Over the past several years, I have posted many speeches by Geert Wilders -- all of them inspiring in their appeal to a reserve of strength that must be tapped if the Western world is to withstand the ongoing, multilayered, multileveled assault on liberty by cultural relativism from within, and Islamic law from both without and from within.
The following is the statement he made yesterday in the courtroom in Amsterdam where he fighting for his freedom to continue speaking out and, now, as leader of an essential parliamentary bloc in a new Dutch coalition government, to continue leading. He puts it this way: "Formally, I am being tried, but it is the freedom of expression of many Dutchmen that is being tried."
And don't think freedom of expression in the Western world isn't on trial, too.
Mister Chairman, members of the Court,
Thank you for allowing me a few minutes for a personal observation. For me the past months have been centred around the exhausting process of government coalition formation. For the people at the negotiating table the end of the day meant that they could rest and recharge their batteries. For me it usually meant that I had to devote my time to a second job, namely being the object of this ongoing court case.
It is strange experience for me to have to combine these two cases. However different these cases are they are the results of the same ideal, namely to stand for the freedom of expression and the will to pass on a better Netherlands to the next generation.
In this regard, defending freedom of expression (and for me that is what is at stake in the coming weeks) is of crucial importance. More then ever we must honour this commitment. Democracy requires open and free discussion. It must be possible to express different vision, especially on controversial issues, because the clash opinions leads to better understanding..
I am here today as a suspect. Formally, I am being tried, but it is the freedom of expression of many Dutchmen that is being tried.
Freedom of expression may not be curbed. That is all I have to say.
My lawyer will speak on my behalf regarding all the rest. I invoke my right to remain silent. I do so on the advice of my lawyer, but also because I have already said everything that needs to be said. I do not retract any of it. This does not mean, however, that I have said all the things which have been attributed to me.