Dutch minister of Justice under fire for "promotion of Sharia law"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Dutch Minister of Justice, Piet Hein Donner is under pressure from his own party, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), for claiming that Islamic Sharia law could come into effect in the Netherlands if a majority of the people supported it. Donner's controversial assertion was made in a book released on Wednesday.

While the majority of the CDA MPs are against the creation of a Muslim political party which stands for Sharia law, Mr Donner has said that it is the essence of democracy that Muslims are able to try to reach their objectives by democratic means, even if the current majority is against those goals. Mr Donner apologised for the rift in parliament that his remarks have caused and clearly stated that he is against Sharia law. However, he reiterated his belief that, in a democracy, people with different opinions are allowed to express their opinions. CDA MPs are set to propose new laws prohibiting any party that stands for principles which conflict with the constitution of the Netherlands.