In last weeks, islam became possibly the most discussed topic of the Senate of the Gymnasium State. Today, Senate has again rejected the proposal of reclassification of islam from a religion to an ideology. How did a religion not professed by any citizen of the state manage to influence it’s internal politics for more than a month?
On 28 October 2020, several days after an Islamic radical beheaded a French teacher in Paris, was the reclassification of islam as a dangerous ideology first proposed by the deputy leader of the Civic Republican Party Adam Pivetz. Due to the upcoming presidential election, in which Adam Pivetz was elected Premier, and during which new terrorist attacks occured in Nice and Vienna, was the proposal presented to the Senate on 8 November.
Only 6 out of 26 senators were present in the voting, and except for the now Premier Pivetz only one of them voted for passing of the proposal, who is expected to be the ORS leader Radek Vastl. For the next voting, the Premier proposed passing the earlier drafted but never proposed Act of Proposal Presenting Limit, which would prevent proposals to be presented for the immmediate next voting if they failed to pass. He also used the fact the Act was not in force yet, and proposed the reclassification again, this time with bigger success as it was only one vote short of passing. The Act of Proposal Presenting Limit was passed.
The reclassification proposal therefore wasn’t presented the next week, and again appeared on Senate’s agenda on 6 December. Again without success as it only received two votes again. During this voting, the critisism of not only the proposal, but the Senate voting system itself. The leader of Social Liberals, František Prášek, proposed after a discussion with the deputy leader Ondřej Chalupka designing islamism as a dangerous ideology, keepnig islam classified as a religion, argumenting that in case the reclassification of islam, its is only logical that other religions be designated as dangerous ideologies as well, including Christianity, professed in some form by approximately 20% of Gymnazists.
This version of the proposal also failed, despite majority of present senators supporting the motion. The reason was the absence of both the President Damian Málek (SL) and the Premier, a situation that never happened before. According to the constitution, it is necessary for over 50% of the present senators including at least one of the heads of state supporting a proposal for it to pass. This defacto gives the President and Premier the right to veto proposals. Furthermore, Mr. Málek’s absence on votings defacto gives the veto directly in the hands of Premier Pivetz only. This is often criticised, mostly by Joel Novotný (independent), who proposes amending the constitution in a way that would prevent such situations.
The next voting, opened on 20 December, only consisted of a single proposal by Jakub Svatek (independent), who mostly criticises the possibility of a proposal being proposed over again and again. He therefore proposed amending the Act of Proposal Presenting Limit to limit the number of times proposal can be presented to the Senate to three. This proposal was also rejected, as the Premier Pivetz voted against.
Today the latest Senate voting ended, in which the reclassification was proposed again. Out of ten votes, five including the Premier supported the motion, however one of the votes was cast by a person who isn’t a holder of Gymnasian citizenship. It isn’t certain, how this happened, however it’s expected it was only an administrative error rather than an active attempt to influence the voting from outside.
How the situation will develop is impossible to say. In the upcoming January presidential election, both Damian Málek and Adam Pivetz’s terms will end, however they can be re-elected for the post of other head of state. Except for František Prášek, all the other important actors are also on the ballots.