At the time of the murder, Fortuyn appeared to be on a path toward becoming the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. If that event had come to pass, it would have required recalibration of the usual tired categories of who supported sensible immigration restriction. Pim Fortuyn was a unapologetic gay man — complete with a pair of King Charles spaniels — and hardly a jack-booted fascist. He condemned Muslim immigration because those newcomers to Holland refused to assimilate to the socially liberal Netherlands society, in which gay sexuality is as acceptable as straight.
He was shot in the back by "animal rights activist" Volkert van der Graaf who later admitted that he committed the assassination to protect Muslims.
As Bawer notes, after five years time the shock of what the assassination meant has worn off, and the bad habits of appeasement to the slow-motion Muslim invasion via immigration have returned to Dutch life.
Yes, some politicians, notably Parliament member Geert Wilders, are carrying on Fortuyn's battle. But momentum has given way to malaise. Politicians and journalists who once kept mum on Islamization now openly defend it as preferable to culture clash: Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen has called for "accommodation with the Muslims," including toleration "of orthodox Muslims who consciously discriminate against their women."
Only last week, Mr. Wilders was called in by Dutch intelligence and security officials who, he said, "intimidated" him by pressuring him to tone down his rhetoric on Islam. Fortuyn's brief shining moment seems very long ago.
Many political assassinations leave behind haunting questions. How would Reconstruction have gone under Lincoln? Could the Vietnam debacle have been avoided if President Kennedy had lived? Five years after Fortuyn's murder, it can feel as if Volkert van der Graaf robbed Europe not only of a brilliant champion of liberty, but of its one great chance to save itself before it's too late. [Europe's Champion of Liberty, New York Sun 5/4/07]