Holland on Edge


The brutal Islamicist murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, director of the short documentary Submission (which you can download here) about the oppression of women in Islam, has triggered an outpouring of national grief and an ominous cycle of violence in the Netherlands. The Associated Press reports:

Molotov cocktails caused minor damage at churches in Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amersfoort on Monday night following a half-dozen similar incidents at Muslim buildings. […]

Suspected arsonists also burned down an Islamic elementary school on Tuesday in the southern town of Uden, a day after the bombing of a Muslim elementary school in Eindhoven. Somebody had scrawled "Theo Rest in Peace" in the schoolhouse in Uden.

European newspapers are grappling with questions of asylum, integration, free speech and fanaticism. Norwegian blogger Bjorn Staerk, himself a sharp critic of extremist Islam, sounds a worried note about the tension:

When the US was attacked on 9/11, it struck many of us how few reprisals there were against American Muslims. There were some attacks, but for a country of 300 million, who had just experienced the largest terrorist attack in history, the display of restraint was encouraging.

I'm correspondingly discouraged by how the people of Holland have dealt with Theo van Gogh's murder—one death in a country of 16 million.