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How does the murder of Theo van Gogh illustrate tensions over race and immigration in...

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orioles808 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted December 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM via web

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How does the murder of Theo van Gogh illustrate tensions over race and immigration in postwar Western Europe?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 14, 2011 at 2:34 PM (Answer #1)

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Theo van Gogh was murdered because of his statements about the Muslim faith.  He was murdered by a Dutch Muslim.  This shows quite clearly the sort of tensions that exist because of immigration in modern Western Europe.

Modern Western Europe has taken in many Muslim immigrants, many from countries once colonized by the European countries.  These immigrants are generally not well integrated into society.  They often do not feel very much part of the society and often do not share the liberal values of those societies.

At the same time, there are many Europeans who are wary of the immigrants.  They worry about the values the immigrants hold, particularly about Muslim values.  Van Gogh had spoken out and made films about this sort of issue.  These statements were taken (by the assassin) as being insulting to Islam.

This shows the tension caused when these liberal societies receive illiberal immigrants.  Neither the societies nor the immigrants really know how to live harmoniously with the other.

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