Government-funded hotline in the Netherlands says it’s okay for Muslims to threaten gays with death

This tale comes from today’s Sunday Express as well as Jihad Watch (which took the story from the Express), and it’s a bit confusing. Apparently a government-funded hotline in the Netherlands has said it’s basically okay for callers (or posters) to call for the death of gays if they’re Muslims; after all, that’s what the Qur’an tell them. (Calling for the death of gays is a crime if you’re not a Muslim.)

As the Express reports:

In a shocking move, the taxpayer-funded hotline said it would not pursue a criminal complaint over horrific messages from radical Islamists because the Koran says gay people can be killed.

The disgraceful stance came to light when a member of the public complained about death threats posted to an online forum which called for homosexuals to be “burned, decapitated and slaughtered”.

Dutch MPs today reacted with horror to the revelations, demanding an immediate inquiry into the remarks and calling for the hotline to be stripped of public funding.

This is the disgusting part (my emphasis):

According to Dutch media advisors from the anti-discrimination bureau MiND said that, while homophobic abuse was usually a crime, it was justifiable if you were Muslim due to laws on freedom of religious expression. 

They argued that the Koran says it is acceptable to kill people for being homosexual, and so death threats towards gay people from Muslims could not be discriminatory. 

In a jaw-dropping email explaining why they could not take up the complaint, they wrote: “The remarks must be seen in the context of religious beliefs in Islam, which juridically takes away the insulting character.” 

They concluded that the remarks were made in “the context of a public debate about how to interpret the Quran” and added that “some Muslims understand from the Quran that gays should be killed”.

And they went on: “In the context of religious expression that exists in the Netherlands there is a large degree of freedom of expression. In addition, the expressions are used in the context of the public debate (how to interpret the Koran), which also removes the offending character.”

The death threats had been made in the comments section for an article about a Dutch-Moroccan gay society, which had been posted to an online platform for Holland’s large Moroccan community.

What I’m not sure about in the above is the connection between the hotline (i.e., a telephone service) and the online platform. What is clear is that the Qur’an, as well as the hadith and surah, often characterize homosexuality as a crime (e.g., Qur’an 7:80-844:16. hadith of Abi Dawud 4448, hadith of Sahih Bukhari 72:774). Further, at least in Muslim-majority countries, the majority of believers see homosexuality as immoral. In the Pew survey of Muslims in 2013, for example, in 33 of the 36 countries surveyed, more than 3/4 of Muslims saw homosexuality as immoral, and in all countries more than 2/3 of believers saw it as immoral:


One would hope these views would disappear when Muslims move to the West, but in Britain, a much higher frequency of Muslims than non-Muslims want homosexual behavior criminalized. As the Guardian reported in April:

. . . when asked to what extent [British Muslims] agreed or disagreed that homosexuality should be legal in Britain, 18% said they agreed and 52% said they disagreed, compared with 5% among the public at large who disagreed. Almost half (47%) said they did not agree that it was acceptable for a gay person to become a teacher, compared with 14% of the general population.

. . . The polling was commissioned by Channel 4 for a documentary, What British Muslims Really Think, which is due to be broadcast on Wednesday presented by Phillips.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “On specific issues – families, sexuality, gender, attitudes towards Jews and on questions of violence and terrorism – the centre of gravity of British Muslim opinion is some distance away from the centre of gravity of everyone else’s opinion.

“One in six Muslims say they would like to live more separately, a quarter would like to live under sharia law. It means that as a society we have a group of people who basically do not want to participate in the way that other people [do].

“What we also found is that there is a correspondence between this desire to live separately and sympathy for terrorism. People who want to live separately are about twice as likely to say that they have sympathy for terrorist acts. Anybody, including most people in the Muslim community, would find that extremely worrying.”

But as people like Glenn Greenwald and C. J. W*rl*m*n tell us, this has nothing to do with the tenets of Islam: it’s all about marginalization and anti-Muslim bigotry. How that leads to demonizing gays and oppressing women, however, is beyond me.

Europe is in a bind, caught between liberal sentiments on one side and the popularity of right-wingers like Marine Le Pen (and the entire Polish government) on the other. But what is clear is that there’s a problem of a religious subgroup having regressive values substantially different from that of the non-Muslim citizens of European countries. By ignoring the issue of harmful tenets of Islam, we leave the right-wingers as the only ones to address the problem. As with Trump’s calls for Muslim bans, the right goes to unconscionable extremes, but extrememes that can appeal even to progressives. My liberal Muslim friend Asra Nomani, for instance, announced in The Washington Post that she voted for Donald Trump. (I am in deep pain from that article.)

Many of the tenets of Islam are reprehensible, but because they’re held by “people of color” (even though many Muslims are Caucasian), to criticize them is seen as racism.

h/t: Malgorzata


  1. GBJames
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink


  2. Tom
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Beware of ANYTHING printed solely in the Daily Express or people quoting the Express.

    • Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      So you’re saying this is all made up–lock, stock, and barrel? At any rate, Dutch readers should try to confirm this for us. After all, only right-wing websites will even print stuff like this.

      • Tom
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        No, only if it is not printed or confirmed independently elsewhere.

        • somer
          Posted December 4, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          the problem is there is a culture of silence on the nature of islam – because anything countering the “religion of peace” angle is “racist”. The regressive left don’t read islamic texts, commentaries, history (the history is only sourght other left or explicitly “anti imperialist” sources) Ockams razor is never applied to the religious texts and commentaries – only the most tortuous and selective interpretations will do. Moreover, whilst the bible has plenty of nasty bits its 3,000 pages to the Quran’s around 170. About 60% of the Quran says vile things about non Muslims, unbelievers and apostates and advocates physical consequences in either this or the next world (there is reference to “doom” or hell on almost every page and hell’s tortures are described graphically unlike in the bible)

      • W.Benson
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        The poll data on the perceived morality of homosexuality presented for Muslim nations is not very different from Christian views (Catholic and evangelical) in a number of Latin America countries (see linkk). Violence against gays is also common in Latin America, although it does not get the same attention on US news as other places do, places that the viewing public in the US, mostly Christian, likes to feel superior to, and to whom the news media finds it profitable to pander to.

        • Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          You do see that the questions are different. Your link is to those opposed to gay marriage, not to those who think homosexuality should be criminalized. Those are very different questions and attitudes.

      • Jules
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        I am Dutch and sadly have to confirm that this is true.

        • somer
          Posted December 4, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Can you remember which publication or source/s said it?

      • stephen
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Express Newspapers publications are notorious for making stuff up. Not all of their content is fictitious but corroboration is desirable,as Tom has said.

