AMSTERDAM — MPs from across the political spectrum have reacted with surprise to the suggestion by Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner that Islamic Law could one day be introduced in the Netherlands.
Labour (PvdA), the largest opposition party, said Donner had gone too far. MP Jeroen Dijsselbloem said his party rejected the acquiescence implicit in Donner’s remarks. The Minister should be expending his energies to oppose the discriminatory concepts in Sharia Law rather than suggesting it could be a part of Dutch democracy, he said.
Right-wing Independent MP Geert Wilders warned he will table a motion of no confidence in Donner if he doesn’t retract his words.
The Christian Democrat Party (CDA), of which Donner is a member, said it was pleased the Minister had clarified he was speaking theoretically. But CDA MPs differ fundamentally with Donner on the issue as they believe any political party that proposes the introduction of Sharia should be banned.
MP Frans Weekers of the Liberal Party (VVD) said his party had no wish to blow the matter out of proportion. The VVD is the CDA’s coalition ally.
Weekers said he understood Donner’s factual conclusion about democracy but he questioned how it added to the integration debate.
Green-left party Groenlinks was less kind. “I don’t think any Muslim has gone to Donner to ask for Sharia Law,” MP Naïma Azough said. “His words were totally hypothetical and actually inane. They don’t add anything to the debate.”