Minister Welcomes Sharia In Netherlands If Majority Wants It - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Minister Welcomes Sharia In Netherlands If Majority Wants It


THE HAGUE, 13/09/06 - Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner considers the Netherlands should give Muslims more freedoms to behave according to their traditions. Muslims refusing to shake hands is fine with him. And Sharia law could be introduced in the Netherlands democratically, in the minister's view.

Muslims have the right to experience their religion in ways that diverge from Dutch social codes, accordign to the Christian democrat (CDA) minister. He thinks Queen Beatrix was very wise not to insist on a Muslim leader shaking hands with her when she visited his mosque in The Hague earlier this year.

Integration Minister Verdonk did previously scold an imam who would not shake her hand. Without directly referring to this incident, Donner considers "a tone that I do not like has crept into the political debate. A tone of: 'Thou shalt assimilate. Thou shalt adopt our values in public. Be reasonable, do it our way'. That is not my approach".

Donner strongly disagrees with a recent plea by CDA parliamentary leader Maxime Verhagen for a ban on parties seeking to launch Sharia (Islamic law) in the Netherlands. "For me it is clear: if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist," according to Donner. "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'."

Donner makes his remarks in an interview in a book entitled, 'The country of hate and anger' (Het land van haat en nijd). The book was written by journalists Margalith Kleijwegt and Max van Weezel of weekly magazine Vrij Nederland. Minister Verdonk will be presented with the first copy today.

http://www.nisnews.nl/public/130906_2.htm
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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This is why the fetish for democracy in western countries often leaves me cold. I mean, that is, when it is presented as an end in itself. I think the real goal of good law, good government, should be the protection of individual rights, such as what to speak, what to do, where to go, and democracy, at best, is just the handiest tool we so far know to ensure that. But if the people of Idaho voted, say, to ban the publishing of novels, I really don't care if that's a democratically valid result ---- the idea is a monstrosity, a slur on the human mind, and the action just as illegitimate and foul as if it were passed by an autocratic king. Doesn't matter how many people voted for it.

Democracy unrestricted by law can easily devolve into a Darwinian pond where all the bigger creatures eat the little ones. Or even enslave them, since we're a human food chain with our own strange fetishes. Would Donner think it a disgrace to say "That is not allowed" if two-thirds of the Dutch population wanted to impose slavery on the rest? I can't see how, if democratically-imposed theocracy is just dandy with him.

Just why do we have democratic governments in the first place? Is it to provide a framework so that the majority can ride roughshod over everyone else? Or is it to allow everyone to participate in government within the limits of fair treatment to everyone else? Maybe it's not even that, but if it's the first, which Donner seems to think it is, take me off the bus.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 04:21 PM
 
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\Just why do we have democratic governments in the first place? Is it to provide a framework so that the majority can ride roughshod over everyone else? Or is it to allow everyone to participate in government within the limits of fair treatment to everyone else? Maybe it's not even that, but if it's the first, which Donner seems to think it is, take me off the bus.
I have no idea what you're talking about. Where does Donner say it's OK if the majority rides roughshod over everyone else? How did you get from not shaking hands to an abusive democracy?
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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I have no idea what you're talking about. Where does Donner say it's OK if the majority rides roughshod over everyone else? How did you get from not shaking hands to an abusive democracy?
I got there because I read the article.

"For me it is clear: if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist," according to Donner. "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'."
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 07:28 PM
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I have to agree with Argo on this one
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 09:02 PM
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This is about, ultimately, civil liberties. Where do they come from? Can we make laws in violation of them, if that's what the majority wants?

In the U.S. the courts have usually (more or less), decided that they're guaranteed by the Constitution (the ones that are mentioned in the constitution, at least.)

Can the majority vote to suppress the civil liberties of the minority? I say "no." But then this begs the question: What makes something a civil liberty? And why do we guard them so devoutly?