    • colnago80
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Jihad Watch is even worse then the Daily Express. Both its protagonists, Robert Spencer and Pam Geller are at least borderline round the bend. Here’s an example of Spencer’s views. Before evaluating the charges made, I would want a more reliable source.

      • Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        “Before evaluating the charges made, I would want a more reliable source.”

        In the age of rampant fake news anything borderline possibly true is the gold standard.

      • Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Peter gives at least partial verification below in the comment at

        I don’t see stories from left-wing websites questioned here nearly so often; I wonder why that is?

        • Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          “I don’t see stories from left-wing websites questioned here nearly so often; I wonder why that is?”

          That’s hardly the impression I get here, but assuming for the sake of argument that’s the case, perhaps it’s because most of us recognize the fact that right wing “news” sources are far more likely to lie.

          • Dick Veldkamp
            Posted December 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            At least in the case we are discussing it is my definite impression (after reading the original documents) that reporting was way over the top.

            • Posted December 4, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

              “it is my definite impression (after reading the original documents) that reporting was way over the top.”

              I agree, and I suspect that it’s not being reported by left wing sources because they perceive it as less newsworthy, and that it’s incendiary nature exceeds it’s newsworthiness. Right wing news source report it because it plays on the narrative that I think we can all agree they want to construct.

          • somer
            Posted December 4, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            I see your point – it is problematic to rely on such sources though part of what irks people is that large swathes of the media simply point blank refuse to report on the problem. And even the conservative government tones down the issue presumably because it doesnt want to
            A) upset arms and oil trade or intelligence flow or diplomatic relations
            and equally
            B) upset conservative christians by exposing the dangers for secularism of an Abrahamic religion for fear that could undermine the “establishment” of Anglican church, or threatening Christian faith schools as there is a significant problem with the effectiveness of regulation of Islamic faith schools

            well the Guardian runs a mixture of good stuff and very strong rumballs. Ditto the independent and many more left sites are mostly fruity. Then there is Corbyn and the new momentum movement that openly praises Putin and backs him, hezbollah and hamas diplomatically at every point.
            Also the public funded media, though always better than the private, errs on the side of social harmony in this matter and, whilst generally impartial, the BBC is always giving airing space to the views of islamists. After the killing of Ahmad Shah a BBC Muslim reporter refused to recognise Ahmadis as muslims on air a while ago and I could go on.

            Naturally the reporting about Rotherdam and Bradford mass sex abuse of around 1200 girls by Kashmiri Pakistani rings based around taxi/fast food etc industries there was sensitive. The sexist police basically didn’t care about what too many considered troublesome little slags, and the council was pretty useless (a Muslim member also tried to block elevation of the matter). But there was a cover up – people like Ken Livingston accused other Labour MP who brought it to his attention early on basically of being racist and most of the media completely hushed up on it. It is those circumstances that allowed UKIP to win those seats. Likewise in Australia when chief gang rapist Bilal Skaf was openly exonerated and his actions defended in a sermon by the former Chief Mufti of Australia, Sheik Hilali. Skaf’s gang had targeted white girls in Sydneys Western Suburbs. In the vast majority of the media Australians only heard about the “uncovered meat” quote in his sermons. Nothing else. Nothing for example about how he started by saying white Australians, with their liberal sexual norms will all go to hell, and that sexual crimes are 90% of the time the fault of the woman, who is obligated to only leave the house fully covered or with her mahram. Or that Skaf had been unjustly treated and should not have been jailed, for the women were at fault. Nothing. Perhaps the media should have instead pointed out that hilali shocked a considerable section of his congregation, such that some were willing to record and report his full sermon to the generally reputable and serious if very conservative paper The Australian. It is genuine because it was translated by staff (their name was provided) of the state multicultural station. Hilali has a very distinctive voice. If it wasnt real I doubt it would have been translated by such a person.

    • mrclaw69
      Posted December 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Exhibit-A as to why one should not trust the Express unless backed up by a reputable 2nd source:

      • mrclaw69
        Posted December 5, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        I mean – frankly it’s a brilliant story. Apart, of course, from the fact they can’t decide whether it’s a killer, shapeshifting octopus or a killer, shapeshifting squid; whether it’s in the arctic, or the antarctic, etc….

        • onfiniteimprobabilit
          Posted December 5, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          Ohmigods. This is the old Express, not Weekly World News or the Onion?

          It seems to have gone downhill so far it’s underwater. That squid story is a lulu. What was the guy drinking?

          Just look at the other 5 headline stories at the top of the page:
          *EU collapse: Blow for Brussels as eastern European countries ‘begin siding with Russia’
          *What REALLY sent it down: Shock report reveals 9/11 tower DID NOT collapse because of fire
          *Gorgeous model exposes ALL in sheer underwear on the catwalk [no she didn’t, I’m so disappointed]
          *Mars shock: Is this a woman’s body spotted on red planet?
          *Donald Trump may DIE in office: Top doctor warns president ‘may suffer heart attack’ [yeah well, so might we all]

          Aside from #1, which may be a real story (though it sounds like sensationalism), the rest are just nonsense.


  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    This is what happens when you think that religion gets a pass. When you start accepting that it’s okay for people to be bigots because of religion! It’s not about Freedom of Religion – it’s about imposing values that are anti-liberal. Just as Jews or any other religious sect shouldn’t be allowed to force women to move so they don’t have to sit next to them on planes, Muslims cannot be allowed to threaten other people. They also call for the death of unbelievers — is Europe going to allow all of their population to be threatened in the name of religion?

    • Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      “They also call for the death of unbelievers — is Europe going to allow all of their population to be threatened in the name of religion?”

      Short answer: Yes, it is.

      • nicky
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, sadly so. If the ‘left’ does not change it’s stance quickly and radically, tithe Netherlands will have a prime minister Wilders in the near future.
        That would be a shame, as the ‘Seven Provinces’, the Dutch republic, had been leading in the enlightenment ideals, indeed it inspired several of the philosophers of the Enlightenment.

        • Posted December 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          I wouldn’t care if the Dutch elect Mr. Wilders, but I was greatly saddened by the April vote against Ukraine. Then, I said that Europe is dead.

  4. Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    In a similar vein, a UK judge has criticised a father for teaching his son about evolution. The mother wants to keep the kid in ignorance.

    • Geoff Toscano
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Oh boy, that’s scary. The UK can be as dumb as any without even trying.

    • somer
      Posted December 5, 2016 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      Muslims in the USA are on average considerably more moderate than in Europe UK and elsewhere
      There is currently a govt review of the role of sharia courts in the UK – “the Home Office review panel contains Islamic theologians to give advice, and the Select Committee hearings, where most of the people questioned, apart from a brave few, were in favour of some form of accommodation with sharia.”
      amongst many other sites.

