Ban on hate-mongering TV failing

6th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

6 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — It's virtually impossible to stop hate-mongering stations spreading their message in the Netherlands, Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has admitted.

6 April 2006

AMSTERDAM — It's virtually impossible to stop hate-mongering stations spreading their message in the Netherlands, Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has admitted.

In late January, Donner ordered the blocking of the broadcasts from France by the Lebanese 'Al Manar' and Iran's 'Sahar TV1'. He accused both stations of hate-mongering and broadcasting anti-Semitic content. The next day the stations were accessible again by anyone in the Netherlands via the internet.

Donner made the admission during a meeting in The Hague on Wednesday. He said classic methods no longer worked against the preaching of radical ideas by internet. The issue has to be addressed on the European Union level, the minister said.

The new media, he said, has created a "new playing field" over which the police and justice officials had no control. As a result the government was searching for an alternative approach to the problem, which involves organising a response to the radicals' message.

Donner said parents and children have to be made aware of the dangers as "protection against modern media will not come from above".

Noting that banning things is not always effective, Donner said it is more important to make the public more resistant to media utterances.

The minister said the government can issue a general condemnation about particular ideas and call on internet service providers to be responsible. "This is more complicated than banning, but it does work," Donner said.

He was one of the participants in a debate organised by the Platform Waarden en Normen (Platform Values and Norms), which was founded by 50 Christian groups in the Netherlands.

Although the Platform's discussions have so far been limited to the ideal of 'respect', the members want to tackle specific subjects, such as the function of religion and freedom of expression.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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