Thursday, March 18, 2010
Netherlands' Looming Democracy Crisis
The Netherlands looming democracy crisis centers on an anti-Islam movement. (The source of the pending crisis may have stemmed from an open, tolerant Netherlands' society interacting with a non-tolerant minority (e.g. murder of film-maker Theo Van Gogh), and resulting in a non-tolerant society (e.g. rise of right wing extremism.)
Geert Wilders, leader of the PPV (Freedom party) and producer of the anti-Muslim film, "Fitna", advocates anti-Islam and halting immigration.
In the March 4th, 2010, municipal elections in Almere and The Hague, the PPV received a first and second place. These elections may foreshadow PPV success in the upcoming Netherlands General elections in June, 2010.
Is a racist, discriminatory policy against a minority consistent with democracy? (As of 2007 according to a Netherlands consensus, Muslims account for 5% of the Netherlands' population.)
Does a minority have a right to follow its religious beliefs as long as it does not reasonably harm anyone else?
Do the traditional values of a country take precedence over democracy or the majority voice of the people?
Is it reasonable for a country to expect immigrants to give up their religious beliefs if they are inconsistent with traditional beliefs and values? To what extent should immigrants be expected to integrate into a people's democratic society?
Should free speech in a people's democracy include free speech which promotes hate, as is the case with Wilders' film, Fitna?
Based on the strong opposition to the idea of Sharia Law becoming Netherland's Law and even with the support of the majority of the people, there are limits to democracy. Yet democracy itself does not have limits. (See Sharia Law article below.)
Netherlands' Immigration Laws More Strict
Support for Wilders
Sharia Law Could Become Netherlands' Law