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Jan 22

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, January 22, 2009 10:55 AM 

Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal and the International Free Press Society has tied in the Wilders prosecution for Fitna and related statements on Islam to a similar judicial travesty in Belgium. He further points out that among the nine (count' em, 9) complaints against Wilders' freedom of speech in Holland  one came from a Mrs. Els Lucas. And who is Mrs. Els Lucas? Paul explains that she is "a member of the governing Labor party, a political opponent of Mr. Wilders’ PVV party, and a party which is rapidly losing its blue-collar voting base to the PVV."

Gee, you don't suppose she was trying to kneecap--theoretically, of course--a political rival...? 

The case against Mr. Wilders in the Netherlands bears a striking resemblance to the 2004 conviction of the Vlaams Blok, another popular political party, in neighboring Belgium. The Vlaams Blok, despite the electoral support of 24% of the voters, was disbanded following a court verdict that it should be considered to be a racist, hence criminal, organization. The party was convicted on the basis of an anthology of 16 texts published by local party chapters between 1996 and 2000. Many of these texts simply quoted official statistics on crime rates and social welfare expenditure, One of the texts dealt with the position of women in fundamentalist Muslim societies and had been written by a female Turkish-born Vlaams Blok member from the town of Aalst who had herself been raised in such an environment. The court said the Aalst section of the party published her story “not to inform the public about the position of women in the Islamic world, but to depict the image [of non-indigenous people] as unethical and barbarian.”

The court stated explicitly that what the party had written “was not necessarily untrue,” but alleged that the party’s “intentions” in publishing the truth had been of a criminal nature.
 
The same applies to Mr. Wilders’ Fitna movie. Whether or not it is true what Mr. Wilders says does not matter to the Dutch court. It claims he has committed a crime by making statements which “substantially harm the religious esteem of the Islamic worshippers […] by affecting the symbols of the Islamic belief.”
 
A major argument in this regard seems to be that Mr. Wilders compared the Koran, with its many verses that call for murdering Jews, to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Heck, I've done that myself here. Scholar Raymond Ibrahim compares the two books here. Back to Belien:

Mr. Wilders is one of Holland’s most outspoken defenders of Israel and the Jews. Ironically, his adversaries have on several occasions compared him to the Nazis, but none of them has been prosecuted for making this comparison. Countless non-leftist European have been compared to the Nazis in the past decades. The European Left has used terms such as ‘Nazi,’ ‘Fascist’ and ‘racist’ to such an extent that the words have become meaningless. Even Israel is regularly called a Nazi state. However, when Mr. Wilders uses the comparison, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal “considers this insulting to such a degree […] that a general interest is deemed to be present in order to prosecute Wilders because of this.”
 
As in Belgium, the prosecution against Mr. Wilders is a political attempt to kill a politician and a party which threaten the ruling establishment. As Dutch public prosecutor Otto Van der Bijl told CNN, Mr. Wilders will be prosecuted because a total of nine (!) people filed complaints against him. One of these is Mrs. Els Lucas of the governing Labour party, a political opponent of Mr. Wilders’ PVV party, and a party which is rapidly losing its blue-collar voting base to the PVV.

What must one call the methods of a court that issues verdicts like the one in Amsterdam? The Wall Street Journal calls them Saudi methods. But perhaps Nazi methods is more appropriate. Or is it a criminal offence to say so because it might incite ‘hatred’ against the Dutch judiciary?



 

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