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Trouw - Netherlands | Friday, September 21, 2012

Martin Schulz must defend freedom of opinion

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has been heavily criticised by many Dutch media for condemning the anti-Islam film The Innocence of Muslims after the attack on the US consulate in Libya. The Christian-social daily Trouw also feels that Schulz should have done more to defend the freedom of opinion: "The creators of provocative anti-Islam films, books, pamphlets and caricatures enjoy freedom of expression, however only within the legal limits. By the same token others have the freedom to demonstrate against these publications and even take legal action against them. But they are not entitled to react violently. Schulz should have stressed this connection between rights on the one hand and a great responsibility on the other. … Because we're talking about the freedom of the citizens regarding the state: Neither politics, nor ideologies nor religion give a state the right to suppress the free flow of ideas. We all know that this is not what Schulz wants either. But if he is the face of Europe he must make this clear."

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