In the wake of the brutal slaying of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a radical Islamist, threats against Dutch and even Belgian politicians have intensified. Van Gogh, who made a film attacking domestic violence against Muslim women, was shot six times and nearly beheaded, and had a declaration of holy war impaled in his chest in broad daylight in Amsterdam on November 2. The case has been covered by the U.S. media, but the unanswered question is, could it happen here?
Dutch Member of Parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali has received multiple death threats and is in hiding. She was the screenwriter for the Van Gogh film “Submission.” The five-page death threat left impaled into Van Gogh’s body accused Hirsi Ali of being an “unbelieving fundamentalist” and “a soldier of evil.” Ali says Muslim women, including those living in Europe, are routinely subjected to rape, incest, forced marriages, and suicides. “Muslims deny it,” she says, “and many Dutch are afraid of taking it on, of causing religious tension, of being called racists.”
Rita Verdonk, the Dutch secretary of immigration, was threatened by Islamic extremists, who also have targeted Job Cohen, the Jewish mayor of Amsterdam, and Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Morroccan vice mayor of Amsterdam. In nearby Antwerp, Belgium, Senator Mimount Bousakla was put under round-the-clock police protection after being threatened. The 32-year old senator now is in hiding. The daughter of Moroccan immigrants, Bousakla received the death threat after she criticized Belgium’s Islamic leaders for failing to denounce the killing of Van Gogh. Asia Times Online reported that most European Muslim organizations declined to disavow his murder. Another targeted politician is Dutch MP Geert Wilders, who declared that Islam is incompatible with democracy and called for new curbs on immigration, particularly from Turkey and Morocco.
Since November 18, Laurette Onkelinx, Belgium’s minister of justice, has required intensified police protection. Liberal legislator Corinne De Permentier received a threatening letter about her criticism of burka robes forced on women by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that was overthrown by the U.S.
The media also feel threatened. In the face of the brutal slaughter of Van Gogh, news organizations buckled to the pressure and cancelled showings of his film. These events overseas may seem like they happened overnight, but in reality they were the outcome of the infiltration of radical Islam into the culture and society. Here in the United States, a similar process is underway. Instead of protecting the public interest by exposing this activity, the media are suppressing the truth about it.
MSNBC recently issued an apology for some offensive remarks about Palestinians. Such slurs are completely unwarranted and should be exposed and denounced. What we need instead are reporters willing to take an honest look at radical Islam, the Palestinians and the Arab world, even if some are offended for no legitimate reason. Insults should give way to serious investigative reporting. That’s the real challenge ahead.