Netherlands. According to
Countryaah official site, right-wing populist party leader Geert
Wilders was released in June on all counts in the lengthy
case against him for hate crimes and discrimination against
Muslims. The Court found that while Wilders made offensive
"fascist" statements, it was not hate crimes because the
statements were directed at Islam rather than at Muslims.
Wilders called the verdict a victory for freedom of speech.
The hotly debated immigration issue came into focus when
an Angolan who had come to the country alone as a
10-year-old would be expelled when he turned 18 and was
considered an adult. Tens of thousands wrote on protest
lists against what was seen as inhumane and rigid law
interpretation. Others supported the decision, and Wilder's
xenophobic Freedom Party, PVV, threatened to withdraw its
support for the minority government if deportation was
stopped. In November, Parliament voted down the proposal to
allow the young man to stay.
Among both Muslims and Jews, there were warnings that
ongoing debates about male circumcision and slaughter
methods were actually about the suspicion of minority
groups. Proponents of prohibitions, on the other hand,
argued that the rights of children and animals are paramount
to religious freedom. They wanted to prohibit circumcision
of children and slaughter without stunning.