Ghost in the Shell, Soon
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The Dutch Buckle

BBC News via Samizdata:

A Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to put a right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements.

Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders made a controversial film last year equating Islam with violence and has likened the Koran to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.

"In a democratic system, hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to... draw a clear line," the court in Amsterdam said.

Mr Wilders said the judgement was an "attack on the freedom of expression".

For the sake of argument, if Wilders is wrong about Islam, then wouldn't the prudent response for opponents be to make a movie in which they disprove him?

But they can't.

Instead, the Dutch system has chosen to sacrifice Wilders to placate the umma: "See! We're not Islamophobes. So, please don't attack us."



Good post, Isaac. A very good point.

Snake Oil Baron

The term "an attack on freedom of expression" is often overused (many "attacks" are not deliberate but more accurately are "infringements") but in this case it genuinely is an attack. Those driving the prosecution desire to make criticism of Islam illegal by defining it as hate. they wish to deliberately weaken the concept of freedom of expression.

I don't support all of Wilders' views but nothing he is being charged with is anything different than what Richard Dawkins has said. Wilders just says it more publicly and emotively. If Dawkins were dutch I would recommend Wilders petition to have him named as a co-defendant to see how far the prosecution is willing to go.

Even if this were "hate speech" it baffles me how anyone thinks that forcing people to be discrete about their hate is the same as stopping it. Having people spout real hatred and conspiracy theories to each other outside the public eye prevents sensible people from being able to rip apart their views and make a laughing stock of them. The media hides all of the incredibly sick hatred coming from the media in Arab and Islamic states and I don't see how such "discretion" has helped lower the levels anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-western views.

Mike T

This may just be my contrarian tendencies at work here, but I automatically give some respect and credibility to those that the officials want to silence. No one tries to silence a fool because all they have to do to get rid of him is to let him keep speaking.

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