Prosecutor asks court for fine in case of group insult muslim community
The Public Prosecution Office has asked the court to sentence a 55 year old Dutch suspect residing in Germany to a fine of 700 euros, half of which to be imposed conditionally. The case concerns a group insult of the muslim community by comparing them to nazi's.
The suspect had organized a media moment in front of the Parliament building on 22 January 2023, where he proceeded to tear up a Koran, called it a fascist book, stated the book is as bad as Mein Kampf and that its followers follow the same ideology as Hitler. Adding that everyone knows where that regime lead to in our country.
In the court the prosecutor stated that the suspect is known to speak his mind but that the words he used this time are discriminatory and therefore punishable under Dutch law. As a nation we allow criticism of faith but these words go beyond that and constitute an insult to the religious community.
It is the view of the Public Prosecuton Office that when the suspect refers to the followers of the Koran he means all muslims. But even if the statement would be intended for a specific group the culpability remains. The statement still constitutes an offence against a group of people because of their religion. And therefore a criminal offence. The suspect deliberately compared them to a group, in this case the nazi's, of which he knew that the general public have negative associations. By adding the last sentence ("everybody knows") the suspect suggests that muslims have the intent to commit mass murder like the nazi's committed during the Second World War.
The prosecutor stated that the freedom of speech is not unlimited. It ends where fundamental rights of others start. He went on to say that the association made in the statement is unnecessarily grieving, goes against the fundamental principles of the democratic rule of law and is in no way justifiable within the context of public debate.
The suspect is therefore guilty of group insult and should receive a fine of 700 euros, half of which to be imposed conditionally, according to the Prosecutor. The court will give its judgement in two weeks.