I have no answers. I'm just throwing questions out into the air.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:23 AM
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There is a difference between respecting someone's wish not to shake hands, and stoning to death adulterers, cutting the hand off of thieves, and executing anyone who renounces Islam...This is the same country where film maker Theo Van Gogh was brutally murdered by an Islamic radical for daring to produce a documentary about the abuse that women suffer under Islam...I said it before, and will say it again...Europe is screwed...
They have fast growing Muslim populations, that refuse to assimilate, and are attacking European secularism and Democracy from within...Most scholars believe that the EU will be predominantly Muslim in another century...Islam does not have a great history of tolerance when it comes to Democracy, Freedom of Speech and Religion, Secularism etc..The security situation in the EU is already terrifying...With second generation EU citizens adopting radical Islam, and attacking their own societies from within...

The NRA, being on par with Nazi war criminals, should be executed for crimes against humanity. They are guilty of inflicting mass suffering upon America.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:19 PM
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There is a difference between respecting someone's wish not to shake hands, and stoning to death adulterers, cutting the hand off of thieves, and executing anyone who renounces Islam...This is the same country where film maker Theo Van Gogh was brutally murdered by an Islamic radical for daring to produce a documentary about the abuse that women suffer under Islam...I said it before, and will say it again...Europe is screwed...
They have fast growing Muslim populations, that refuse to assimilate, and are attacking European secularism and Democracy from within...Most scholars believe that the EU will be predominantly Muslim in another century...Islam does not have a great history of tolerance when it comes to Democracy, Freedom of Speech and Religion, Secularism etc


Sorry to say it, but I do agree. Things like accepting sharia in countries like Canada and some European countries has been scaring me.
And half of my family is muslim (though not deeply religious) and they dislike the idea of accepting sharia.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:37 PM
 
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I have no idea what you're talking about. Where does Donner say it's OK if the majority rides roughshod over everyone else? How did you get from not shaking hands to an abusive democracy?
I got there because I read the article.

"For me it is clear: if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist," according to Donner. "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'."
You should read it again. This time, try to understand the significance of having 2/3 of the population supporting Sharia.

IOW, Donner doesn't support Sharia. It was a qualified statement, and you have completely ignored the significance of that qualifier. Basically, you are opposing the US Constitution, which allows such a majority to impose Sharia.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:32 PM
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I will let argo defend himself, but I do want to post my agreement with his original stance. Although, there are a few novels I wish had been banned before I read them
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:35 PM
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Incorrect... "An amendment to the United States Constitution must be ratified by THREE-QUARTERS of either the state legislatures, or of constitutional conventions specially elected in each of the states, before it can come into effect....

The NRA, being on par with Nazi war criminals, should be executed for crimes against humanity. They are guilty of inflicting mass suffering upon America.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 06:09 PM
 
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Incorrect... "An amendment to the United States Constitution must be ratified by THREE-QUARTERS of either the state legislatures, or of constitutional conventions specially elected in each of the states, before it can come into effect....
If 2/3 of the population wants something, then they will be able to get 3/4 of the states. After all, it's not as if all the people wanting Sharia are going to live in 2/3 of the states, while those opposed are living in 1/3 of the states. It's more likely that 2/3 of EVERY state would go for it.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Argo
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Originally Posted by sangha
I have no idea what you're talking about. Where does Donner say it's OK if the majority rides roughshod over everyone else? How did you get from not shaking hands to an abusive democracy?
I got there because I read the article.

"For me it is clear: if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist," according to Donner. "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'."
You should read it again. This time, try to understand the significance of having 2/3 of the population supporting Sharia.
I don't think it's very significant at all from my point of view, except as something scary. I don't think you read the article when you first posted, and I don't think you read my post now that you posted again. But let's have at it.....

Quote:
IOW, Donner doesn't support Sharia. It was a qualified statement, and you have completely ignored the significance of that qualifier. Basically, you are opposing the US Constitution, which allows such a majority to impose Sharia.
I didn't say Donner supports Sharia. I was talking about him saying that it's "a disgrace" not to impose something as oppressive as Sharia if a majority wants it; I say it is a disgrace to allow it. That kind of idiocy masquerading as fair play leads to slavery if a majority decides the minority would make good unpaid workers, or genocide if they'd rather see them dead, or as in the case at hand, theocracy.

