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Theo van Gogh: his views; and after
Freedom of speech - 08.11.2004 17:48

Theo van Gogh, murdered in Amsterdam. Was he a hero, anti-Semite, misogynist, or Islamophobe? To find out, we have to look at his own words, translated for English speakers. What will be the consequences of this murder?

Theo van Gogh: hero, anti-Semite, misogynist, or Islamophobe? His own words

The murder of Dutch film maker and columnist Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam on 2 November 2004 in Amsterdam shocked many people. Not only in The Netherlands, but also abroad, reactions were, understandably, often emotional. Many of them described Van Gogh as a martyr for free speech. That leaves the question: free speech for himself and people of his views, or also for his targets?

Many reactions by people in, e.g., England, were by people who didn't know the writings of either Van Gogh or his critics first hand in Dutch. I will try in this article to help provide this information, necessary for a rational assessment.

So, first, the murder is terrible, should be condemned, and everyone should make an effort to prevent violence like this from happening again.

However, if I would keep saying that one plus one makes three; and then someone murders me; I hope no one will write that I was a mathematics genius (as at least some people seemed to do on Van Gogh; not mathematics, but you get the point).

Theo van Gogh's inspiration were films like A Clockwork Orange; and French author Louis-Ferdinand Céline (a supporter of Hitler during World War II), both with human depravity as central theme.

So let us see, from what Van Gogh himself said:

1. Van Gogh on Jews
2. Van Gogh on women (including MP Ayaan Hirshi Ali)
3. Van Gogh on war and socialism
4. Van Gogh on immigrants from Muslim countries
5. Who killed him and why?

1. Van Gogh on Jews

"fornicating yellow stars [which Jews had to wear during Nazi
occupation] in a gas chamber ... What a smell of caramel today. Today
the crematoriums burn only diabetic [in Dutch literally: sugar-sick]
Jews". Van Gogh, in Moviola magazine, 1991. The court then fined him
1000 guilders for anti-Semitism.

He pictured Jewish TV presenter Ms Sonja Barend in a concentration
camp. Jewish author Leon de Winter he pictured in "Treblinka [camp] style
fornication with barbed wire around his dick."

When Jewish historian Ms Evelien Gans criticized Van Gogh, he wrote
in Folia Civitatis magazine: "I suspect that Ms Gans gets wet dreams
about being fucked by Dr Mengele [Nazi doctor at Auschwitz]."
He hoped (Volkskrant, February 1995) Ms Gans would sue him: "Because
then Ms Gans will have to explain in court that she claims that she
does not get wet dreams about Dr Mengele."

2. Van Gogh on women (including MP Ayaan Hirshi Ali)

Van Gogh’s last, a few minutes long, film, was written by a Dutch MP, Ms Ayaan Hirshi Ali, naturalized refugee, from the ex-royal family of Somalia. See on her, in Dutch,
an article by Surinamese Dutch Black (not Islamic) feminist Troetje

On  http://www.sp.nl/include/sh_opinie.php?code=406 another critical
article on Ms Ali; this one by Anja Meulenbelt; arguably the best known
Dutch feminist and now Socialist Party Senator.

Ms Ali is MP for the VVD party: in government; the most openly pro-
capitalist party in Parliament. Arguably, they are the Dutch equivalent of the British Tory party (though more "secular" than especially the
Christian fundamentalists in the Tories). The VVD, and Ali, and Van Gogh,
enthusiastically support all wars of George W. Bush; and government expulsion of ten thousands of refugees from The Netherlands; including Somali women refugees from female circumcision; who now have to fear it if the responsible VVD minister succeeds with her expulsion plans.

Female genital mutilation, by the way, is not an Islamic custom, as it happens in Somalia and among Christians in Kenya. Not among Turks or Moroccans, the biggest groups of immigrants from Muslim countries in The Netherlands. Ms Ali proposed in a Parliament speech to give the African continent not a cent of aid any longer.

Anja Meulenbelt quotes Theo van Gogh, who said that feminists should stop
campaigning against husbands' violence in marriages: "Gentlemen who
give a tough hiding are quite attractive to some ladies really." That
remark was on women in general, not especially on Muslim women. But
as we know, about a hundred years ago, Lord Cromer was the boss of the anti-women's suffrage league in Britain; and in colonial Muslim Egypt, sounded very "feminist".

