Silencing Islam's Critics - A Dutch court imports Saudi blasphemy norms to Europe

Silencing Islam’s Critics

The latest twist in the clash between Western values and the Muslim world took place yesterday in the Netherlands, where a court ordered the prosecution of lawmaker and provocateur Geert Wilders for inciting violence. The Dutch MP and leader of the Freedom Party, which opposes Muslim immigration into Holland, will stand trial soon for his harsh criticism of Islam.

Mr. Wilders made world news last year with the short film “Fitna.” In the 15-minute video, he juxtaposes Koranic verses calling for jihad with clips of Islamic hate preachers and terror attacks. He has compared the Koran to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and urged Muslims to tear out “hate-filled” verses from their scripture. This is a frontal assault on Islam – but, as Mr. Wilders points out, he’s targeting the religion, not its followers. “Fitna,” in fact, sparked a refreshing debate between moderate Muslims and non-Muslims in the Netherlands, and beyond.

There are of course limits to free speech, such as calls for violence. But one doesn’t need to agree with Mr. Wilders to acknowledge that he hasn’t crossed that line. Some Muslims say they are outraged by his statements. But if freedom of speech means anything, it means the freedom of controversial speech. Consensus views need no protection.
This is exactly what Dutch prosecutors said in June when they rejected the complaints against Mr. Wilders. “That comments are hurtful and offensive for a large number of Muslims does not mean that they are punishable,” the prosecutors said in a statement. “Freedom of expression fulfills an essential role in public debate in a democratic society. That means that offensive comments can be made in a political debate.”

The court yesterday overruled this decision, arguing that the lawmaker should be prosecuted for “inciting hatred and discrimination” and also “for insulting Muslim worshippers because of comparisons between Islam and Nazism.” This is no small victory for Islamic regimes seeking to export their censorship laws to wherever Muslims reside. But the successful integration of Muslims in Europe will require that immigrants adapt to Western norms, not vice versa. Limiting the Dutch debate of Islam to standards acceptable in, say, Saudi Arabia, will only shore up support for Mr. Wilders’s argument that Muslim immigration is eroding traditional Dutch liberties.

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I don’t like it when anti-Catholics make hateful remarks. But I don’t think the law should go after them. As soon as the law starts violating people’s civil rights, including freedom of speech, they may soon be going after anyone in the same way, the Catholics, for example. Pretecting one groups civil rights means protecting everyone’s civil rights.

Before getting too excited about the situation, one should remember that there’s been no trial yet.

Who is the cute little bunny?I’ve seen it on your sig. for quite a while and find it intriguing.

She’s ‘Miffy’ - there’s a series of children’s books (popular in Europe) about her by a Dutch guy called Bruna.

It’s appropriate because ‘Kaninchen’ is German for ‘rabbit’ and I change the picture by the season.

She’s very cute.:slight_smile:

There has been no trial but the legal precedent has not been set by the court. Add that to the demographic trends and the implications are clear. Please note, the demographic trends are already passed the tipping point and major Christian population decline is already locked in.

I believe that the moment that one man’s right to express his opinion in a public debate is repressed, all of humanity has lost something of its God-given freedom.

There is an appropriate and inappropriate way to express one’s opinion. But only when we hear another man’s opinions can we form our own.

JR :slight_smile:

After two years of arguing with American ‘true believers’ in the theory of a Muslim takeover of Europe, I think I’ll pass on the subject until a more interesting context turns up.

I am noot sure that the belief in freedom of speech has ever been as strong in continental Europe as it is in America.

How can it be that some Muslims are incensed about Fitna and move to get it banned, but are silent on the issue of those imams who are the one’s make Wilders point that the Koran is a source of vile hatred?

If the point that Wilders is making about the message of the Koran is wrong, then the true blasphemers would be the hate-preachers who are smearing the Koran with their own words.

It would seem that the Muslims bringing action then are not concerned with blasphemy at all, but are only interested in silencing Wilder’s for exposing the truth.

But the good news is that Wilder’s film has actually sparked a debate in Europe’s Muslim community. That is something to get excited about. It would be nice too if Europeans would get excited about the attempts being made to silence that debate. The moderate voice of Islam needs amplification in Europe, not silencing by court actions.

Don’t worry, the Islamists will easily have their allies in the Dhimmi Leftists. That is until the Islamists slit their throats after the takeover.

I belive that laws should protect every major religion, ie Judiaism, Islam and Christianity or no single religion should be protected from insult .I don’t think insulting a religion is a form of free speech actually. It has the potential to get people killed and can be banned in a free society.

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