Shrugging off Spinoza

17 01 2010

By Arthur Legger, via Tidsskriftet Sappho:

Any one who still claims that the trial against Geert Wilders MP, leader of the Party for Freedom (9 seats in Parliament and 27 in the polls), which starts on the 20th of January, is not a political process: get a grip. Accused by the Dutch ‘Openbaar Ministerie’ exactly a year ago for insulting Islam, comparing the Koran to Mein Kampf and delivering hate speeches, the coming trial against Wilders suddenly got a Kafkaesque and potentially murderous twist. Finally, seven days before his first day in Court, all fangs were out and faces off.

“It is irrelevant whether Wilder’s witnesses might prove Wilders’ observations to be correct”, the ‘Openbaar Ministerie’ stated, “what’s relevant is that his observations are illegal”. Unexpected and breaching court procedures the detailed indictment of 21 pages, which Wilders received on the 4th of December and sums up in verbatim all of his Islam and Koran critique in interviews and Fitna, was amended with new accusations of racism against muslims and Moroccans. On top of this, Paul Vellerman, the public prosecutor of the Amsterdam Court decided that the Wilders trial had to be regarded as “an ordinary trial open for public and with a normal procedure, which doesn’t deserve the Department of Justice’s highly secured bunker. His is a normal case and we’ll treat it as such”.

It’s sad to note that Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of Theo van Gogh, and Volkert van der Gaag, the assassin of Pim Fortuyn, were tried in this specially designed bunker, but that Wilders has to rely on his personal bodyguards and full metal jacket to ward of terrorists. No safe room for him, which recently secured Kurt Westergaard and his granddaughter, but for months on end the vulnerability of a sitting duck.


The press was barred admittance

On the morning of the 13th of January, Bram Moszkowicz, an € 1000,– per hour lawyer and host of his own television show, was still unaware of the disaster that was bound to happen. Full of confidence he and Geert Wilders went to the Amsterdam Court for a so called preliminary procedural session. As Wilders lawyer and helped by experts like Buruma he had sound arguments to ask for acquittal on most accusations of the 21 pages indictment. Perhaps even, all would stop that day. The High Court ruling of March was consistent enough.  

Also Wilders must have been high spirited. A week before he had given an interview to the Elsevier that was due to be published that afternoon. He had stated “to be completely confident that he would win this political trial and walk out as a free man.” In fact, for the first time Wilders spoke of his strategy after his victory in the coming national elections: “Pia Kjaersgaard’s Danish model is highly appealing. On the other hand, we’ll be the biggest party and ought to form the new Cabinet”. Expressed like that Geert Wilders claimed the position of prime-minister of the next Cabinet.

Still, they must have smelled something fishy when arriving at the Amsterdam Court. Completely unexpected and unprecedented the press was barred admittance and denied coverage of the proceedings. Thomas Bruning, secretary of the Dutch Society of Journalists spoke of a “serious incident, hindering the freedom of the press, and lessening the public function of a court of law.” The Amsterdam Court responded by stating “we’re free to deny admittance to anyone if we deem it fit”.  

Because of this the press could not report the effect which the new accusations of racism and hate crimes against Moroccans must have caused. Also, the court shrugged off the arguments of Moszkowicz for acquittal and his claim that Wilders, because of his public function as a MP and his constitutional right of freedom of speech, ought not to be prosecuted at all. Far from it, the Amsterdam Court decided that the High Court’s ruling of the 10th of March had addressed a profoundly different case and that Wilders would face all charges, including the new ones.

The lawyer Gerard Spong, who’s in constant media competition with Moszkowicz, reacted with relief but also some concern. Getting someone convicted for criticizing Islam and comparing Islam and the Koran with Nazism would have been virtually impossible. “But with these new charges things look up,” he remarked, “Wilders’ cry: “I have enough of Islam, no more muslim imigrants!” hands me something that will hold even before the European High Court. Because muslim immigrants and in another paragraph, Moroccans, those are a specific group of people. That is discrimination, racism and hatespeech. Wilders won’t get away with it. Because that is what he said.” Nevertheless, even to Spong the position of Vellerman was a cause of concern: “to have him as public prosecutor might not be handy. In the public’s eye he’s ostensibly biased”.

Read the rest here.

