THE HAGUE, 11/05/07 – The murderer of Theo van Gogh has made a extensive statement on his views of Islam in public for the first time. But the Dutch mass media have scarcely reported what he has said.
Mohammed Bouyeri was called as a witness on the first day of the Hofstad group appeal case. The judge sees him as the leader of this terrorist group, but he himself is not on trial because he is already serving life for the November 2004 terrorist murder of writer and filmmaker Van Gogh and cannot receive any further sentence as a result.
The big national media were present at the session in the top security court in Amsterdam, where the appeal court of The Hague had moved to for security reasons. In the hearing, he talked nineteen to the dozen about his religious convictions, but newspaper De Volkskrant was among very few media to give details. Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom.
Bouyeri said Muslims in the Netherlands have armed Jihad as their only option. The alternative is to go live in a truly Islamic country, but the world has none yet in his view. Also he said democracy was always a violation of Islam because laws cannot according to that religion be produced by humans but only Allah. When the presiding judge questioned this view, he murmured in Arabic, “Satan is speaking”, but the court did not remove him for contempt. Bouyeri ended by saying all Muslims must “take up the sword”.
In the appeal case, seven alleged Hofstad members are standing trial. The case will continue today. In the Van Gogh murder trial, Bouyeri appeared in traditional Muslim garb, but has now taken to a track-suit and sneakers.
Bouyeri initially refused to take the oath because he said he does not recognise the court. As his statement thereby threatened to be excluded from serving as evidence, the court proposed to the lawyer and prosecutor that it could order the observation of the court to serve as evidence. Bouyeri then suddenly reversed his position and decided to promise to tell the truth after all.