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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Netherlands to scrap blasphemy law

Posted: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 12:21

Netherlands to scrap blasphemy law

The Dutch parliament has accepted a motion that will abolish the law that makes it an offence to insult God. Supporters of the motion say that they are confident that they have enough support for it to pass easily.

Nobody has been convicted under the blasphemy law for fifty years, but the trial of Geert Wilders, the anti-Islam politician in 2011 for criticising Islam signalled a need to protect free expression.

It will remain a crime to insult a police officer or Queen Beatrix.

The Christian SGP party said the decision to remove the ban on blasphemy is a "painful loss of a moral anchor and a symptom of a spiritual crisis". The party believes the Netherlands should be governed according to Biblical principles and has three seats in the lower house of parliament.

Tags: blasphemy, Europe