November 09, 2004
DUTCH BLOG PEAKTALK REPORTS on Theo Van Gogh's memorial service.
UPDATE: Related thoughts here and here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: More here, from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: More here, from The Telegraph.
MORE: The Dutch appear to be getting tough. Well, you can't have a tolerant country if you're not willing to get tough with the intolerant.
STILL MORE: Bjorn Staerk writes:
When the US was attacked on 9/11, it struck many of us how few reprisals there were against American Muslims. There were some attacks, but for a country of 300 million, who had just experienced the largest terrorist attack in history, the display of restraint was encouraging.
I'm correspondingly discouraged by how the people of Holland have dealt with Theo van Gogh's murder - one death in a country of 16 million. There's been vandalism and arson, pig heads nailed to doors, the bombing of an Islamic school.
Nothing breeds that sort of freelance violence like the perception that the duly constituted authorities aren't willing to protect the citizenry. People in the United States didn't doubt that; people in the Netherlands have had reason to. As John Ashcroft retires, that's a point that's worth noting. Perhaps, given the tougher government response linked above, the Dutch government has noted it.