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Jan 14

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, January 14, 2010 12:11 PM 

I cannot overestimate the epochal importance of the court proceeding taking place next Wednesday the 20th in the Netherlands where Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders goes on trial for an array of charges that arises from his courageous and increasingly successful efforts to lead his countrymen against the Islamization of their country and the wider West. A man of political action, Wilders has been targeted not just for his political speech, but for his effectiveness as an advocate of liberty and pluralism, neither of which can survive in societies that are governed by, or in thrall to sharia (Islamic law).

It is not just the repressions and depredations of Islam that Wilders is outspoken about -- a subject well-ploughed by certain academics and journalists alike. He is equally if almost singularly outspoken about the political remedies necessary to halt the extension of Islam's law. Such remedies include stopping Islamic immigration and deporting agents of jihad. These are simple measures any democratic state that wished to repeal Islamization would take. These are simple measures that the Netherlands would take if Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom, which now rivals the country's ruling party, ever came to power.

It is a political trial, then, in the worst sense, that we are about to witness. And it is about more than the future of freedom of speech. The trial of Geert Wilders is about the future of freedom.

From the AP, excerpts from a pretrial update:

AMSTERDAM -- Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders failed Wednesday in his bid to have judges drop or reduce charges of criminal incitement against him, despite arguing that his anti-Islam message falls within the boundaries of freedom of speech.

In a late-night decision, Amsterdam District Court said Wilders had presented no new evidence that could prompt them to reduce the charges.

Wilders, one of the country's most popular politicians, is due to go on trial in March for allegedly insulting Muslims as a group and inciting hatred and discrimination against them.

After the closed pretrial hearing in Amsterdam, Wilders said the session was ''the first day of a political trial.''...

Wilders' lawyer, Bram Moszkowicz, said he had petitioned judges to at least drop the charge of insulting Muslims as a group, which he said had little chance of winning a conviction. Moszkowicz cited a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that found insulting a religion is not the same as insulting followers of that religion, and not punishable under hate-speech laws.

If convicted, Wilders would face a maximum sentence of two years in prison, though a fine of up to euro18,500 ($26,800) is more likely. He could theoretically keep his seat in parliament. ...



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