Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > THEO VAN GOGH - Murdered by terrorist in Amsterdam - filmmaker and journalist shot and stabbed by militant Islamist
THEO VAN GOGH - Murdered by terrorist in Amsterdam - filmmaker and journalist shot and stabbed by militant Islamist
Theo van Gogh - The only person in Europe who dared speak out and warn against the dangers of militant Islam
November 2, 2004
Theo van Gogh - murdered by Islamofacists on Nov.2, 2004
Fought the ' war on terror ' in Europe
Warned against the approaching "Dark Ages of Mecca"
Called America "The last beacon hope in a steadily darkening world"
MIM: Theo Van Gogh, 47, was shot and stabbed this morning by a Muslim terrorist who approached him as he was bicycling to work on an Amsterdam street .
According to witnesses :" Van Gogh fell backward on the bicycle path and just laid there. The shooter stayed next to him and waited . Waited to make sure he was dead "
Theo was the great grandson of the painter Theo van Gogh . He has received death threats in connection with a recent movie but dismissed them saying that the movie "was the best protection I ever had".
Just last week Theo Van Gogh had written about Muslims intimidating native Dutch into leaving their neighborhoods and criticised the police and Amsterdam Mayor Cohen for not doing anything to stop the escalating agression by Muslim youths who were instilling fear into Dutch citizens .
As the editor of MIM and a friend of Theo Van Gogh, - it is my obligation to bring to the American public his work and his message warning of the dangers of militant Islam . MIM will continue to translate and publish Theo Van Gogh's work.
Theo's murder murder must be a wake up call for all of us .
I just read in The Telegraaf that Mr.Abou Jah Jah is thinking of leaving Belgium. Despite the fact that he thinks it will take 5 years for him to groom his successor as leader of the Arab European League. Abou is bitter. He only received 1400 votes in the last election and considers the Flemish people to be beneath his dignity.
Abou Jah Jah:" God was not generous in Flanders when he passed out intelligence. They have always been a racist people"
I found that well put ,just as it was very instructive to read that Abou Jah Jah regards every dead American soldier as "a victory". A pimp of the prophet one cant set one's sights high enough .
You could say that an Islamo facist who wants to implement Shari'a law with all the consequences for non believers, Jews ,homos, and misfits isn't someone with whom you want to engage in discussion.
I remember very well how Abou Jah Jah said that the ‘heretic'Ayaan Hirsi Ali needed to be locked up.
It was not clear if this shoe polisher of Allah meant that she should be locked in an asylum or a jail. I doubt that she would be around long if the holy writ of the Shari'a was implemented.
Someone who thinks that Abou Jah Jah has our best interests at heart is the mayor of Amsterdam who publicly engaged him in discussion and rewarded him at the end by saying "finally a politician who understands me!"
A wonderful comment which Cohen is surely proud of .As a schemer with ambition he'll do anything to I quote "keep things together "
It is also a pity for Cohen that it just happens to be Morrocan youths which intimidated a Dutch couple who fled the neighborhood. It is happening all over Amsterdam but since it was written about in the Volkskrant the issue has become political.
The Amsterdam police has no interest in coming to the defense of the native Dutch who are being attacked by an increasingly aggressive minority. And Cohen couldn't care less.
When the fellow believers of Abou Jah Jah slaughtered 3,000 Americans in the WorldTradeCenter attacks the first stop for Mayor Cohen was a mosque.In schools,in mosques and everywhere in Amsterdam parties were held to celebrate the victory over "The Great Satan". Cohen groveled in frontof the believers and proclaimed "You are one of us!" Instead of asking "What are you doing here?"
Cohen is acting like a mayor in wartime and I do not mean that as a compliment. His presence is demoralizing the city and is pitting one group against theo other. According to the great thinker Frits Abrams of the NRC Handelsblad, Cohen is democrat in heart and soul.