And yes, I would oppose the Constitution if maniacs altered it to impose a theocracy styled on Islamic or any other religious law. That was my whole point. This stupid fetishizing of a process like democracy or a paper like the Constitution as an end in itself. Do you really think it would have been a disgrace to refuse to allow slavery in the U.S. during the 1780s even though the majority apparently wanted it? Donner, based on his comments on Sharia, would. Democracy is a tool, nothing more --- there's nothing inherently good, or just, about it ---- and like any tool it can be used to hurt others. I think a smart nation would try to maintain laws to resist the repression of a minority like that which would take place in Donner's example; we have one here in the U.S. in the First Amendment, and pity it is that it could be overturned if America got crazy enough. That's a weakness in our system.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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I will let argo defend himself, but I do want to post my agreement with his original stance. Although, there are a few novels I wish had been banned before I read them
The single most disgusting scene I've ever read occurs in Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow." If you've read it, I don't even need to give more details: you know exactly what I'm talking about.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 07:11 PM
 
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I didn't say Donner supports Sharia. I was talking about him saying that it's "a disgrace" not to impose something as oppressive as Sharia if a majority wants it; I say it is a disgrace to allow it.
Again you ignore the qualifier. Donner said Sharia should be imposed if 2/3 wanted it, not a majority.

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Originally Posted by Argo
And yes, I would oppose the Constitution if maniacs altered it to impose a theocracy styled on Islamic or any other religious law. That was my whole point.
Then you state your point poorly. You oppose Sharia, as do i. But do you support or oppose the Constitution, which allows itself to be changed to impose Sharia?

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Originally Posted by Argo
This stupid fetishizing of a process like democracy or a paper like the Constitution as an end in itself. Do you really think it would have been a disgrace to refuse to allow slavery in the U.S. during the 1780s even though the majority apparently wanted it? Donner, based on his comments on Sharia, would.
Do YOU really think the Constitution is nothing more than a piece of paper?

And again you misrepresent Donner's position. Donner called for 2/3 of the population, not a majority

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argo
Democracy is a tool, nothing more --- there's nothing inherently good, or just, about it ---- and like any tool it can be used to hurt others. I think a smart nation would try to maintain laws to resist the repression of a minority like that which would take place in Donner's example; we have one here in the U.S. in the First Amendment, and pity it is that it could be overturned if America got crazy enough. That's a weakness in our system.
I agree with most of that. For one thing, our system most definitely has weaknesses. I would never argue that our form of government is perfect. However, I don't think democracy, and the rights attached to it, is only for those intelligent enough to exercise their rights wisely. People have the right and the freedom to waive their rights. Should a SUPER-majority (not merely a majority) desire, and put it into effect through Consitutional means, then what is the alternative? A benevolent dictator?
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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I didn't say Donner supports Sharia. I was talking about him saying that it's "a disgrace" not to impose something as oppressive as Sharia if a majority wants it; I say it is a disgrace to allow it.
Again you ignore the qualifier. Donner said Sharia should be imposed if 2/3 wanted it, not a majority.
So what? That doesn't give it anymore justification. This idea that it does is something I'm combating.

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Then you state your point poorly. You oppose Sharia, as do i. But do you support or oppose the Constitution, which allows itself to be changed to impose Sharia?
I support the Consitution only so far as it's not used as an instrument of oppression. I don't think my point was stated poorly, since everybody else but you on this thread seems to have understood it.

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Do YOU really think the Constitution is nothing more than a piece of paper?
It's a piece of paper with writing on it that a bunch of people have agreed to use as a blueprint for government.

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And again you misrepresent Donner's position. Donner called for 2/3 of the population, not a majority
I really don't think it matters, but if Donner was arguing that repression of a 1/3 minority is acceptable whereas the repression of a 49% minority is not then my deepest, deepest apologies. If it helps you, substitute "2/3 majority" for every time I wrote "majority" and then address the actual content of my post instead of these irrelevancies.

