VVD: Stop protecting religious groups from criminal prosecution

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A Filipino girl (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul D. Williams). A Filipino girl (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul D. Williams)

The VVD is submitting a proposal to change the law so that religious groups are no longer protected from criminal prosecution. In this way Salafist organizations can be acted against, VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra said in an interview with Dutch newspaper Trouw. 

"Religion can never be a cover for a political-ideological assault on our constitution. In Salafist circles things are called and said that are really undermining our democracy. If you look at what is called in some Islamic groups, and you replace the word 'Allah' with 'Hitler' or 'Stalin' or that ilk, we would shoot in all panic", Zijlstra said. "But now that it is under the heading of religion, we can not do anything about it. We have to stop that."

Zijlstra also lashed out against multiculturalism. "With the whole multicultural society, it looked lovely, but it is completely not lovely, because you hurt your won norms and values." he said to Trouw. "We have in the Netherlands, I think, far too long been tolerant of intolerance towards ourselves. We have tolerated intolerance towards our values. That is obviously very stupid."

The VVD plans to submit its proposal to scrap the exemption for religious groups next month. In 2003 the VVD submitted a similar proposal, then headed by the then still VVD parliamentarian Geert Wilders.

Late last year a majority in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, already demanded an investigation into . Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice and Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs are looking into it and will come with the possibilities soon.

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