I suspect that our mayor is an incorrigible cynic -not a bad trait for someone who wants to be prime minister-, and a mercenary opportunist to boot. I ask myself for how long native Dutch will be welcome in Amsterdam.
A Dutch film-maker who received death threats after making a movie criticising the treatment of women under Islam was murdered in an Amsterdam street today.
A suspect, a 26-year-old man with dual Dutch-Moroccan nationality, was arrested after a shoot-out with officers that left him wounded, police said.
Theo van Gogh had been threatened after the August airing of his film, Submission, which he made with a right-wing Dutch politician who had renounced the Islamic faith of her birth. Van Gogh had received police protection after its release.
In a recent radio interview Van Gogh dismissed the threats and called the movie "the best protection I could have. It's not something I worry about".
Police said Van Gogh's killer shot and stabbed his victim and left a note on his body. They declined to comment on reports that Van Gogh's neck was slashed.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called on the Dutch people to remain calm and not to jump to conclusions.
In a report by Dutch national broadcaster NOS, an unidentified witness who lives in the neighbourhood said she heard six shots and saw the suspect concealing a gun. She said he walked away slowly, spoke to someone at the edge of the park, and then ran.
She said he was wearing a long beard and Islamic garb and appeared to be either an Arabic man or someone disguised as a Muslim.
Another unidentified witness told Dutch Radio 1 the killer arrived by bicycle and shot Van Gogh as he got out of a car. "He fell backward on the bicycle path and just laid there. The shooter stayed next to him and waited. Waited to make sure he was dead."
In a written statement, the prime minister said, "Nothing is known about the motive.
"I want to call on everyone not to jump to far-reaching conclusions. The facts must first be carefully weighed so let's allow the investigators to do their jobs," he said.
Police declined to comment on the possible motive or to give further details.
Police spokesman Eric Vermeulen said the attacker fled to the nearby East Park, and was arrested after exchanging gunfire with police. Both the suspect and a policeman suffered minor injuries.
"They were conscious" when taken to hospital, Mr Vermeulen said.
Van Gogh's killing immediately rekindled memories of the 2002 assassination of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn who polarised the nation with his anti-immigration views and was shot to death days before national elections.
In addition to his film, van Gogh also wrote columns about Islam that were published on his website, www.theovangogh.nl, and Dutch newspaper Metro.
Submission aired on Dutch television in August and enraged the Muslim community in the Netherlands.
It told the fictional story of a Muslim woman forced into a violent marriage, raped by a relative and brutally punished for adultery.
The English-language film was scripted by Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament, who has repeatedly outraged fellow Muslims by criticising Islamic customs and the failure of Muslim families to adopt Dutch ways.
The film-maker was the great grandson of the brother of famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, who was also named Theo.
Theo Van Gogh, the Dutch Filmmaker Who Criticized Islam, Slain in Amsterdam
The Associated Press
Nov. 2, 2004 - A Dutch filmmaker who had received death threats after releasing a movie criticizing the treatment of women under Islam was slain in Amsterdam on Tuesday, police said.
A suspect, a 26-year-old man with dual Dutch-Moroccan nationality, was arrested after a shootout with officers that left him wounded, police said.
Filmmaker Theo van Gogh had been threatened after the August airing of the movie "Submission," which he made with a right-wing Dutch politician who had renounced the Islamic faith of her birth. Van Gogh had received police protection after its release.
Dutch national broadcaster NOS and other media reported that Van Gogh's killer shot and stabbed his victim and left a note on his body. NOS said witnesses described the attacker as having an "Arab appearance."
A witness who lives in the neighborhood heard six shots, and saw the man concealing a gun. She said he walked away slowly, spoke to someone at the edge of the park, and then ran.
"He was walking slowly, like he was trying to be cool," she said, describing him as wearing a long beard and Islamic garb. "He was either an Arabic man or someone disguised as a Muslim," she said.
Another witness told Dutch Radio 1 the killer arrived by bicycle and shot Van Gogh as he got out of a car. "He fell backward on the bicycle path and just laid there. The shooter stayed next to him and waited. Waited to make sure he was dead."
