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Muslim Fanatics Terrorize a Nation

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At The Australian, Anthony Browne has a must-read piece about the murderous intimidation being practiced in the Netherlands by Islamic jihad groups: Muslim fanatics terrorise a nation.

And if I haven’t mentioned it lately, Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a heroine of the highest magnitude.

A FILM about gay rights should hardly raise an eyebrow in The Netherlands, which for centuries has prided itself as a beacon of freedom of expression and was the first country to legalise gay marriage.

But when Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee turned Dutch MP, started making a new film about the oppression of homosexuals under Islam, the threat to everyone taking part was deemed so great that she decided there would be no faces shown on screen and no end credits and that the entire production team would remain anonymous.

Ali, a “lapsed Muslim” who revealed this week that she had finished the script, lives in a safe house under 24-hour protection.

The precaution is as wise as the courage is extraordinary: Theo van Gogh, the director of Ali’s previous film, about domestic violence under Islam, was killed — repeatedly shot and almost decapitated in broad daylight in the streets of Amsterdam by an Islamic extremist.

Impaled on a knife in van Gogh’s chest was a five-page note declaring holy war on The Netherlands and threatening death to other public figures deemed “enemies of Islam”.

A year after his murder, The Netherlands is a country transformed. Previously, only the Queen and Prime Minister had police protection, and ministers cycled to their ministries.

Now, many politicians, writers and artists are considered to be in such danger that they have permanent armed guards and are driven around in bomb-proof armoured cars. The Interior Ministry has set up a special unit assessing death threats from Islamic extremists and providing protection squads.

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 Frank says:

All right, Zubin, hit it! -- Frank's onstage cue to conductor Zubin Mehta during their collaborative effort with the L.A. Philharmonic orchestra in 1970