The self-confessed killer of Theo van Gogh faced the victim's mother in an Amsterdam court today and told her he felt no remorse for his crime.
Turning his chair towards Anneke van Gogh as she watched from the public gallery, the Moroccan-born Mohammed Bouyeri said: "I don't feel your pain. I don't have any sympathy for you. I can't feel for you because I think you're a non-believer."
The Islamic radical admitted killing Mr Van Gogh, a Dutch film maker, saying he was driven by his religious beliefs, and claimed he would do the same again.
Mr Bouyeri, the son of Moroccan immigrants to the Netherlands, is accused of shooting and stabbing van Gogh to death in broad daylight in the streets of Amsterdam in November, before nearly decapitating him and impaling a five-page note declaring holy war into his corpse with a knife.
Despite insisting on his right to silence when the trial opened yesterday, Mr Bouyeri spoke out publicly today for the first time about the murder which sparked a wave of ethnic and religious violence across the once-tolerant country.
Clutching a Koran, and wearing a flowing robe and a black and white chequered headscarf, Mr Bouyeri praised Allah and the prophet Mohammed before admitting the killing.
In a chilling insight into his mindset, he told the panel of judges: "I did what I did purely out of my beliefs. I want you to know that I acted out of conviction and not that I took his life because he was Dutch or because I was Moroccan and felt insulted."
Seven months before his ritualistic slaughter, van Gogh had produced a film about domestic violence in Islam, which offended many Muslims. Mr Bouyeri insisted: "If I ever get free, I would do it again."
He was caught by police in a gun battle after he fled the scene of the crime spattered in van Gogh's blood. A note was found in his pocket saying that he wanted to become a martyr.
Speaking in Dutch with a Moroccan accent, he turned to police in the court and said: "I shot to kill and be killed. You cannot understand."
Some spectators rose to their feet, visibly stunned by his comments. The confession and lack of remorse highlight the worst fears haunting the mainstream Dutch society about the seemingly unbridgeable gap between them and some of the alienated Muslim youths growing up in the country.
Mr Bouyeri, 27, was a well-educated moderate Muslim who was considered reasonably well integrated, before becoming radicalised nearly two years ago. Prosecutors say that he had become dedicated to Holy War against the enemies of Islam and had murdered van Gogh to spread terror in the Netherlands.
They claim he is part of a network of Islamic with international links called the Hofstad Group, many of whose members are awaiting trial on terrorism charges in Rotterdam. The chief prosecutor, Frits van Straelen, told the court: "The accused preaches a message of hate and violence. He preaches that anyone who thinks differently can be killed."
The verdict is expected on July 26. Mr Bouyeri faces life imprisonment without probation.