The slain filmmaker was the great grandson of the brother of famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, who was also named Theo. In a recent radio interview, Van Gogh dismissed the threats and called the movie "the best protection I could have. It's not something I worry about."
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called on the Dutch people to remain calm.
"Nothing is known about the motive," he said in a written statement. "I want to call on everyone not to jump to far-reaching conclusions. The facts must first be carefully weighed so let's allow the investigators to do their jobs."
Balkenende praised Van Gogh as a proponent of free speech who had "outspoken opinions."
"It would be unacceptable if a difference of opinion led to this brutal murder," he said.
Police spokesman Eric Vermeulen said the attacker fled to the nearby East Park, and was arrested after exchanging gunfire with police. Both the suspect and a policeman suffered minor injuries.
"They were conscious" when taken to hospital, Vermeulen said.
Van Gogh's killing immediately rekindled memories of the 2002 assassination of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn who polarized the nation with his anti-immigration views and was shot to death days before national elections.
In addition to his film, van Gogh also wrote columns about Islam that were published on his Web site, www.theovangogh.nl, and Dutch newspaper Metro.
The short television film "Submission" aired on Dutch television in August, enraged the Muslim community in the Netherlands.
It told the fictional story of a Muslim woman forced into a violent marriage, raped by a relative and brutally punished for adultery.
The English-language film was scripted by a right-wing politician who years ago renounced the Islamic faith of her birth and now refers to herself as an "ex-Muslim."
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament, has repeatedly outraged fellow Muslims by criticizing Islamic customs and the failure of Muslim families to adopt Dutch ways.
The place of Muslim immigrants in Dutch society has long been a contentious issue in the Netherlands, where many right-wing politicians have pushed for tougher immigration laws and say Muslims already settled in the country must make a greater effort to assimilate.
Theo van Gogh, 47, has often come under criticism for his controversial movies. In December, his next movie "06-05," about the May 6, 2002 assassination of Pim Fortuyn, is scheduled to debut on the Internet.
"A professional adolescent, a die-hard reactionary," is how Theo van Gogh (47) used to characterise himself. The Dutch film director and newspaper columnist who was shot dead on Tuesday morning had a reputation for controversy. He will be remembered for his scathing criticism of what he called "religious fascism" and of what he perceived to be an increasingly infantile Dutch society. But behind all the insults and abuse, Theo van Gogh was also a gifted filmmaker respected by those who worked with him.
The world of cinema was Van Gogh's first love. In all the movies and television series that he directed – 20 in total – he showed little interest in beautiful shots, but rather preferred to concentrate on the "eternal conflict between people". He knew how to make his actors shine.
"Working with Van Gogh was a tremendous learning experience," actress Katja Schuurman once remarked. "He knew how to bring the best out of me." On the set, Theo van Gogh was known as an amiable person who guided his cast with soft words of encouragement.
Theo van Gogh´s artistic roots
Vincent van Gogh: Almond blossoms
The murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh was named after his famous great-grandfather, the Paris art-dealer and beloved brother of the painter Vincent. In late January 1890, the news of the birth of a son to Theo reached Vincent in southern France, where he was recovering from a nervous breakdown at the asylum of Saint-Rémy. It was an emotional moment for the painter and he immediately set about painting his famous "Blossoming Almond Tree" as a gift for the new parents. The baby boy never knew his father. Theo died a year after his son's birth, only a few months after Vincent's suicide. (Marijke van der Meer)
Ruthless on paper As a columnist, though, he was a ruthless agitator who couldn't resist insulting people. For example, he dubbed the head of the European Arab League, Dyab Abou JahJah, "a pimp of the prophet", and dismissed the notion of a multicultural society as "a farce".
He verbally assaulted the "leftwing, politically correct mafia and politicians" whom he held responsible for "demonising" Pim Fortuyn, the anti-establishment and anti-immigrant politician who was assassinated two years ago. "The Netherlands is beyond hope and beyond reason," was his conclusion.
