Call for prayers to convert Van Gogh killer to Christ

Amsterdam, Holland — Evangelical broadcaster EO is backing a call for prayer to convert Mohammed B., the man who killed filmmaker Theo van Gogh, from Islam to Christianity.

A reader of the EO's magazine has called on the broadcaster's audience to pray for B. in the hope that he will eventually "come to believe in God's son, Jesus Christ; to become one witness among many".

A spokesperson for the EO said that the unsigned request had been sent to its magazine and the editorial department decided to place it in a section reserved for appeals to pray for important causes.

Meanwhile. B., 27, will most likely spend the rest of his days in jail for murdering Van Gogh.

Lawyer Peter Plasman told Amsterdam Court on Thursday that B., 27, has no intention of appealing the life sentence imposed on 26 July.

Prisoners serving life terms are rarely if ever given early release in the Netherlands so it is likely B. will die in jail.

The public prosecutor (OM) had sought the life term and a removal of B.'s right to stand for election.

Although the court decided that the latter was unnecessary, the OM has indicated it not appealing the ruling. Therefore, the entire sentence is irreversible.

B. also faces prosecution on charges of membership of the Hofstadgroep, a group which police claim is a Muslim terrorist organisation. About a dozen other young Muslim men are in custody and face similar charges.

B. forbade Plasman from mounting any defence on his behalf during the Van Gogh murder trial. The defendant broke his long silence at the end to emphasis that Van Gogh had insulted Islam and that B. had no regrets for killing him.

In a note written by B. prior to the killing, he indicated he hoped to be killed by the police after attacking Van Gogh. He was wounded in the leg in a gunbattle with officers.

He also indicated that if ever another chance he would kill again in the name of his brand of Islam.

Van Gogh was an outspoken critic of aspects of Islam and shortly before his death he directed a short film called "Submission" that criticised the treatment of women under Islam.