Also noted by Small Dead Animals, and by Mark Steyn in NRO’s The Corner, who adds:

What I find striking about the arrangements for this “trial” is that the Dutch state has declined to provide Mr Wilders with the same degree of security they lavished on Theo van Gogh’s killer. You’d almost get the impression it would suit them if he failed to survive till the verdict.




24 responses

26 01 2010
Bart Benschop

Hearing about Geert Wilders’ trial brings to mind the following:

Vexatious litigation. The core of this case was investigated and dismissed previously by one of the prosecutors.
The precedent of a Dutch court dismissing another case about a religion and the followers of that religion.

A “Kangaroo Court” refers to a sham legal proceeding or court.
The colloquial phrase “Kangaroo Court” is used to describe judicial proceedings that deny due process or rights in the name of expediency. Such rights include the right to summon witnesses, the right of cross-examination, the right not to incriminate oneself, the right not to be tried on secret or evidence heard in camera, the right to control one’s own defence, the right to exclude evidence that is improperly obtained, irrelevant or inherently inadmissible, e.g.,hearsay, the right to exclude judges or prosecutors on the grounds of partiality or of being compromised or conflict of interest and the right of appeal.
The outcome of a trial by “Kangaroo Court” is essentially determined in advance, usually for the purpose of providing a conviction, either by going through the motions of manipulated procedure or by allowing no defence at all.
The term is often applied to court cases subjectively judged, while others consider the court to be legitimate and legal.
A Kangaroo Court may be a court that is compromised; for example, if the judge or prosecutor is not impartial or has a conflict of interest and refuses to be recused.
It may also be an elaborately scripted event intended to appear fair while having the outcome predetermined from the start.
The term “Show Trial” can be used in that case.

26 01 2010

about time this vile politician was brought to justice for his hate and discrimination which he only uses to gain political leverage aka votes.

if he only had the courage to debate his issues with a muslim scholar before he began his attack then maybe he would have realised how wrong he and his video are

26 01 2010
walker morrow

Shenglong – you say that Geert Wilders does not have the courage to openly debate the topic of Islam with a Muslim scholar. And that might be a fair enough point – I can’t say one way or the other.

However, can we not agree that by putting him through court, and quite arguably a court decided against him from the outset; by effectively criminalizing his opinions, the result is much, much worse? Not only is the Dutch government saying that they’re not going to allow this debate to happen – they’re saying that it might very well be illegal to have it. And that’s scary.

27 01 2010

he already commited the crime so he should be brought to justice. he isnt a stupid man he should have sat down with muslims before creating his hate video and had a proper civilised discussion.

however he didnt and he purposefully chose to create a video on the sly and upload it on the internet. these are not the actions of someone who has a geniune and noble point to make, its the acts of a cowardly person in my opinion.

it is the muslims duty to allow for dawah where people of different faiths can debate and rectify issues and problems with muslims openly and fairly. thats all he had to do in the FIRST place if he actually knew a single bit about islam and there would be more than enough muslim scholars willing to debate the misconceptions he has with muslims and also let him say his opinions and views too, fair n sqaure.

if u google/youtube for ahmed deedat or zakir naik, u will see for urself that u can sit down and have a fair debate allowing each other to voice their findings based on facts and then let the viewers/audience decide what they want to, without violence or hatred etc.

if he gains the courage to have a debate (which i highly doubt) and its not allowed in holland well then he can go to another country to debate lol simple as that, if wilders truly believes in his cause he will make the effort to do so.

27 01 2010
walker morrow

Alright, fair point. But at the same time,

1) You say that his ‘hate video’ was created ‘on the sly’ and uploaded to the internet. That may well be so. But at the same time, another film-maker in Holland – Theo Van Gogh – was killed in the streets of Holland after his film was produced. I would imagine that would tend to drive the anti-Islam-film-making proccess underground.

2) Perhaps he should have consulted with Muslims before creating Fitna. But at the same time, who is to say that he didn’t? There are certainly Muslims out there who are saying much the same things as he does. Furthermore, while his video was edited, edited, edited, the majority of its footage did feature Muslims, saying some scary things about Islam. Taken out of context perhaps, but still rather indefensible. I’m not saying that every Muslim should be painted with the extremist brush, but Wilders should not be prosecuted for quoting other people.

28 01 2010

ok ur using theo van gogh as an example so how does he stand up as a good role model ? here is a lil description about him

“In general, Van Gogh had a strongly nihilistic outlook on life, as displayed by episodes of heavy drinking, his open use of cocaine and a cynical view of relationships. (Later in life, he would adopt a healthier lifestyle, claiming it was for the sake of his son.)

