Skip to comments.Life worse than death for a terrorist
Posted on 08/01/2005 7:33:41 AM PDT by SuzyQ2
By Abigail R. Esman
World Defense Review columnist
Mohammed Bouyeri begged his government for death. Instead, they did something worse: They gave him life.
Bouyeri, 27, is the Dutch-born Moroccan Muslim radical who slaughtered filmmaker and columnist Theo van Gogh on the streets of Amsterdam last November 2, shooting him multiple times before slashing his throat with a machete and stabbing a five-page letter into his gut. Afterwards, shocked bystanders watched in horror and amazement as Bouyeri calmly walked away, as one eyewitness described it, "as if he were just out walking his dog."
That, of course, had been the plan: Walk slowly, allow the police time to arrive at the scene, shoot a couple of them while he could and let them shoot him back. He would die a martyr, a suicide terrorist who had silenced one of radical Islam's most outspoken opponents forever.
It did not, however, turn out that way. Holland's cops are trained, not to shoot to kill, but to incapacitate. Their bullets hit Bouyeri in the leg, and he was immediately arrested.
In the months since, Bouyeri has been Holland's principal Man in the News, issuing statements and engaging in behaviors that baffle the Dutch justice system, though for those who have studied the concepts of Muslim extremism, they are actually unsurprising: He hadn't planned on being captured, he told the judge at his arraignment, but as long as he had been, he wanted to assert certain rights. He requested the death penalty from a government that has none. He composed a manuscript for a book entitled, "Grondwet Van Een Fundamentalist" (Principles of a Fundamentalist), which he attempted to smuggle out of the prison through a Muslim "brother" visiting him. He refused psychological testing, insisting he knew precisely what he'd done and why he'd done it, and that he would do the same again.
"It was for my religion," he said.
Speaking at his trial, he addressed not the court representatives of a legal system he does not recognize because it is not the law of Islam but Theo van Gogh's mother, Anneke, to whom he said, "I cannot feel your pain. I am not a mother. I do not have a son. And I am not an unbeliever." Theo's 14-year-old son, Lieuwe, listened, staring at the man who killed his father, a man who, according to reports, refused to meet his gaze. Apparently, he hadn't that much courage.
Courage, in fact, seems to be exactly the quality Mohammed Bouyeri most lacks even more than he lacks empathy or emotion or the ability to see beyond his own self aggrandizing narcissism, the narcissism I would argue stands behind every incident of terrorism particularly Muslim terrorism such as this. Death was easy: He would die feeling victorious, a messenger for Allah, a martyr and a hero. They would have played right into his hands, the Dutch, and he, no longer in this world, would be saved of suffering for eternity.
This is why, to all those who wish death to would-be suicide bombers, to those who, filled with the irrational rage that comes naturally in response to events like 9/11 or the 3/11 bombings in Madrid or the 7/7 killings on London or the butchering of Van Gogh, say, "Kill the bastards," I say, Oh, no. Degrade them with capture and incarceration. Do not honor them with martyrdom and death.
When I think of how Theo van Gogh suffered, bravely entreating his killer, "Don't do this. Don't do this. We can still talk about it," I think: Let his killer and those who plotted with him suffer, too.
Death is the easy part.
It is for this that I commend the Dutch for their handling of Mohammed Bouyeri. Yes, alive he remains a distant danger: Even in an isolated cell, where he is to be kept, he can still reach the outside world through an ever-hungry media and through visits from his "brothers" and "sisters" in the faith who will distribute what he writes. But this, if we handle it right, will pass. He will grow old and irrelevant. By contrast, the Dutch know well the political power of martyrdom: When right wing politician Pim Fortuyn was gunned down shortly before the Parliamentary elections in 2002, he was already one of the most popular candidates for office; after his death, that popularity shot through the roof, and his party non-existent just one year earlier won by a considerable majority of votes.