The theme of Ali’s and Van Gogh’s film was Islamic wives beaten by their husbands; said to be inspired by the Koran. Beaten Muslim women reacted very angrily to the film on Dutch TV: "I was beaten by that no good husband. Not by the Koran! Making this a Koran issue will just give them an excuse." The film was sort of soft porn David Hamilton-Emmanuelle style naked [Christian Moluccan actress playing an Islamic woman] woman in see through clothes with Koran verses written on it. The women said this cheapened and sensationalized their extremely real issues with their husbands.

On a British Internet forum, a comparison was made between “Van Gogh making films vividly critical of Islam and the likes of Bunuel or Scorsese who made films that challenged the basis of catholicism”. However, there is a difference. Bunuel and Scorcese came from a
background were Catholicism/Christianity was the dominant religion,
at least during their childhoods. While never-a-Muslim Van Gogh
called all Muslims, most of them in The Netherlands a lot more poor
or powerless than he was "goatfuckers". Not once: probably a hundred
times or more in writing (I did not count).

The Internet message continued: “There is therefore no comparison with the BNP or NF, whose staple diet is attacks and violence by Black men against White women, not intra communal violence.”

However, even though Van Gogh, contrary to Ms Ali, was no party politician: intra communal violence, including hypocritical pity about female circumsision, WAS the staple diet in party political broadcasts by the now defunct Centrumpartij, then the Dutch sister party of the British extreme Right, over 10 years ago.

When, in 2002, Pim Fortuijn (he himself preferred the more “aristocratic” spelling Fortuyn) founded an anti-immigration party, with 4 other people, one was ex Centrumpartij leader J. Boiten (when his past came out after Fortuijn’s death, Fortuyn's [their spelling] party dismissed Boiten as parliamentary assistant. Boiten claims Fortuijn knew all on his Centrumpartij past).

Van Gogh helped Fortuijn write political speeches. Fortuijn wanted him as an MP for his party; but Van Gogh refused, as he hated other prospective candidates.

Can a fascist party be led by an open gay in some individual cases, even though gay bashing is a main point of the extreme Right? Yes it can. Michael Kühnen, leader of the National Socialist Action Front of Germany was openly gay and had a macho theory to justify it. He died of AIDS in 1991. Right now, Dutch Michiel Smit (see photos on
 http://www.geenstijl.nl/paginas/michielsmit/ ) the leader of Nieuw
Rechts, New Right, is openly gay. Though Fascist competitors used and use that against both.

3. Van Gogh on war and socialism

Van Gogh strongly supported George W. Bush's wars, and opposed all socialism in his columns. Van Gogh wrote on Paul Rosenmöller, ex dockworker, then Green Left party leader: "May he get a joy bringing brain tumor. Let us piss on his grave".

4. Van Gogh on immigrants from Muslim countries

As I said, Van Gogh routinely substituted “goatfucker” for “immigrant to The Netherlands from an Islamic country.” Including in his book Allah knows best, 2001: "There is a Fifth Column of goatfuckers in this country, who despise and spit at its native people. They hate our freedom." "Soon, the Fifth Column of goatfuckers will hurl poison gas, diseases and atomic bombs at your children and my children.”

However, nothing justifies the murder of Van Gogh. The main immediate effects of it were further racist backlashes in The Netherlands, with an Islamic primary school in Eindhoven firebombed for the fourth time; mosques and buildings of secular Moroccan immigrant organizations attacked at night. Very many Dutch Moroccans participated in, and/or organized, protests against the murder of Van Gogh. However, that did not impress bigots. Vice Prime Minister Zalm (VVD) declared, in George W. Bush style, “war on extreme Islam.” Though one murderer, however terrible, is not a state’s army in any dictionary. Neither Van Gogh nor his attacker were in military or other state service.

5. Who killed him and why?

The arrested suspect wrote a rambling five page letter and left it at Van Gogh’s body.

Though his parents were from Morocco, he was raised in The Netherlands in Dutch and apparently did not know Arabic. The letter had nothing on Van Gogh. It was a long ramble on purported quotes from the Jewish Talmud. The suspect was said to be upset by his mother's death and TV footage
of US soldiers killing wounded Iraqi civilians. There is not any
proof that he did not act alone. So, an INDIVIDUAL killed Van Gogh.
Not "Islam". Not even "political Islam."

