From The Independent:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was stabbed into the world’s consciousness three years ago. One wet afternoon in November 2004, her friend Theo van Gogh â€“ a film-maker, and descendant of Vincent â€“ left his house and was about to cycle off through Amsterdam. But a young Dutch-born Muslim called Mohammed Bouyeri was waiting for him â€“ with a handgun and two sharpened butcher’s knives.
Wordlessly, he shot Van Gogh twice in the chest. Van Gogh howled: “Can’t we talk about this?” Bouyeri ignored his pleas and fired four more times. Then he pulled out a knife and slit Van Gogh’s throat with such strength that his head was almost severed from his body. He used the other knife to stab a five-page letter on to Van Gogh’s haemorrhaging corpse.
Ayaan explains: “The letter was addressed to me.” It said that Van Gogh had been “executed” for making a film with her that exposed the widespread abuse of Muslim women. Now, she would be “executed” too â€“ for being an apostate.
She says that, even now, “every time I close my eyes, I see the murder, and I hear Theo pleading for his life. ‘Can’t we talk about this?’ he asked his killer. It was so Dutch, so sweet and innocent.” At the trial, Bouyeri spat at Van Gogh’s mother: “I don’t feel your pain. I don’t have any sympathy for you. I can’t feel for you because I think you’re a non-believer.”
This is the story of how a 25-year-old bogus asylum-seeker from Africa came to Europe in search of freedom â€“ only to be nearly murdered here by a Dutchman, on the streets of Amsterdam, for speaking out against religion. The story opens in the blood-strewn streets of Somalia, and it closes amid the shiny white marble of Washington, DC â€“ yet it also ends where it began: with Ayaan’s life in danger. This is the story of the refugee who rocked Islam.