  5. Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Here are the numbers for US religion by ethnicity. Rather surprisingly, Muslims come out as the second-most ethnically diverse. Ca. 30% each for blacks, white and Asians. Here:
    The latest big report on UK Muslims’ social and political attitudes is here, using Focus Group techniques. The good news is how sceptical the average Muslim is of ‘community leaders’: there’s bad news, a pervading conspiracy theory mind-set. Fascinating numbers, though.

  6. Draken
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    That hotline may actually be right. It’s legal to publish those religious texts condoning or calling for the massacre of homosexuals, so why wouldn’t it be legal to express that thought online? Or if not in your own words, would it be legal to cite the Quran literally? Or post a scan of it?

    The logical thing to do if you want to prevent this sentiment from being publicised is to have said passages censored from those holy books. But everybody knows how well that would work out.

    • Dick Veldkamp
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Good point.

      However I think the hotline should take (takes?) a more practical view: regardless of legal status, is the content harmful, or does it constitute hate speech? In that case we ask for removal.

      If the webmaster in question refuses to do so, the case may be referred to the legal system. But as you say, it may be difficult to secure a conviction.

      • Pierre Masson
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Parts of the Qu’ran are hate speech – they get a pass because they are religious hate speech. This will remain a major problem until religious people admit that this is the case. Religious views cannot supersede basic human rights or the law. Gay people and/or atheists might come to the conclusion that as they are being threatened with death, they should take the initiative in defending themselves against such threaths. If you threaten someone, you shouldn’t be surprised if that person defends himself or herself.

  7. Peter
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    MiND is the Dutch place to report discrimination on the internet.
    ‘MiND let it be known in a statement Thursday afternoon that – after review – there is an ‘error of assessment’ of some expressions. ” Some expressions are a seditious nature and inciting violence. In these cases, the context is not important.’
    (mostly Google translate of “MiND laat in een verklaring donderdagmiddag weten dat er – na nieuw onderzoek – sprake is van een ‘onjuiste beoordeling’ van enkele uitingen. “Er is in enkele uitingen sprake van een opruiend karakter en het oproepen tot geweld. In deze gevallen is de context niet van belang.”)
    Use Google translate on followin g site for info: about the position of the Dutch Parliament and further background.

  8. Dick Veldkamp
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Since I happen to live in the Netherlands, I did some checking.

    MiND is a government funded agency where people can report any case of discrimination on the internet. If a case is reported, MiND investigates; after that it can ask relevant parties to remove the discriminatory content, and/or refer the matter to the police.

    Unfortunately (?), neither the hate speech nor MinD’s reaction is online any more, as far as I can tell.

    However MiND has since retracted its answer, and now states (I paraphrase): “We made a grave error of judgment. After re-investigating we find that this is a matter of hate speech, regardless of context.”

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Well that’s at least reassuring.

    • Peter
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      The Post Online has the originals, 30 November 2016

      • Dick Veldkamp
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Thanks, I now read the original, and on careful reading I do not think it is that jaw-dropping at all, but mostly clumsy.

        MiND starts by concluding that the content is “offensive and insulting”. Then they continue [summarised]: “The [text] must be seen in the context of Islam, which IN A LEGAL SENSE takes away the insulting character. In a religious context there is considerable freedom of expression in the Netherlands. Therefore we will not file a complaint; however if you disagree by all means file a complaint yourself.”

        So what they are saying is “Yes, this is wrong, however we think that legally we cannot do anything.” So the second part is not an opinion about the offending statement itself, but rather about the possibility of securing a conviction for hate speech in this case.

        However I can imagine that the text is open to some misinterpretation.

        And what I do not understand why MiND did not simply ask for the content to be removed, something they can do without getting caught up in legal difficulties.

        Other Dutch people might confirm my reading (or not).

        • Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          “Other Dutch people might confirm my reading (or not).”

          Yes I’d like to hear from more. Certainly Jihad Watch is going to give it the least charitable interpretation possible.

        • Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Is it really true that the law in the Netherlands gives religious people a greater right to free expression than non-religious people?

          • Dick Veldkamp
            Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

            My impression is this (I have not reviewed jurisprudence or anything): I think the laws are good enough on paper, but in practice some wrong behaviour is tolerated if you say it is for religious reasons.

            We have had some cases of religious schools firing gay teachers, and civil servants who do not want to perform SSM ceremonies are generally not disciplined.

            Also you can refuse vaccination on religious grounds, and I would not put money on evolution being taught in the Bible Belt (although it should be according to the law).

            In summary, I think that at times the law is bent somewhat to accommodate religious people.

            Again, other Dutch might want to weigh in.

            • Peter
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

              i would read the original MiND statement as condemning what was said but saying the likelihood of securing a conviction in court was doubtful.
              As to teaching evoluion, it is part of the curriculum, but it is not forbidden that teachers in the very orthodox schools teach creationism additionally.

        • Jules
          Posted December 4, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          Here is a full transliteration:

          Dear notificator,

          Thanks again for your notification.
          MIND Netherlands checks expressions on the internet, in criminal law described as group insult of people, based on their race, religion, their hetero- or homosexual orientation, or on their physical or psychological handicap. We have tested the statements that were mentioned by you against the criminal law (article 137c to 137e) and weighed the available jurisprudence.

          MIND Netherlands has checked the statements you reported and comes to the following conclusion:
          MIND concludes that the relevant statements can be experienced as impolite, insulting and/or offensive.
          These statements should however be viewed in the context of the religious conviction namely Islam, which removes the insulting character in a legal sense in most cases. In the context of religious conviction there exists a great degree of freedom of speech.
          Some muslims think that they should understand the Quran as saying that gays should be killed.

          Because of aforementioned reasons it is our opinion that the criminality in the sense of the mentioned articles does not apply and reporting this as a crime will for that reason not lead to a prosecution. We will not report this for that reason.

          We can imagine that our conclusion would be unsatisfactory for you, but we have reviewed the statements to the best of our knowledge, which does not rule out the possibility that our conclusion could be incorrect in a legal sense.

          Of course you are free, if you do not agree with our standpoint, to report this to the police.

          We hereby hope to have informed you sufficiently. May you have additional questions in response to this email, do not hesitate to contact us.

          • somer
            Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            In a working multicultural society you have to accept that there is one law and a dominant culture for the society to work and that some cultural things are not oK

        • durakje
          Posted December 5, 2016 at 4:14 am | Permalink

          Here’s a translation of the entire Volkskrant article. PCC(E), if you feel this is too long etc., i’ll understand if you don’t approve it.

          MiND: Using belief to justify hate speech against homosexuals is not acceptable

          MiND has apologized for suggesting that hate speech against homosexuals is permissible as long as it’s done in the name of a religion. “An error in judgment,” said director Titus Visser.

