Luuk KortekaasAlgemeen Dagblad
The Dutch are becoming hysterical, said Luuk Kortekaas in Amsterdam’s Algemeen Dagblad. Justice Minister Piet-Hein Donner made an offhand comment in an interview that if, someday, two-thirds of Dutch citizens ever voted to adopt the strict Islamic legal code known as sharia, then “the possibility of doing so should exist.” He was merely making a point about majority rule and changing norms. But parties across the political spectrum—and much of the press—went ballistic, as if he’d proposed that we start “stoning women in the streets.” Right-winger Geert Wilders even called a no-confidence vote against Donner. The minister survived it, though, and we can all calm down now. As leading scholars in the Netherlands point out, there is no such thing as a single body of sharia. The practices vary from country to country, and are often much less extreme than those advocated by Osama bin Laden. Here in the Netherlands, most Muslims come from the moderate Turkish and Moroccan traditions. And even if all of them suddenly converted to Saudi-style fundamentalism, the pro-sharia camp wouldn’t amount to more than 6 percent of the total. “Let’s show a little trust in democracy.”
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