Andrew Sullivan puts the spotlight on details that should not be ignored. [Update: 2004 posts by Sullivan were not archived on the site, so I’m posting it here in its entirety.]

THE MURDERER OF VAN GOGH: No, I’m not letting go of this story. When a film-maker in a liberal Western country is shot, has his throat cut and then has a long manifesto pinned into his flesh with a knife in broad daylight, more people need to be concerned. Now it turns out that the murderer, who had completely blended into Dutch society, belonged to the same Islamist cult as Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the terrorist now at large in Iraq. The cult is called Takfir Wal Hijra. Here’s a useful Dutch blog on the case. Money quote:

“TIME wrote about Takfir Wal Hijra: ‘Takfir wal Hijra is a sort of Islamic fascism.’ However, even more interesting is the assertion that Takfir Wal Hijra apparently allows its members to appear non-radical, and even non-Islamic, if the mission requires it: ‘The threat of Takfir is that its cold, heartless killers could easily be the boy or girl next door. Takfir Wal Hijra members are permitted to disregard the injunctions of Islamic law in order to blend into infidel societies. In other words, Takfirs can have sex with loose women, drink alcohol, eat pork and do whatever else they feel is appropriate to advance their mission.'”

That was also true of the murderers of 9/11. How conveeenient. The note – written in fluent, literate Dutch – is chilling. Here is part of its message. Remember that it was pinned into someone’s flesh with a knife, and also threatened another person, Dutch parliamentarian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

I know for sure that you, Oh America will go under;
I know for sure that you, Oh Europe, will go under;
I know for sure that you, Oh Holland, will go under;
I know for sure that you, Oh Hirsi Ali, will go under;
I know for sure that you, Oh unbelieving fundamentalist, will go under.

What part of that do we not understand?