Justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Christian Democrats) has finally given into pressure and is to recommend that blasphemy – insulting religions or their practitioners – is no longer a criminal offence.
Although the law, which was brought in to protect Christians from being insulted is almost defunct, in the past the minister has believed it to be useful to protect Muslims from Islam-bashing, says Friday’s Volkskrant.
The law was last used in 1968 against the writer Gerard Reve. He was found not guilty.
Hirsch Ballin had suggested expanding the current legislation to cover all religions but MPs were against the move, arguing it would conflict with freedom of speech, the Volkskrant says.
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