The War on Wilders

22 01 2009

By Jacob Laksin, via FrontPage Magazine:

Geert Wilders has long been a thorn in the side of Holland’s politically correct powers that be. In an era of rigid multiculturalism, the gadfly politician has persisted in asking uncomfortable questions about the compatibility of Islamic mores and European values – an often-lonely campaign that has earned him death threats from Muslim fanatics and the disdain of the Dutch political class, media, and civil authorities. But rather than challenge Wilders in the court of public opinion, the Dutch establishment has decided to put him on trial.

This Wednesday the Dutch Court of Appeals in Amsterdam ordered a criminal prosecution of Wilders on charges of “incitement and hatred and discrimination.” His specific crime: statements that he has made about “Muslims and their belief.” Citing Wilders’s comparisons of Islam with Nazism, the Court of Appeals claims that criminal prosecution is the “obvious” response to this allegedly intolerable insult.

To understand just how outrageous is the court’s order it is necessary to consider the substance, such as it is, of the charges against Wilders. It does not exaggerate the case to say that Wilders is being accused of nothing more than holding an opinion with which the court’s judges disagree. (One cannot call it an unpopular opinion since, if recent polling is any guide, majorities of the Dutch public share Wilders’s apprehensions about Islam and Muslims’ ability to assimilate.) Thus, the court cites Wilders’s “insulting statements” and complains that his “presentation is characterized by biased, strongly generalizing [sic] phrasings with a radical meaning, ongoing reiteration and an increasing intensity.” In fact, the only truly “radical” idea is the notion that having a “biased” opinion, even one that some consider “insulting,” constitutes a crime. According to this absurdly open-ended standard, any Dutch citizen who has ever expressed an opinion has potentially committed a crime. “Apparently this is the Netherlands today,” Wilders darkly observed yesterday. “If you speak out you might be prosecuted. To participate in public debate has become a dangerous activity.”

Indeed, it may be even worse than that. In effect, Wilders is being prosecuted for stating the obvious. It is telling that in deploring his comparison of Islamic extremism to Nazism, the court pointedly omits to mention that Wilders has produced ample evidence for the charge. In Fitna, his March 2008 film about Islamic radicalism, Wilders included images of Muslim demonstrators wielding placards declaring “God bless Hitler,” calling for “another Holocaust” and paying tribute to Adolf Hitler. In another scene from the film, a 3-year-old girl is seen reciting Koranic verses calling Jews “apes and swine.” When Wilders likens the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf – yet another criminal offense, according to the Dutch court – it is this observable context that he has in mind.

Read the rest here.

And also, by Jamie Glazov, also via FrontPage Magazine: In Defense of Wilders

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Robert Spencer, a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eight monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs.

FP: Robert Spencer, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Spencer: Thank you Jamie.

FP: Geert Wilders is being put on trial by the Dutch Court of Appeals in Amsterdam for making anti-Islamic statements. Tell us what this charge is about and the ramifications if Wilders loses.

Spencer: The charge is essentially that he has insulted Islam and Muslims, and engaged in hate speech. Hate speech, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, and hate speech laws are tools in the hands of the powerful that they can use to silence the powerless and crush dissent.

And make no mistake: even though the Muslims in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the West present themselves as embattled victims of racism and “Islamophobia,” that is exactly what is going on here: this is just one part of the 57-government Organization of the Islamic Conference’s efforts to silence speech that they deem critical of Islam — including “defamation of Islam” that goes under the “pretext” of “freedom of expression, counter terrorism or national security.”

If they succeed in doing this, we will be rendered mute, and thus defenseless, in the face of the advancing jihad and attempt to impose Sharia on the West — in fact, one of the key elements of the laws for dhimmis is that they are never critical of Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur’an, so this initiative not only aids the advance of Sharia in the West, but is itself an element of that advance.

Read the rest here.

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5 responses

22 01 2009
xanthippa

Silly bunnies!

Don’t they know that ‘TRUTH’ and ‘evidence’ are not admissible grounds of defense???

They are acting as if they expect the rule of law to be ‘objective’ and ‘impartial’ instead of ‘dogmatized’ and ‘ideology-enforcing’!!! The days when the role of ‘courst’ was to ‘administer justice’ are long gone… Now, their primary role is ‘social engineering’! (Except that they lack an engineering degree…)

23 01 2009
Public Secrets

Defend Geert Wilders…

You don’t have to like Mr. Wilders or his positions to recognize that the Dutch action against him is an assault on the inalienable right to free speech. A new blog has been founded to collate links to articles and……

23 01 2009
rivers north

“Now, their primary role is ’social engineering”

True. As one goes up the judicial food chain it becomes more and more evident the goal is social engineering, and there’s a strong sense of adolescent “chicken” as they dare each other to push postmodernist deconstruction a little further. This is evident because, as noted, the population has woken up to the threat to civil society, but the upper courts seem to take pride in overruling them.

23 01 2009
JacobB

If the Islamists win this one they will have good reason to feel empowered. It will be a precedent that will put more pressure on Western governments to bow to Islamists.

25 01 2009
Cejac

History is doomed to repeat itself.
Until we all lose our freedom to be something different from Islam, the people will realize the dangers of Islamization. Muslim that believe In ISlamization are cleverly tantalizing our effort to protect any hatred towards any cultural religious or racial conducts by claiming and questioning our conduct towards theirs and not allowing ours towards theirs. I am deeply shocked. Either the Netherlands are having serious problems with their Muslim population or they have failed to protect those that are not Muslims.
I personally do no have a problem with Muslims being Muslims. I have a problem with those who want our Western society to respect their religion in ways they will ban alcohol, pork and anything that is offensive to their faith

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