Trial Opens for Anti-Islamic Dutch Politician
Posted on Jan 20, 2010
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.”
AP / Marcel Antonisse, pool
Anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders, right, and his lawyer Bram Moszkowicz in the courtroom in Amsterdam on Wednesday.