Christian party wants harsher punishment for religious, racist violence

Ruling party ChristenUnie wants violence with a religious or racist motive to be punished more harshly, as is already the case for violence against public officials. "If you fulfill a public function in the public domain and are attacked, we believe you need extra protection. That must also apply here", said Gert-Jan Segers, leader of the Christian party, NOS reports.

This call for harsher punishment was triggered by vandalism at a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam in December last year. A man carrying a Palestinian flag b. He was arrested and is being charged with vandalism and attempted theft of the Israeli flag from the restaurant. The court in Amsterdam wants the man . He was released from custody and awaits his trial in freedom.

According to Segers, the man is getting away with a far too light punishment, because there is no possibility for the court to punish racist violence more severely. "If a Jewish restaurant is attacked because the owner is Jewish, it is a threat to the entire Jewish community. If an ex-Muslim, who became a Christian or atheist, is attacked because he is a heretic, then that is a threat to anyone who makes such a choice", Segers said, according to the broadcaster.

Whether this ChristenUnie proposal will get support from a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, is still unclear.