Submission The columnist and filmmaker in Theo van Gogh merged in his most recent productions. This past summer, he produced a short film with Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali - a rising star in Dutch politics and equally outspoken - about a Muslim woman forced into an arranged marriage and abused by her husband.
Van Gogh describes "Submission" as a pamphlet against violence against women in Islamic societies. In it, four women - their scarred bodies visible through a transparent gown and with Koranic verses daubed on them – tell their gruesome stories. The film sparked widespread commotion among Holland's large Muslim community and led to a series of death threats. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was given round-the-clock protection from the Dutch security services. Van Gogh rejected police protection.
Pim Fortuyn Van Gogh's last production will be aired on the Internet in December and shown in the cinemas from January. Titled '0605', it deals with the assassination of Pim Fortuyn on 6 May, 2002, and was meant as homage to the populist leader who shook the Dutch political establishment.
Still from the film `Submission´
"At least, Fortuyn deserves a factual film about the precise circumstances of his death," Van Gogh said. He believed the maverick politician was deliberately demonised during the 2002 election campaign. "I want to show how a climate was created that ultimately led to his death."
Van Gogh has not lived to witness the film's premiere. He died in much the same way as his latest leading character. He must have realised that he could meet the same fate, but refused to have himself protected. "I urge the security services and police not to bother. My experience is that they're such bunglers that such an offer would be highly irrelevant."
Leading Dutch filmmaker and newspaper columnist Theo van Gogh was killed in Amsterdam on Tuesday morning. Conflicting reports are coming in about the precise circumstances. According to his production company, Mr Van Gogh was shot dead, but a local TV-channel reports he was stabbed and then shot. Eyewitnesses said Mr Van Gogh was attacked while cycling by a man dressed in a traditional Moroccan jalaba.
The perpetrator, who´s said to have stuck a pamphlet to Mr van Gogh's chest, was reportedly shot in the leg in an exchange of gunfire with a motorcycle policeman, who is believed to have suffered minor injuries. The suspect was arrested in Amsterdam's Oosterpark and taken to hospital. The man reportedly holds both a Dutch and Moroccan passport.
Theo van Gogh (47), who directed television series, wrote columns and books, courted controversy during his entire career. One of his most recent productions dealt with violence against women in Islamic societies and prompted many death threats.
The author of the film, Conservative MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has been under police protection since it was aired on Dutch national television. Mr Van Gogh was working on a film about Pim Fortuyn, the anti-establishment and anti-immigrant politician who was gunned down two years ago.
Nation in shock
"This is a horrible situation that we cannot accept," Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner was quoted as saying. The leader of the Democrats D66 Party, Boris Dittrich, also drew a comparison with the murder of Pim Fortuyn. He stressed that both men were champions of free expression who never tired of warning against the rise of radical Islam and against growing polarisation in Dutch society.
Dutch Queen Beatrix joined the chorus of Hague politicians voicing shock and concern at Mr Van Gogh´s assassination.
At a televised special press conference, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called on his countrymen not to jump to conclusions but await the outcome of the police investigation.
Referring to the murder of Pim Fortuyn, he spoke of a fundamental change of climate in the Netherlands. He called Mr Van Gogh "a champion of the freedom of speech" and said "it would be unacceptable if expressing your opinion were to be the cause of this brutal murder.[...] In this country, violence will never have the final word."
MIM: Below is the original text of the above article entitled "Our Mayor" which Theo wrote a few days before he was murdered. His website is down now and it contained another article written by a Dutch women who complained about intimidation and harrassment by Muslim taxi drivers of Dutch women in Amsterdam . Theo foresaw the dangers of Amsterdam mayor Cohen's appeasement policy towards Holland's Muslims and mocked his attempts at dialouge .
Theo's murder shows that Dutch tolerance in the case of Militant Islam has lead to murder and terrorism .