          “Hate speech is hate speech and the law on that is clear,” said Visser about the complaint MiND received on Wednesday. The complainant, whose identity is unknown, indicated a number of comments under a news story on the website that announced the establishment of an organization for LGBT men and women in Morocco.

          Reactions to the article were both positive and negative. Messages such as “According to Islam, they should be killed” and “Cut their heads off, that’s what they deserve” appeared on Facebook. MiND saw no reason to take action against these postings.

          According to the hotline, these opinions “should be viewed in the context of the Islamic faith; in legal terms, this can mitigate the insulting character of the statements in many cases.” The hotline also told the complainant that there is “a large degree of freedom of expression” in the Netherlands in the context of religious belief.

          The complainant concluded that “Apparently, calls for violence are OK as long as they’re made by Muslims.” He contacted the news and opinion website The Post Online, which made it into an article. As a result, MiND was inundated by requests for comment and two conservative MPs demanded clarification from the Minister of Security and Justice (Van der Steur) and the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment.

          Van der Steur called the hotline’s statement “unacceptable,” but given its apology saw no reason to immediately withdraw its funding. MiND faces the threat of declining support in the coming years, even though a group of MPs, under the leadership of a Labor MP, has leapt into the breach — as did COC Nederland [the country’s largest LGBT organization], albeit before the hotline made its mistake.

          One of the three employees who in total evaluate 600 reports of Internet discrimination per year “had a bad day,” said Visser. While he said that he did not want to make excuses for the occurrence, he said that the law “covering these sorts of statements” is complex. “You have to balance freedom of expression with freedom of religion, which can be quite complicated. But we’ve never had an evaluation go as badly amiss as this one.”

          Tilburg University Arabist Jan Jaap de Ruiter finds the mistake inexplicable. “I find it bizarre that they could get it so wrong, even given that it’s such a sensitive subject as homosexuality in Islam. I admit that few people in the Islamic world want to hear about homosexuals. But that’s not true for everyone; just look at that organization in Morocco. It seems likely that those are not Muslims.”

          MiND has requested that Facebook remove the comments and has apologized to the complainant. Visser: “He accepted the apology and told us that it wasn’t his intention to crucify us.”

    • Draken
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      I just discovered that MInD (Meldpunt Internet Discriminatie) is the successor of MDI (Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet- I know, The People’s Liberation Front of Judea). I remember the MDI staff as being thicker than maple syrup on a cold Canadian morning. One can only hope MInD treats complaints more professionally.

  9. Peter
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    ‘Reporting site internet discrimination (says): dissaminating hatred against homos due to faith is actually not allowed’

    Article from Thursday 1 december major newspaper.Google Translate yields tolerable but not vey good translations.

  10. ascanius
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Why are people offended?

    Why all this bowing to political correctness? I thought SJWs were the target here.

    If Muslims and fundie-Christians want to fill the airwaves with “Death to homos!” Why should we care?

    Free speech after all. Aren’t LGBTs strong enough to take it?

    Why try to de-platform these anti-gay religious folks?

    • Malgorzata
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Maybe people are not so much offended as afraid. When authorities seems to accept that some cathegories of people may be killed, there are always plenty of volunteers. For a teenager who is brought up on hatred and who thinks that it’s OK to kill (after all, nobody in authority said otherwise) it’s easy to take his mother’s knife and plunge it into the stomach of the first gay he meets on the street

      • ascanius
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        My comment was sarcastic.

        The prevailing point of view here for quite a while has been an unrelenting attack against “SJWs” and their safe-spaces–and an abhorrence of limitations of free speech.

        • Malgorzata
          Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          Sorry! I completely missed the sarcasm.

        • Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          For me the most salient issue of the Dutch case is equal treatment under the law. It seems wrong that Muslims are exempt from the laws that apply to others. This is a separate issue from whether that law should exist in the first place.

          I think you may be misunderstanding the position of free speech supporters. For most it is not a tribal hatred of SJWs (though for a few it degenerates into that). Free speech advocates sincerely believe that speech is more important to society than preventing offense and hurt feelings. They believe censoring offensive opinion causes more social ills than it solves. Battles for free speech have gone on for centuries, it started long before SJWs even existed.

        • somer
          Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          Re satire of criticism of SJWs – Calls to kill people and direct physical violence are clearly not the usual area of free speech – and themselves shut down free speech

    • Jules
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      People aren’t offended by the original remarks. They are offended by the statement from the government agency that people of certain religions are allowed to call for death to gays *because* they are members of a religion that has such calls in its holy books.

    • eric
      Posted December 5, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I’m a free speech advocate and I’m offended that the Dutch law would apparently give religious believers the legal right to say things non-believers would be criminally penalized for. That’s unfair and biased.

      Now I take it you’re making the point that both groups should be legally allowed to say hateful things about gays. Being a US-style-free-speech advocate, I tend to agree. However, if the Dutch have more stringent speech restrictions than the US does, it would IMO still be a step in the right direction if they at least applied those legal restrictions fairly and equally to everyone.

  11. Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink


    • Diane G.
      Posted December 5, 2016 at 2:12 am | Permalink


  12. rickflick
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I keep remembering Maajid Nawaz observation that there are Muslims, Islamists, and jihadists. We would hope that assimilation over time would decrease the Islamists and jihadists, and that the remaining would fully accept secular society and enlightenment values. In the mean time, pressure must be exerted to keep things moving in the right direction.

    • Draken
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      But things aren’t moving in the right direction, quite the contrary.

      A short while ago, Turkey was a secular holiday country well on their way to becoming member of the EU. Now, they’re quickly turning into a Sunni copy of Iran.

      The influx of mostly muslim migrants in combination with a clear polarisation of muslim organisations, plus the recent acts of terrorism, are rapidly destabilising the Union- something not even the KGB could achieve in 40 years of Cold War.

      I like Maajid Nawaz but it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

  13. Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  14. Filippo
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Where’s the gin?

  15. Damien McLeod
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Does any one here like this photo of Islamist Jihadists hanging innocent people? Many of the kind of people who voted for Donald Trump, like the Neo-Nazi’s, the KKKer’s, the White Supreamicists, and other Hater’s, want him to import this kind of activity to America, starting with hanging Hillary Clinton and working down to anyone they don’t like. Mr. Trump has indicated he might not be adverse to this idea.
    Please folks, Don’t Let Hatred Rule America! Get up and fight Donald Trump and his fellow haters. America Is In Crisis! Believe It!

    The photo I mentioned above is over at Jihad Watch

    • Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I think you exaggerate. Though Trump originally called for Clinton to be thrown in jail, he now says he wishes the Clintons no harm. And really, do you think that there are many people who want Hillary Clinton to be literally HANGED!

