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Muslims Pressing for Blasphemy Laws in Europe
by Soeren Kern
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.
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