Europe

Dutch Facebook Users Fined Up To $500 For Saying Mosques Should Be Burned Down

  • by: Maarten Schenk

The Dutch public prosecutor's office has issued a press release announcing eight people who made 'discriminating and inciting' comments on Facebook in January 2015 will have to pay fines between €350 and €450 ($400 and $500). If they don't pay up they will have to appear in front of a police judge according to the announcement.

The comments in question were made on the Facebook page 'Steun de PVV' ('Support the PVV'). The PVV is the Dutch anti-immigration Party for Freedom best known for its leader Geert Wilders. The Facebook page in question posted a link to a newspaper article dated January 1st 2015 about the firebombing of a mosque in Sweden. Several questionable comments were made on this posting which led to a complaint to the authorities.

The administrator of the page did not receive a fine because he acted quickly in removing the comments. He did save a screenshot though and posted it to the page this morning with the names of the commenters blurred out.

facebook_pvv.jpg

Here are some of the comments translated to English (style and grammar errors mostly kept intact from the original) .

  • Burn down all mosques en masse
  • So it failed again and yet another mosque didn't burn down. You should do a better job, guys!
  • Why not here?
  • Nice job
  • Put the torch to it and down with these pigsties, maybe steal a fat tank from the army and blow up these pig sties or whatever yes
  • Those are some ugly buildings but throwing it (ed.: the firebomb) through the window is probably a better idea?????
  • "Good intentions from Swede put into practice right away"!
  • They should do that more often burn down everything
  • Starting tomorrow... countrywide firebombing day against mosques...
  • They should do that here too but during their prayers clean up the mess

Note: it is unclear at this time which of these comments (if any) actually earned their authors a fine.

Under Dutch law, incitement to commit crimes/violence and incitement to discrimination is punishable with fines or prison sentences. Looking at what comes by on Facebook every day, it sure appears the Dutch authorities have tapped a nearly limitless revenue source if they ever decide to prosecute all of it.

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