News We Didn’t Get

Last Tuesday, while we were glued to the TV watching election results, a prominent Dutch filmmaker was gunned down in Amsterdam. The filmmaker was Theo Van Gogh, a distant relative of Vincent. This may not seem like a big deal at first…There must have been some reason he was killed…he was involved in something he shouldn’t have been. He was doing something he shouldn’t do. Something.

But, in fact, he was killed for speaking out against the way women are often treated in the Muslim faith. He had released a controversial film about the treatment of Muslim women, and he was killed for it. And he wasn’t simply shot. He was shot several times in broad daylight in the middle of Amsterdam. Then the murders stabbed him with a knife to pin a note to his chest. Can you imagine? I need to you to get a visual of this. How horrible this is. He was murdered for using his right to freedom of speech in possibly the most tolerant country in the world.

The Netherlands has known for years that there were Islamic Extremists living within their borders, but they, in their usual tolerant and accepting ways, left the extremists alone. The extremists weren’t bothering Dutch citizens and they saw no reason to create problems in the Muslim communities. This is how Holland is. Don’t bother others and they won’t bother you. I believe this follows for their views of pot smoking and legalized prostitution. If it isn’t affecting others, why should we regulate it? So they left the extremists alone.

Now, because one Dutchman spoke out against a part of Islam, he has been murdered. And in addition to his death, there have been several bombings, and a stockpile of bombs found on the caliber of the what was found in Madrid.

The Dutch are such peaceful people and they have now been dragged farther into this mess. They are frantic and angered this week. 40% of the population is now saying Muslims are no longer welcome in their country. This is not the Holland I know. The Dutch are so accepting and caring. As my friend William said, his fellow countrymen, “don’t live to work, they work to live.” They prefer to work less and spend more time in the riches of friends and family. They are kind, and worldly and fun-loving. As a general population they tend to like everyone, and invite everyone to enjoy their country (Although, they have very tough immigration laws, but that is because so many people want to live there). They have always accepted those who others have turned away. Now they are succumbing to this hate and fear that has spread across the world.

What is happening when a country like Holland is being attacked by terrorists? Their churches bombed, their freedom of speech quashed by extremists. What does it say when one filmmaker cannot use his voice in a country know for its freedoms?

I am writing about this today because I am saddened by it. I cannot understand why a country like Holland had to be dragged into this. The Dutch are so peaceful that one extreme murder was able to upset an entire country. They have been awakened to terrorism. They have had their 9-11. My Dutch friend Harry said everyone is frighten and shocked. This is not something that happens in their country. Or at least it hasn’t happened since WWII.

And possibly worse still, is the fact that it has been so buried in American news. This is a big deal. This is serious, yet I heard only a blip about it last week. We were so wrapped up in our own news that we failed to take time to properly address the troubles of one of our allies. And yes, they are an ally. They have troops in Iraq at the moment, although, they, along with several other countries, will be pulling out in March. But why did we ignore this? Our enemy has begun attacking truly peaceful countries. This should be all over the news. The Axis of Evil can’t even leave a truly peaceful nation alone. Shouldn’t this be more evidence of why we need to go after the terrorists? Use this as a rallying point? I am really asking. I am not trying to cause an argument. I really don’t understand why this has been so ignored. I mean, I understand the first thing that will probably come into all of our minds, being that Americans just aren’t interested in foreign problems like they are in domestic ones, but we heard quite a bit of news about Madrid, and this is on the same level so why has it been ignored? I just don’t understand.

In the end, I am posting about this because I think people should know about it. And if our media don’t see fit to discuss this, then I will attempt to bring it to the attention of at least a few more Americans. Just keep this in mind over the next few days, and weeks and months. Keep your eyes and ears open for more news about Holland. If for no other reason than I have friends there and I want them to be safe.

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One response to “News We Didn’t Get

  1. Ty,

    Good article. I am going to post my opinion, and here is my forewarning that this may be offensive to some…

    The death of Van Gogh is very disturbing. Van Gogh was a controversial man who said and produced works that angered many. He can be equated as the Michael Moore of Holland. Unfortunately, Van Gogh suffered an untimely death due to his expressions and ideas that did not match to others.

