Holland: Free Speech Alarm in Rotterdam thumbnail

Holland: Free Speech Alarm in Rotterdam

By Matthys van Raalten

Today there was an anti-Islam demonstration planned in Rotterdam by Pegida. The leader wanted to burn a copy of the Quran. Hundreds of young Muslims protested by shouting “Allahu Akbar” and throwing eggs at the police.

Guess what the police did. The Muslims were pleased. The leader of Pegida was arrested for “offending the religion”. The Quran was confiscated. No Muslim was arrested.

This is an attack by our police on our freedom of speech, plain and simple.

There is no law in The Netherlands that says that religion as such cannot be offended.

Police take the Koran and arrest foreman Pegida, many counter-protesters on the leg

Several hundred people demonstrated near Central Station in Rotterdam after anti-Islam movement Pegida announced that it would burn a Koran. A large group of Muslims protested on Kruisplein. On the part of Pegida there was no demonstration: foreman Edwin Wagensveld was arrested for ‘insulting the faith’ and the police took a Koran.

On a video of the arrest on Twitter it can be heard that Wagensveld taunts the prophet and insults in very rude terms. He also shouted that he “fouls Islam” and that he is “not afraid of anything”.

The counter-protesters had set off a yellow smoke bomb on the public road in front of CS Rotterdam.

Pegida announced this week that it would burn a Quran on the Stationsplein, but that is prohibited, deputy mayor Simons said earlier this week. This morning Wagensveld reported on Twitter that he was on his way to Rotterdam for the announced demonstration.

Vanmiddag vond op het #Stationsplein een demonstratie van Pegida plaats. Hierbij ontstonden wanordelijkheden. Een Koran is afgenomen om verdere escalatie en daarmee ernstige wanordelijkheden te voorkomen. Een man is aangehouden wegens het roepen van een beledigende leus.

— Politie Eenheid Rotterdam eo (@POL_Rotterdam) October 22, 2022

It did not happen, because the police seized a Koran before the action could well begin and arrested Wagensveld. It is unknown whether there were more activists on behalf of Pegida. The counter-protesters were many people. They cheered when it became known that the Quran had been taken.

There was also a lot of police at the station to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The Muslims shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and threw eggs and some fireworks. The demonstration had to end around 2:30 pm and around that time peace returned around Central Station.

Read the full article. 

©Matthys van Raalten. All rights reserved.