Dutch Hatemonger Geert Wilders Acquitted of Inciting Hatred
Dutch demagogue Geert Wilders, hero of the right wing “anti-jihad” loons, has been acquitted of hate speech in the Netherlands.
The presiding judge said Wilders’ remarks were sometimes “hurtful,” “shocking” or “offensive,” but that they were made in the context of a public debate about Muslim integration and multi-culturalism, and therefore not a criminal act.
“I am extremely pleased and happy,” Wilders told reporters after the ruling. “This is not so much a win for myself, but a victory for freedom of speech. Fortunately you can criticize Islam and not be gagged in public debate.”
The ruling could embolden Wilders further.
As I’ve said from the beginning of Wilders’ trial, it’s wrong to prosecute anyone for free expression, no matter how hateful and deranged that expression is.
But it’s sadly ironic that Wilders was acquitted of exactly the same kind of persecution he wants to impose on all Muslims; he often calls for the Koran to be banned, advocates that Islam should not be considered a religion at all, and explicitly advocates that Muslims be stripped of the rights of free speech and free religion.
This is the correct judgment by the Netherlands court, but Geert Wilders is no hero of free speech — he’s a slimy hate-monger, just like the American bloggers who worship him.