Although he seemed to enjoy his life, he said he would not mind dying if it were not for his young son. His last book (2003) was Allah weet het beter (“Allah Knows Best”) in which he presented his views on Islam in his typically cynical, mocking tone. He was a well-known critic of Islam, particularly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He supported the nomination of the liberal (former PvdA Labour Party), Somalian-born female politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali for Dutch parliament.”

would anyone in their right minds consider such a person to not be filled with hate and negativity ? if he was a decent person with a good outlook on life and had intelligence then i wud consider him to be good but he wasnt (for what reasons i dont know thats between him and god)

so wilders took a bad role models example imho so what does that make wilders ? personally i dont condone theo van goghs death at all and i as a muslim believe the right way would have been to bring him to trial in a court of law.

anyway from this u can see his source and u can also work out his intentions from making that film. u r right in saying he has quoted out of context and he has also used select clips and select (half) quotes to paint ALL of islam with the same bad brush

28 01 2010
walker morrow

Theo Van Gogh’s personal life doesn’t really reflect on the facts surround his death. The fact of the matter is, he was killed for a film that he made by a Muslim extremist. And I think that would tend to make other people who are making films about Islam reconsider their approach to an open debate about Islam with Muslims – the response so far has been death and trials; why get involved in any process of debate at all at that point?

I don’t want to dismiss your arguments or anything – I’m just saying that I think that there is enough blame to go around, here.

28 01 2010

Personally if i’m going to defend a person or quote or use as an example then i would ALWAYS find out what kind of person he is first and where he is coming from.

its like getting ur grandma to test drive a ferrari and then ur grandma crashes it and says this ferrari is rubbish.

so i HAVE to know how much theo van gogh and wilders know about the thing they criticise and whether they have any personal gain or bias towards the subject at hand. in other words their motivations and most importantly their INTENTIONS.

true the person who murdered theo van gogh has made ppl think twice about making videos IN THAT PARTICULAR WAY in other words biased, out of context, hate filled videos which even non muslims realise when they see both of their videos !!! so its not just muslims who took objection to both of them.

theo was politically involved and wilders is a politician so u can easily see their motivations and intentions, create outrage, media whore(ing), result = votes, fame etc

shouldnt wilders have learnt to not go in theo van goghs route ? why did he purposefully do the same thing again ?? why couldnt he have just arranged a dialog between him and a muslim scholar in public, there are so many other ways a person can criticse islam in a decent good civilised uncowardly way.

the people making these films need to sit down and debate/talk with muslims face to face otherwise they are just in it for quick fame glory and money.

I’m glad no one has attacked wilders and that he has been put on trial instead so he can be brought to justice in a fair and equal way, see even “extreme muslims” have learnt their errors now its up to idiots like wilders to learn

28 01 2010
walker morrow

The thing is, I’m not convinced that extremist Muslims have learned their lesson. The last time I checked, there was still a Fatwa out against Salman Rushdie. And it wasn’t too long ago that those anti-democratic idiots at Islam4UK were banned from Britain for their antics.

I think I see what you’re saying – but at the same time, I’m still not sure that, simply because he may not have listened properly to the Muslim population, this automatically means that Geert Wilders must be punished by the law. What right does the Dutch government have to prosecute him for something that he has said, or written, or filmed? None. If what Geert Wilders said was out of line, then by all means, denounce the man as a bigot, or whathaveyou. But that’s not the government’s job.

28 01 2010

well fatwa means “opinion” and it all depends on who is the one giving this opinion, e.g. a doctor giving fatwa would be a medical opinion, a judge giving a fatwa would be a judicial verdict, ur friend dave giving a fatwa round the pub would be drunken nonsense lol

if u have read the satanic verses by salman rushdie u wud see how he mocks islam and black people and white women and even the prime minister of england at the time it was written (maggie thatcher) he even swears at the queen of england so inconclusion his book is non stop hate and filth and its more than justifiable to say he is a perverted prat.

geert wilders is a politician, he isnt stupid he took his time making the video “being especially careful to stay within the law” or so he thought and now the law see’s otherwise.