Again: not, NEVER ANY excuse for this terrible murder. It seems
murderer and victim had something in common: both fairly intelligent
but mentally disturbed. Van Gogh often had depressions, according to
Dutch daily NRC. So, indeed, he certainly cannot be equated to a
calculating racist politician, who is never alcoholic or takes drugs.

Dutch poet Remco Campert wrote: "De mortuis nil sini bene. [Say only
good things on people after they die.] That is a maxim which Van Gogh
violated consistently. I think I would insult him if now I would say
sugary nice things on him." Campert continued his article with Van
Gogh's quotes on Jews. Then: "These are not really the words of a
true hero of free speech."

Lees meer over: anti-fascisme / racisme feminisme

uit dit artikel zijn aanvullingen verwijderd, zie spelregels
Goed stuk 
dinges - 08.11.2004 18:12

Goed stuk! Heb je nog een Nederlands origineel/vertaling liggen? Verdient verdere verspreiding.
English original 
Freedom of speech - 08.11.2004 18:44

This was written especially for non Dutch speakers. So, there is no Dutch language version.
This article is linked on indymedia.org 
M02 - 08.11.2004 20:46

This article is syndicated in the right column on the frontpage of the global indymedia site.

Website: http://indymedia.ORG
See also: | Zie ook: 
M02 - 09.11.2004 02:29


Foto's Van Gogh
ikke - 02.11.2004 11:20

Foto's: Theo van Gogh's laatste pandemonium
Bas - 02.11.2004 23:04

Dutch film maker and rights campaigner murdered by fascist
stop religious fascism, 02.11.2004 15:21

Amsterdam: Filmemacher T.Van Gogh erschossen
von muss ausgefüllt werden - 02.11.2004 14:21

NL Feature:
Moord op Theo van Gogh leidt nog tot weinig bezinning
redactie - 02.11.2004 23:52 - 11 aanvullingen
anti semit ? 
vrienden van theo - 09.11.2004 18:41

Zonde van dat woordje. Hij was tegen de ritueeltjes, die wel/niet ( ff op me woorden letten... ) vrouwonvriendelijk waren/zijn.
Zonde dat er weer in hokjes gedacht wordt.
Zonde dat er weer niet, etc...

Theo we missen je...

De vrienden van Theo.
ands - 10.11.2004 00:01

Something I'd been wondering about--I read through his columns in Metro on the train sometimes, but my Dutch isn't so great, wasn't sure it really said what I thought it said! In the states we call this kind of writing "Hate Speech", as distinct from "Free Speech"...
thank you! 
a non-dutch-speaker - 10.11.2004 19:52

"Vrienden van Theo" 
Vriendin van Theo & Thea - 10.11.2004 22:50

Je schrijft (jullie schrijven?):
Zonde van dat woordje. Hij was tegen de ritueeltjes, die wel/niet ( ff op me woorden letten... ) vrouwonvriendelijk waren/zijn.

Beetje eenzijdig om alleen tegen vrouwonvriendelijke 'ritueeltjes' te zijn en niet tegen huiselijk geweld door niet-islamitische daders. Een man die daarover zegt dat veel vrouwen dat wel lekker zullen vinden is NIET vrouwvriendelijk.

Wist Theo trouwens dat jij zijn vriend of vriendin was (of dat jullie dat waren)? Of heb je jezelf daartoe uitgeroepen na zijn dood?
ernst from germany - 11.11.2004 10:36

i came here to indy netherlands specifically to find out more about theo van gogh. and i found this great article. this is what indy is for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nuanced representation 
The Shit - 11.11.2004 11:12

Dear Readers,

being dutch myself alows me to compare this article to my views of Dutch society and TvG. I think this article shows a one sided version of the whole situation.
Offcourse TvG had a lot of really unpleasant remarks about a lot of subjects. I think however you should see him as a modern day harlequin: totally harmless, not a danger to anybody. I think it might by true that he had a negative view on society, but that is something most people who reflect on mondern societies have (including indy media writers).
Infact I see a lot of similarity between TvG's reflections and this article right here. They both show critizism on society colored by the personal political viewpoints of the writer without a lot of nuancing.

