Another piece from yours truly in The Propagandist on the Wilders trial. Here’s the money-quote:
Geert Wilders will not be able to call Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh, as a witness – which is a shame. It would have been interesting to hear what Bouyeri had to say about Islam, particularly in Holland. But ultimately this would have been a side-show. As John Tyler argues at Radio Netherlands Worldwide: “The real defendant now in the Geert Wilders trial is Dutch rule of law and the Amsterdam Appeals Court which called for his prosecution against the will of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.”
The issues at hand include Islam and freedom of speech, yes, but ultimately this trial is about the battle within Holland’s court system. It is about the direction that this court system will take in the years to come: will it regulate speech and involve itself in matters of religion and politics? Will it continue to mire itself in situations where it can be accused of bias? Or will it go the other route, toward a more dignified, less intrusive judicial process?