Mayor Cohen's dhimmitude and those who support his policies of allowing Islamists to abuse free speach and religous freedom have fostered the climate which lead to Theo's murder.
In de Telegraaf lees ik dat de Heer Abou Jahjah overweegt om België te verlaten, al denkt 'ie misschien wel vijf jaar nodig te hebben om zijn opvolger bij de AEL in te werken. Abou is verbitterd; hij kreeg maar 1400 stemmen bij de laatste verkiezingen en acht het Vlaamse volk beneden zijn waardigheid. Abou Jahjah: "God is niet vrijgevig voor Vlaanderen geweest toen hij het verstand uitdeelde. Het is altijd een racistisch volk geweest." Dat vond ik mooi gezegd, zoals het ook heel instructief was om te lezen dat meneer elke dode Amerikaanse soldaat als 'een overwinning' beschouwt. Als pooier van de Profeet kan men niet hoog genoeg mikken. Je zou zeggen, een religieuze fascist die de Islamitische wet wil invoeren – met alle gevolgen van dien voor ongelovigen, joden, homo's, vrouwen en afvalligen - is niet iemand met wie je de moeite neemt om in debat te gaan. Ik herinner me nog heel goed hoe Abou zich liet ontvallen dat de ketterse Ayaan Hirsi Ali moest worden 'opgesloten'. Niet duidelijk was of deze schoenenpoetser van Allah bedoelde dat Mevrouw moest worden opgesloten in het gesticht of achter tralies, maar ik denk niet dat ze nog lang zou rondlopen als de hoge heerlijkheid van de sharia hier werd ingevoerd. Iemand die wel denkt dat meneer Jahjah het beste met ons voorheeft, is de burgemeester van Amsterdam, die in het openbaar met hem van gedachten wisselde en als beloning na afloop te horen kreeg: "Eindelijk een politicus die mij begrijpt!" Een prachtig compliment waar Cohen vast heel trots op is geweest. Als ritselaar met ambitie doe je er nu eenmaal alles aan om - ik citeer - 'de boel bij elkaar te houden.' Het is dan ook jammer voor Cohen dat het uitgerekend weer Marokkaanse jongens waren die een autochtoon stel de buurt uitpestten. Dat gebeurt overal in Amsterdam, maar omdat de Volkskrant er nu aandacht aan besteedde werd de kwestie politiek. De Amsterdamse politie heeft geen interesse om autochtonen die bedreigd worden door een steeds agressiever wordende minderheid, te hulp te komen. En Cohen al helemaal niet. Toen de geestverwanten van meneer Jahjah bijna drieduizend Amerikanen om zeep hielpen in het WTC, was de eerste gang van onze burgemeester naar de moskee. Op scholen, in moskeeën, overal in Amsterdam werd' feest gevierd om deze prachtige overwinning op Satan. Cohen kroop dan ook voor de gelovigen en betoogde: "Jullie horen bij ons!", in plaats van te vragen: "Wat doen jullie eigenlijk hier?" Cohen gedraagt zich als een burgemeester in oorlogstijd en dat bedoel ik niet als compliment. Zijn aanwezigheid demoraliseert de stad en zet groepen tegen elkaar op. Volgens de grote denker Frits Abrahams (NRC-Handelsblad) is Cohen 'een democraat in hart en nieren.' Ik vermoed dat onze burgemeester een doortrapte cynicus is - geen slechte eigenschap voor iemand die premier wil worden -, en een rasopportunist bovendien. En ik vraag me af hoe lang autochtonen nog welkom zijn in Amsterdam.
Theo van Gogh
MIM: This obituary notice and picture below is the only currently working link on Theo Van Gogh's site .
This picture was taken to accompany his newest venture -
A section called " Dear Theo offers advice to women 17 to 77"
The director of MIM can personally attest that Theo was as intelligent and funny as he was charming .
In March I wrote to Theo and asked about translating his book , "Allah Weet Het Beter" - (Allah Knows Best) into english .
