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Murdered Dutch Film Director Cremated


Slain Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was cremated in a public ceremony near his home in Amsterdam.

Lou Reed's "Just a Perfect Day" concluded the short ceremony that Theo van Gogh's production company said was not meant to be funeral-like.

Company officials say the filmmaker did not like flowers and memorials. But a couple of hundred people braved the cold weather outside the crematorium to watch the proceedings on a big screen.

Somber and teary-eyed they could see on display inside; Theo van Gogh's cell phone, his date book, and a bottle of liquor.

Mr. van Gogh's mother and two sisters were among the speakers. His mother said she was filled with hate when she heard her son was killed. She also told the Dutch politician who made a controversial film with Mr. van Gogh not to feel guilty.

The short film, shown on Dutch television earlier this year, depicted violence against women in a Muslim family and sparked death threats against the two.

In the week since the filmmaker was shot and his throat slit, the Netherlands has seen a nationwide backlash against Islamic institutions, as authorities investigate possible links between the alleged murderer and international terrorist groups.

There have been several arson attempts at mosques and Islamic institutions across the country, including a bomb early Monday that damaged an Islamic school. Police are also investigating attacks on two Christian churches, while Dutch Muslims rallied in Amsterdam to condemn extremism and call for unity.

Prosecutors are holding six men of North African descent in connection with Mr. van Gogh's murder. That includes the suspected murderer, 26-year old Mohammed Bouyeri. He was arrested shortly after the murder with a pistol and a suicide note in his pocket.

All six men are charged with being members of a criminal terrorist organization and conspiracy to murder Mr. van Gogh and others. Authorities say all the men are Islamic militants who moved in circles that included international terrorists from groups like al Qaida.

Mr. Bouyeri, for example, attended a radical Amsterdam mosque, the same mosque that September 11th hijacker Mohamed Atta is said to have visited five-years ago.

That such radicals are operating in the country has angered and frightened an already immigrant-wary population.

Officials estimate there are about 150 Islamic militants active in the Netherlands.

Politicians are looking into expanding the Dutch security service and possibly stripping violent offenders with dual nationality of their Dutch passports.