[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 23:55 GMT
Dutch Islamic school set ablaze
Blaze at Bedir primary school in Uden, the Netherlands
Graffiti on the school wall referred to Van Gogh's death
Suspected arsonists have caused major damage to an Islamic school in the Netherlands amid violence in the wake of film maker Theo van Gogh's murder.

Firefighters battled the blaze at the primary school in the southern town of Uden, where graffiti scrawled on the walls had referred to the killing.

There has been heightened tension since Van Gogh was shot and stabbed last week, allegedly by an Islamic militant.

A funeral was held for Van Gogh, 47, in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

He 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.


No one is reported to have been hurt in the blaze late on Tuesday, but the building is said to have been severely damaged.

Graffiti scrawled on Bedir school read: "Theo, rest in peace", Dutch television reported.

Dutch views on Van Gogh's death

Uden Mayor Joke Kersten admitted that the fire bore the indications of arson.

"A school does not ignite spontaneously," she told NOS television, quoted by the AFP news agency.

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.

'Fear for the future'

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

The ceremony at an Amsterdam crematorium was televised, but only friends and family were let in. Hundreds of mourners outside watched the ceremony on giant screens.

Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh
Van Gogh directed TV series and wrote newspaper columns

Van Gogh's father said his son would have deplored the attacks on Muslim targets.

"I fear for the future," his mother said, choking with emotion.

Several hundred Dutch-Moroccans rallied in a nearby park, 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.

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

"Let us break through the spiral of violence and insecurity," Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said on Dutch television.

"The Netherlands has always been a fine country with respect for different cultures," he added.

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


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific