Dutch to scrap blasphemy law on insulting God

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Associated Press

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Almighty will have to defend his own name from now on: Dutch parliament has accepted a motion that will scrap a law making it a crime to insult God.

A majority of parties said Wednesday the European Union nation no longer needs the law, which hasn't been invoked in the past half-century.

The movement to decriminalize blasphemy gathered strength in the last decade amid a national debate about the limits of freedom of speech. The climax came at the 2011 trial of far-right politician Geert Wilders, when judges ruled he had the right to criticize Islam, even if his opinions were insulting to many Muslims.

It still remains illegal under Dutch law to insult police officers or Queen Beatrix, the country's monarch.

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