Reflections on “Murder in Amsterdam”

At some point in each of its seasons, 24 has done a excellent job in showing what the US might look like as its population retaliates against a certain segment of people, which usually turns out to be the American Muslim community. Questions regarding Fox’s accuracy and biases aside, Ian Buruma seems to have done the same, except that in this case, the scenario is real.

Buruma effectively illustrates the shocked response to the murder of Theo van Gogh as a juxtaposition against Amsterdam’s philosophy of pragmatic tolerance. The discussion of this particular incident is supplemented by a narration of many immigrants in Amsterdam, allowing for many sides of the discussion to be seen by readers.

The book did a good job of drawing a picture of the current state in the Netherlands and Europe with regards to public sentiment towards immigrant communities. Since this is very much a current issue, one is left with a sense of incompleteness, as there remains a lot to be said. I learned quite a bit, and would recommend it for anyone interested in the issue.