- 02/12/2012 - 09:45 PM GMT+01:00
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim countries, is pressuring Western countries into making it an international crime to criticize Islam or Mohammed – all on the name of "religious tolerance."
The Dutch parliament has approved a motion to revoke a law that makes it a crime to insult God.
Free speech activists say the move represents a significant victory at a time when Muslim groups are stepping up pressure on European governments to make it a crime to criticize of Islam or the prophet Mohammed.
Article 147 of the Dutch Penal Code was drafted in the 1930s and had not been used for half a century; leading legislators said there was no longer a need for it. The decision to abolish the law follows national elections in September 2012, in which two liberal parties (the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Labour Party (PvdA) emerged victorious.
The issue was brought to the attention of the Dutch parliament in June 2011, when Geert Wilders, a MP who crusades for free-speech, was acquitted after facing trial on charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims. The judge ruled that Wilders had the right to criticize Islam, even though his opinions may have insulted many Muslim