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Trial Opens for Anti-Islamic Dutch Politician

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Posted on Jan 20, 2010
Wilders on trial
AP / Marcel Antonisse, pool

Anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders, right, and his lawyer Bram Moszkowicz in the courtroom in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders’ words are coming back to haunt him—in court. Wilders, an ultra-right-wing member of the Netherlands parliament, has drawn fire in recent years for his vocal anti-Islam stance, which he has expressed both in cinematic form and in what prosecutors in Amsterdam allege is hate speech. —KA

AP via Yahoo News:

Wilders’ criminal trial for allegedly inciting hate against Muslims has resonance across Europe: He is one of a dozen right-wing politicians on the continent who are testing the limits of freedom of speech while voicing voters’ concerns at the growth of Islam.

The flamboyant bleach-blond politician has also called for taxing clothing commonly worn by Muslims, such as headscarves, because they “pollute” the Dutch landscape. He may be best known for the 2008 short film “Fitna,” which offended Muslims around the world by juxtaposing Quranic verses with images of terrorism by Islamic radicals.

“I know the words I use are sometimes hard, but they are never impetuous,” he told judges Wednesday.

“I also do not intend to hurt people’s feelings. I have nothing against Muslims. I have a problem with Islam and the Islamization of our country because Islam is diametrically opposed to freedom.”

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By CocoaSwann, February 22, 2010 at 5:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

johannes,
there is nothing wrong with wanting to preserve one’s language and culture, so that’s not what i’m saying.

however, too much emphasis on such things is a bit tiresome, and smells a like hitler’s lovebook mein kampf - where Jews were perceived to use their power for their own historic purposes and these were perceived to constitute an act of ancient, unremitting ethnic warfare. just substitute Jews for Muslims, and it’s nearly an exact explanation for the pvv’s near fanaticism on the subject.

but this is what Really bothers me about the pvv, there is no discussion about economics and/or systemic issues in their party line: only anti-islam, anti immigrants, anti marijuana (“tolerance keeps police from doing their job properly” - what bullshit), anti iraq war (good point), pro animal rights (good point), more money for old people and babies (hmmm), anti “big europe” ...where’s the real substance?

don’t believe me? check out their website: http://www.pvv.nl

as i mentioned, i love Dutch people and culture: it’s quirky, friendly, tolerant, “adult” (by this i mean, it’s assumed folks can make their own decisions), and irrepressibly “Dutch”.

and i understand the concern about orthydox religion of all stripes, but all evil does not come from islam…other organized patriarchal religions have done MAJOR damage to this world…i’m just concerned that over-emphasis on islam will take the focus off the real problems that confront the Netherlands, Europe and the world…..

Peace

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 21, 2010 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

I just happened upon this forum and since I have an abiding interest in freedom
of speech and I read the article and the comments.  There are some wrong
things being said here. 

First of all, johannes, the native Netherlander, is perfectly understandable,
those who complain about his imperfect English gives the appearance of
intolerance, another word for bigotry.

If you care for a dose of truth about Geert Wilders, you might visit the
Wikipedia site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geert_Wilders#Political_views
or some other biographical site.

In this court trial, not only is he defending his right to speak his mind, he is
fighting for his life as there are hateful Islamists who would murder him as they
did Theo Van Gogh, why Ayan Hirsi Ali is sequestered in America, why Salman
Rushdie had to seek asylum in England.  Death threats have been made against
his life. In America, one would be jailed for such an act. Pakistan says Rushdie
knighthood justifies suicide bombings -Times Online, June 2007.  In my
guidebook to morality, that Pakistani sentiment is an insanity.

While not legally binding, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, adopted in 1948, provides, in Article 19, that:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of
frontiers.

It is morally binding, however.

Wilders is a libertarian and is not of the Limbaugh or Beck stripe of
conservative.  Though it could be a convenient comparison for those who need
one.  To some they are the representatives of ugliness in America.  Others hang
on their every word.  While I have no use for them and criticize their views, and
I do not quite agree with Wilders, they have the right to their opinion and even
lie about persons with different ideologies as do everyone else.  It happens
frequently here on Truthdig.  It is up to others to point out the lies.  Rarely is
there ever just cause by those who are rational persons to harm others.