      • Damien McLeod
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for replying, I respect you opinion although I disagree with it. The type of people Mr. Trump is appointing to his cabinet and his deep respect for and on going schmoozing of the KKK, Neo-Nazi’s and White Supremacist’s along with his own comments during the election cycle indicate to me you’re probably wrong. We’ll just have to wait and see I guess. Again thanks for your opinion.

      • ToddP
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        I sometimes venture onto right wing and ex-military forums just to get a sense of what the opposing fringe talks about and, while there may not be “many” who call for Clinton’s death, there have been several times I’ve read comments where they openly advocate for hanging Hillary (and establishment Dems) in the streets. And there is not much push back, if any, from the other commenters. Yes, these are fringe elements, but the far-right’s intense hatred of “liberals” is not an uncommon sentiment at all. It’s been stoked by AM talk radio for decades and now feeds off internet alt-right “news” sites.

        We often cite the Pew polls that indicate while a majority of Muslims in some countries are not Jihadists/Islamists, there is widespread overlapping implicit support among average Muslims for many of the darker tenets of Islam. I think it’s fair to say that perhaps there are similar breakdowns in right-wing attitudes. The vast majority might not be radicalized militia types, but if Trump’s administration were to suddenly start rounding up Muslims and Mexicans under the pretense of “homeland security”, there is a not-insignificant number of right-wingers who would likely stand idly by without objection.

        Far-right movements are on the rise globally. This country is increasingly polarized, and likely to remain so under Trump.

        This is something I think Nick Cohen was getting at during his conversation with Gad Saad. And Sam Harris touched on these topics in his latest podcast with James Kirchick.

        • Cindy
          Posted December 5, 2016 at 6:37 am | Permalink

          The fringe elements on both sides are scary. I believe that there was even a #rapeMelania hashtag and protest signs with “rapeMelania” hortly after Trump was declared the winner..

          I used to read a far right forum here in Canada and the visceral hatred that RWNJs there had for libs was quite scary. I alaways thought that liberals were more tolerant but many are just as vile, hence the “rapeMelania” meme. Though I should amend that to “authoritarian leftists”, who are no better than authoritarian RWNJs…these are the people who will not shy from violence and hate given the opportunity.

  16. Dave
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    “…the Neo-Nazi’s, the KKKer’s, the White Supreamicists,”

    Put all these together and they still amount to nothing more than a tiny, insignificant lunatic fringe.

    America is only in crisis so long as a large segment of the population refuses to accept the result of a free, fair and democratic election. This incessant whining about Trump’s victory almost makes me wish I were an American, so I could have had the satisfaction of voting for him.

    Donald Trump is the legitimate President-elect of the United States of America. Believe it!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      That goes both ways though – what do you think would have happened if Trump had lost? He had already said the system was “corrupt” so do you really think his voters would have accepted a Clinton win?

      • Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        “He had already said the system was “corrupt” so do you really think his voters would have accepted a Clinton win?”

        Not only would Trump supporters have taken to the street, they likely would have done so with his encouragement, and with guns strapped to their hips.

        • Dave
          Posted December 4, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          Maybe, maybe not. It’s all speculative, so we’ll never know – unless the scenario you describe occurs in four years’ time.

          My speculation, which is as valid as yours, is that the overwhelming majority of Trump’s voters would have accepted a Clinton victory. None but a tiny percentage would have taken to the streets, and an even tinier number would have taken up arms.

          • Posted December 4, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

            “None but a tiny percentage would have taken to the streets, and an even tinier number would have taken up arms.”

            I think first of all that given the signals Trump was sending it’s unreasonable to suggest that the numbers of people marching in the streets would be less than the tiny numbers of the left marching in the streets. Secondly I wasn’t suggesting people would be taking up arms (though some might), I was simply pointing out that based the nature of Trump supporters they are far more likely to be armed, and when protests turned violent it would be more problematic for police when dealing with them.

            • Posted December 4, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

              It is useless to blame Trump supporters for what they might have done in an alternative outcome that never came. The fact is that I never heard of protests after Obama’s victory, and I am now hearing of protests after Trump’s victory.

              I am also troubled by respectable people who are now discussing how to sabotage Trump and his appointees from doing their jobs. The same people are also saying that Obama wanted very much to help the working class but the Republicans didn’t let him to, and do not even see the irony. (I do not know what measures Obama has contemplated – maybe there were some, but the attitude I have seen in him towards the working class is disdain.)

              • GBJames
                Posted December 4, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

                “The fact is that I never heard of protests after Obama’s victory”

                You weren’t paying attention.

              • Posted December 4, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

                I doubt that these protests were specifically against Obama’s election.
                The first photo contains a screen caption mentioning Nathan Paape, a teen who committed a crime in 2012. The 3rd and 4th photos contain placards condemning Obamacare, so these are most likely protests well after Pres. Obama took office. The second photo cannot be dated, so I see no need to believe that it was indeed from what the site claims it is.

              • Posted December 4, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

                I’ve just seen that a commenter on the site traced the photos more successfully than me:

                “the first pic is from Pastor Terry Jones burning 2 effigies of Obama & Clinton , NOT a mass protest, maybe 20 people on Church property. 2012 (Not 2008)
                2nd pic was a homemade sign on someones property (Not a mass protest) – again..2012
                The other 3 pics are SINGLE people in a tea party rally holding a homemade sign, NOT a rally against Obama being elected President in 2008, as these are from 2012 and 2013…”

              • Posted December 4, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

                “I am also troubled by respectable people who are now discussing how to sabotage Trump and his appointees from doing their jobs.”

                Why given Trumps stated positions regarding global warming, muslim deportations/registries, the wall, Obamacare, scotus, and given the extremists he nominating for cabinet positions, why should we do anything but attempting to sabotage him? You’re making a false equivalency between those things, and the paranoid, and political reasons (he’s a muslim who wants to take your guns) the republican party obstructed Obama, and the legitimate reasons democrats want to obstruct Trump.

              • GBJames
                Posted December 4, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

                Seriously MaryM? We’ve just spent 8 years of rampant obstructionism, of having the President called a Muslim, born in Kenya, mocked with racist Facebook memes, and on and on and on.

                But you don’t think an of that qualifies as protesting Obama’s election. I honestly don’t know what to say to you.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted December 4, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            I hate to do anything as dramatic as tell you you’re full of it, Dave.

            But you’re full of it, Dave.

            Not all speculation is equal; there’s a difference between the type of well-posed counterfactual that Diana and Mike have raised and the nonsense you’re peddling.

