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Odysseus
02-11-2009, 08:00 PM
Silencing Islam's Critics
A Dutch court imports Saudi blasphemy norms to Europe.

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, who made world news last year with the release of a short anti-Islam film called "Fitna," certainly intends to provoke. In his 15-minute video, he juxtaposes verses from the Koran that call 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."

The concept of punishing people for "insulting" religious feelings sounds dangerously close to what Islamic countries have long been pushing for: that Western nations adopt blasphemy laws and stop the "defamation" of Islam.

The Amsterdam court yesterday obliged. This is no small victory for Islamic regimes that seek to export their censorship laws to wherever Muslims happen to reside. But the successful integration of Muslims in the Netherlands and the rest of 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.

Islamists have long tried to silence Mr. Wilders, who has been living for years under 24-hour police protection. Dutch judges may finally succeed where jihadist death threats so far have failed.

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biccat
02-11-2009, 08:07 PM
The court can decide to bring charges against someone? The Dutch don't have a separate executive and judicial structure?

That is frightening.

Bleda
02-11-2009, 09:22 PM
Why hasn't anybody spoken out against Zeitgeist and demanded that the film-maker(s) be prosecuted?

Double-standard, anyone?

lacarnut
02-11-2009, 10:32 PM
Watch out America! That same type of crap is coming here.

Odysseus
02-12-2009, 10:04 AM
The court can decide to bring charges against someone? The Dutch don't have a separate executive and judicial structure?
That is frightening.
Apparently, the court can reject a prosecutor's decision to not pursue a case. I don't pretend to understand their system, but the separation of powers that we take for granted may not apply there.

Why hasn't anybody spoken out against Zeitgeist and demanded that the film-maker(s) be prosecuted?
Double-standard, anyone?
Of course it's a double standard. Remember when the NY Times ran an article about the Danish cartoons, and to illustrate the point about controversial art, they ran a photo of Chris Ophili's portrait of the Virgin Mary, complete with elephant dung and genital shots cut from magazines? They wouldn't dare print the Mohammed cartoons, so to show their "courage" in the face of religious controversy, they tweaked the Christians. The Pope doesn't issue fatwas or behead heretics, so it was a safe display. Had they run the cartoons, Sulzberger would have had to deal with, at best, Islamist protestors in Times Square and the destruction of large numbers of NY Times issues, and given the Times' sales, they can't afford to have them stolen and destroyed.

Watch out America! That same type of crap is coming here.
"Coming?" It's here, it's just not as effective. The flying Imams case was an attempt to stir up the passengers and then try to use the courts to punish anyone who voiced their suspicions. It failed, but they will continue to provoke incidents and then use the legal system to establish a precedent that silences any critics.

AHeneen
02-12-2009, 03:30 PM
Aw, the poor Muslims got their feelings hurt. If they don't like freedom of speech they should move back to where they came from.

Odysseus
02-12-2009, 04:21 PM
Aw, the poor Muslims got their feelings hurt. If they don't like freedom of speech they should move back to where they came from.

But that's not the plan. The plan is for them to go to Europe, outbreed the locals and eventually use their numerical superiority and propensity for violence to cow the EUnuchs into submission, or, as it's called in Arabic, Islam.

noonwitch
02-12-2009, 04:25 PM
I picked up Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book Infidel and have read about 75 pages of it so far. She was basically asked to leave the Netherlands after the murder of Theo van Gogh-her neighbors though her presence was endangering them, since the killer left a note for her on van Gogh's body. She's currently living in the US.

The horror of her life as a child is unbelievable. She was ritually mutilated by her grandmother and her grandmother's tribal friends, at the age of 5-her father didn't want it done, but neither parent was around to stop Grandma.

She captures the hopelessness of women stuck in repressive Islamic societies in a heartbreaking manner.

AHeneen
02-13-2009, 03:02 AM
I picked up Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book Infidel and have read about 75 pages of it so far. She was basically asked to leave the Netherlands after the murder of Theo van Gogh-her neighbors though her presence was endangering them, since the killer left a note for her on van Gogh's body. She's currently living in the US.

The horror of her life as a child is unbelievable. She was ritually mutilated by her grandmother and her grandmother's tribal friends, at the age of 5-her father didn't want it done, but neither parent was around to stop Grandma.

She captures the hopelessness of women stuck in repressive Islamic societies in a heartbreaking manner.

I just read van Gogh's Wikipedia article (since the name didn't strike a bell at first) and then that of his killer. I found the following statement shocking about his killer: "Mohammed Bouyeri's strict interpretation of Islam and insistence on segregation of the sexes did not prevent him from using pornographic material in his personal life, where his pornographic material showed a predilection for amputee fetishism, child pornography and necrophilia." Readthis (http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID={7F4F2137-CC91-4D65-8B18-A8DC34FDC74D}) article for more.