Dont take him too seriously 
Mafheid - 12.11.2004 00:52

Van Gogh critized and insulted just about everything and everyone, so things he said should not be taken too seriously..
Theo v.Gogh, Anarchy & its Flowering 
Peter - 12.11.2004 04:01

Beforehand I apologize for mispellings or any in- accurate representation of the wonderful & almost universal english language, you see, i am a dutch worker/ citizen, so, there's is my excuse, my double handicap in one grip.
Workers in general don't master foreign languages, it's no 'part of the package' bosses needs. Hell, you should get at one time become smarter than your usurpator !
Oh well, this is not about the cruelty of capitalism & its fruits of layers upon layers of stupid workforce, this is about the profound anarchist the Dutch filmmaker, writer, familyman, father, and womanizer/lover he resembles to me.
I think Mister v. Gogh had all through his rough life a anarchistic streak about him, and that Anarchy was his ultimate political vision on life and society which he prayed upon since no one else seemed interested.
To my astonishment i never in any necrology upto now i encountered a remembering on this particular personal but very distinguishing streak in his lusting personality.
As any anarchist would know, anarchy as a political choice is discriminated against since it's beginnings in the communist revolution (Bakoenin). By all conformist, the social -democrates, the new left, the green, the bourgeos partys, etc. All alike and he hated them all likewise. Tit fot that, a eye for a eye. Well, he produced films, columns & acted like director & editor on television. He became even succesfull and rewarded with high prized and lusted 'Dutch Oscars', which surprized him very much but welcomed anyway.

Mister v.Gogh has been part and parcel, in work and speech, of the political legacy of anarchy in its best form. To me, he is in some way best remembered as the Frank Zappa (american composer, non-conformist artist) of the Dutch Poldermodel. Let him be well remembered and rest in peace.
TV movie "Submission" online 
linkert - 12.11.2004 06:25

Theo van Gogh's TV production "Submission Part I" (2004, as shown on Dutch broadcasting channel Nederland 3 during VPRO's program "Zomergasten") is now online at  http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2655656?htv=12

For more information in Dutch on said TV airing, see also  http://www.vpro.nl/programma/zomergasten/afleveringen/17869746/items/18934598/ and  http://www.vpro.nl/programma/zomergasten/afleveringen/17869746/, also featuring links to two BBC interviews with Hirsi Ali.

It should be noted that, however harsh Van Gogh's criticism of Islam may have been in his writings, as a filmmaker he also expressed a different approach towards people from Muslim backgrounds, as evidenced by productions such as his TV series "Najib en Julia", about the relationship between a native Dutch girl and a Moroccan boy, and his recent movie "Cool!", about the lives of -- and played by -- young delinquents of mostly Muslim descent, who he hoped to offer an opportunity in the process.

For a Theo van Gogh filmography see:

Website: http://www.ifilm.com/
Unfair article 
lb - 12.11.2004 14:13

This is a very onesided and unfair article towards Van Gogh.

It paints the picture of him as a hateful racist individual by quoting him out of context and meaning and leaves the reader who has no further information to think that he only got what he deserved (even if the article halfheartedly says it was wrong to kill).

As a previous poster remarked he did make movies and Tv shows about the problems of muslim youths in the multicultural society. He was not a 'hater' of immigrants. There were many immigrant peoples at his funeral.

It's always easier to loose the nuances when looking at another society so I fear this article will contribute to that even more and make it seem that the Netherlands is a country where many racists live and also some people who use violence to 'stop the hate'.

Also Mohammed B., the killer of Van Gogh was a member of a terrorist cell so he wasn't a 'lone killer', this murder was planned out well ahead.

Tv shows about the problems of muslim youths? 
someone - 12.11.2004 16:30

Last week I saw an interview on Dutch television with the author of this tv-series about the problems of muslim youths in the multicultural society (Najib & Julia). He told that somewhere in the process of making this series TvG all of a sudden considered the author an enemy instead of a friend. The reason seemed to be that the author wanted a happy end to the story of the romance between a Dutch and a Marrocan-Dutch youth, and TvG definitely didn't want this happy ending.

Seems to me TvG just wanted to focus on problems of muslim youth and did NOT want to include the possibility to overcome these problems.
few comments 
linkert - 12.11.2004 17:36

In response to the above,

About Mohammed B. being part of a "terrorist cell", that's what is now being alleged yes. It remains to be seen what the final verdict will be, which may take a while. Meanwhile it's hardly surprising that the authorities want to flex their muscles and show that they are on top of things. It's a good excuse for them to conveniently pass some draconian measures and legislation it seems. It wouldn't be the first time that such a "criminal" or "terrorist" organization doesn't hold up in court. What's scary is this general call sometimes to change the law so that it does.

