Hope yet

25 04 2010

There are reasons to be angry and skeptical over the prosecution of Geert Wilders – good reasons to boot.

But this piece of news has me hopeful, via BBC NewsDutch court acquits Arab group over cartoon:

A Dutch court has acquitted an Arab cultural group of hate crime for publishing a cartoon on its website questioning the Holocaust.

The Dutch arm of the Arab European League said it had wanted to highlight what it said was double standards.

It published the cartoon last year after a decision by Dutch prosecutors not to put MP Geert Wilders on trial for distributing cartoons of Muhammad.

The court in Utrecht said the group itself was not denying the Holocaust.

It said the league had published the cartoon with a text explaining its purpose.

“Freedom of speech need not come second in this case to the right of others to be free from discrimination,” the court statement said.

“The right of the AEL to make such a statement must be guaranteed, given the specific context and intention of the case.”

Read it all here.

I haven’t followed the ins and outs of this particular case, but I think it’s a good sign that the Dutch courts have ruled in the favor of free speech – even if it’s speech that is rather disagreeable.

What could this mean for the Geert Wilders case? Does this ruling display a higher degree of liberalism within the courts – seemingly come out of nowhere?

Well, one can hope, anyway. Geert Wilders, it seems, is due to be prosecuted – truth has already been stated to be of no particular importance when it comes to any sort of final ruling

Indeed, as Robert Spencer has recently suggested, it’s entirely possible that the Dutch legal/political system is doing its very best to bury Geert Wilders for the sake of Dutch business interests in Muslim countries like Libya.

But I’m still trying to think positive, here.

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