Blasphemy law to be scrapped

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The Dutch parliament has
accepted a motion that will scrap a law making it a crime to insult God.

A majority of parties said yesterday that the nation no longer needed the law, which had not been invoked in half a century.

The movement to decriminalise blasphemy gathered strength in the past decade amid a national debate about the limits of freedom of speech. The climax came at the 2011 trial of far-right politician Geert Wilders, when judges ruled he had the right to criticise Islam.

It still remains illegal under Dutch law to insult police officers or Queen Beatrix.