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Preview — Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma
Murder in Amsterdam: Liberal Europe, Islam, and the Limits of Tolerence
Ian Buruma 's Murder in Amsterdam is a masterpiece of investigative journalism, a book with the intimacy and narrative control of a crime novel and the analytical brilliance for which Buruma is renowned. On a cold November day in Amsterdam in 2004, the celebrated and controversial Dutch ...more
And if everyone isn't happy all the time, at least we're taking turns being miserable.
The right to speak you ...more
There are perhaps parallels between the jihadist murder of Theo van Gogh and Holland’s Calvinistic and puritanical past. Nevertheless there is a “Clash of Civilizations” in Holland. There were few Muslims pr ...more
I being Dutch Born, and leaving the Netherlands in the early 50.s I missed much of that part by of history. The Author Ian Buruma is Dutch born as well.
The story deals with the murder of Theo van Gogh, who is a great grand-son of Theo van Gogh, Vincent's very supportive Brother.
The Theo in the story has been a character from birth, being involved in T.V. interviewing persons of the day the controversial politician Pim Fortu ...more
First, I must thank my son, Patrick, for giving me this book for Christmas. Not only did this gift recognize my love for books, but also tapped into my preferred blend of philosophy, morality and suspense. But unlike my usual mix of Stuart Woods and Michael Connelly, this nonfiction account of the cultural stew on post-911 northern ...more
Buruma's writing flows. It's like having coffee with him as he recounts his experiences with Theo and describes Theo's life, TV show and art. He explains the earlier, but separate, murder of Pim Fortuyn. The flamboyant libertarian/conservative Fortuyn, killed by an animal rights activist, credits the Enlightenment with his ability as a gay man to be elected to public office. He saw the intolerance ...more
Islam Vs the West is not a new topic for me. I am quite familiar (or rather bored) with each other's claims and accusations. The author wrote it as it is, verbatim quoting harsh words from each side. Not so open-minded readers (from either side) ...more
I think this book is so full of primary sources that it is hard to immediately identify the opinion of the autho ...more
Murder in Amsterdam was recommended to me by someone I respect (who told me that it was the "best book" he'd read "in a long time") but I didn't even realize it was a work of non-fiction until I ordered it -- much less know what it was about. What it IS about, specifically, ...more
While I support their commitment to free speech Van Gogh and Fortuyn don't seem particuarly heroic to me. The homosexual Fortuyn, who admitted that he enjoyed having sex with "Moroccan boys" before he was killed, only took an anti-im ...more
The murder in Amsterdam at the centre of Ian Buruma's book is that of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in November 2004 by the Dutch son of Moroccan immigrants, acting " ...more
Buruma investigates and attempts to understand the reaction of his native country, the Netherlands, to the murder of famous Dutch artist and personage, Theo Van Gogh, who is murdered for his role in making an inflammatory, anti-Muslim film with Ayn Hirsi Ali. The film shows naked women who were abused and with words from the Koran shows how Islam allows or recommends that abuse.
The author sees the unresolved guilt of the ...more
I think overall, Buruma is informed by the reality that the violence practiced by political Islam today is not unique to Islam, but rather manifests itself in all religions/ideologies. “Messianic violence can attach itself to any creed” as he illustrates through the tribal aggression of Dutch soccer fans. (p.261)
Moreover, he notes that some of the aspect of Western culture that we take for granted, and rail against Islam for its ...more
The well-traveled Ian Buruma, a Bard College professor, previously published Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (2005) and The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan (2002), among others. Buruma's account of Theo van Gogh's death was first published in the New Yorker in January 2005. The book, an expanded version of the magazine piece, is timely. Buruma receives much praise for his writing and reporting skills, though several critics comment on the book's lack of st...more
Buruma is very balanced, examining the issue from many sides a ...more
Ayaan was just sent back to Holland a few days ago, as there is not enough protection for her here in NYC.
What struck me most was the author's depiction of ...more
As these issues are far from over, may leave a sense of frustration at the end.
Overall, I'm glad I read the book. Buruma has an easy way of telling his story - his remarks are quick and to the point and still manage to hold a lot of intellect. He talked with many people, of varying opinions, and I felt gave them equal time. I do ...more