Dutch director Theo van Gogh murdered in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM — Film director Theo van Gogh was shot and killed in Amsterdam on Tuesday morning, his production company said.

By midday, police had confirmed the film director’s death, but earlier reporters at the scene say Van Gogh was shot and stabbed at the front door of the city council office on the Linnaeusstraat in Amsterdam around 9am.

He managed to get to the other side of the street where he was again shot and stabbed. He died at the scene, Planet News reported. Reporters at the scene said his body was covered by a white sheet.

The police said that the suspected killer ran into the nearby Oosterpark and shot at police vehicles on the Mauritskade, injuring one officer. The police returned fire, hitting the suspect in the leg.

Both the injured officer and the suspect have been taken to hospital. Both are expected to live.

Locals claim the assassin looked like “a Muslim” and that a letter was left on Van Gogh’s body. The letter allegedly had Islamic text, but this has not been confirmed.

Van Gogh, 47, directed the controversial movie Submission — written by Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali — which criticised the Koran for sanctioning domestic violence in Islamic communities.

He recently received numerous death threats following the release of Submission. He was also making a movie about populist Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn who was assassinated in Hilversum in May 2002. The film is due for release on the internet via Tiscali in several weeks time.

Meanwhile, RTL-Z business news reported that Hirsi Ali, who wrote the scenario for the film Submission, has been taken to a secure location by her protection officers. She has had armed protection for more than a year after her life was threatened when she criticised Islam.

She famously described the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a “pervert” by modern standards for marrying a 12-year-old girl.

Late last month a man was jailed for posting a death threat against Hirsi Ali on the internet following the screening of Submission on Dutch television in August.

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Expatica, Netherlands
Nov. 2, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday November 2, 2004.
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