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Originally Posted by sangha
I agree with most of that. For one thing, our system most definitely has weaknesses. I would never argue that our form of government is perfect. However, I don't think democracy, and the rights attached to it, is only for those intelligent enough to exercise their rights wisely. People have the right and the freedom to waive their rights. Should a SUPER-majority (not merely a majority) desire, and put it into effect through Consitutional means, then what is the alternative? A benevolent dictator?
A benevolent dictator could well be preferable to a democracy, depending on how bonkers the democratic populace is. Government is just a tool, and a tool is only as good as the people using it.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 07:59 PM
 
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A benevolent dictator could well be preferable to a democracy, depending on how bonkers the democratic populace is. Government is just a tool, and a tool is only as good as the people using it.
there's a reason for the saying that the majority of people get the government they deserve...

personally, i think that much of sharia law is a perversion of islam. but if any country becomes majority muslim and in favour of sharia law then so be it. other countries should open their doors to any of the minority who then suffer religious persecution.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 09:47 PM
 
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I didn't say Donner supports Sharia. I was talking about him saying that it's "a disgrace" not to impose something as oppressive as Sharia if a majority wants it; I say it is a disgrace to allow it.
Again you ignore the qualifier. Donner said Sharia should be imposed if 2/3 wanted it, not a majority.
So what? That doesn't give it anymore justification. This idea that it does is something I'm combating.
And this is what I think lies at the center of this dispute. Our founders recognized that one of the most important elements in any government is that they have the consent of the governed. A govt that refuses to do what 2/3 of it's population wants, is by definition, oppressive and is most definitely not a democracy.

Even the most benevolent dictator can make a mistake. With a constitutional democracy, we can fix our mistakes. With a benevolent dictator, there is no recourse.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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And this is what I think lies at the center of this dispute. Our founders recognized that one of the most important elements in any government is that they have the consent of the governed. A govt that refuses to do what 2/3 of it's population wants, is by definition, oppressive and is most definitely not a democracy.
Perhaps not; so?

And I don't follow you with this "it's by definition oppressive" stuff. If 90% of the population of Bumtown, Georgia, circa 1924, wants to lynch some black guy without trial how are they being oppressed if the authorities refuse to allow it? "Consent of the governed" is a rather convenient fiction when you're talking about using the ballot box as a boot to stomp on others.

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Even the most benevolent dictator can make a mistake. With a constitutional democracy, we can fix our mistakes. With a benevolent dictator, there is no recourse.
Sure there is. He could change his mind, just like the crazy voters could.

I'm not talking about installing a friendly dictator in America because I think that would lead to better government. I'm attacking an attitude which assumes the process legitimizes the action. You've actually stated that the Dutch would be "oppressing" the theocrats if they refused to replace Dutch law with Sharia law; what's oppression ---- being stoned for being gay or being restrained from stoning someone who's gay?

It's only by fetishizing democracy in this way that you can cloak the people who want to interfere with other people's lives as the victims and the people being screwed around with as the oppressors, by refusing to let them have their way with a minority.

That democracy can lead to this way of thinking is one of its evils.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-15-2006, 10:34 AM
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A benevolent dictator could well be preferable to a democracy, depending on how bonkers the democratic populace is. Government is just a tool, and a tool is only as good as the people using it.
there's a reason for the saying that the majority of people get the government they deserve...

personally, i think that much of sharia law is a perversion of islam. but if any country becomes majority muslim and in favour of sharia law then so be it. other countries should open their doors to any of the minority who then suffer religious persecution.
I don't know whether there is a constitutional separation of church and state in the netherlands, but I wouldn't hesitate to impose it to prevent any religious law from dictating how people can and can't behave. If Muslims want to practice the nuances of their religion, so be it, but they will never force it on the minority.

What I find ambivelant about democracy is that the uneducated masses can dictate public policy. Call be a cynic, but that frightens me. What most people don't realize is that it frightened the founding fathers too. Their original system of government was more republican than democratic. The Senate was an offshoot of the British House of Lords. It was meant to be an aristocratic buffer against the mob mentality of the masses, who were represented in the House of Reps (House of Commons in Britain). Now we can directly vote for senators. We also have the right to vote for state legislators, iniatives, referendums, and recalls. It wouldn't at all surprise me that within the century the electoral college were abolished.

Democracy is often idealized if it produces the results you want. When it doesn't, say in the case of Iraq or Palestine, suddenly it loses its juicy flavor.

"To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or in prose. People don't deserve the restraint we show by not going into delirium in front of them. To hell with them."
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