The self-confessed killer of a Dutch filmmaker who was critical of Islam has been sentenced to life in prison. Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Morrocan, has been convicted of murdering Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam in November 2004.
Bouyeri shot him seven times, cut his throat and left a letter attatched to his body with a knife. Passing sentence, the judge described it as a terrorist attack, that had provoked fear and undermined Dutch democracy.
Muslim Bouyeri said he had been motivated by his religious convictions and would do the same again.In Amsterdam the reaction to his sentance was mixed. One woman said she thought it was right Bouyeri was given the maximum term because he had acted wrongly.
But one market seller said it was not surprising that some people found Van Gogh difficult to accept saying: “He was too extreme and he was taking it out on everyone. Before Islam it was the Antillians, before that it was people from Surinam, not everybody can take it.”
Bouyeri was arrested after a gun battle with police.
The letter he had left pinned to Van Gogh’s body threatened Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who had written the script for Van Gogh’s film Submission. It accused Islam of condoning violence against women.
The murder sparked a wave of attacks on mosques and religious schools in a country renowned for its tolerance.