its not the laws job to punish him neccesarily, its their job to find out if what he says is beneficial or just plain hate mongering. if he has any conviction in what he has said then he and his supporters should not be afraid of facing the law. he is a politician afterall and should be a role model citizen because people will listen to what he says right or wrong.

freedom of speech is there for good reasons and not to go insult ur neighbours !

peoples personal bias can get in the way of things where as the law will look at only the facts, which is what everyone should follow and if supporters of wilders had so much faith in him and what he says to be true and honest then why would he need to be defended so much ?

btw do u think his video has done more good or bad in uniting communities, working out differences, develop understanding and tolerance etc ?

what good things do u think have been achieved by him saying all muslims out of europe and ban islam ?

i would like to hear ur opinions 🙂

29 01 2010
walker morrow

Well, first of all, I’m afraid that I will still have to disagree: freedom of speech means nothing if it means that some are not allowed to express unpopular, or perhaps even dangerous opinions. If Geert Wilders is saying something that is out of line, then leave that up to the voters 🙂

Second, regarding the video, I’m honestly not sure – especially since I’m not Dutch. I think that there is a real concern in Holland over Islam – and it’s more extremist adherents. I think that Fitna may have struck a cord with those people. Whether or not it accomplished any sort of community unity, or fostered any sort of tolerance: I doubt it. But I still think that it accomplished a purpose: it got people talking about Islam’s extremist members. And I think that’s a good thing – it gets that topic out there for discussion. Geert Wilders himself may not have personally discussed the topic with Islamic scholars, but surely by putting his opinion out there, in such a manner, has opened a door for similarly vehement protests that he was wrong, or that he was right, etc. 🙂

30 01 2010

from what u say, I think ur view hinges greatly on what “freedom of speech” means and what “extremism” means.

freedom of speech first has its pro’s and cons

People have the right to have their opinions heard and considered.
This guarantees that all opinions can be taken into account.
It is democratic.
It allows us to know what opinions are in the minority and which are in the majority.
It can tell us things which we had not thought of.
It avoids elitism.

It means that offensive views are considered.
It allows minorities to be marginalised.
It can incite people to extremism.
Powerful orators can sway moderate people.
It can encourage racism.
It can influence young people to develop extreme opinions.

from those point u can see Freedom of Speech is good but it can also be misused

look at the facts which are a) he is in court b) he has caused more outrage (against muslim and even non muslim) c) denied entry to britain (banned from uk). These lead me to believe he has misused “freedom of speech” aswell as the fact that his video is only critical about islam with no comparison to other religions or thoughts, no possible solutions and most importantly a biased one sided view. if it was given as an essay at school it would get the lowest of low marks for these very reasons. Also if he is allowed “freedom of speech” then in fairness, using ur logic the extremist muslims must also be allowed to have “freedom of speech”

what does extremism mean ? wouldnt anyone be extremly against someone who lied, cheated, raped, murdered etc ? would this make them an extremist ?
u could also be extremly honest, truthful, kind, charitable. this wud make u an extremist too no ?

again it all depends on how extremism is used, for good or bad. if sumone has done bad then people should be extremely against them. if sumone is good to u then u shud be extremely grateful to them.

even a nobody could tell u wilders video is extremely against muslims thereby making him an extremist. is he a good extremist or a bad extremist thats up to people to decide whether the video has made them feel safer and more united as a global community and to work out differences, i feel Wilders has not achieved any of those things and has merely pushed the ordinary person who does not know about islam very well to become fearful of the unknown using choice clips and out of context quotes from the quran which are all to do with war and war is grim business no matter how nice u are, there will always be killing and loss of life involved in war, which is why Islam strongly advises against war and only as a very last resort.

1 02 2010
walker morrow

OK – sorry it’s taken me so long to reply.

I see what you mean re: freedom of speech, but I tend to come from the free-speech absolutism camp: I don’t think that any restriction upon the right to freedom of speech by law is desirable. Your ‘cons’ list raises some very real issues that come along with freedom of speech, but I don’t think that these problems can be solved by government or legislation.

Also, re: point B), I’m not sure that just because he has angered people, this means that he must be punished for what he had to say. I think a little anger in society can be a good thing: it motivates people to reply, and to rebut and, if Wilders is wrong, to prove him wrong. And re: point C) I think his ban has been removed, now. In fact, I think he’s going to showing ‘Fitna’ in Britain sometime this March.

