AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Controversial Dutch filmmaker and newspaper columnist Theo van Gogh, who made a film about violence against women in Islamic societies, was murdered in Amsterdam on Tuesday morning, police said.
Amsterdam police said Van Gogh had been stabbed and shot in the center of the city. Van Gogh’s short feature film “Submission” angered some Dutch Muslims for its portrayal of a Muslim woman who is abused by her husband.
Police said they arrested a man at the scene after an exchange of gunfire in which the suspect wounded a police officer. The suspect was wounded in his leg.
Some Dutch media said Van Gogh had been planning to make a film about anti-immigration populist Pim Fortuyn, who was gunned down by an animal rights activist in May 2002, days before his grass-roots party stormed to second place in a general election.
Van Gogh received death threats after “Submission” was broadcast earlier this year. He made the film with Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who won Dutch citizenship after fleeing an arranged marriage 12 years ago.
She has been under police protection after receiving death threats following the airing of the film on Dutch national television.