Saturday, 22 January 2011

Buruma, Ian "Murder in Amsterdam"

Buruma, Ian "Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance" - 2006

Murder in Amsterdam. Not any murder. The murder of a director, a public figure. Why? He made a movie not everyone agreed with. He made a movie about the Muslim faith.

We read this book in the same year as we read Ayaan Hirsi Ali's "Infidel: My Life" (Mijn Vrijheid). Theo Van Gogh had made the movie "Submission" together with the Somali-born feminist, activist, writer, politician. Ian Buruma, a British-Dutch writer, tries to explain the events in his book.

Most of us were glad we read the book, it contains so many thought provoking issues about so many topics. Besides Islam it gives a good view about the Netherlands and its people, how tolerant the Dutch really are. It also made us aware of our situation as a foreigner in this country.

The book gave us a good insight into Dutch culture and immigration. At the end of the day, it's all about tolerance. Faith and religion caused and still causes so many problems all over the world.

Our book club members have all lived in several countries besides their own and have come across racism. As an immigrant you feel like an outsider, you have friends from your own culture, there is always this tiny thing: where do I belong?

This book doesn't answer that, either, but gives a lot of insight into today's politics.

We discussed this in our book club in December 2007.

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