Re: the extremist Muslims, I actually do believe that extremist Muslims should be free to share their opinions about Islam, or whathaveyou. I obviously don’t agree with those opinions, and I don’t think that they’re reasonable, but I think people should be free to have them and to share them, so long as they aren’t actually harming anybody – i.e. rioting or something.

Re: extremism itself, alright. Fair point 🙂 It’s hard to find a better term, though, without equating those Muslims with ALL Muslims, which I’m not comfortable doing. Radical Muslims? Islamists? Militant Muslims?

Finally, re: Wilders and his video, he ma well have done more harm than good with what he did. It’s kind of hard to say, without travelling backward in time. But I think that, even if it can be shown that ‘Fitna’ did not particularly help the world, or Dutch society, this does not mean at the same time that Geert Wilders should not have had the right to make such a video. The video’s merits are debatable, you’re right – but I think that whether or not he should have made the video is a different debate than whether or not he should be ABLE to make the video, you know?

1 02 2010

ah its ok its good to hear ur views they are interesting 🙂
absolute freedom of speech also has its double standards.

wilders says islam should be outlawed basically and no islamisation of europe so in a sense he is denying muslims of their freedom of speech, therefore even regular muslims cant have freedom of speech

also people have been kicked out for much less from the uk just for airing their views on certain prime ministers e.g. mickey rourke used a four letter word to describe margret thatchers policies and was denied entry into the uk at that time.

if ur an absolute believer in freedom of speech then u wud have to allow even terrorists to enter ur country to preach their hate (which wud be wrong), u cant selectively give freedom of speech to some and not to others.

to a common muslim, wilders extreme view about muslims is the same as terrorists giving their extreme freedom of speech and we all know terrorists are kicked out of the country or put in prison for those very reasons of inciting public outrage and anger

so if wilders is allowed absolute freedom of speech then he cant deny muslims that same right either and therefore can not say no islamisation and islam out of holland/europe, wilders loses on all sides of the argument in every way

regarding violence and freedom of speech well people can say somethings which can only result in violence (unless ur the most passive stone cold person in the world) like if someone was to curse ur mother who just passed away, wud it be right for the person to be able to curse ? wud the other person be justified in knocking the other person out ? we all know in probably all cases that situation wud result in violence and no one who cursed someones mother would be naive enough to expect a lesser result. this is human nature

in the same way i believe wilders very well knew that muslims are being discriminated and pushed back into a corner (9/11, theo van gogh, iraq, afghanistan, palestine etc etc ) and when people are threatened so much there is only one outcome u can expect unfortunately therfore i believe he provoked muslims on purpose to get this very reaction, im just glad it didnt result in violence and that muslims have left it in the hands of the law to come to a conclusion.

“Re: extremism itself, alright. Fair point 🙂 It’s hard to find a better term, though, without equating those Muslims with ALL Muslims, which I’m not comfortable doing. Radical Muslims? Islamists? Militant Muslims?”

i think u mean Bad People, evil people have no religion e.g. hitler and the nazis were devout christians doesnt mean u can call them radical/miltant christians same with the IRA or the Klu Klux Klan lol

1 02 2010
walker morrow

Re: bad people, true enough 🙂

Re: terrorists entering the country, I see your point, but if it were up to me ( which it isn’t, obviously, but still… ), I would still allow those hateful people to say their hateful things. Not because I agree with what they say, obviously, and not because I don’t find it morally disgusting, but because it’s their right to say those things. Just as it’s my right to respond, and call them hateful people, and mock them. Yes it isn’t pleasant to listen to these people, but at least that I would know that, if such horrible opinions are allowed in public, that my much milder opinions will undoubtedly be allowed as well 🙂

At the same time, though, I think that there’s a bit of a difference between not allowing somebody into the country, and not allowing one of your own citizens to speak. If someone from outside of the country wants to come in, that’s all well and good, but the government on behalf of the people should be able to make the final decision. In theory at least – although this could be abused; I think it would be best to err on the side of free speech.

Re: provoking Muslims, that’s an interesting point. I’m glad, too, that it hasn’t come to violence – yet, anyway ( and Wilders has to live under constant guard, too ).