            We don’t need rank speculation to say what Trump would’ve done had he lost; he told us. He claimed the system was rigged against him and stated he would not abide by the election’s result if he lost. Even now, he is spouting absolute bullshit about 3 million illegal Mexican immigrants voting in California, to explain away his loss of the popular vote and claim a mandate.

            Trump and his rabble would not have gone gentle into a good election night.

            • Carl
              Posted December 4, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

              As Spinoza pointed out, prophets are not marked by their wisdom or knowledge, but by by their imaginations.

              A plague on both your houses.

              Ken, surely you see the irony in this statement:

              We don’t need rank speculation to say what Trump would’ve done had he lost; he told us.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted December 4, 2016 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

                Sure I do, Carl. The irony comes in trusting that Trump would’ve done anything he said he’d do, inasmuch as he hasn’t issued a realistic promise, or uttered a true material statement, about anything yet.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Imagine that Trump had won the popular vote by 2.5 million votes, but lost the electoral college.

        Now imagine that some country with an autocratic feminist leader had hacked into the emails of the RNC and Trump campaign and had published on the eve of the election everything there that was damaging to Trump.

        Think Trump and his hooligans would’ve taken that sitting down?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted December 4, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink


    • GBJames
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      “Put all these together and they still amount to nothing more than a tiny, insignificant lunatic fringe.”

      I don’t understand why people keep saying things like this. It is as if they don’t understand that it is possible for serious bigotry can’t find its way into government in a “free, fair and democratic election”.

      These are not mutually exclusive. Trump may be the legitimate President-elect but that in no way means that white supremacy is limited to an insignificant fringe. They are significant enough to have elected the man they most wanted to lead them.

      • Carl
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        I agree with Dave, except that I am an American and was pleased not to vote for Trump.

        I find it hard to believe the Ku Klux Klowns and their ilk present a significant danger. I know several people who did vote for Trump, and they (and their guns) will be your ally if the nightmares of your overactive imagination ever comes to pass.

        Meanwhile quit crying wolf. Stop your argument by stigmatization. You only create noise that will hide or delay notice of something that is truly worthy of attention.

        • GBJames
          Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          I’ll “cry wolf” when I feel it appropriate, thank you. I think there are wolves taking control of our government and don’t really need your advice as to what I should say about it.

          • Carl
            Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

            Of course. Expressing your righteous indignation makes you feel good. All the while damaging the cause you believe you are supporting.

            • GBJames
              Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

              Out of respect for Da Roolz I will refrain from further interaction with you.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted December 4, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          Far be it from me, Carl, to exaggerate the size or importance of the “alt-right” (which is where the Klansmen and Birchers and white nationalists of yore have migrated). Indeed, if the the Republican party and movement conservatism ever summons the stones to do what it takes to purge them from their ranks, I will be happy never to think or speak of them again.

          But I wouldn’t hold my breath. The GOP and movement conservatives have been quietly nurturing this odious element for decades. For the last eight years, they have been patting them on the head encouragingly, as a means of stifling Obama. And in this campaign, they played to them overtly as an important constituency in their coalition.

          (While Trump was the ringleader in this regard, the pandering was not limited to him. You can count on one hand the Republicans standing for election in deep red states who had the gonads to take on Trump, or the alt-right, and those that did waffled right back to him every time Trump rose again in the polls. The Republican establishment is petrified that, with this nation’s shifting demographics, it won’t be able to win another election without them.)

          It may be that the alt-right isn’t that large numerically; nobody really knows. Perhaps it numbers only in the tens of thousands. But if that’s the case, then every last one of them attended a Trump rally. And then chased after him to rally after rally around the country, filling up venue after venue, like Deadheads on the road with Jerry and the boys.

          If you watched those rallies — and I did, more than what was healthy for me, to where my friends started to worry — then you looked into the face of bigotry and misogyny and xenophobia in 21st century America. And the worst of the alt-right element often didn’t make it inside the rallies. Come January 18th, this element’s primary propagandist will be the the loudest voice whispering in the ear of the man in the Oval Office.

          Let us not gainsay the role that this element played in our recent election. They were the most vociferous and energized of Trump’s supporters. Whatever their numbers, they were certainly enough to provide his ultra-thin margin of victory in key swing states.

          But let us hope that a quorum of conscientious conservatives will have the courage to come forward to renounce them sincerely. And, while we’re hoping, let us all hope that this element’s influence over the dangerous demagogue inhabiting the White House will not be great.

          Until then, I’ll be keeping an eye out for wolves.

          • Carl
            Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

            You are preaching to the quire when it comes to the feckless, cowardly Republicans and conservatives who did not stand up against Trump. I have a personal honor roll of many who did, but it lacks politicians – unsurprising as they are politicians.

            But I’m unconvinced the alt-right, as you call them, deserves the amount of worry and angst people are spending on them. Who knows what Trump will do. Catering to white nationalists is way down on the list of things I worry about. Things like this are:

            1) Glaring ignorance about the constitution and how government works.

            2) Publicly announcing how lightly he takes our NATO commitments.

            3) Overconfidence about how smart he is as he blunders into foreign policy minefields already (Taiwan, nuclear proliferation).

            4) Encouraging foreign powers to steal American digital information, and approving of Wiki-leaks, which looks more and more like a Russian intelligence organ.

            5) Failure to take an accurate measure of Putin and Russia.

            5) Rumblings about protectionist policies.

            6) I also worry he might be able to come up with Justices who lack the integrity to properly do their jobs, though I think this is more easily said than done.

            7) Building a southern border wall and deporting 11 million people. (not to be confused with intelligently making the borders more secure and removing serious criminals who are here illegally).

            8) Trump is thin skinned, vindictive, and lacks self control.

            77) People dressed in bed sheets and pointy hats like him.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 6:19 am | Permalink

              I agree with many of your priorities, Carl — though I’m not sure I want to sing in your “quire.” 🙂

              I’m not concerned with the alt-righters themselves; they’re clowns. I’m concerned with the extent to which my fellow citizens are willing to abide such abhorrent views on the part of the leader of the free world, and with the extent these views have creeped into the political mainstream — in the US in particular and in the West more generally.

            • Cindy
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

              The “alt right” is also used as a catch all slur to smear anyone who is remotely critical of SJWs or HRC.

              So, to anyone here who prefers Bernie over HRC, you are a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, white supremacist alt-righter!

              • Posted December 5, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

                “The “alt right” is also used as a catch all slur to smear anyone who is remotely critical of SJWs or HRC.”

                While that is sometimes the case, as is sometimes the case with racist, bigot, or sexist what I see FAR more often is actual racists, bigots, and sexists claiming that people using those terms are just trying to demonize them. It’s THAT propaganda that is spreading the “racist sexist, and bigot are now nothing more than buzzwords” meme to a far greater degree than those who are actually using the terms to demonize.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted December 5, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

                “Alt-right” is the euphemistic rubric they’ve chosen for themselves, in lieu of neo-nazi, klansman, and white supremecist.