Here was his response to me:
Waarom heb ik toch nooit de lendenen mogen strekken in jouw armen? Allah weet 't beter is te Nederlans om vertaald te worden. Maar ik zou je graag weer eens spreken.
Why didn't I ever get the chance to stretch myself out in your arms? Allah Knows Best is too Dutch to be translated. But I would really like to speak to you again.
Translation of Theo's offer of advice to " women 17 to 77"
Dear Ladies ,
As of now you can bring your life questions to a somewhat mature man who has a deep insight into human and especially women's souls completely free of charge.
Working on a basis of mutual trust, he will honestly, and with the wisdom of years, attempt to define the deepest longings of your soul with the aim of providing you with an answer with which you can withstand the trials of life and with face them with an energetic form of depression.
Together with question, you are requested to include such information as your age , color of your hair, eye color, and your cup size (A B C D) or larger, your weight and education and profession. Please also indicate if you have children, if so, 1,2,3, or more? Perhaps you even have hobbies and interests. Very important : Your favorite fantasy!
Vanaf nu kunt U geheel kosteloos terecht bij en ietwat rijpere man die beshikt over een diep inzicht in de menselijk vooral de vrouwelijk geest. Vanuit een basis van wederzijds vertrouwen zal hij eerlijk, doch met de wijsheid de jaren betrachten,Uw diepste zieleoroerselen trachten te doorgronden teneinde U een antwoord te verstrekken waarmee U de vershchrikkingen die het leven biedt met een opgewekte vorm van depressie tegemoet kunt treden.
U wordt verzocht bij het stellen van Uw vragen ook zaken te vermelden als leeftijd, kleur haar , kleur ogen, Uw lengte en cupmaat (A,B,C,D of groter) Uw gewicht, opleiding en beroep. Gaarne ook vermelden of U kinderen heeft, zo ja 1,2,3, of zelfs meerdere? Misschien heeft U wel hobbies of interessen .
Hedenochtend bereikte ons het bericht dat Theo van Gogh de hoofredacteur van de Gezonde Roker is overleden.
Door de overweldigende belangstelling hebben we de site helaas moeten sluiten, over een paar dagen hopen we weer terug te zijn. Reacties kunt U kwijt via de bekende link: Slijmen en Schelden. Voor condoléances verwijzen wij U naar de daartoe gespecialiseerde sites.
Wij danken U voor Uw belangstelling.
Namens De Gezonde Roker, Karel Gabler.
This morning we received news that Theo van Gogh the managing editor of De Gezonde Roker (The Healthy Smoker) has died.
Due to the overwhelming interest in his site we regret that we have had to shut it down and hope to be back in a few days.
You can send us your reactions via Slijmen and Schelden (Compliments and Curses).
For condolences we direct you to special sites
. Thank you for your interest.
In the name of the Gezonde Roker (Healthy Smoker)
Militant Islam Monitor Press Release
11/2/04 Theo van Gogh -1957 to 2004 Dutch Hero and Ally in the 'War on Terror' Dutch filmmaker and journalist Theo van Gogh was slashed in the neck and shot to death in a terrorist attack by a militant Islamist in Amsterdam this morning.
Theo Van Gogh also wrote a book on Islam called "Allah Weet Het Beter","Allah Knows Best," detailing the Islamisation of Europe. The book is being translated into english. Van Gogh's articles on militant Islam and Muslims warned of the mortal danger of tolerating Islamo facism in the West under a misguided policy of political correctness. http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/28
Theo van Gogh was a lone voice in who warned about the looming threat of militant Islam which he called the advent of a "Dark Ages of Mecca" and singlehandedly campaigned against Islamo facists in Europe. http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/89
Journalist and filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered for spreading the truth about the mortal danger posed by militant Islamists in Europe . Theo van Gogh is a hero in the war on terror and an example to us all of how one individual can have an impact in the mortal struggle we are now engaged in with those who are attempting to kill us and destroy our free society.