But – and this may sound strange – I think that the law exists precisely so that people like Wilders can say such things, and provoke such people. In my mind, the government doesn’t exist to grant us rights, like freedom of speech. It’s there to guarantee that those rights are kept safe – they already belong to us. And so, if we say something, and someone threatens us with violence – even if we say it knowing full well that violence will be the only response – the role of the government is to protect us from that violence, to guarantee that we are able to speak our mind without fearing violence, and to guarantee that the people that we are provoking are equally as able to provoke in kind 🙂

2 02 2010

i see ur point of view and understand but i feel its only applicable to a minority of people.

i feel it does not work for all human kind, there are plenty of people who will be shocked and get angry first (and resort to violence) and also more importantly kids and people with less intelligence wont think deeply about the issue and take it as it is and believe it, especially when something wrong comes from a leader or senior.

it only takes one (or a handful) of these who dont know any better to pull a trigger even if the majority dont take that route and then the whole lot get labeled with the same label.

if u have watched any videos/documentaries of palestine and how peoples houses are bulldozed their families killed lil kids shot in the back as they run away, it wud so easily bring a darkness into ur heart which would make anyone into an extremist. thats the most common way terrorists brain wash people into doing wrong by using a clear example of great injustices and making normally nice peaceful people unbelievably angry, even intelligent people can get angry.

thankfully ive seen too many of these types of videos and now i can control my emotions and not react in the same way those who do injustice do, check this out

2 02 2010
walker morrow

That’s a very good point, and I think I agree to an extent. Some people are more easily led to violence – by themselves or by others – through the use of propaganda than others.

At the same time, though, and I almost hate to say this, I’m afraid that I have to stick to my guns and say that even though a film such as Fitna – for instance – could lead to violence in the way that you pointed out, it must still be protected speech. Indeed, it must be protected even more, in spite of the amount of violence that it could potentially inspire. The citizens must be protected from violence, that is for sure, but in a way, I think that seeking to limit films like Fitna does not necessarily solve the problem of violence – it just simply seeks to make it go away by any means necessary. And I’m not sure that this is necessarily healthy behavior, you know?

3 02 2010

yeah ur right thats why we have the option in life to be good or evil, to do right or wrong… the question then is Should people be held accountable to what they incite ? or does absolute freedom of speech give u a free ticket to do whatever u like no matter how wrong?

is there such a thing as wrong freedom of speech and right freedom of speech ? can freedom of speech always be absolutely right in all cases ? is it always more beneficial than not ? i being against wilders can point out many bad things that have resulted from his views and video (i am biased clearly lol) but can u defend wilders and tell me what good he has done by saying islam should be banned from holland/europe ? and is islam really a risk to western freedom when the muslim population in the netherlands is only 5.8% ( and even lower percentage across most european countries (uk 2.7% ) ?

how is it possible with such very low percentages of muslims in europe that wilders accuses europe of being islamisized ?

notice how the cheeky git wilders didnt use percentages in his video and instead used numbers which are meaningless really lol thats politicians with their spin for u :/

3 02 2010
walker morrow

Re: your first point, I think that’s a very good point. Should people be held accountable for what they say? Absolutely – if it causes harm. I mean, if what Geert Wilders said could be directly linked to a criminal act, i.e. if he was directing someone to do something violent, then by all means, he should potentially receive his share of the blame and punishment.

But I don’t believe that he should be punished for the words themselves, before they can be shown to have led to any harm. Can it be proven that they have? I don’t think this is the case – although of course I could be wrong. It might be possible to allege that somehow he has made people’s lives more difficult in some areas of Holland – but I think it would be very difficult to prove. And I don’t think he should be punished until those allegations are proven to be true – othewise, I don’t think that what you have is justice.

Re: freedom of speech being beneficial, it’s true enough that freedom of speech can have its downsides, that’s for sure. But I think the argument that you would get from any free-speech absolutist would be that yes, freedom of speech can have its downsides. But there is no way of regulating such speech that does not infringe on other speech. There is no way of regulating bad speech which does not have the potential to infringe upon good speech. We should not trust the government with such a task – they will surely fail in the attempt.

