The Van Gogh family placed an In Memoriam announcement in today’s NRC Handelsblad newspaper, for Theo van Gogh 1957-2004. The filmmaker was murdered today nine years ago by a mentally confused islamic assassin. See the wikipedia page for more on this. A good way to remember Theo van Gogh is to study a bit of history to understand why such a mentally confused person can come to such an act of violence. A good place to start is with the book of Bernard Lewis, From Babel to Dragomans. Interpreting the Middle East, Oxford, 2004 as well. Since this is a collection of papers published earlier, you can select your topics of interest and develop an appreciation for the author and the subject mater. Once you start learning more then the other papers become of more interest too. A good place to start is with this critical review in The Guardian. PM. Dutch readers might want to see what I wrote in 2004 on Theo’s death. There I refer to the book Zonder Professoren which is a novel with a message that Holland still does not understand what freedom of speech really means. In 2004 that book was a pdf draft only but it has been published now in 2012 (no review yet).