motive, but Van Gogh was a man with highly controversial opinions, and it seems only logical that this murder was a reaction to these opinions.

In a way I think I'm even more sad than shocked (and believe me, I'm shocked). I am scared about what this will do to our society, where a lot of discontent is coming more and more to the surface. It seems impossible to have a proper debate here about possibly the most important topic at this moment, the integration of immigrants, mostly muslims, into our society. We seem to be on a irreversible course of polarisation, which can only spawn more violence...
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Betty Felon
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Post by Betty Felon »

wow. I am completely ignorant of this filmmakers work.. what did he do that was so conroversial?
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Liesbeth
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Post by Liesbeth »

Most controversial thing came out this summer: a short movie called Submissionhe made with female politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali about abuse within muslim relationships - Hirsi Ali is a politician from Somalian descent and is an outspoken critic of the Islam on account of violation of women's rights. Most controversial were the images of naked female bodies with texts from the Koran which are said to approve violence against women.

Van Gogh was a very outspoken media-personality, and ended up having his columns banned from several newspapers/magazines. His choice of words was less then sensitive, a lot of the time, and he got a lot of strong reactions.
I cannot say I agreed with his opinions a lot of the time, and generally disapproved about his way of putting them forth. I suppose in a way he was part of the polarisation I mentioned. But murder? This is just so wrong.
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Post by Jeroen »

Holland is starting to sound scary, more and more people want to give up basic rights (freedom of Religion) just so they can feel more safe.
Every politician is saying that something needs to be done, but no one knows how to do something without limiting our rights...

But this was a Brutal murder, with several gunshots and after death a sword in his chest. All for some Religion...
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Post by No You Are »

"Those who will give up liberty for saftey deserve neither."
--Ben Franklin

"Religion has caused the deaths of more people than any other thing in history"
--Bill Maher
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Squid
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Post by Squid »

Hey Liesbeth:

This story (and the fallout from it) are a front page feature on the Wall Street Journal this morning. Access online cost $$...does anyone have a subscription that can post it? I'm going to get one...eventually...

Otherwise I can send you hard copy if you'd like to see it...
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Liesbeth
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Post by Liesbeth »

thanks for thinking of it, but interesting as it might be to read an outside view on it, I'm trying to think happy positive thoughts while these results are frontpage almost every day in our newspapers.

I would have liked to read the article in the NY Times though. A Dutch journalist spent a day with their correspondent who came over from Paris twice in one week (which must have been a first). He described his biggest dilemma: [warning, this may shock] the guy who was killed had the habit of always referring to muslims as goatfuckers (like I said before, this guy really liked to stir things up regardless... personally I don't care much for it when freedom of speech masks plain rudeness) and the correspondent said he couldn't possibly write that down, so he was looking for a milder word which would convey the blatant insult nevertheless.

things seem to quiet down a bit now, and I'm not as pessimistic as I was a few weeks ago, but to say I see a bright and happy future would be stretching it a bit.
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Betty Felon
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Post by Betty Felon »

I saw that too. Sorry, I've got hard copy only too. (You have to pay MORE for the online subscription too! A lot more! Stupid WSJ. Did you just start reading it everyday? It's terribly pro-Bush biased.)

Liesbeth, the article's most interesting assertion is that these sort of attacks are making Europe question it's belief "that violence and crime flow from poverty, discrimination, and similar ills." Because the accused murderer was fully Dutch, not an immigrant, and not poverty stricken or uneducated, focus is switching to the threat of passionate, intolerant, religious beliefs.

But it looks like it's causing serious backlash. Is it legitimate that politicians are calling for a ban on foreign preachers and putting mosques under state supervision?

Even more alarming are some of the rest of Europes reaction:

"In Berlin, for example, the head of a city district this mmonth declared multiculutralism dead, asserting that excessive tolerance has led to the creation of parallel societies. Prominent German politicians have called for rules requiring that imams preach in German, not Turkish or Arabic, so that society can monitor radicalism. Britian's home secretary said yesterday the government is considering setting up a special terrorism courts without juries and allowing wiretap transcripts to be used as evidence."
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Post by Squid »

Betty Felon wrote:I saw that too. Sorry, I've got hard copy only too. (You have to pay MORE for the online subscription too! A lot more! Stupid WSJ. Did you just start reading it everyday? It's terribly pro-Bush biased.)


Yeah, i noticed that, is that lame or what? I don't know that I'd typify the WSJ "pro-Bush" so much as exceedingly conservative. And you're right, I _rarely_ agree with any of it's op-ed, but the writing is excellent.

You know, it's like Playboy: "I read it for the articles." ;P

Seriously though, there was a fantastic essay about this woman whose breast cancer drug got taken off the market for poor sales. You start to see how this woman's emotional and physical well-being were being directly impacted by the profit war between the big pharamceutical firms. Really great read.