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By brewerstroupe, January 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

For a view of Islam and feminism articulated by an intelligent Western woman see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFZrSPUoH3I

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By Cocoa, January 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

brewerstroupe:
thanks for that info re wilders history. it definitely explains alot about his viewpoints about muslims.

dihey:
i have studied the Dutch political system and parties; that’s how i know that the Greens, Animal Rights (voted in for the first time in that same 2006 election you mentioned) and other lefties have representation. i also know that elections truly go in cycles here…for now, the center/right is getting more votes, but in a few years, a shift to the left may occur (when it becomes apparent that right wingers are just as corrupt as some lefties have become).

one last comment: it seems many of the negative reactions to muslims has much to do with the traditional dress that many women adopt. it seems strange to me that so many westerners respond so negatively to women who refuse to display themselves. also, most of the muslims i have met over the years moved to the west because they believe what westerners believe - freedom of the press, speech, religion and having a say in their governments. it’s sad that all muslims are painted with the “intolerant brush” because a few of them misuse religion to control others.

Peace

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By johannes, January 22, 2010 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

Well you can call it ratinal or irratinal, the point is that over 75% of the Netherlands, have seen enough of this people, they feel it as an brutality against them.

You can not make an comparison between Jews from Portugal and Jews from the east, it is if they came from other planets.

The Jews have brought much good to the Netherlands, they where and are still different, but we like them and they like us.

It will be a long fight for our freedom of thinking, but we have fought 100 years with the Spanis for our freedom of thinking and religion, so we can do it again.

And we can do it with out others, we are headstrong enough, to push this back, and we will not asked wath others think of it, so be it.

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By Cocoa, January 22, 2010 at 2:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

johannes
first of all, it’s very difficult to understand many aspects of what you are trying to say, but the little bit i did understand…the “it’s our country” part…well, it’s NO different from the right wing garbage in the states, as i mentioned before.

further, just because there are a few close minded muslims does not mean they are ALL wanting to “change” traditional (whatever that means) Dutch culture. you know, if you read your history, you will find that xtians of the past ALWAYS wanted to change the societies they came in contact with…i believe a war was fought in Europe for about 100 years for the right of folks to determine the right to privacy in regards to their own chosen religion.

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By dihey, January 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Brewerstroupe

Of course all of your arguments/evidence is correct. The problem is that these are rational arguments/evidence whereas the support for Wilders is mostly irrational.

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By dihey, January 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Johannes

I remind you that Dutch citizens who live permanently outside the Kingdom can nevertheless vote in National elections.
I visit the Netherlands at least twice every year. Your assertion that the original habitants are oppressed by those who hate them is pure unsubstantiated poppycock. I have many friends among these “original habitants” (my own “Portuguese-Jewish” ancestors were already in Amsterdam in the 17-th Century). Their opinion is that Islam is too intolerant and “strange” (gek in Dutch) to fit in the Dutch history, hence is therefore viewed by many “original inhabitants” as a threat. My Dutch Muslim friends agree.
When approximately 80,000 persons of Jewish ancestry lived in Amsterdam before WW2, the overwhelming majority of them did not wear “keppeltjes” and were essentially indistinguishable from the “Original Inhabitants” which is one of the reasons that Jews were not seen as a threat, at least by the overwhelming majority of Amsterdamers. Apparently the “Original Inhabitants” did not consider these ex-Jews to be a threat. In fact, they enjoyed their hilarious jokes.

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By brewerstroupe, January 21, 2010 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

None of Wilders’ assertions about the crime rate among Dutch Muslims are supported by either the Dutch Government stats or independent analysis. Neither are his alarming population stats supported. He states:
“San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now”. Yet the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute predicts 8% by 2050 in Holland. The San Diego study was supposedly conducted by one Jan Wax. I have not been able to locate this study and several searches reveal no reference to it except for other people trying to find the same paper. If anyone has a link I’d like to have a close look at it.

Wilders may simply be extrapolating his own experience. Having spent formative years in Israel (which may also explain the Israeli funding he is rumoured to enjoy - there is money in the Islam-bashing business if you can connect with the right sponsors) he has seen at first hand what happens when an indigenous people are overwhelmed by an immigrant population.
Perhaps he does not want to see the Dutch treated like Palestinians. If this were so I could perhaps understand but as none of the statistics reveal a Muslim invasion anything near equivalent to the Jewish immigrant invasion of Palestine and as Dutch Muslims have not yet exhibited a disposition towards evicting Christian Dutch from their houses at gunpoint, I think Wilders is simply riding a wave of alarmist nonsense for political purposes.

