Netherlands · Political · Religion

Film-maker murdered for making movie criticizing Islam

November 2, 2004
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Theo Van Gogh is shot, stabbed, and has a note stabbed to his chest

Van Gogh had worked on a short film called Submission which criticized the treatment of women in Islam. Mohammed Bouyeri, who allegedly has ties to the Dutch Islamist Hofstad Network, gunned down Van Gogh as he was riding his bicycle. Van Gogh was shot 8 times on his bicycle and several more times as he attempted to flee. Bouyeri cut Van Gogh’s neck, attempting to decapitate him. He then stabbed Van Gogh in the chest so deeply the knife reached the spinal column, then took a smaller knife to attach a death threat to Van Gogh’s chest. The death threat was directed towards Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a writer and politician who also worked on Submission.

Bouyeri was apprehended after a chase, suffering a gunshot wound to his leg in the process. He was convicted of murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm, and conspiracy of murder, and sentenced to life in prison without a possibility of parole. Anti-Muslim sentiments in the city grew after the murder, with attempted arson attacks on local mosques and Islamic schools, and 174 violent attacks targeting Muslims from November 2 through 30.

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