Posted on September 13, 2006

Official OK With Islamic Law In Netherlands, September 13, 2006

The Netherlands’ justice minister says he would welcome Islamic law, or Sharia, to his European nation if the majority of his people vote for it.

Piet Hein Donner wants the Netherlands to give Muslims more freedoms to behave according to their traditions, reported the NIS News Bulletin, a Dutch online publication.

“For me it is clear: If two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist,” Donner said. “It would be a disgrace to say: ‘That is not allowed!’“

Donner was reacting to a plea by a parliamentary leader, Maxime Verhagen, who wants to ban parties seeking to establish Islamic law.

Donner’s remarks came from an interview in a book being released today in the Netherlands, “The Country of Hate and Malice.”

The justice minister said, according to the Dutch Expatica News, “It must be possible for Muslim groups to come to power (in the Netherlands) via democratic means.”

Every citizen, he said, “may argue why the law should be changed, as long as he sticks to the law.”

“The majority counts,” Donner stated. “That is the essence of democracy.”

The justice minister insists Muslims have the right to practice their religion in ways that diverge from Dutch social codes.

He says “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 said, for example, the Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix was wise not to insist on a Muslim leader shaking hands with her when she visited his mosque in The Hague earlier this year. Previously, Dutch Integration Minister Rita Verdonk scolded an imam who would not shake the queen’s hand.


Tension between traditional Dutch society and the country’s 1 million Muslims has heightened since the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh two years ago by a Muslim who warned of further reprisal against the “enemies of Islam.” Muslims were angered by Van Gogh’s film “Submission,” which centered on violence against women in Islamic societies.

Since then, the government of a nation proud of its liberal social attitudes has cut back on generous welfare programs to immigrants and made Dutch-language classes mandatory for newcomers.