05/07/24 The Mohammed B. trial, links, novel progress #51
05/07/11 links, tarot progress #8
On November 2nd 2004 Dutch filmmaker and writer Theo van Gogh was brutally murdered. Two weeks ago the trial took place as the nation looked on, hoping for some answers.
"The reason that I'm speaking up now is not that I feel an obligation to say anything to this court. The only person to whom I may have an obligation to say something is Mr. Van Goghs mother. I must confess that I don't commiserate. I don't feel your pain. I can't. I don't know what it is to lose a child that you have brought into this world with so much pain and so many tears. One reason is, that I'm not a woman. The other reason that I can't commiserate with you, is that you're an infidel. You can, and you may hold me responsible for that. [...]
"It would indeed be cowardly to hide behind the rules of the game by saying nothing here. I don't want to avoid the chance to get the maximum sentence. This makes clear the weakness of this court procedure. I do not recognise your court procedures. Possibly you don't recognise mine either. [...]
"I'm not here to make a political statement, or a political statement with religious overtones, I'll spare you that. But I do want you to know that I acted out of conviction. [...] "Perhaps you know... I'm not here to invoke pity, or to hand out blame. Maybe this will be some small comfort for Mrs. Van Gogh. For the rest I don't care, to be honest."
(Quotes from the closing statement of Mohammed B., suspected of murdering Theo van Gogh, on the last day of his trial. Source NRC Handelsblad, translation mine.)
And, earlier during the trial: "The whole story that I had felt offended as a Moroccan, because he called me a goat f*cker, is not true at all. I have acted out of belief. If it had been my father or my brother, I would have done the same. You can't suspect me of any sentimentality." (Source NRC Handelsblad, translation mine.)
At the end of the trial, we were all left with the same questions that we had before. Is Mohammed B. the perfect religious warrior that he wants the world to believe he is? B. had used violence before, and videos showing graphic violence were found at his house. Is he a violent individual who committed the murder because he couldn't stop himself, or even because it gave him some kind of pleasure? Over the world there have been instances of alienated youths committing violent crimes. Was the murder on Van Gogh some kind of Columbine revisited? Did B. do it to gain credibility among his Muslim extremist friends? Or should we consider B. a religious fanatic or a brainwashed cult member - a follower of some Islamic version of David Koresh or Jim Jones?
The truth is that we don't know.
To many of us, Muslim extremists used to be characters from novels by authors like Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy. Unfortunately, we find ourselves needing to come to terms with the reality of Muslim extremism - a reality that turns out to be more banal, and at the same time more unfathomable than any fiction.
More Dutch politics and current events:
Dutch politics in 2005
Coming to terms with the US.
Englishman in New York: On London
German prisoners of war in the US.
MeFi: POW camps in the US
Pay attention to the man behind the curtain.
MeFi: Outings R U.S.?
Waiting for part 7.
Livejournal garlandgraves: Theories (and spoilers)
Who's Dave Gorman?
Dave Gorman: Search for Dave Gormans
One new episode in the past week, 550 new words, 66,720 words total.
Introduction and start of part 3
After the war (99)
Silly stuff going on Dutch politics (a planned media reform that threathens to leave some of the best news shows on Dutch television dead in its wake) but, right now, I can't muster the energy to write about it. Why don't we just go on to the links?
Der Spiegel: Too much of a good thing - choking on aid money in Africa
Software patents bite the dust.
The Register: EU Parliament bins software patent bill
Alive to tell the tale.
Pfff: Surviving a terrorist attack
We're not afraid
Not afraid either.
First version of VI The Lovers.
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