Associated Press, Nov. 2, 2004:
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — A Dutch filmmaker who had received death threats after releasing a movie criticizing the treatment of women under Islam was slain in Amsterdam on Tuesday, police said. A suspect was arrested after a shootout with officers that left him wounded, police said.
Filmmaker Theo van Gogh had been threatened after the August airing of the movie “Submission,” which he made with a right-wing Dutch politician who had renounced the Islamic faith of her birth. Van Gogh had received police protection after its release.
The Scotsman, Nov. 8, 2004:
The man charged with the murder of a controversial Dutch artist last week has been linked to a fanatical Islamic sect whose members are said to include the al-Qaeda second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Islamic experts believe that the style and content of a five-page letter that was found pinned to Theo van Gogh’s body were close to those of al-Takfir wal Hijra, a radical group that has declared war on westerners.
Founded in Egypt in the 1970’s, al-Takfir wal Hijra has been responsible for several acts of violence, including the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981.
The sect’s strict interpretation of Islam endorses the indiscriminate extermination of infidels and secular Muslims.
Both al-Zawahiri and al- Zarqawi, the man behind many of the spate of kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq, are thought to be members of the brutal sect.
The organisation – whose name translates as “excommunication and migration” – is active in most Arab nations and has carried out attacks on both Muslims and non-Muslims in Sudan, Morocco, Algeria and Lebanon.
But their views are known to be excessive even among Islamic extremists – four members even attempted to assassinate Osama bin Laden in 1995 while he was staying in Sudan. Its followers are so fanatical for a pure Islamic world that they have been known to undertake killing sprees in mosques to drive out “corrupt elements”.
‘Submission’ includes some prayers in the Arabic language. These prayers are subtitled in Dutch. The Arabic writings shown are quoted from the Quran. The rest of the spoken word is in English. Read a transcript here.