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Jun 24, 2011

Geert Wilders cleared of hate speech.

Image: Geert Wilders.

Geert Wilders has been a firebrand Dutch MP for some years and an outspoken critic of the Islamisation of Holland and Europe. There have been numerous attempts to silence him and he has been under death threats from Muslim extremists to the point where he is under guard full time.

After a considerable number of complaints against him for hurt feelings, he was ordered to stand trial. Probably the strangest aspect to the whole thing was that the prosecutors had to be ordered to take the case forward by the appeal court after their initial refusal to do so, stating; "That comments are hurtful and offensive for a large number of Muslims does not mean that they are punishable. Freedom of expression fulfils an essential role in public debate in a democratic society. That means that offensive comments can be made in a political debate." He has now been acquitted.

Even the prosecution asked for his acquittal:

DUTCH far-right MP Geert Wilders walked away from hate speech and discrimination charges today for statements made attacking Islam, calling his acquittal a victory for freedom of speech.
"You are being acquitted on all the charges that were put against you," Judge Marcel van Oosten told Wilders who has been on trial in the Amsterdam regional court since October last year.
The flamboyant MP faced five counts of hate speech and discrimination for his anti-Islamic remarks on websites, internet forums and in Dutch newspapers between October 2006 and March 2008, and in his controversial 17-minute movie "Fitna" ("Discord" in Arabic).
He also compared the Koran with Hitler's "Mein Kampf" while in "Fitna" he shows shocking images of the September 11 attacks in the United States and other onslaughts against Western targets interspersed with verses from the Muslim holy book.

"The bench finds that your statements are acceptable within the context of the public debate," the judge told the platinum-haired politician, whose case was boosted by a prosecution unwilling to take aim at him.
"The bench finds that although gross and denigrating, it did not give rise to hatred," said Judge van Oosten. …
… His case has been helped by a reluctant prosecution, which last month again asked for his acquittal, saying that although his comments may have frequently caused anxiety and insult, they were not criminal as they criticised Islam as a religion and not Muslims as a people.
The prosecution's unwillingness to take aim at Wilders dates as far back as 2008 when it refused to take up a case against him following complaints. On January 21, 2009, however, the Amsterdam appeals court forced the prosecution to mount a case against him.
Wilders' trial also comes against a backdrop of plans by the central-right Dutch government to move away from a multicultural approach towards a tougher stance against those who ignore Dutch values and break the law.


  1. Freedom of speech. Still a radical idea.

  2. Another home run for liberty!

  3. Its a relief, I had bad feelings about this one.

  4. CONGRATULATIONS. Geert is our brave hero.