Today’s Wilders Round-Up

4 02 2009

By Janet Albrechtson, in the Australian – Caving in to Islamists:

CAN this be right? Last month I wondered aloud whether 2009 would differ from previous years and see a reinvigoration of the West’s commitment to free speech. Instead, with January not yet over, another assault on freedom of expression has arrived portending yet another year of stifled speech.

Last Wednesday, a Dutch court ordered the prosecution of far right-wing Dutch MP Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims in his film, Fitna. The three-judge appeals panel said: “The instigation of hatred in a democratic society constitutes such a serious matter (that it is necessary) to draw a clear boundary in the public debate.”

In response to many public complaints against Wilders, the court rejected the original view of Dutch prosecutors who, back in June, said: “That comments are hurtful and offensive for a large number of Muslims does not mean that they are punishable. Freedom of expression fulfils an essential role in public debate in a democratic society. That means that offensive comments can be made in a political debate.”

It’s too bad that the judges on the appeals court felt pressured to order a prosecution. In so doing, they exposed the West’s feeble commitment to free speech. This is not about supporting the views of Wilders, who in his short film, likens the Koran to Mein Kampf, caricatures the prophet Mohammed and includes footage of Muslim acts of violence and hatred. However, it would be remiss not to point out that Wilders damns Muslims using their own actions, showing, to take just one example, Muslim demonstrators wielding “God Bless Hitler” placards.

That aside, a significant distinguishing feature between Muslim countries and the West has been our belief in freedom of expression. It was no surprise that Wilders’s controversial film led to protests in Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Indonesia. Muslim countries have a long and poor record when it comes to defending freedom of speech or allowing criticism of their faith. But when complaints in the heart of Enlightenment Europe lead prosecutors to put Wilders on trial, facing a jail term of two years for expressing his opinions, then the tyranny of thought police has truly taken hold in the West.

The Dutch MP with the flamboyant hair style has opinions that are surely offensive, perhaps hurtful and even hateful. You may say Wilders is wrong. Indeed, feel free to do so. But to prosecute a man for his offensive views is, on so many levels, even more wrong. Let me count the ways.

The Netherlands – often lauded as the home of Western civility – has mistaken tolerance for anesthesia. Eager to filter out jarring, uncomfortable views, putting us to sleep with consensus and anodyne niceness, Dutch authorities have strayed far from the true value of freedom of expression. They have forgotten progress rarely occurs without controversy. The best ideas – including those that are uncomfortable or even, at first glance, outlandish – are the ones that prevail when tested in the furnace of opposition.

Read the rest here.

Yid With Lid – Wilders and Limbaugh–> BEFORE and After?

The McGill Daily –  Piñata diplomacy: The curious case of Geert Wilders

International Herald Tribune – A ‘muddle’ over insults, and Anti-Islam lawmaker appeals hate speech charges:

A right-wing lawmaker says he has asked the Dutch Supreme Court to halt his prosecution on hate speech charges for anti-Islamic remarks.

Geert Wilders says the remarks — including labeling the Quran a “fascist” work and calling for it to be banned — fall within the realm of normal discourse and his prosecution threatens his right to freedom of speech.

In March 2008, Wilders released the film “Fitna,” which juxtaposes Quranic verses with violent film clips and images of terrorism by Islamic radicals.

Muslims protested, and an appeals court ordered his prosecution for hate speech last month.

Tundra Tabloids – The International Free Speech Society Gaining Recognition

Radio Netherlands Worldwide – It ain’t what you say, it’s the way you say it?, and Top lawyer to defend Dutch anti-Islam MP Wilders

FrontPage Mag – Suicidal Appeasement

Family Security Matters – Wilders prosecution is a welcome opportunity to expose Islam

USA Partisan – The Islamization of Europe by Geert Wilders

The Flaming Blog –  Hooray! An Interview with Geert Wilders!, and Send a Post Card to the Dutch Minister for Justice

Loish Sketchblog – geert wilders

Always on Watch: Semper Vigilens – Support Geert Wilders And Freedom Of Speech, and In Support Of Geert Wilders (With Must-See Addendum, 01/26)

Jihad Watch – Wilders re-invited to speak at the House of Lords! – Wilders appeals prosecution on free speech grounds

The Lone Voice – Support Geert Wilders: Canada Free Press story., and Geert Wilders post from Atlas Shrugs.

Atlas Shrugs – Wilders: the House of Lords stands up for freedom and Fitna, and Wilders comes out swinging: asks surpeme court to halt prosecution

Vlad Tepes – Interview with Geert Wilders.

EasyBourse – Dutch lawmaker to fight Muslim hate charge

The Bi-College News Online – Free Speech on Trial

Gates of Vienna – Geert Wilders is Appealing , and Wilders: “Strong Resistance”

James DeMeo’s OBRL-News Blog – On Being Imprisoned (or Murdered) for “Insulting Islam”

The Christian Institute – Lords ‘caved in to Muslims’ over film

Xanthippa’s Chamberpot – shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater

Student Newspaper: Justice and Mercy – Freedom of Speech tested

Daily Dispatch Online – MP to fight hate-speak charge

The Lambeth Walk – Geert Wilders Progress Report

Act! For America – Northern Virginia & DC Metro Chapter – The Islamization of Europe

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3 responses

5 02 2009
What’s Buzzing? » Blog Archive » Second Circuit Strikes Down Class Arbitration Waiver Provision …

[…] Today’s Wilders Round-Up « Defend Geert Wilders […]

5 02 2009
Poker Blog » Blog Archive » Beyond the Unthinkable » Blog Archives » Riding the Ups and Downs

[…] Today’s Wilders Round-Up « Defend Geert Wilders […]

5 02 2009
Today’s Wilders Round-Up « Defend Geert Wilders |

[…] Today’s Wilders Round-Up « Defend Geert Wilders […]

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