5 Years Ago Today: Theo Van Gogh Was Brutally Murdered for "Insulting Islam"

In Broad Daylight
(AP) The Dutch marked the fifth anniversary Monday of the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Muslim fanatic, a brutal killing that continues to shape politics in the Netherlands.

Van Gogh, a distant relative of the famous painter, was shot and stabbed on an Amsterdam street Nov. 2, 2004, setting off a spate of mosque burnings in a country once renowned for its tolerance.

His killer Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-born man of Moroccan descent, said he did it because Van Gogh insulted Islam in his films. Bouyeri is serving a life sentence for the killing, which was ruled a terrorist act.

The effects of the murder were far-reaching, and Dutch debate about the integration of Muslims — who make up 5 percent of the 16 million population — continues into the present.

The murder aided the rise of Geert Wilders, an anti-immigrant politician whose party leads in recent polls.
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