News in brief: Theo van Gogh
'Murder letter was call to Holy War'
The man suspected of assassinating Theo van Gogh left a letter containing texts calling for a Holy War, or Jihad, evening newspaper NRC reported on Wednesday. The paper claimed the man was also found to be carrying a farewell letter that appears to indicate he expected to be shot dead by police after the attack on Van Gogh in eastern Amsterdam. Immediately after the killing, the suspect ran off and fired on officers chasing him. Trapped in a local park he fired on police vehicles that were blocking his escape. A motorcycle officer was hit in the chest but was saved by his body armour. The suspect was shot in the leg and arrested. The government claims the man is suspected of having links to extremist Muslims associated with international terror groups. The news of the letter, if confirmed, would appear to back claims Van Gogh was murdered because of his trenchant criticism of aspects of Islam.
Van Gogh to be cremated
Murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh is to be cremated in a service open to the public at the Nieuwe Ooster crematorium in Amsterdam at 5pm on 9 November, a spokesperson for Van Gogh’s production company, Doesjka van Hoogdalen, said on Wednesday. A private memorial service for family and friends will be held on 8 November.
Mayor calls for multicultural trust
Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen called on Wednesday for the feelings of fear and hatred among native Dutch and Moroccans following the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh to be transformed to trust. He made his remarks during a special city council meeting on Wednesday. He said it was time for Amsterdammers to deal with this issue. “People can be cynical about this, but I can’t do anything about this,” Cohen said. Right-wing groups organised a rally on Wednesday evening to call for Cohen and Interior Minister Johan Remkes to resign as a result of the murder.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news