Friday, 29 January 2010

Wilders On Trial, Or Islam?

Wilders: On trial - but not the only one

As Geert Wilders goes on trial in the Netherlands for "offending Muslims", the mainstream media, predictably, remains mostly silent. But there are some rays of hope, from those not completely infected with Leftist insanity.

At the Telegraph, Douglas Murray, the head of the Centre for Social Cohesion, underlines the absurdity of the charges levelled aganst Wilders, as well as the fact that ultimately it is not the Dutchman who is on trial - it is freedom of speech, and it is Islam itself:

The Dutch courts charge that Wilders ‘on multiple occasions, at least once, (each time) in public, orally, in writing or through images, intentionally offended a group of people, i.e. Muslims, based on their religion’.

I’m sorry? Whoa there, just a minute. The man’s on trial because he ‘offended a group of people’? I get offended by all sorts of people. I get offended by very fat people. I get offended by very thick people. I get offended by very sensitive people. I get offended by the crazy car-crash of vowels in Dutch verbs. But I don’t try to press charges.

Yet, crazily, this is exactly what is going on now in a Dutch courtroom. If found guilty of this Alice-in-Wonderland accusation of ‘offending a group of people’, Wilders faces up to two years in prison....

Parts of Fitna – which is a compilation of documentary footage – are very disturbing. And very offensive indeed. The clips of Muslim clerics calling for the murder of infidels. Very offensive. The clips of Muslims holding banners saying ‘God bless Hitler’. Very offensive. The clip of a three-year-old Muslim girl indoctrinated and brain-washed to describe Jews as ‘Apes and Pigs’. Very offensive. The passage of the Koran, Surah 47, verse 4: ‘Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers in fight, smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly on them.’ Very offensive.

Just to confirm – I find all these things very offensive. But Wilders didn’t say them. He is being tried for pointing out the fact that some – in some cases many – Muslims do. If there are to be prosecutions they should be of the clerics and leaders who advocate this nightmarish version of Islam. But not of Wilders....

The whole thing is so farcical that it would be funny. If it weren’t for the fact that it is real. The most popular elected politician in Holland is on trial for saying things which the Dutch people are clearly, in large part, in agreement with. Things which, even if you don’t agree with them, must be able to be said.

Whichever way the verdict goes, it can’t do anything but good for Wilders’s poll ratings. But it is a terrible day for democracy. A political class so intent on criminalising the opinions of its own people cannot last very much longer.

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