Unfortunately, I suspect the Dutch have, in this case, done the right thing for the wrong reasons. The decision to keep Mohammed B (as he is known) alive stems not from a wish to punish, to deprive him of a death sentence he in fact might have been granted, but was denied. The Dutch legal system has no such provision. Rather, Mohammed B was sentenced according to an otherwise laudable tradition of humanitarianism exactly the kind of albeit well-intentioned humanitarian spirit that created the environment for radical Islam to breed in the Netherlands in the first place, infesting the muddy bottoms of its canals through the "tolerance" of preaching by extremist imams, of Saudi-sponsored schools, and in the creation of ghettos where Muslim immigrants, locked into a community of their own, had little contact with the language and the workings of Western culture, or Westerners with theirs.
Because you have to wonder what they could possibly be thinking when, even as sentencing Mohammed B to life in prison, the Dutch government does not revoke his right to vote. You have to wonder what could possess them to allow him, in fact, the power to create a political party of his own, even from his prison cell.
Have they not learned anything?
Of course, to vote never mind run for office would require accepting the legitimacy of a legal system he has till now rebuked; but one shouldn't put such hypocrisy past a man so determined to achieve a specific end.
Theo van Gogh stood for the free speech we in the West hold holy. Both his life and his death are testament to this. It was his voice for which we who knew him or read his words, or listened to them came to love him or to hate him, but in any event, respect him. The greatest honor we could give him now would be to deprive his killer of that voice and make him live with it.
--- Abigail R. Esman, is an award-winning author-journalist who divides her time between New York and The Netherlands. In addition to her column in World Defense Review, her work has appeared in Foreign Policy, Salon.com, Esquire, Vogue, Glamour, Town & Country, The Christian Science Monitor and many others. She is currently working on a book about Muslim extremism and democracy in the West.
Hopefully there are plenty of skinheads in his prison that'll send out the Welcome Wagon.
No problem here, the only people he should EVER be allowed to interact with are his jailers. For company and comfort he should be give a pet pig.
give = given
force feed him bacon every day.
(2) Tired of articles talking about "honoring the memory" of van Gogh. The guy was the Dutch Bill Maher - a real sleazy character.
We should be more worried about maintaining free speech in general, rather than lionizing one of its more tawdry practitioners.
Whether Van Gogh was a likeable guy or not, he was assassinated for making a movie. Nazi tactics by an Islamic.
Precisely. Which is why we are better served by saying "That Muslim savage murdered a citizen for expressing his opinions" rather than saying "That Muslim savage murdered that wonderful dude Theo van Gogh."
Has he learned nothing from the folks at Guantanamo? Simply flush your manuscript down the toilet and have one of your fellow believers go swimming in the sewers to retrieve it and share it with the world.
He'll be dealt with in prison. Slowly, over the course of several decades, I hope.
There. Fixed it.
I thought van Gogh was killed for making an anti-Islam movie. Doesn't sound like Bill Maher to me.
Just an animal in a cage.
It allways is. It's a shame Western political leaders can't figure that out, even though they are told this straight out by thousands of Imams during their "sermons" every friday in mosks around the world.
Before his Islam film, he was known for being an activist for abolishing the Dutch monarchy, for supporting militant homosexuals, for idealizing deviant sexuality, for making fun of Catholics and Reformed Christians, and for mocking the Holocaust and Anne Frank.
When Evelien Gans, who is a fairly prestigious historian of the Holocaust, wrote a letter to a newspaper criticizing van Gogh for telling Holocaust jokes on TV, van Gogh responded by telling her that he knew "she just gets wet dreams about being f***ed by Dr. Mengele." He usually expressed himself with that level of vulgarity - very reminscent of Bill Maher in both the crudeness of his talk and the anticonservative rhetoric he continually espoused.
Van Gogh was a total scumbag - the point is that conservative Dutchmen, the Dutch royal family, Christians and Jews all criticized him verbally. The only people he mocked who responded with violence were Muslims.
His life proves that the Christians and conservatives he portrayed as "intolerant" were not at all.
(1) We can devise a death just as dishonorable as life in prison for these mutts.>>>>>>>>>
I suspect that whatever death could be devised would only inflame all the other nuts but knowing that their hero is suffering a lifetime of incarceration and indignity might just make them think twice. I believe their real fear is being captured alive by the infidels.
They may fear that, but the best part of killing them is that they'll either go to hell or oblivion, cause their allah stuff is so blatantly a joke.
I say kill them
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