About Van Gogh not wanting a happy ending to "Najib & Julia", you'd need to know the full details to know what was going on there, I don't. But I can think of many reasons, artistic or otherwise, why a movie director would not seek a happy ending. Maybe he just didn't want to offer the public an easy way out.
someone - 12.11.2004 21:17

Sorry, this column of the writer of Najib & Julia is in Dutch. But here the writer (Justus van Oel) states firmly that all TvG wanted with the series was make absolutely clear that a multicultural relationship is not possible. He changed the the end (which after all wasn't really a happy end, just hopeful) because he didn't want to put ANY hope in the series. All he wanted was to paint a very negative picture of multicultural relationships.

PS: to read the column without annoying pictures, click on the printversion.

Website: http://www.justusvanoel.nl/asp/detail_text.asp?id=1359
goat fuckers 
van den Brei - 14.11.2004 00:01

For english speakers it could be interesting to note that van Gogh, besides being anti-semite, kapitalist, etc. was also an innovative forger of linguistic concepts of new phenomena. One particularly new phenomenon in Holland, Islam male ideologists with a medieval mindset, was described by van Gogh with the new term GEITENNEUKERS, has to be translated as goat fuckers.

Everyone who wants to understand the debate in Holland should know about GEITENEUKERS.

Aloha, & cheers.

Goat background  
Baaaaah - 15.11.2004 12:03

The remark is deeply connected to the quotes

"A man can have sex with animals such as sheep, cows, camels and so on. However, he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village, but selling the meat to a neighbouring village is reasonable."

Sodomy, however, is often quoted in "if one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, a ewe, or a camel, their urine and their excrement become impure and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed as quickly as possible and burned."

attributed to Ayatollah Khomeini from his "Tahrirolvasyleh" writings on Islam.

So by implication anal sex with a goat is to be avoided as it implies a destruction of property value (burned) but vaginal sex is considered moderately acceptable as it, according to this interpretation, only carries the need to sell its post-orgasm meat to the (unsuspecting) consumers in the next village.. On the other hand if "he" does not have a orgasm there is, by inference, neither the need to sell the meat nor the call to its slaughter.

The VanGogh comments play with this seemingly implicit clemency towards "goat fornication" by Muslim males. The intend was to annoy. His language was confrontational.

The issue and current Nigerian style inter-racial tensions, however, stike deep at the fundamental issue facing a Europe with a rapidly growing and increasingly radicalized and politized minority set to perhaps become a majority in the next 25 to 50 years... Does a majority have the right to impose their world view upon others? Can today's Christians impose their Christianity among Muslims-- see the reaction in Germany to the events in Holland and the renewed call from the Bavarian CSU to **mandatory** Christian prayer in public schools are part of a compaign to save "occidental culture"? And tommorrow? Shall Muslims be able to impose their belief--- which like Christianity is considered by its followers as the "only truth" and a view that one is morally required, as a good believer, to proselytize--- and install their own moral and legal framework? See, for example, not just the radicalization of Islamic "fundamentalists" but also national politization exemplified by the AEL.

Are we looking to the end of the dream of the multicultural society? Has the social contract among migrants established over the centries in Holland--- see the then contemporary debatte with Benedict (Baruch)de Spinoza--- come to an end? Igoring these conflicts--- I hear no evil, I see no evil so there is no evil--- and to try to understand the "radicals" , as the author of the above piece, does little to save our open society but help its enemies dig its grave deeper.. a grave that is now also home to such unsavory clowns such as VanGogh..

Asimilation too is the end of (multi)culture 
Brown is the colour of despair - 16.11.2004 10:25

"But here the writer (Justus van Oel) states firmly that all TvG wanted ith the series was make absolutely clear that a multicultural relationship is not possible."

If by "relationship" one means a life long marital bonding, especially with children, then it is indeed NOT possible. Children can not be raised as Jewish Catholic Hindu Muslims. The relationship must typically define some form of "conversion", cultural as well as religous. Among Muslims it is typically expected that the children "belong" to the culture of the father (most current intrepretations of Sharia or "Islamic Law"). Among Jews the cultural identity is defined halachically ("Jewish law") by the culture of the mother. One "view" must dominate and, if not ritual conversion, some form of cultural leadership is expected. Doing "nothing" is an implicit "conversion" to the culture of the host country and is little more than cultural assimilation or loss of minority culture. This, I would argue, is the politcal base for the encouragement of intermarriage between Muslims and Hindus by the Indian government--- or for that matter in ex-Yugoslavia. The history of mankind is an endless list of cultures that did not survive occupation or diaspora but assimilated through "multicultural relationships" into oblivion.

