Apparently, police officers with an Islamic background can be sworn in with an appropriate vow: “In naam van Allah, de Barmhartige Erbarmer, en hij is mijn getuige dat ik dit beloof” (roughly: “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, and he is my witness to this promise”).

Today it became clear that the SGP (a confessional Christian political party that’s stuck in the middle ages) is not amused by that option (link doesn’t work on sundays). “Just as the SGP isn’t in favor of ‘nationalizing’ Islamic holidays, it is opposed to Islamic vows in The Netherlands,” says party-member Kees van der Staaij, who calls the vow on Allah “a step in the wrong direction.”

Strangely enough, they don’t seem to have any problem with the vow “Zo waarlijk helpe mij God Almachtig”. That’s, of course, “so help me God Almighty.”

If that isn’t hypocrisy, I’m the pope.

Either we have freedom of religion so you can take a vow on any god and holy book you like (including, but not limited to, Wodan, Thor, Zeus, The Flying Spaghetti Monster and Eris, the goddess of discord), or we don’t. And if that’s the case, all gods go out of the window.

Personally, I think all religious vows should be banned and replaced with the other official oath, “Dat verklaar en beloof ik” (“This I declare and affirm”). You declare and affirm to do the best possible job you can. What more is needed?