2002-05-07

Out Gay Dutch politician PIM FORTUYN is assassinated by Volkert van der Graaf, an animal rights activist. He got 18 years after shooting Fortuyn in the head in Hilversum and was released in 2004. The murder stunned Dutch society, only days before elections. Big gains had been expected for Fortuyn’s party. Van der Graaf said he had seen Fortuyn as a threat to minority rights.
 
Fortuyn was an openly gay sociology professor who scorned Islam as a “backward culture”. He wanted to drastically cut the numbers of immigrants entering the Netherlands – and his message appealed to many voters.
 
The Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) helped pave the way for the Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders, whose criticisms of Islam and immigration echo Fortuyn’s.