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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 18:55 GMT
Dutch bid farewell to film maker
Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh
Van Gogh directed TV series and wrote newspaper columns
Hundreds of mourners have rallied in Amsterdam during the cremation service for Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh, who was murdered a week ago.

There has been heightened ethnic tension in the Netherlands since he was shot and stabbed to death - allegedly by an Islamic militant.

The ceremony at Amsterdam's Nieuwe Ooster crematorium was televised, but only friends and family were let in.

Van Gogh, 47, had made a controversial film critical of Islamic culture.

Intended to illustrate domestic violence in Muslim societies, it featured images of Koranic verses daubed on semi-naked women.

Several men, all believed to be Islamic radicals, have been arrested in connection with his death. The alleged killer is Mohammed Bouyeri, a 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan.


Dutch views on Van Gogh's death

"I fear for the future," said Van Gogh's mother, choking with emotion at the ceremony on Tuesday.

Only about 150 people were allowed to attend, but hundreds of mourners outside the crematorium watched the ceremony on giant screens. It was also broadcast on Dutch NOS public television.

Mosques in several Dutch cities have been the targets of vandalism and failed arson attempts since the killing.

The mayor of Eindhoven ordered extra security for mosques and schools following a bomb blast at an Islamic school which caused serious damage on Monday.

Police are also investigating two petrol bomb attacks on churches in Utrecht and Amersfoort, which caused minor damage early on Tuesday.

Muslim fears

Van Gogh was shot and stabbed to death as he cycled in broad daylight through an Amsterdam street.

Mourners watch Van Gogh cremation ceremony
Mourners watched the funeral on giant outdoor screens
Hundreds of people have left flowers, candles and notes at the spot where he died. They also left cactuses - a tribute to his prickly nature - and bottles of beer.

Several hundred Dutch-Moroccans rallied in a nearby park on Tuesday, many of them wearing orange T-shirts reading "We won't put up with extremism any more".

Muslim leaders say their communities fear further attacks.

After the pre-dawn explosion in Eindhoven, the southern city's mayor, Alexander Sakkers, said additional police patrols would give round-the-clock protection for all Muslim places of worship and education.

Ayhan Tonca, chairman of the Contact Group for Muslims and Government, has insisted that the government do more to protect Islamic sites, to stop fears rising.

Correspondents say that Van Gogh's killing and the violent response have shocked many in the Netherlands.

"The Netherlands is a nation where people ought to want to meet one another, where cultures meet each other," Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said on Dutch television.

"The atmosphere that has arisen must disappear," he said.

How van Gogh's murder has shaken Netherlands

Dutch step up Muslim protection
08 Nov 04 |  Europe
Dutch Muslim school hit by bomb
08 Nov 04 |  Europe
Dutch fear loss of tolerance
03 Nov 04 |  Europe
Life of slain Dutch filmmaker
02 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Moving stories: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
23 Dec 03 |  Africa

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