Free Bibles for Amsterdam police
Shortly after being told they can buy discounted copies of the Qur’an, Amsterdam police are now told that they can received free Bibles.30 May 2008
AMSTERDAM - Members of the Amsterdam-Amstelland police force, who can already buy a discounted copy of Kader Abdolah's translation of the Qur'an, will soon receive a bonus: a free copy of the Dutch Authorised Version of the Bible.
It is part of an action by the Dutch Reformed Church Bible Foundation, which sees it as its duty to distribute the 1637 version of the Bible as widely as possible.
Officers in Amsterdam will be the first to receive the free copies; if police forces in other cities express an interest, they will get them too.
The decision to provide Amsterdam police officers with a discounted copy of the Qur'an was heavily criticised by parties on the left and right of the political spectrum.
The Socialist Party and the Christian SGP and ChristenUnie feared it would influence the neutral attitude expected of police officers. Former Integration Minister Rita Verdonk, now leading her movement Proud of the Netherlands, stated that the police should focus strictly on Dutch culture.
Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst responded to questions from the right-wing Freedom Party (PVV) by saying that it was not a question of favouring one religion or culture over the other, but of giving police an opportunity to widen their knowledge in order to be better prepared for their work in a city with many different nationalities.
Kader Abdolah's translation of the Qur'an leads the bestseller lists in The Netherlands. He fled Iran in 1985 and was granted political asylum in the Netherlands three years later. He has written several novels in Dutch and has a weekly column in the newspaper De Volkskrant.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]