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Political TheologiesPublic Religions in a Post-Secular World$
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Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226443

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226443.001.0001

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Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, and the Politics of Tolerance in the Netherlands

Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, and the Politics of Tolerance in the Netherlands

(p.527) Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, and the Politics of Tolerance in the Netherlands
Political Theologies

Peter Van Der Veer

Fordham University Press

This chapter documents and analyzes the murder of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, an event preceded by but not unrelated to the assassination of Pim Fortuyn, the deaths of whom have haunted Dutch politics ever since. It sketches the historical and socio-cultural context against whose foil we should place the murders of Fortuyn and van Gogh and especially the devastating impact they have had on the political and intellectual climate in the Netherlands, bruising its longstanding reputation for tolerance and diversity. It suggests that the recent upheavals exposed the fragility of this much-cultivated and somewhat self-congratulatory self-image of liberalism and the apparent inability of Dutch society so far to deal with the fact that its newcomers are there to stay or, rather, have already become part and parcel of a radically changed political landscape. In other words, it claims that van Gogh's murder was more revelatory of Dutch culture at the crossroads than of Islam and its perceived global militancy.

Keywords:   Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, politics, tolerance, Netherlands, murder, diversity, liberalism, Islam, culture

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