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Cabinet drops repeal of blasphemy law

Thursday 28 May 2009

The cabinet has abandonned its plans to repeal the blasphemy law and replace it by tightening up anti-discrimination regulations, Nos tv reports, quoting parliamentary sources.

The decision follows a high court ruling earlier this year, in which a man was found not guilty of insulting an entire group of people on the grounds of their religion by hanging up a poster with the text 'stop the tumour that is Islam',

A majority of MPs had wanted the blasphemy law (article 147) to be repealed. Hirsch Ballin agreed to do this and to amend the discrimination legislation (article 137c) to make it a criminal offence to insult groups of people instead.

The Telegraaf reports that Hirsch Ballin now feels it would not be appropriate to cancel the blasphemy law because discrimination legislation is ambiguous and open to different interpretations.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

The blasphemy law makes The Netherlands no better than Pakistan.

By Martin | 28 May 2009 6:03 PM

Brilliant! Where would it lead if Gods who demand human sacrifice, mutilation of children, and/or the dehumanizing of women could be criticized?

Making it a crime to insult groups is a non-starter anyway. What country can afford enough courts to try everyone who regularly insults pedophiles, polygamists, gays, hunters, and owners of guns or off-road vehicles.

By otropogo | 28 May 2009 7:09 PM

All religions are criminal organizations and should be banned.

By CaptainZen | 28 May 2009 10:11 PM

If religions were strictly confined to home and church we would not have all these problems. I agree with the Captain, they have become criminal.(actually from the beginning of their existence!)

By AW | 29 May 2009 8:18 AM

so so true, and just look at what the CHRISTIAN right are doing to your lovely country, you guys lose the coffeeshops and heroin use will shoot up, no pun intended

By adhd | 29 May 2009 4:45 PM

For such a society as The Netherlands that has chosen a secular division between church and state, it would be logical and consistant to get rid of blasphemy laws.

Having said that, if the Blasphemy laws is on the only current laws that is really stopping public and coordinated discrimination and hate-mongering then those or new laws needs to be done.

The article (and others in the news) is really not talking about religous sentiment but that the current law will support discriminating and hate abuse and to change it will lose it, thus I find the comments made about religion to be off-topic. I myself am religious but I stick to the topic and anyhow I keep my religious views to myself.

By Solkhar | 30 May 2009 3:05 PM

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