In prior decades, academics and politicians debated whether an electorate might legitimately vote in a fascist or communist order, thereby dooming the democratic order. Updated, the same debate now concerns Islamism, and Piet Hein Donner, the Christian Democrat (CDA) parliamentarian who serving as the Netherlands's justice minister, has laid down the gauntlet. He told an interviewer:
It must be possible for Muslim groups to come to power via democratic means. Every citizen may argue why the law should be changed, as long as he sticks to the law. It is a sure certainty for me: if two thirds of all Netherlanders tomorrow would want to introduce Sharia, then this possibility must exist. Could you block this legally? It would also be a scandal to say "This isn't allowed!" The majority counts. That is the essence of democracy.
Comment: I happen to disagree with Donner – strenuously so – but am grateful to him for so clearly demarcating the issue. (September 13, 2006)