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-Geert Wilders Acquitted of ‘Hate’ Crime

by Dr. D ~ June 23rd, 2011

Geert Wilders

(Wilders via Wikipedia)

Amsterdam: A court has acquitted MP Geert Wilders of charges of inciting hatred and insulting Muslims.

At the conclusion of the case, both the defence and the public prosecutor had asked for an acquittal.  According to Radio Netherlands:

In a first reaction, Mr Wilders said, “It is not so much a personal victory, but rather it’s a victory for the freedom of expression. Criticising Islam turns out to be allowed, I’ve not been muzzled.”

The Amsterdam court rejected the charge that Mr Wilders had insulted a group, because his statements in the media and in his movie Fitna were about Islam as a religion, not about Muslims as inviduals. The charges relating to inciting hatred and to discrimination were also thrown out.

Geert Wilders produced the film ‘Fitna’ which presented an expose’ on the threat that Islam currently poses toward Western culture and particularly Europe.

Muslims were unhappy with the film and many of the things that Wilders had to say about their religion and not so happy with the verdict.  According to  Radio Netherlands, Muslim activists plan to take the case to an European or UN court :

Less happy are the lawyers for the individuals and organisations who took part in the trial as ‘injured parties’. But since they have no standing in this case, they cannot appeal to a Dutch higher court. They have no further legal options within the Netherlands but Ties Prakken, the senior lawyer for the injured parties, says she plans to take the case to a European court. She would not specify whether that would be the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg, or the UN Covenant for Civil and Political Rights in Geneva. Under current convention, the latter court can rule that a state must take action against someone who discriminates against others if it can be shown that the state is failing to do so.

Response: The Netherlands has always been a bastion of free speech. It is good to see this case resolved accordingly. Otherwise, a question would arise whether one was free in any way to talk about Islam and the Quran without violating some kind of law.

Wilders merely exposed what the Quran and Islam actually teaches and one should always be free to do likewise. However, Wilders also supported the banning of the Quran and we certainly cannot follow him on that issue.

Meanwhile, Muslim organizations in Europe have tried to silence Wilders and all others who would criticize Islam in any way. There should be no room for ‘blasphemy laws’ in Western countries who support free speech and freedom of religion. Unbridled and unregulated conversation about religion should continue to be supported and tolerated.               *Top

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