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    In this article, we inquire the merits of criminalizing blasphemy. We argue that religious views do not warrant a separate treatment compared to nonreligious ones. In addition, freedom of speech must be balanced against the interest of those who may be aggrieved by blasphemous remarks. We conclude that penalizing blasphemy is undesirable. It is fortunate, in that light, that acts of blasphemy have recently been decriminalized in The Netherlands by removing blasphemy as an offense from the Criminal Code. Still, other provisions appear to leave enough room to reach the same result, making the removal a possibly virtually aesthetic change. In the international context, it would be regrettable for The Netherlands to forgo the opportunity to take a leading role.


Jasper Doomen
Jasper Doomen is verbonden als docent/onderzoeker aan de afdeling Encyclopedie van de Rechtswetenschap van de Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Leiden.

Mirjam van Schaik
Mirjam van Schaik is verbonden als docent/onderzoeker aan de afdeling Encyclopedie van de Rechtswetenschap van de Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Leiden.
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