Friday, September 15, 2006

Another (not so) great moment in democracy

Dutch justice minister Piet Hein Donner is what one can call a slavish democrat. He believes in the will of the majority—so deeply in fact that he concedes the majority's right to force you to live under a wholly irrational, totalitarian code.

Donner strongly disagrees with a recent plea by CDA parliamentary leader Maxime Verhagen for a ban on parties seeking to launch Sharia (Islamic law) in the Netherlands. "For me it is clear: if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist," according to Donner. "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'."
What Donner doesn't allow is the principle of individual rights, yet despite the outrage over this story, his position is hardly shocking. Lots of people ascribe omniscience to the majority. Hey, it's a group—they voted. Time to meet your new overlords. After all, 50 million Sharia advocates couldn't possibly be wrong.

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