Dutch Anti-Islam Hate Speech Trial Resumes

Toby Sterling, Comcast News, April 13, 2011

Defense lawyers sought Wednesday to discredit a judge who ordered Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders to face trial on charges of inciting hatred against Muslims.

Wilders, leader of the country’s third-largest political party, says he has done nothing wrong by expressing his opinions that Islam is a violent ideology comparable with fascism, and that the Quran should be banned.

Defense witness Hans Jansen, a retired professor of Arabic and Islamic studies, testified that he had been approached at a dinner by appeals judge Tom Schalken to discuss the Wilders case shortly before the trial was to start. Defense lawyers argue that contact was inappropriate and grounds for dismissing the hate speech case.

Schalken sat on the panel that ordered Wilders’ case to proceed, even after prosecutors had declined to press charges and a trial court had endorsed that decision.

{snip}

Judges are expected to rule on the motion for dismissal on Friday.

Wilders says the trial is about his right to free speech. Dutch Muslims who pressed for the trial say it is about their right to practice their religion freely. They say Wilders’ strident anti-Islam tone has led to increased discrimination against them and even attacks on mosques.

Wilders is charged with inciting hatred against Muslims based on their religion or race, and for “making statements insulting to Muslims as a group.” Each charge carries a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment, although a fine would be more likely if he were found guilty.

{snip}

Wilders’ international profile grew after his short film “Fitna” aired in 2008, which equated Islam with violence and led to protests in Muslim countries. He announced earlier this month he is making a new film, this time about the life of the Prophet Mohammed.

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Istvan

    I am a firm believer in government with a “balance of powers” between the various branches. I am also a firm believer that there is a place for both elected representatives and non-elected officials. And although I am dismayed by the fact that our Supreme Court has become “supreme” above both Congress and the individual states I still believe in a “non-elected” branch of government. The remaining monarchies have the perfect unelected branch of government, the monarch. Born to the position with no need to run for office a monarch with defined, though limite, powers, could put an end to this persecution by procalamtion that freedom of speech is paramount to the survival of a free society and ending the whole witch-hunt. Instead the monarch is a figurehead and the politicians run wild. Sad.

  • Tim in Indiana

    Wilders, leader of the country’s third-largest political party, says he has done nothing wrong by expressing his opinions that Islam is a violent ideology comparable with fascism

    Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. No one would claim that attacking fascism is “hate speech.” Is Islam off-limits simply because it is practiced by far more people?

    If you added up all the deaths caused by Islam down through the centuries, it would add up to many times the deaths attributable to fascism.

  • HH

    Most folks on the genuine political Right should know by now that the truth means very little in the courts of MANY European nations today! The Dark Age mentality woven into European laws regarding race, ethnicity, immigration and even their own history(WW2)is horrifying – their apparent willingness, nay, outright zeal to imprison thought criminals is even more terrifying!

  • Anonymous

    On trial should be the policy of allowing non-European encroachment into the Netherlands.

  • SKIP

    There will be a trial or the muslims are gonna tear the country apart with their usual slaughter, burning, robbing, looting and raping (sort of like blacks overall) Remember the 11th commandment “thou shalt not outrage blacks or muslims”

  • AWG (Average White Guy)

    Hopefully Mr. Wilders’ trial will, itself, bring attention to the plight of his nation and raise enough concern about voters there to make a substantial difference before it is too late.

  • Schoolteacher

    Istvan: If the Dutch Queen Beatrix were not a coward, she could at least come out and say that free speech for Dutchmen mattered more than the tender sensibilities of Moslems. Let the Reds argue otherwise, out in the open. Let them put her on trial. But the House of Orange is yellow.

  • Krister

    Well Istvan, suppose the monarch is an idiot what then?

    Our “king” Karl XVI Gustaf is a total bufoon, and makes statements about a lot of things, a while back he told the

    public that he did not like one of our political parties that

    sits in the Riksdag, they are elected he is not, not to mention

    his moron children whom the taxpayers ofcourse support, granted we have had great monarchs in the past like Gustaf I Wasa,

    Gustaf II Adolf perhaps the greatest monarch this country have

    ever seen and Karl X, Karl XI, Erik XIV and Gustaf III. Monarchies do not belong in the modern world.

  • Sardonicus

    I wonder how long it will be before history professors or anthropology and folklore professors who examine religion from a non-supernatural perspective are called to account for their “hate speech”? Are the works of Voltaire, Tom Paine, Robert Spencer and Joseph Campbell scheduled for censure in today’s free Multicultural Holland or is it only “anti-Islamic’ works that are in the public dock? the Netherlands is turning into the Never lands.

  • Anonymous

    Imprisoning someone for their beliefs is a hate crime.

  • Browser

    Schoolteacher wrote:

    “Istvan: If the Dutch Queen Beatrix were not a coward, …. But the House of Orange is yellow.”

    _____________

    In fact, ALL the royal houses of Europe are equally spineless. They all exist at the sufferance of the socialists, provided they remain manageable and on good behavior. They know they are all walking on thin ice, literally tottering on their shakey thrones, and they dare not speak out on any controversial subject. Otherwise, the monarchy would be abolished tomorrow.

    One could say that they value their thrones and their privileges more than their countries. Are such people fit to lead?

  • Istvan

    8 — Krister wrote at 5:22 AM on April 15:

    With all due respect I believe you did not read my opinion very carefully. I said I believed in a balance of powers, not an absolute monarch, or dictator of any sort. If the King were an imbecile there would still be an elected Parliment and court system to prevent (hopefully) foolishness. Of course there could be constitutional provisions to remove an unsuitable monarch, much as the US can impeach and remove a president from office.

    I feel our (US) founders had a great idea in having Supreme Court members selected by the president and confirmed by the Senate, and appointed for life, rather than elected or perodically reappointed. That, in theory, puts the justices above politics and should have made the US Supreme Court the best protector of our constitional rights, although that does not seem to be the case over the last 50 years.

    Limiting the right to vote to a select population, as opposed to universal sufferage, was also a good idea. The voters should have some stake in the survival of the country.

    Do monarchies have a place in the modern world? Yes they do, depending on the culture of the people being reigned over and how the monarchy funtions as part of the government. But then any type government is good if the people governed are good, sort of like the old saying “you get the government you deserve”.

    The ultimate protector of a peoples rights is, of course, the people themselves. If the government fails to act in accordance with its constitutional duties, it is ultimately up to the people to put it right.

    Oh, and don’t worry about having to put up with the House of Orange for too long. The Muslims will eliminate that institution along with all your other quaint Dutch customs. Enjoy.

  • Mr X

    Lets see, if the Europe is anything like the United States, their movies, magazines, and school books are filled with anti-white ‘education’ about anti-western greed, etc, and pro-people of color ‘scholarship’ and ‘research’, and the only ‘trial’ in all of Europe is about anti-muslim private sentiments?

  • Anonymous

    Im surprised that there are no Dutch people commenting on this article. Does anyone there even care?