We have now all read the disturbing reports of the intention of the Dutch Court of Appeals to prosecute Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament, for inciting hatred and discrimination.
The prosecution will be based on comments by Wilders in various media on Muslims and their beliefs following the production of his 15 minute documentary Fitna last March.
The court’s ruling reverses a decision last year by the Dutch public prosecutor’s office, which stated that Mr Wilders’ comments had been made outside parliament as a contribution to the debate on Islam in Dutch society and that no criminal offence had been committed. The Court of Appeals found, however, that it considers appropriate a criminal prosecution of Wilders for having insulted Muslim worshippers because of Wilders’ comparison of Islam with Nazism.
Wilders’ case is rightly called a watershed in Western history. For while many other European celebrities have suffered for their views on the Muslim threat to the West( Brigitte Bardot , Oriana Fallaci and Ayaan Hirsi Ali among them) none has been a European politician of such high visibility and stature.
Holland, lest we forget, is the place where Pik Fortuyn, another Dutch legislator and a man who warned consistently about the encroaching Islamization of his country, was brutally murdered. It is the same country where filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot, stabbed and virtually gutted in broad daylight by a Muslim who had vowed vengeance for what he regarded as Van Gogh’s anti-Muslim film Submisison.
So in the person Geert Wilders we have united the memory of two of the most prominent martyrs to the cause of free speech in Europe – one a politician and one a filmmaker. Wilders is both and like his predecessors he is about to risk his fortune, his career and perhaps even his life for saying exactly what he thinks.
We have every right to ask what kind of logic produces such a skewed legal decision? The right of free speech, enshrined in every constitution of every democratic country without exception, traditionally also includes the right to offend. In an open society, there are many avenues of redress by aggrieved parties who feel they have been unjustly defamed. But for the State itself to interfere in a defamation suit and to bring charges against an individual on behalf of a minority, is an action without parallel in any democracy today.
So we should be clear: The Dutch Court of Appeals has drawn a line down the middle of European society. On one side now stand those defenders of liberal western democracy and the freedoms it supposedly protects; on the other are the adherents of a remorseless multicultural ethic, unable and unwilling to recognize the threats that face them and impelled to crush those who toll the bell of an approaching catastrophe.
None of us should stand idly by as Wilders is paraded as a sacrifice to European political correctness. We must be assertive in defending Wilders’ right to say exactly what he wants without fear of prosecution or detention.
At the American Freedom Alliance we are taking this to another level and I am pleased to announce that Geert Wilders will be the AFA’s 2009 Hero of Conscience at our annual dinner to be held May 17, 2009 in Los Angeles.
We encourage all our subscribers to write letters of support to Geert Wilders’ office and letters of protest to the Dutch Court of Appeals. We will be providing details of how this can be done within the next few days. We will be following his case closely and bring you regular updates in its development.
And we hope you will join us at the dinner.