AMSTERDAM — The parliamentary party leader of the Christian Democrat CDA party, Maxime Verhagen, has called for a new law to outlaw activities that threaten democracy.
Under such a law, Islamic religious leaders, or imams, and directors of mosques in the Netherlands could be held criminally accountable if, for example, the call for gay people to be murdered, Verhagen told newspaper Trouw.
He was responding to his party leader, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who suggested last week that the current laws might have to be strengthened if they were not sufficient to block the dissemination of the controversial book, ‘De weg van de moslim’.
There was a storm of protest last week about the book – translated as the Way of the Muslim – which is available at El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam.
The book advocates violence against women and killing gay people. Gay people should be thrown head first off high buildings, it says. If not killed on hitting the ground, they should then be stoned to death, the book suggests.
Earlier in April another book available at El Tawheed mosque, ‘Fatwas of Muslim Women’, caused uproar when it emerged it backed the idea of female circumcision and beating women who lie to their husbands.
The controversial mosque has been accused of preaching intolerance and the oppression of women. One of the mosque’s clerics infamously described non-Muslims as “firewood for hell“.
Verhagen said the book ‘De weg van the moslim’ would not itself be banned. “But a combative democracy would prosecute anyone who publishes the book with the intention of undermining constitutional rights,” Verhagen said.
He said history had shown that anti-democratic groups abuse freedom to create a regime that will destroy such freedoms.
Verhagen said there were three Muslim groups in the Netherlands. The largest abided by the laws, norms and values of the country.
There is a second group, he said, which wanted to implement laws in the Netherlands once they had an electoral majority. A third more sinister group wanted to destroy everything western.
“We have to be alert to these two groups,” Verhagen said.