Wednesday, November 17, 2004

"How Enlightenment Dies"

Andrew Stuttaford, in NRO, writes:

On November 2, the very day of the election that was to so sadden Garry Wills, an assassin in Amsterdam murdered the filmmaker Theo Van Gogh — shot him, stabbed him, and then butchered him like a sacrificial sheep. Van Gogh, you see, had transgressed the code of the fanaticism that has now made its home in Holland. And for that he had to die.


A few days ago, a local artist reacted to the news of Van Gogh's killing by painting a mural that included the words "Gij zult niet doden" ("Thou Shalt Not Kill"). Fair comment, you might think. Apparently not. The head of a nearby mosque complained. The police showed up and city workers sandblasted the inconvenient text into oblivion...

I have only tried to give you a small taste of this excellent article here. If this sort of thing interests you, I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

Mug tip to Zacht Ei, a Dutch blog that is doing a great job covering the events surrounding this in Holland. (But which doesn't seem to have permalinks, so I can't link to the specific post that referred me to this article.)

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