                Hell, our PEOTUS’s “chief strategist and senior counselor” has proudly proclaimed that he made Breitbart “the platform for the alt-Right.”

                If “alt-right” has become a slur, it’s only because of the disreputable deplorables who inhabit it.

              • Cindy
                Posted December 5, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

                Right. So I guess that makes me a member of the KKK and an alt righter because I prefer Bernie over HRC, because it isn’t used as a slur at all!

    • Filippo
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Do you have an opinion about the Electoral College?

    • nicky
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      There was absolutely nothing fair in those stolen elections: gerrymandering, voter ‘suppression’, Crosscheck, ‘discarded ‘provisional’ votes, as illustrated by the huge discrepancy betweem the raw exit polls and the official count in swing states were a Rep was in charge of the count. The only swing state were the raw exit polls and the final count concurred (Virginia) a Dem was in charge.
      The US has become a banana republic:
      Donald Trump is obviously a *highly illegitimate* President-elect of the USA.

      • Posted December 4, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        According to a source I’ve just looked, Virginia also showed a difference.

        Exit poll: Clinton 50.9%, Trump 43.2%.
        Final count as of Nov. 16: Clinton 49.75%, Trump 44.96%.

        Maybe voter suppression had a role, though I, living in a country where anyone over age 14 is obliged to carry an ID card, cannot understand the fuss over such documents in the USA. However, I do not think that “the US has become a banana republic: Donald Trump is obviously a *highly illegitimate* President-elect of the USA.”

        I see in the USA the same as in Brexit: voters told by opinion makers that they are bad people if they vote for X do not react as presumed, by voting for Y, but by telling pollsters that they will vote/have voted for Y while still voting for X.

        • Diane G.
          Posted December 5, 2016 at 2:41 am | Permalink

          Maya, are your ID cards government issued?

          There’s no such thing here. And nearly every avenue to procure one involves money. There are fees involved in getting driver’s licenses, and other photo ID’s usually involve more inconvenience. The few times I’ve had to present a copy of my birth certificate, it was a real PITA. I had to apply to the state I was born in (that was 7 states ago), and every local clerk’s office charges fees, plus it usually takes forever, even in this digital age. God forbid I was poor.

          • Posted December 5, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

            They are issued by government, but citizens are charged, regardless of their income.

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 11:29 pm | Permalink


        • Diane G.
          Posted December 5, 2016 at 2:57 am | Permalink

          Decided I had more to say…

          You’re Bulgarian, right? A quick look at Wikipedia tells me Bulgaria is less populous than New York City. Within the US, of course, there are 50 different state jurisdictions that can vary widely in the requirements for photo IDs. Most of the folks who have problems getting photo IDs are not likely to be college students (where they are issued pro forma). Some don’t drive or have had their licenses suspended, or simply expire. (Expired photo ID’s don’t count!)

          The point is, as always, those who can least afford them have to jump through far more hoops than those who pick them up as a matter of course–going to college, keeping their driver’s licenses current, etc. And there’s always a fee (or fees) and usually a fair amount of time spent waiting in lines and then waiting for the ID to arrive. It’s hard enough to get folks to the polls without demanding that they plan enough time in advance, put out cash, then walk through the sometimes byzantine steps it takes to get a government issued photo ID. Plus, if you ask me, it seems un-American.

          • Posted December 5, 2016 at 3:17 am | Permalink

            “The point is, as always, those who can least afford them have to jump through far more hoops than those who pick them up as a matter of course”

            This can be even more problematic than you indicate. I moved to Alabama in 2006, and then in 2008 my drivers licence expired. In order to get a new one here I needed a birth certificate from Massachusetts because I didn’t have a valid ID. In order to get a copy of my birth certificate by mail I needed a photocopy of a valid ID. At that point, caught in a catch 22, I was fortunate enough to have a living mother in Mass who was able to get a copy for me and send it. I have no idea how I would have gotten it otherwise.

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 3:25 am | Permalink


          • Ken Kukec
            Posted December 5, 2016 at 5:56 am | Permalink

            Plus, voter ID laws have been designed specifically to suppress the vote of minorities.

            In North Carolina, for example, the state legislature tailored its ID requirements to a study that showed what kind of identification documentation black voters were least likely to possess.

            I doubt that Maya is familiar with the century-long history in this nation, after the US constitution was amended to give black folk the right to vote, that the vote was nonetheless denied them in the former slave-holding states through the use of poll taxes and literacy tests and violent intimidation.

          • Malgorzata
            Posted December 5, 2016 at 6:08 am | Permalink

            Just a short video about the problem of ID for minorities:
            How white liberals view black voters

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 6:26 am | Permalink

              Well, that was certainly “fair and balanced.’

              Those types of tendentious man-on-the-street interviews are useless for gauging anything.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted December 5, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink

                It’s the same nonsense O’Reilly’s lickspittle Jesse Watters pulls, though he manages to toss in gratuitous insults to Asians while doing so.

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

              It’s not exactly urban New Yorkers the R’s are targeting.

              (Though I’m sure there are underprivileged New Yorkers of all races who have problems getting photo IDs for some of the reasons mentioned above, the R’s threw in the towel in NY long ago.)

          • Posted December 5, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            “Plus, if you ask me, it seems un-American.”

            It is often hard to grasp the attitudes of a different culture, but I had already began to suspect that this is the crux of the matter!

            • Carl
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

              If you want to see how bad voter suppression was not that long ago in the U.S. the film Mississippi Burning is hard to beat. We have moved far, far beyond that.

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 6, 2016 at 12:51 am | Permalink

                But we can always slide back.

                Eternal vigilance.

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 11:32 pm | Permalink


              Well, at least it’s a sentiment shared with both ends of the political spectrum. (We each just think it means different things, though.)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      We’ll try to get by without you, Dave.

    • Damien McLeod
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Not for President Donald Trump, He has expressed his admiration for Neo-Nazi,KKK, an White Supremacist views over and over. Hatred, torture, brutality, and severe punishment are part of his agenda for those who offend him. He has openly an frequently espoused Misogyny, Racism, and Xenophobia. Then there is the team of psychotic sociopaths he has appointed to his cabinet.
      No Donnie is just getting started.

      • Damien McLeod
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Reply to self, the reply I made above was to Dave, I don’t know how it end up in the wrong spot.

        • Diane G.
          Posted December 5, 2016 at 3:03 am | Permalink

          Scrolling upward, I think you are in the right spot, though it’s hard to keep track of which indentation follows what post in a long, nested-replies thread.