The multicultural society should NOT be about assimilation or even "integration" but about modes of interoperability: living together, working together, sharing a common national dream and ambition together. To demand "assimilation" of migrants and to encourage multicultural relationships keyed into "integration" is little more than to demand a cultural hegemony and an eventual destruction of "multiculture" (the "melting pot").

If we mix all the colours of the rainbow together we are left with nothing but brown.........
Brown is the colour of despair? 
someone - 16.11.2004 21:55

Brown is also the colour of the 'bruinhemden' and reading your remarks I get the impression you're quite sympathetic to them.
linkert - 16.11.2004 22:41

It's a shame how so many comments here seem to detract from the original piece, with so many musings about racism-yes-or-no or anti-semitism-well-perhaps.

@ Van den Brei, the topic of geitenneukers was already covered in the original piece, I don't see what your comments add to it. As most people will realize translating vulgar slang into another language is tricky & providing a literal translation will seldom do the job. Providing "scrotum" for klootzak will hardly convey the message to name but one example, it's more like asshole in English. In my reading -- and I'm not the author of the original article -- Van Gogh's rantings can be seen in a tradition of pretty crude Amsterdam lingo, where people can hardly be accused of always calling each other by the most sensitive of names. Thus I saw one Moroccan kid being interviewed a while ago on TV saying that he didn't mind being called a geitenneuker, after all he felt free to call Dutch people kaaskoppen (cheese-heads) too. I'm not saying the two are equally rude, but this kid at least seemed to be "assimilated" enough not to have a problem with it (as many immigrant kids seem to be, who speak better Amsterdam slang than me, including all the cuss words and many more that I've never even heard of); what I'm saying is maybe Van Gogh's problem was that he failed, or refused, to realize that to any outsiders, and not necessarily immigrants either, such remarks can be incredibly offensive. I know my very Dutch mom never much appreciated me speaking of "tering" such-and-such for instance (tuberculosis- whatever, a favorite prefix here.)

@ someone, and without turning this into a pissing contest, your quoted article about Justus van Oel's argument with Van Gogh also cites Van Oel as saying: ".. Just like in the original Romeo & Julia, our series would see both these lovers die because of their environment's hatred. The series was made, won a Golden Calf [prestigious Dutch movie award], and was hailed for its respectful treatment of both Moroccans and native Dutch. A sad story indeed, but with real human characters, not fundamentalists or idiots. I was glad, even relieved, that Theo-the-columnist had not altered the story in any way. Najib & Julia is a fine piece of work by Theo-the-filmmaker." He then goes on to discuss their argument about the ending, yes, but you can't read it without this context I think.

In general, many commenters have protested that this piece, or the reactions to it, are one-sided or unbalanced. I haven't heard one person these past weeks who managed to come up with a "balanced" account or interpretation of the affair, nor do I see how anyone could. There are no "impartial" sides in such a heated conflict it seems. What the author of the original has done, and quite successfully and sincerely I believe, is to weigh the current wide-spread claim that Van Gogh was "always the champion of free speech" against the facts and his own words. We can credit the author for that, as facts are exactly what we need, and which seem to be so sorely lacking, these days. That the piece has its own unbalances is not surprising, but it seems like an honest and fair attempt at a sober interpretation of the facts. Nowhere does it suggest that Van Gogh was an anti-semite or not, it merely states that he had been accused of that in the past; and nowhere does it suggest that he "got what he deserved" or anything like that.

Website: http://www.theovangogh.nl/
free speech 
Red Herring - 18.11.2004 21:59

I'm a little late to this party, as I just stumbled on it thanks to Google, but I must say something in contradiction of the post by "ands" regarding the American view of free speech.

A funny thing has happened in America. Historically, American liberals (of which I am one) have been the champions of freedom of speech, especially organisations such as the American Civil Liberties Union. However, in the last decade or so many American liberals have taken the opposite approach, actually seeking to ban speech not to their liking by defining it as "hate speech". I must protest that all political speech is free speech.

People can and should debate what they think of the thoughts of Theo van Gogh. But he used words and images to express them. His attacker used a gun and knives.
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