(Click here first if you don't know what this is about.)
Shock blog GeenStijl reminds us that this is the same Mr. Donner who last year tried to censor political satire. I probably repressed that.
Elsevier News Weekly, the largest weekly in the Netherlands (and one of my largest outlets), will speak out against Donner's plans later on the day. They call it a submission to Mohammed Bouyeri's actions. They also point out the injustice of giving religious people special status under the law, which I've done here as well.
Chairman Tonca of the Contact Group Muslims and Government (Contactorgaan Moslims en Overheid) thinks that Muslims can take a religious insult as well as anyone. After which he immediately debunks himself: 'A Christian isn't happy either when Jesus or Maria is insulted.' Well, probably not. But the point is what should be done with those insulted feelings. Dutch authors like W.F. Hermans, Gerard Reve and Maarten 't Hart have been criticizing Christianity since the 1950's. Although offended Catholics tried to sue the crap out of Hermans in 1951, he won. Tonca then goes on to endorse Donner's proposal. I think being willing to turn the clock back more than half a century does qualify as overly sensitive.
Police have removed fliers stating that 'Mohammed was a pedophile'. The flier was probably referring to the religious founder of Islam rather than to the Van Gogh murderer. According to the police, there were two other fliers as well, with texts like 'How many will have to come, how many will have to go' (a reference to this song and 'When a Muslim says something, it's his faith, when a white man says something, it's racism'. The article suggest, but does not explicitly say so, that these versions were removed as well. If so, this story reminisces of the ridiculous actions by Rotterdam mayor Ivo Opstelten, who ordered a mural stating 'Thou shalt not kill' removed because it would offend Muslims. Read more about that here and here.
According to this Telegraaf roundup, the last time anyone was fined for religious insults, was in 1965. Student magazine Propria Cures then published a so-called 'Jesus issue', which was deemed offensive, although it's unclear why (the Telegraaf article doesn't say). In 1966, famous Dutch literary writer Gerard Reve was sued under the same law, but got off the hook, even though he had represented (the Christian) God as a donkey he had sex with. In other words, we're having a debate about the past here. In 1995, Theo van Gogh was sued for calling Jesus a 'rotten fish from Nazareth'. First, the Dutch courts cleared Van Gogh, then the European Court of Human Rights.
To all Muslims who have told me in the past few weeks that your religion is the only one being insulted and that Van Gogh only targeted you, can you please reread the previous paragraph?