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The Brief Dutch Sharia Eruption October 4, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Politics, Religion.
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Politics Central: The Brief Dutch Sharia Eruption
The raw emotions over Islam run very deep in the Netherlands. They show that no matter how excellent the budget surpluses and tax reductions, the Dutch people remain, at the end of the day, deeply fearful over a future nation where Sharia law may indeed start to play a significant role in Dutch life. A few weeks ago, Justice Minister Donner – known for his legalistic approach to most issues – said in an interview that if two-thirds of the Dutch population would support it, the Dutch constitution would have to be amended in order to introduce Sharia law. The immediate broad public outburst over the minister’s remarks was, given their factual and legal basis in the principle of majority rule, surprising.

What is even more interesting is the debate that ensued over the boundaries of voting in free democracies. If a situation could arise where a majority could agree to shred a constitution in favor of religious law – and one from the Middle Ages at that – than doesn’t a democracy have an obligation to devise mechanism whereby such choices could be neutralized?

When the times are relatively good, there usually is little appetite for politicians to wade into these unpredictable waters. It can turn against you, and in the Europe of today it could even kill you. No, it is not the now largely defunct political correctness that is covering up the debate over religion, culture and integration. It is political expediency. The price of which, as always, will have to be paid further down the road.

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