          This always irks me, too. I suggest that whenever we’re replying to a post well above where our answer will appear, we always start out with a brief quote from the first line of the post in question. That way there would be no doubt. (Of course, I seldom remember to do this myself!)

  17. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Whoa, let’s slow down a moment here.

    The messages at issue here undoubtedly constitute “hate speech.” But does that justify criminalizing them?

    I can’t speak to Dutch law, but in the US, under the Constitution’s First Amendment, it would not. Such speech can be made a crime only if it is likely to “incite or produce imminent lawless action.” See Brandenburg v. Ohio. In Brandenburg, the US Supreme Court struck down the criminal conviction of a Klansman who had advocated violence and “revengence” against “niggers and Jews.”

    That speech was completely repugnant — and the speech at issue here is equally repugnant.* But lacking in Brandenburg, and apparently lacking here (at least the reports give no indication of it), is any evidence that the speech at issue was likely to produce or incite imminent lawlessness (or that it was directed as a threat at a specific individual).

    Under our free-speech regime, in the absence of such evidence, we do not criminalize speech. Instead, we count on good speech — speech, in this instance, advocating for the rights of gay people and against violence toward them — to counteract the repugnant speech. It is only where lawlessness is likely to result before good speech can intervene that we allow the general advocacy of illegal conduct to be made criminal. Where there is sufficient opportunity for good speech to intervene, we trust our citizens to sort the good from the bad and to act accordingly.

    Is there some reason why the Dutch shouldn’t opt for the same balance?
    *It should not matter at all, of course, that the speech here was religiously motivated. Under the First Amendment there is no free-exercise-of-religion exemption for inciting imminent illegal conduct. But religious speech is entitled to no lesser protection, either.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, I think it may have been over-reported.

      The statements were made, apparently, in the context of a debate about what the Koran says. A commenter could say the same thing here, or worse. (And people have done. I’m sure there are some pretty nasty injunctions in the Bible that people have quoted here).

      I think, unless the offending comments were directed at a specific person, or urged action now, there’s nothing to prosecute.


      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Re those nasty injunctions in the bible, Leviticus 20:13 is clear:

        If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

        For that matter, the bible pretty much proscribes everything of a sexual nature except for a quick hump in the missionary position for procreative purposes — oh, and rape; the bible is cool with rape, especially of your adversaries’ virgin daughters, as long as the Lord hands them over as the spoils of war. (See, e.g., Numbers 31:18)

        Wonder how the Dutch hotline deals with those inquiries.

        • Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          The whole hate speech debate is all a little Alice in Wonderland.
          Philip Gourevitch, the journalist who reported the Rwandan genocide, makes the point that ‘hate speech’ laws are irrelevant, for real, consequential hate speech comes wrapped in the garb of love.
          Think of how the priests and nuns organized the Rwandan genocide.
          Gourevitch spotted that the orders to kill, broadcast by radio, were all euphemisms like, ‘The bush must be cleared’. Those in the know knew what it meant.
          Likewise, I am told that Mugabe called the Ndebele slaughter in Matebeland “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”.
          Similarly, the ‘Final Solution’ itself is a sort of poetic euphemism and you would never know from reading the minutes of the Wannsee Conference which organized it that it was managing the extermination of European Jewry.
          Didn’t IS, before throwing gays from rooftops, hug and thank the gays for the privilege they offered them of doing God’s work? I actually have seen a video of that and the IS guys look genuinely enraptured and emotionally sated.
          Orwell made the point about Winston Smith loving Big Brother: but Big Brother also in his sadistic manner loved Winston Smith.
          Shakespeare knew that terrible humans can say the most beautiful things: Mark Antony – “And Brutus is an honourable man”. Who gets the best speeches in Richard III? The duplicitous child-killer himself.
          And wouldn’t you, as an average Muslim, want your religion to be one of peace?
          Euphemistic language is yuuugely useful in confirming one’s own treeemendous morality.

          • somer
            Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

            That was just to hide the imminence of the attack – there would have been a lot of hate speech normally – dehumanising violent vilification is a standard feature of the various steps building up to genocide.

    • somer
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      I agree – though I think such violent speech should be subject to at least financial (civil law) sanction

      Outside the USA many Western countries have hate speech laws with criminal sanctions. Clearly these apply unless Islam is the subject, so at least it is hypocritical.

  18. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    The single most engaging typo I have ever seen on this website is “extrememes” a sort of portmanteau of extreme memes.

    Not quite a Freudian slip, but an engaging second cousin thereof.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I was wondering if that word was a new “Coynage.”

  19. Andy
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    ” But what is clear is that there’s a problem of a religious subgroup having regressive values substantially different from that of the non-Muslim citizens of European countries. By ignoring the issue of harmful tenets of Islam, we leave the right-wingers as the only ones to address the problem. As with Trump’s calls for Muslim bans, the right goes to unconscionable extremes, but extrememes that can appeal even to progressives. My liberal Muslim friend Asra Nomani, for instance, announced in The Washington Post that she voted for Donald Trump. (I am in deep pain from that article.)”

    Why is that “unconscionable?” If this group of people does have “regressive values substantially different from that of the non-Muslim citizens of European countries” why not restrict immigration to the other 6 billion of the world’s people? Even if you think immigration is necessary, there’s plenty of non-Muslims in the world who would jump at the chance to immigrate to Europe.

    That’s why it gets “left to the right-wingers,” Leftists don’t have a good response, so they focus on denying the first claim.

  20. dd
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    And we also have this on Dutch politician Geer Wilders:

    “The current charges against the PVV’s leader stem from a speech he delivered at a party rally in 2014, during the campaign for elections to the European Parliament. At the end of that speech he entered into a call-and-response session with the audience, asking whether they wanted “more or less” of a series of things, the last being “Moroccans”. The Netherlands’ large ethnic Moroccan community has relatively high rates of unemployment and youth crime, and it serves as the target of much of the PVV’s xenophobia. In the wake of the rally, thousands of citizens filed hate-speech complaints against Mr Wilders and public prosecutors took up the case.”

  21. Posted December 5, 2016 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    After a lot iof protetst against the Government funded hotline they changed their policy and distanced themselves from their previous statement. It is nevertheless shocking to see that in my country a government funded hotline against discrimination made those statements in the first place.

  22. Griff
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    “Almost half (47%) said they did not agree that it was acceptable for a gay person to become a teacher, compared with 14% of the general population.”

    I’m guessing that 14% doesn’t preclude Muslims?

    I wonder how allowing children to be taught in segregated, publicly-funded religious schools will help to change attitudes.

  23. HaggisForBrains
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    By ignoring the issue of harmful tenets of Islam, we leave the right-wingers as the only ones to address the problem.

    Very well said!

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