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By johannes, January 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

To Jolimont,

(“Yes he is very correct”), taken in account the situation, people murdered, non respect for our woman and girls, abuse, misuse,take advantage from our social rules, profiteurs from our open en democratic society, but not integrate in the system, and so on.

salutation.

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By Jolimont, January 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

I have to give it to him, he’s out there saying things
that might get him killed when most politicians are
falling all over themselves trying to be politically
correct. Is he correct? I don’t have an opinion since
I’m not Dutch and haven’t been following his work.

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By johannes, January 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

To dhey,

You would not vote for Wilders, but you do not live in the Netherlands, I not as well, but my famelie is ready for Wilders, the original habitants of this country, are opprest bij people who hate them, o.k. not all but most of them, and the others are just standing by, no this must change, and bether to day as to morrow.

If I would vote for Wilders, no, but if you have voted for the old party’s and they do not enough to change the living climat, you have no choice.

I have voted my whole live for the left, but left is gone, and is become like the rest filling their pockets as the others do, promesses and endless talking, and the citizen have to look afther him self, some can, and others not, and this unhappy people will vote for Wilders.


Salutation.

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By dihey, January 21, 2010 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Cocoa
“sadly, wilders appeals to the small number of hateful Dutch/European folk”.

Cocoa, I suggest that you study Dutch politics and political parties before you make another unsubstantiated comment such as this.

In the 2006 elections, Wilders’ party was in fifth place with nine seats in Parliament, more seats than the Greens. His party garnered the second largest number of representatives in the European Parliament. Polls suggest that Wilders’ party may become the largest party in Parliament at the next national election.

Wilders has received numerous death threats and is 24/7 protected.

Dutch society has long been relatively tolerant. It is the perceived intolerance of Islam that drives Dutch voters into Wilders’ arms.

Much criticism must also be directed at the Muslim population which refuses to melt into the general population but remains apart in self-generated “Muslim Ghettos” in the large cities.

I used to be a Dutch citizen. I would not vote for Wilders’ party.

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By Smudge Martens, January 21, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

From: DANIEL GILBERT
Psychologist, Harvard University

“Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we’re in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it’s time to make a run for the fence.”

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By johannes, January 21, 2010 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

To Cocoa,

I know it is senless to answer to your writing but ?

You words : Folks benefit greatly from the prgressive aspect of their governement.

Well with the next elections you will see wath we do with this so called progressive traitors of their culture an country.

We have nothing against Moslims, but not in our country.

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By Jason, January 21, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

Hate speech laws are a joke.  If people have a problem with Wilders, then let them publish their refutation of his work.  Resorting to the courts to settle a matter like this is pathetic.

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By Cocoa, January 21, 2010 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

sadly, wilders appeals to the small number of hateful Dutch/European folks…even tho these same folks benefit greatly from the progressive aspects of their governments, for some reason, they hold onto many of the same mendacious and anecdotal half-truths that rush limbaugh and glenn beck spout in the states.

fortunately for Holland and other european countries, the progressives are politically active, somewhat organized AND have actual representation in government; so the haters’ effects are not as pervasive here (for now, anyway).

however, i do wonder how daily life is for my muslim brothers and sisters (no, i am not muslim)...whether they face the same type of negativity that i faced in the states.
Peace

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By johannes, January 21, 2010 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

We have not invited the Islam, we do not like any fundemental religion, we are free in our minds and harts, so they must go back where they came from.

I give an small citation out the Herald Tribune from yesteday its going over Indonesia : Hafizh Utsman head of the west Java branch of the Indonesian ulema counsil, the leading clerical organisation, he sayd he was pleased with Islam’s growing role in Bandung.
We are trying to elimnate the non Islamic parts of west Java’s traditional ” 2000 years old ” culture, to make it more Islamic, he said.

And that is going on for about 50 years cenocide of the culure, Hindu, Boudist, Christian, and others, so they eliminate en replace it with an monster of onhumanity, this beautiful people, the woman in an batic Sarong with makes them so elegant, no they are now looking like pinquins, pakked meath.

We have over 400 Moskées now, its going on and on, they are a 5 collone, most not all, hate us, they are jalous why we are free, our woman are beautiful and they like to shine their beauty around.

We are not Ultra-far-right, we are no Nazi’s no Facist, but its our country, hold to gether and above wather by all the generations befor us, if some one wish to live with us no problem, but not oppress us with an middle aged religion.

SO NO ULTRA RIGHT BUT WE LOVE OUR COUNTRY AND CULTURE, and we have all the right to do that.

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