His death should serve as a wake up call for us all and act as an incentive to increase our efforts to eradicate militant Islamist terror in our time. Theo Van Gogh's website, " De Gezonde Roker " - "The Healthy Smoker", has been shut down for several days. http://www.theovangogh.nl/ Militant Islam Monitor has put out a webpage with english translations of some of his work. http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/309
As a shocked Dutch public confronts the death of Theo van Gogh, thoughts have turned to the impact the filmmaker's brutal assassination will have on society in the Netherlands. Aaron Gray-Block reports.
Shock reverberated across the Netherlands as loud as the shots that ended the life of controversial Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on Tuesday morning.
And the news that many feared came shortly after 1pm when it was revealed during a press conference that a 26-year-old Amsterdam man with both the Dutch and Moroccan nationalities had been arrested on suspicion of the murder.
The news comes after the Netherlands has confronted strong social polarisation between the native Dutch and the Islamic immigrant communities in recent years. Van Gogh's death — allegedly at the hands of a Muslim — could be the spark to ignite a powder keg of unrest.
Conscious of this, Amsterdam chief public prosecutor Leo de Wit could not — or would not — confirm a motive for the killing on Tuesday. Nor did he reveal what was written on a note — reportedly written in Arabic — left on Van Gogh's body. Some reports said the letter had been plunged into Van Gogh's body with a knife.
The Dutch authorities also said there had been no definite indications prior to Van Gogh's death that the Dutch filmmaker, TV presenter and outspoken columnist was at risk of attack.
Yet Van Gogh, 47, was initially placed under police protection after his 10-minute film "Submission" was broadcast on Dutch public television on 29 August.
Written by outspoken MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the film criticised the Koran for sanctioning domestic violence in Islamic communities. The film featured women in see through Islamic robes — revealing their breasts.
The women described physical abuse committed among the Islamic community and anti-women texts from the Koran could be seen on their bodies.
The film caused outrage in the Netherlands. Van Gogh was placed under police protection and Hirsi Ali was moved to a safe house following new death threats placed on the internet.
Authorities later announced at a press conference on Tuesday that Van Gogh had not been considered in need of personal security prior to his death. The Interior Ministry had said the same after the shooting death of anti-Islamic politician Pim Fortuyn in May 2002.
It had been initially suspected that Fortuyn's killer was a Muslim, but it emerged later that a Dutch animal rights activist, Volkert van der Graaf, had shot the populist LPF leader to defend vulnerable groups in society. He was sentenced on appeal to 18 years jail in July 2003.
Amsterdam University professor Meindert Fennema said Van Gogh's death will now impact Dutch society in the same manner that Fortuyn's assassination did some three and a half years ago.
He said Van Gogh and Hirsi Ali had become targets of Islamic fundamentalism. But the Somali-born MP had been placed under security. She was also taken to a secure location by her protection officers on Tuesday. Van Gogh had in the past refused security.
A political science professor with the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at Amsterdam University, Fennema also said the killing of Fortuyn had been "depoliticised" by the political elite.
Fortuyn's death was therefore not considered a political assassination, even though it clearly was. Fennema said "the elite tried to downplay the killer as a lunatic", but Van Gogh's murder will not be treated like this.
"It will strengthen the political voice to repress Islamic fundamentalism and to further eliminate the whole idea of multiculturalism," he said. "It is very sad news for the whole of the community, especially for the Muslim parts of it".
So what can be done?
Fennema said it is important that the suspects are caught and that the legal process is free of any procedural errors. Otherwise, this could lead to public concern that politicians are not moving hard enough against Islamic fundamentalism.
He also said anti-Islamic parts of the community might see society as being more corrupted. Fennema said the authorities must "act swiftly and accurately".
Focusing on the impact to Dutch society, Fennema said greater discussion was needed about how to treat Islamic fundamentalism and Islam as a religion. He also said Van Gogh's assassination could lead to a stronger crackdown on integration and more stringent policies to curb immigration.