    This reminds me of the mass protests that occurred after Salman Rushdie wrote his controversial novel. For those who don’t know, the Ayotollah offered a $1,000,000 dollar reward to anyone who killed Rushdie claiming that it was every Muslem’s duty to kill him for his controversial piece. There were also large marches in the streets of Britain (Rushdie’s home country) with the chants of kill Rushdie. To this day, there is still a bounty on Rushdie’s head, only it has grown to $ 2.5M diminishing the original 1M that the Ayotollah originally offered. Fortunately for Rushdie, he has done a much better job of hiding himself and seeking protection than Van Gogh did.

    I am going to try to keep my personal opinion out of this post, and just let you read about the history of Islam and what the Qu’uran teaches. Why am I doing this? Because I believe that the US is composed of many ethnocentric individuals (including myself) who do not have a broad view of other cultures and religions. Some may ask, “Why aren’t there Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist terrorist and suicide bombers? Why are 90% of the known terrorist organizations in the world Muslem?”

    To answer these questions, we must look at the advent of the religion and what it teaches.

    Islam is a religion whose roots sprung from hostility and violence. I am not going to get into the details of the advent of Islam with the deadly force used by Muhammad, Islam is not a religion that grew from peace and tolerance. Muhammad’s and Islam’s rise to prominence was greatly influenced by the violent nature and his followers. Muhammad’s accomplishments included numerous raids on Caravan’s containing goods of worth, violent overtaking of cities, and mass genocide.

    Here is one example of mass genocide at the hand of Muhammad…

    Mohammed marched with 3,000 followers against 2,000 Quraiza Jews, shortly after the siege of Medina ended.  The Jews were attacked and they soon surrendered.  A wounded chief named Sa’d was asked by Mohammed to decide the fate of the captives.  His response was that the men should be put to death, the women and children sold into slavery, and the booty be divided among the Islamic army.  A shrill of horror ran through the assembled captives.  Mohammed then said; “Truly, the judgment of Sa’d is the judgment of the Lord, pronounced on high from above the seventh heaven”.
    The Muslims dug trenches across from the marketplace, and in the morning Mohammed commanded that the male captives be brought out 5-6 at a time.  The Jews were made to sit down at the top of the trenches.  Next, the Muslims beheaded them and tossed their bodies into the trench.

    Here are also some verses from the Qu’uran that explain the duties of a Muslem.

    Find and slay the pagans [non-Muslims] wherever you find them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them, in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent [convert to Islam], and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, them open up a way for them: for Allah is oft forgiving, most merciful …

    – Surah 9:5

    “The Jews…are the brothers of monkeys and pigs…Allah has warned us against their evil and their arrogance, and has said: ‘You will find that the most brazen among mankind, with hatred towards the believers, are the Jews and the Idolaters.’ [Koran, 81,5]…The Jews are Jews, and we are forbidden to forget their character traits even for a moment, even for a blink of an eye. O Servants of Allah! The Jews are those who tried to murder your Prophet in order to expunge the call (to Islam)….Prayer and blessing to the Imam of the Jihad fighters, Mohammed, who waged a Jihad against the Jews…The Jews…are Idolaters, heretics, whose faith is false.”

    ‘O Prophet exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you 20 steadfast, they will overcome 200 and if there be of you a 100, they shall overcome a 1000, because the disbelievers are a folk without intelligence’.

    Koran (Qu’ran) 8:65

    Here are also a couple of sermons given by both a hardline and moderate cleric.

    “Blessings for whoever assaulted a soldier… Blessings for whoever has raised his sons on the education of Jihad and Martyrdom; blessings for whoever has saved a bullet in order to stick it in a Jew’s head.”
    The following sermon was also delivered at the Sheik ‘Ijlin Mosque in Gaza, Palestinian Authority, The speaker was Sheik Ibrahim Madhi. June 8, 2001. In the name of Islam the speaker calls for suicide bombers to destroy not only all Jews, but also the United States and Britain.

    In Britain the so-called moderate Islamic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi talked about liberating Israel through the use of “children bombs”. That’s not the bizarre part- he did so at a conference entitled “our Children Our Future”, sponsored by the Metropolitan Police and the Department for Work and pensions.

    Please keep in mind that I don’t view all Muslem’s as suicide bombers or terrorists, but until we can discern between those who hold some of these fundamentalist beliefs and those who do not, then we as a country are subjected to a very high risk.

    This is just an overview, but if anyone is interested in further learning about the actions of Muhammad and the teachings of the Qu’uran that promote violence, please let me know and I would be glad to discuss.

    -Jeff

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