Dutch Justice Minister welcomes sharia on basis of popular sovereignty

Apparently all those stories about a hardening of Dutch attitudes toward Islam have been a bit premature. This item is from NIS News, an English language Dutch news service. The government official discussed in the story, Piet Hein Donner, could be described as the Stephen A. Douglas of sharia: if a majority want it, it’s cool.

THE HAGUE, 13/09/06—Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner considers the Netherlands should give Muslims more freedoms to behave according to their traditions. Muslims refusing to shake hands is fine with him. And Sharia law could be introduced in the Netherlands democratically, in the minister’s view.

Muslims have the right to experience their religion in ways that diverge from Dutch social codes, accordign to the Christian democrat (CDA) minister. He thinks Queen Beatrix was very wise not to insist on a Muslim leader shaking hands with her when she visited his mosque in The Hague earlier this year.

Integration Minister Verdonk did previously scold an imam who would not shake her hand. Without directly referring to this incident, Donner considers “a tone that I do not like has crept into the political debate. A tone of: ‘Thou shalt assimilate. Thou shalt adopt our values in public. Be reasonable, do it our way’. That is not my approach”.

Donner strongly disagrees with a recent plea by CDA parliamentary leader Maxime Verhagen for a ban on parties seeking to launch Sharia (Islamic law) in the Netherlands. “For me it is clear: if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist,” according to Donner. “It would be a disgrace to say: ‘That is not allowed!’.”

Donner makes his remarks in an interview in a book entitled, ‘The country of hate and anger’ (Het land van haat en nijd). The book was written by journalists Margalith Kleijwegt and Max van Weezel of weekly magazine Vrij Nederland. Minister Verdonk will be presented with the first copy today.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 13, 2006 01:00 AM | Send

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