Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 40663
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2017/10/17 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/17   

2005/11/20-22 [Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:40663 Activity:nil
11/20   Current state of the Netherlands:
        http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,17308340,00.html
        \_ "Academics and authorities in The Netherlands are trying to
           understand why, in their country, Islamic extremism has gone down
           the path of assassination, while in Britain and Spain it has
           produced bombings."  ...so they can join the club?
2017/10/17 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/17   

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Cache (5104 bytes)
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,17308340,00.html
Print this page Muslim fanatics terrorise a nation Islamist murders and threats have transformed the once-tolerant Netherlan ds into a place of armed bodyguards and fear, writes Anthony Browne 21nov05 A FILM about gay rights should hardly raise an eyebrow in The Netherlands , which for centuries has prided itself as a beacon of freedom of expres sion and was the first country to legalise gay marriage. But when Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee turned Dutch MP, started makin g a new film about the oppression of homosexuals under Islam, the threat to everyone taking part was deemed so great that she decided there woul d be no faces shown on screen and no end credits and that the entire pro duction team would remain anonymous. Ali, a "lapsed Muslim" who revealed this week that she had finished the s cript, lives in a safe house under 24-hour protection. The precaution is as wise as the courage is extraordinary: Theo van Gogh, the director of Ali's previous film, about domestic violence under Isla m, was killed -- repeatedly shot and almost decapitated in broad dayligh t in the streets of Amsterdam by an Islamic extremist. Impaled on a knife in van Gogh's chest was a five-page note declaring hol y war on The Netherlands and threatening death to other public figures d eemed "enemies of Islam". A year after his murder, The Netherlands is a country transformed. Previo usly, only the Queen and Prime Minister had police protection, and minis ters cycled to their ministries. Now, many politicians, writers and artists are considered to be in such d anger that they have permanent armed guards and are driven around in bom b-proof armoured cars. The Interior Ministry has set up a special unit a ssessing death threats from Islamic extremists and providing protection squads. "In a democracy, strong opinion-leaders must be able to say what they wan t to say. Therefore, the Government will take the responsibility to prot ect them," a spokesman from the ministry said, refusing to divulge the n umber of people receiving protection. In the parliament in The Hague, inside the airport-style security, two be suited bodyguards stand erect outside the office of Geert Wilders, Ali's political rival, checking closely anyone who has permission to enter. " I have been deluged with death threats," said the maverick right-wing MP , who has called for the deportation of Islamic extremists. Across town, police are investigating the shot fired at the window of Rit a Verdonk, the Immigration Minister, who has become a hate figure among Muslim communities for introducing some of the strictest immigration law s in Europe, and insisting that Muslims should integrate. Amsterdam councillor Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Dutch-Moroccan who has said that Moroccans who do not like The Netherlands should leave, is also under pe rmanent protection. "He never gives interviews on that issue," a spokesw oman said. Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen has tried to build bridges with the Muslim comm unity but, as the country's highest-profile Jew, he also needs 24-hour p rotection. At Leiden University law school, professor Afshin Ellian, an Iranian refu gee who has called for reform of Islam and even suggested that comedians should make jokes about it, is hustled through the electronically locke d doors to his office by two bodyguards. "In The Netherlands, terrorists want to threaten not only the public ... they also want to kill public figures, such as artists, academics and po liticians," he said. "It is not special in terms of Islam -- in Iran, it is normal to kill people who criticise Islam, as in Egypt and Iraq. It is legitimised by Islamic political theology, which says it is all right to kill someone if they are an enemy of Allah. Academics and authorities in The Netherlands are trying to understand why , in their country, Islamic extremism has gone down the path of assassin ation, while in Britain and Spain it has produced bombings. The rise in the death threats started in 2002 when Pim Fortuyn, a flamboy ant, gay, right-wing maverick, called for a halt to Islamic immigration. He complained that police did not take the death threats against him se riously. He was killed not by a Muslim, but by a left-wing activist who said he did it "for the Muslims". It was the first political killing in The Netherlands for three centuries and was seen as a one-off. But the murder of van Gogh two years later c onvinced people that the threat of political killing had become permanen t A study by Frank Bovenkerk of the University of Utrecht confirmed the ris e in death threats across the country, and their seriousness. "They are under real threat -- they would be killed without protection," he said. "We have a type of provocateur which is unprecedented in The Netherlands. They claim it is about freedom of speech, but it is about freedom of cu rsing." Even if the would-be assassins are foiled by the intelligence services an d the protection squads, the death threats are already having some succe ss in silencing criticism. "People are very afraid of saying things now, " Professor Ellian said.