Re: percentages, you may well be right about the spin 🙂 I think there’s an argument that could be made about future demographics – i.e., after a generation or two pass, the demographics might significantly change, leaving Europe with a larger Muslim population due to changes in birth-rates, age, etc. But such things aren’t quite my debate 🙂

4 02 2010

his words are clearly harmful otherwise he wouldn’t have protection 24/7 lol take the case of theo van gogh also which resulted in violence just because of his “words”

strong words are always said just before a punch is thrown. another example could be a boss of a drugs gang telling others to sell drugs and never actually doing that himself, same with people who pay for hitmen to go kill someone, they all use only “words”.

in the same way i believe wilders is encouraging (inciting) people who dont know any better to start hating muslims and have muslims kicked out of europe without any decent reason.

as to regulating freedom of speech, its not that difficult e.g. if sumone swore at another persons mother and then got attacked, u would instantly know that person “expressing his freedom of speech” was the one out of order. i mean what other reaction would u expect from a person EVEN if the person was right to insult a persons mother.

wilders has based an argument on bullshit, gotten more media attention and probably votes where as the muslims have been demonised even more so and had their faith insulted in a highly unfair way. from these facts u can easily see who is gaining the most benefit.

if it was some ordinary person saying these wrong things then fair enough it would be easier to ignore but a politician making these false claims thats a whole different ball game.

a large part of the european workforce is muslim, we are doctors, lawyers, business men etc etc so without muslims alot of europe will suffer (as they would if any other minority was removed) therefore its not beneficial for anyone.

as to the demographics point, muslims have been in europe for decades and still make up such a low percentage and more importantly alot of european people revert(convert) to islam by choice. so if people by their own choice become muslim then i see no problem at all with that coz they should be allowed their freedom of choice too.

muslims have been in europe for a very long time (my own family since the 1960s) and all the way up till 9/11 (suprise suprise) there has hardly been any major incidents as compared to non muslims. this any regular european should know and realise muslims are peaceful people on the whole. we make up alot of the workforce as with any minority we were and are the backbone after ww2 which resulted in less european male population. aswell as that muslims make up a very large part of doctors, lawyers, teachers etc in most countries (definetly uk). with muslims out people would only suffer (muslim and non muslims)

5 02 2010
walker morrow

Re: words and violence, I see what you’re saying, but I still have to disagree. If I say something that makes somebody angry enough to hit me, should I be held in the wrong? Well, I suppose that I could be chastised for my words – I suppose it depends what those words were – but the person who hit me is the one who initiated the violence. And if I am punished by the law as well for what I said, then that only justifies the violence – it equates words with violence; and the two are very, very different things.

Re: the benefits to Geert Wilders, I would say that’s debatable. It’s easy for us to look at what is happening and say that Geert Wilders is ‘winning’, but I know from personal experience ( on a much smaller scale, of course ), that the actual experience ( i.e., his trial, living under constant guard ) could very well be taking a terrible toll.

Also, if Geert Wilders is wrong, then why are the voters being ignored? Vote ‘im out of office; make sure that those who donate time or money to his party are made to feel as if they are contributing to something awful ( if that is how you feel ). There are many ways for a politician to be held accountable – going to trial shouldn’t be one of them.

Re: demographics and Muslims in Europe, you may well be right. I am neither Muslim, nor do I live in Europe, so it’s hard for me to say 🙂

5 02 2010

to me its the opposite, strong words seem to always lead to violence and wilders having followed in the footsteps of theo van gogh proves to me that wilders knew very well what he was getting into. he purposefully provoked innocent people, therefore it should come as no suprise to him that he is living under constant guard.

i disagree with politicians not being held accountable by the law, in fact they should be much much more scrutinised by the law as they are the ones with the most power and therefore in a much better position to abuse that power (if the law does not keep an eye on them). they are supposed to be role model citizens and completely law abiding otherwise we will end up with a dictatorship pretty quick.

also the fact that he doesnt preach his hate only in his country of holland is a problem, he travels all around europe spreading the same message of hate and discrimination and denying others their freedom (e.g. he says ban the quran)

5 02 2010

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said at the time that the film wrongly equated Islam with violence and served “no purpose other than to offend”.

Correspondents say his Freedom Party (PVV), which has nine MPs in the lower house of parliament, has built its popularity largely by tapping into the fear and resentment of Muslim immigrants.

5 02 2010
walker morrow

Re: Balkenende, etc. – you may well be right. It’s a thorny issue sometimes, and it’s hard to tell how much is justified and how much is outright fear-mongering.

Re: accountable politicians, I suppose you’re right. Politicians have much more power, so the responsibility and accountability that comes with that power should be proportional. I guess I’m just worried that at some point, this accountability might almost go too far – to the point of handicapping elected representatives.

But that could be quite a ways away. Usually it’s the other way around…. 🙂

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