Today is the 5th anniversary of the death of Theo van Gogh. He was a Dutch film director who worked with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the film Submission.
The short film investigates violence against women in some Muslim societies. The script was written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali who was involved in social work amongst abused Muslim women in Europe.
After the film’s screening van Gogh and Hirsi Ali received death threats. On November 2, 2004, Van Gogh was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri. Bouyeri shot him eight times, cut his throat, nearly decapitating him, and stabbed him in the chest. A five-page note threatening Western governments, Jews and Ayaan Hirsi Ali was attached to Van Gogh’s chest with a knife.
Since that time Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been under constant guard, and moved to the USA for some time. Bouyeri is currently serving a life sentence.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote the book Infidel – I can highly recommend it. Brought up a Muslim she is now an atheist. Currently she is writing a fictional book where Mohamed is confronted by some well known Western enlightenment intellectuals. Should be good.
See also: Submission video
Posted in atheism, belief, human rights, Islam, religion, supernatural, superstition
Tagged assasination, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Film director, Infidel, Islam, Mohammed Bouyeri, Muslim, terrorism, Theo Van Gogh, United States
One of the most important human rights is the freedom of expression. Not just because this is vital to human creativity. But because it is the only way we have of protecting our other rights – by identifying and exposing violations of human rights.
It is no accident that freedom of expression is one of the first things restricted by oppressive regimes – and even democratic governments when their leaders are criticised.
This is why the current clamour to limit the freedom of expression in the interests of “religious tolerance,” “multiculturalism” and “respect” is so insidious.
It’s not a matter of balancing the creative and artistic rights of Danish cartoonists, authors like Salmon Rushdie or Dutch film makers against the need for religious tolerance and respect. It’s a matter of sacrificing the human rights of women, gays and the non-religious which are regularly violated in the name of religion.
Requiring us to ignore persecution of fellow humans so that we don’t offend somebody’s religious feelings.
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, human rights, interfaith, Islam, religion
Tagged Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Fitna, Geert Wilders, Salmon Rushdie, Submission, Theo Van Gogh
Ayaan Hirsi Ali described her journey from faith the reason at the recent AAI Convention. The video (see below) of her talk is well worth watching. Hirsi Ali is a Somalian who claimed political asylum in The Netherlands to avoid an arranged marriage. Her work with refugees and public comments on the violence against of women in the Dutch Muslim community (as well as the eventual rejection of her religion) led to death threats. With film-maker Theo Van Gogh she produced a short film Submission describing the plight of women under Islam. In November 2004 van Gogh was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri, an Islamic extremist. A note, attached to van Gogh’s body with a knife, contained a further threat to Hirsi Ali’s life. The Dutch government took her in to hiding, moved her to the US and provided body guards for her protection. Early this month Ayaan Hirsi Ali returned to the Netherlands, where she remains in hiding, because the Dutch government is no longer prepared to finance her protection in a foreign country.
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, belief, book review, diversity, faith, god, Islam, religion, supernatural, superstition, terrorism
Tagged Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Holland, International Atheist Alliance, Mohammed Bouyeri, National Statement on Religious Diversity, Somalia, Theo Van Gogh