H/t Libertarian Republican.
Those of us who believe in a free society tend to find it bizarre that citizens of countries considered to be part of the free world could be dragged into a star chamber to answer for their comments. Unfortunately it is relatively common as in the rather high profile cases of Mark Steyn in Canada, and Andrew Bolt in Australia.
Wilders is in court at present in the Netherlands defending his right to freedom of speech. He is charged for criticizing Islamic radicals. Here is part of his final speech there:
I am obliged to speak. For the Netherlands is under threat of Islam. As I have argued many times, Islam is chiefly an ideology. An ideology of hatred, of destruction, of conquest. It is my strong conviction that Islam is a threat to Western values, to freedom of speech, to the equality of men and women, of heterosexuals and homosexuals, of believers and unbelievers.
All over the world we can see how freedom is fleeing from Islam. Day by day we see our freedoms dwindle.
Islam is opposed to freedom. Renowned scholars of Islam from all parts of the world agree on this. My witness experts subscribe to my view. There are more Islam scholars whom the court did not allow me to call upon to testify. All agree with my statements, they show that I speak the truth. That truth is on trial today.
We must live in the truth, said the dissidents under Communist rule, because the truth will set us free. Truth and freedom are inextricably connected. We must speak the truth because otherwise we shall lose our freedom.
I wish to be a politician who serves the truth end hence defends the freedom of the Dutch provinces and of the Dutch people. I wish to be honest, I wish to act with honesty and that is why I wish to protect my native land against Islam. Silence is treason.
That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.
Freedom and truth. I pay the price every day. Day and night I have to be protected against people who want to kill me.
Mister President, members of the Court, you must now decide whether freedom still has a home in the Netherlands
Franz Kafka said: “one sees the sun slowly set, yet one is surprised when it suddenly becomes dark.”
Mister President, members of the Court, do not let the lights go out in the Netherlands.
Do not let that source go dry just to cosy up to a totalitarian regime. “Freedom,” said the American President Dwight Eisenhower, “has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”
Mister President, members of the Court, you have a great responsibility. Do not cut freedom in the Netherlands from its roots, our freedom of expression. Acquit me. Choose freedom.