Faith in Public Debate

On Freedom of Expression, Hate Speech and Religion in France & The Netherlands

By Esther Janssen

Should a politician be free to fiercely attack the religion of a sector of the population? Should he be allowed to strongly reject the culture of a particular minority group? Should religious adherents be allowed to advocate the transition from a democratic to a theocratic state? Should a satirical magazine be free to mock religious figures and practices? These sort of questions concern 'the place of faith in public debate' and continue to dominate public discussion that has been fueled by a series of events, including: the terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid, and London * the assassination of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh * the affair of the Danish cartoons * the prosecution of Dutch politician Geert Wilders for his statements on Islam and Muslims * the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The overarching questions triggered by these events concern the relationship between freedom of expression and the regulation of 'hate speech': Which forms of hate speech should the state prohibit? On what grounds? By which means? Notably, the restriction of hate speech uttered in the context of the public debate - about multiculturalism, immigration, integration and Islam, and of religious fundamentalism - has become a topic of lively discussion. This book constitutes the first international comparative study that provides a profound analysis of the law on hate speech in France and the Netherlands, as well as under European and international law. It thoroughly examines the national legislation, its drafting history, policy, and other legal documents and case law. (Series: School of Human Rights Research - Vol. 68) [Subject: International Law, European Law, Comparative Law, Human Rights Law, Religious Law, Politics]


Publication Date: 4/10/2015
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781780683096