Anyway...OH! and no, betty, i don't work for disney. Sorry!
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Betty Felon
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Post by Betty Felon »

Well, during the campaigns the WSJ was definitely pro-bush, made painfully clear when they barred Farnaz Fassihi (thier foreign correspondent in Iraq) from writing until after the elections. We'll see if that still holds true as the dollar falls.

There are definitely some great articles in there. But sometimes I think the bias infects the whole paper. I can't get a full picture of world events or even economic events from the WSJ. The Financial Times is much more worldy and reasonable. The WSJ gives you what Wall Street thinks...the Big Boys....and they certainly influence a lot. But they don't control the world, and I think the WSJ has little insight into whats really going on in the world.

I'm still looking for a great newspaper. Anyone read the NYT on a regular basis? How would you rate it?
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Liesbeth
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Post by Liesbeth »

Betty Felon wrote:Liesbeth, the article's most interesting assertion is that these sort of attacks are making Europe question it's belief "that violence and crime flow from poverty, discrimination, and similar ills."

From what I understand discrimination was in fact part of why the accused came to radicalize, he was very aware that the islam was not widely accepted among the Dutch and found this more and more offensive. Of course his recent actions have not made anyone more understanding of his faith...
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Squid
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Post by Squid »

Betty Felon wrote:Well, during the campaigns the WSJ was definitely pro-bush, made painfully clear when they barred Farnaz Fassihi (thier foreign correspondent in Iraq) from writing until after the elections. We'll see if that still holds true as the dollar falls.

I'm still looking for a great newspaper. Anyone read the NYT on a regular basis? How would you rate it?


Jeeeezus. Didn't know that bit about the correspondant. How scary. I guess I shouldn't be surprised...but I admit that I am.

imho, NYT is okay, but still (to my way of thinking) pretty conservative.

I'm still a bbc / guardian girl all the way for the most part. I'd be interested to hear what others are reading. Harpers?
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Betty Felon
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Post by Betty Felon »

Squid wrote:Jeeeezus. Didn't know that bit about the correspondant. How scary. I guess I shouldn't be surprised...but I admit that I am.


Officially, she was put on "long-planned vacation" this was after a "private" email about her experience Iraq was published on poynter.

http://poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&aid=72659
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Post by Jeroen »

Betty Felon wrote: Because the accused murderer was fully Dutch, not an immigrant, and not poverty stricken or uneducated, focus is switching to the threat of passionate, intolerant, religious beliefs.


actually, he was both dutch and moroccan, yes that is possible in holland, and he supposedly has ties to a known terrorist in spain. I don´t know how much of that is true though.

does anyone here see fox news? There was an hour long programme in holland about them and how biased they are. The question was if you can still call this a news channel?
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Betty Felon
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Post by Betty Felon »

Fox News. UGH. Idiotic. My mom won't allow it on in the house.
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Post by Yarn »

Jeroen wrote:Holland is starting to sound scary, more and more people want to give up basic rights (freedom of Religion) just so they can feel more safe.


That is scary. I sure am glad I live in the USA where everything is different . . .
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Post by Yarn »

Jeroen wrote:does anyone here see fox news? There was an hour long programme in holland about them and how biased they are. The question was if you can still call this a news channel?


You can't. It's pure propaganda. Damn the media and it's liberal bias!
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Squid
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Post by Squid »

A bit of updating on the Van Gogh murder. I'm sure you've already seen this, Liesbeth (and Jeroen), but for all others who were following the story:

<i>A Dutch court has sentenced a 27-year-old radical Islamist to life in prison for the November murder of controversial film-maker Theo van Gogh. </i>

Full article here.

And I forgot to post it when it was originally published, but here is a related article about the plans for a follow-up film that will address Van Gogh's murder.
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Liesbeth
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Post by Liesbeth »

Actually, he was the first person to be sentenced to have acted 'with terrorist intent', as laid down in a terrorism law that was passed here in August 2004. With that it is meant that he deliberately set out to disrupt society, to create fear and to disrupt democracy by stabbing a death threat note to member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Van Gogh's body.

Or so I heard as I switched on the radio to hear traffic jam info after coming off the ferry on the return trip of my holiday - a bit of a mood change. Of course, being in England during the second terrorist attacks on the London Underground brought it all a bit closer to home as well.

However, naive as it may be, I still believe that the best way to oppose this radicalisation is to remain as positive as we all can and spread this positivity it as best we can - this may not stop the true radicals, but seems the only cure against further polarization. Oh, and we may have to take a hard look at ourselves and see where there may be a little more justice to be done in this world of ours.
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