40 hours of community service for Pegida leader Wagensveld for insulting a group of Muslims

The leader of the anti-Islam movement Pegida Edwin Wagensveld was sentenced to 40 hours of community service on Thursday by the court in The Hague. The court convicts the Pegida leader of insulting a group because of a comparison between Muslims and Nazis. In January he tore up and trampled on a Quran outside the House of Representatives. Two weeks ago he teared up in court another Quran and called the lawsuit “a charade.”

During his action near the House of Representatives, Wagensveld called the Koran a “fascist book” and made his Nazi comparison. “Supporters [van de islam] follow the same ideology as Hitler,” he said. Insulting a group based on religion or belief is a punishable offense. The comparison is therefore held against him by the court, which calls his statements “unnecessarily offensive”. The Public Prosecution Service previously said that the statements go “against the basic principles of the democratic constitutional state.”

Happy with Wilders

The Public Prosecution Service had demanded a fine of 700 euros, half of which was conditional. However, according to the court, a fine is too lenient a punishment, because Wagensveld has offended a large group of people. The court considers tearing up a Quran as a criticism of faith.

Wagensveld, who was not present at the ruling, responded to the ANP news agency with “extremely pleased” about the election win of Wilders’ radical right-wing PVV, which wants “no Islamic schools, Qurans and mosques” in the Netherlands. “We hope that the influx of asylum from Islamic countries will be limited and preferably stopped as soon as possible, and of course this result also means no headscarves for the police, no ban on Quran burning, etc..”

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