An actress reveals the naked truth of domestic violence in 'Submission'
Fennema predicted a stronger crackdown on youth gangs who have been "terrorising" the centre of Amsterdam.
He said this could lead to opinions that the rule of law should not be strictly observed when dealing with Islamic youth. Judicial tenets — such as people should not be jailed without due process — could be strained.
Subsequently, two forms of justice could develop, similar to that applied by the US in the detention of terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Fennema said.
It is noteworthy that various police officials have been roundly criticised in the past for suggesting the implementation of differing punishment methods for immigrants, but such calls are never far from the public debate.
'Violence will not prevail'
Lamenting the death of Van Gogh, whom he described as a person with outspoken viewpoints and a "champion of the free word", Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende spoke about a "hardening of society".
"There is a climate in which people resort to violence. This is alarming," he said.
Balkenende expressed his horror at the murder, but also urged the public to refrain from jumping to immediate, drastic conclusions.
"It is with great horror I learned of the shooting of Theo van Gogh. Our thoughts and sympathy are with his family, friends and colleagues," he said on the government website regering.nl.
The prime minister added further that violent acts "would never have the last word in the Netherlands".
He said the Netherlands is a country in which people can freely express their opinion. "That is snot just a rule. That is a cornerstone of our Constitutional State and our democracy," the Christian Democrat CDA leader said.
"This vision joins us together, over every possible dividing line. The constitutional freedom of expression is crucial for everyone and always."
Balkenende, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Interior Minister Johan Remkes brought forward a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday in response to Van Gogh's death.
Theo van Gogh, 1957 - 2002
The Cabinet was expected later in the day to send a letter to the Lower House of Parliament, Tweede Kamer, about the murder. Remkes said no extra security measures are considered necessary for Liberal VVD MP Hirsi Ali.
Amsterdam residents were also urged to gather for a pro-freedom of expression rally on Dam Square on Tuesday night. City Mayor Job Cohen Cohen said nobody had the right to stifle another person's opinions and the people of Amsterdam would make this point "loud and clear" at 7.30pm.
Normally tragic events are marked by "silent marches" in the Netherlands, but Cohen said this would not be the case on Tuesday as "that would conflict with Van Gogh's character".
Tuesday 2 November 2004 will be a day that Amsterdam and the Netherlands as a whole will not forget in a hurry.
AMSTERDAM — Theo van Gogh, who was shot and killed in Amsterdam on Tuesday, was an unusual Dutch celebrity.
He was overweight, untidy and smoked incessantly. He was also very outspoken and got into arguments easily and quickly.
He liked to shock and had been sacked by at least one newspaper for writing provocative columns.
Claiming to be a distant relative of painter Vincent van Gogh, the filmmaker described himself as an "old reactionary". Most sections of the community — including the Dutch royal family — felt his ire at one time or another.
Using his right to freedom of speech, he fumed against multiculturalism and what he saw as the hypocritical nature and repressiveness of Muslim beliefs.
He wrote a book entitled Allah weet het beter (Allah Knows Best) to espouse his views. The cover photograph featured Van Gogh, in irreverent style, wearing a black and white PLO-type headscarf.
On his own website 'De Gezonde Roker' or the Healthy Smoker (also found at www.theovangogh.nl), Van Gogh repeatedly warned that multiculturalism needed to be challenged to prevent Dutch society suffering the sectarianism that has troubled Belfast in Northern Ireland for decades.
Van Gogh was also a dedicated film-maker. He was born in The Hague and grew up in the nearby district of Wassenaar.
He started law studies, but his academic career ended when he scored a breakthrough with his first movie Luger in 1981. He won the Dutch Gouden Kalf prize for his films Blind Date and In het belang van de staat (In the Interest of the State), in 1996 and 1997 respectively.
More recently, he had made a film about the assassination of politician Pim Fortuyn (www.0605defilm.nl). The film will premiere on the internet via Tiscali on 15 December.