Earlier this week, on Tuesday July 26, 2005, a Dutch court sentenced Mohammed Bouyeri, the killer of Dutch film producer Theo Van Gogh, to life in prison.
Following Bouyeri's confession of his gruesome killing of van Gogh, shocking details about the lives of Bouyeri and his friends began to emerge. They afford a telling glimpse into the secret world of Dutch Islamists who used fundamentalism as a veil to mask their sexual perversions.
Bouyeri’s parents were first-generation immigrants. He completed secondary school in Amsterdam, then attended college for five years, but quit before receiving a degree. Shortly after the death of his mother, he turned to Islamic radicalism.
Bouyeri began visiting the El Tawheed Mosque, where he met the terrorist suspect Samin A., and together they formed the Hofstadgroep, now considered an Islamic terrorist cell by Dutch authorities. On November 2, 2004, Bouyeri was arrested following a shootout with Dutch police near the scene of Theo van Gogh’s murder. Charged with that crime and five others, he eventually confessed.
Since then, a number of details have become public knowledge. Among them is that, just before fleeing the murder scene, Bouyeri stuck a poem and a five-page letter to the lifeless body of his victim with a knife. Especially interesting are the last four lines of the poem.
For the hypocrites I have one final word…
Wish DEATH or hold your tongue… and sit.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, my end is nigh…
But this does not end the story.
Indeed it does not. In a shocking set of revelations, the Netherlands’ daily, De Telegraaf, has reported that Mohammed Bouyeri and his associates in the Hofstadgroep used radical Islamism to hide the fact that their group was actually a “sexual cult.” In a report titled “Preaching and Porno,” the paper went on to recount the story of the Islamist “lover boys” who clothed their lurid sexual preferences in the garb of religious extremism.
The group was inclined to a vast array of depraved activities, not the least disturbing of which was the sexual abuse of young women. The group also reportedly had a penchant for marrying young women, most of whom were native Dutch and had converted to Islam. Bouyeri and his co-religionists would use them as “porn princesses,” before abandoning them after two weeks.
Characteristic of the group’s degenerate ways was Nouredine el F., aka Abu Qaqa, now identified as a member of the Hofstadgroep. Having previously dated a 16-year-old girl, he had found a new lover by the time of his arrest: a 21-one-year-old woman who worked for the elite Dutch Marine Corps. Nouredine was known to parade around the woman’s work place with a loaded machine gun in his backpack. Also prior to this arrest, he dated a woman who police say had a “dodenlijst” (a death list) found in her apartment that included the names of two prominent Dutch politicians.
And then there was Mohammed Bouyeri. Of Bouyeri, the Telegraaf writes that he “has a sickening sexual interest. Together with his ‘brothers’, he enjoyed CD-ROMs where one can see how to amputate male genitals. On his laptop he also had illegal images of a man having sex with a dead woman.” According to the paper, “Mohammed B. was aroused by gruesome amputations and sex with a dead woman.”
The revelations offer a striking contrast to the man who claimed to have renounced the culture of Dutch society for the purity of the Islamic faith. Even as he indulged his most gruesome fantasies in secret, Bouyeri put on a show of strict religious asceticism, abstaining from alcohol and refusing to take part in activities involving both men and women. For all their zeal, these Islamic extremists didn’t exactly practice what they preached.
It is also noteworthy that, in closing, the report quoted the CIA as identifying the Netherlands as one of the “frontline states in the war on terror,” even comparing the problem of home-grown terrorism to that of Great Britain because of the large Muslim populations of both countries. Proportionately, however, the Muslim population of the Netherlands is more than double that of Britain’s, which may well mean a correspondingly larger population of Islamic extremists.
Does the case of Mohammed Bouyeri, or the recent attacks in London, offer any lessons for combating Islamic extremism in the Netherlands? Yes, and they all have to do with recognizing that the right to freedom of speech is not—and has never been—absolute.
As someone who lives in the Netherlands, I can say this: we can prevent this freedom from being used against us by closing down mosques where hate and violence are promoted, and by deporting radical Imams. We can put a stop to the radicalisation of Muslim immigrants by enacting clearly defined legislation that outlaws this dangerous rhetoric. We can strongly encourage moderate Muslims to take a much more active role in denouncing militancy.
Above all, we can learn that our politicians’ fear of being called insensitive has only encouraged the growth of radical Islam. It’s a lesson that Mohammed Bouyeri and his Islamist cohorts knew all too well.