City Journal has posted Bruce Bawer’s commentary on the prosecution of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders for “incitement to hatred and discrimination” against Islam. Wilders is of course the politician who made the film “Fitna” (video below). The film apparently provides the basis for the charge against Wilders. Bawer writes:
Even before Fitna was released early last year, Doekle Terpstra, a leading member of the Dutch establishment, called for mass rallies to protest the movie. Terpstra organized a coalition of political, business, academic, and religious leaders, the sole purpose of which was to try to freeze Wilders out of public debate. Dutch cities are riddled with terrorist cells and crowded with fundamentalist Muslims who cheered 9/11 and idolize Osama bin Laden, but for Terpstra and his political allies, the real problem was the one Member of Parliament who wouldn’t shut up. “Geert Wilders is evil,” pronounced Terpstra, “and evil has to be stopped.” Fortuyn, van Gogh, and Hirsi Ali had been stopped; now it was Wilders’s turn.
But Wilders–who for years now has lived under 24-hour armed guard–would not be gagged. Thus the disgraceful decision to put him on trial. In Dutch Muslim schools and mosques, incendiary rhetoric about the Netherlands, America, Jews, gays, democracy, and sexual equality is routine; a generation of Dutch Muslims are being brought up with toxic attitudes toward the society in which they live. And no one is ever prosecuted for any of this. Instead, a court in the Netherlands–a nation once famous for being an oasis of free speech–has now decided to prosecute a member of the national legislature for speaking his mind. By doing so, it proves exactly what Wilders has argued all along: that fear and “sensitivity” to a religion of submission are destroying Dutch freedom.
Our friend Joel Mowbray reports that Wilders fears he will be found guilty and sent to prison in only a few months. The prosecution of Wilders is one more step along Europe’s path to abject dhimmitude.
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