Wall Street Journal: Geert Wilders’s Kangaroo Trial must end

Geert Wilders at his trial (Photo: EPA)Breaking the relative silence of the American mainstream media, The Wall Street Journal has weighed in on the kangaroo trial of popular Dutch politician Geert Wilders in the Netherlands. Correctly recognizing that the Dutch authorities have become a laughing stock worldwide for their trial of the Islam critic for “hate speech,” WSJ calls for its end.

The bizarre events of this absurd anti-free-speech “Trial of the Century” include prosecutors asking for – and receiving – dismissals of various charges, as well as agreeing with Wilders’s defense team that criticism of religion is not a crime. The judges themselves have now been dismissed on grounds of “bias,” because one of them allegedly met with a potential witness in order to convince the latter that Wilders must be tried for a crime. WSJ also rightly asserts that the entire ridiculous proceeding has simply proved Wilders’s point that Western values and rights have been eroded by the mere presence of Islam in our nations.

The Lost Cause Against Wilders

When even the prosecution calls for a defendant’s acquittal and the trial judges have been disqualified for the appearance of bias, maybe it’s time to drop the charges. Rather than a retrial, a dismissal would be the best outcome in the case of Geert Wilders, the Dutch lawmaker accused of insulting and inciting hatred against Muslims.

Mr. Wilders is not shy in his criticism of Islam. He has called for banning the Quran, which he has compared to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” Mr. Wilders became famous by making a short film, “Fitna,” which juxtaposes Quranic verses calling for jihad with footage of the aftermath of Islamist terror attacks.

As unattractive as his expressed sentiments may be, they also qualify as free speech, which is why Dutch prosecutors initially dismissed complaints against Mr. Wilders. “No doubt his words are hurtful and offensive for a large number of Muslims,” prosecutors said in 2008, but “freedom of expression fulfills an essential role in public debate in a democratic society.”

That should have been the end if it. However, an appeals court overruled the prosecution last year, forcing Mr. Wilders to stand trial. But the prosecutors still believe that no crime has been committed. “Criticism of a religion is not punishable,” prosecutor Birgit van Roessel told the Amsterdam district court 10 days ago….

Prosecuting Mr. Wilders has backfired in every way imaginable, not least politically. The trial has seemed to confirm his charge that avoiding debate over the implications of Muslim immigration leads to the erosion of Western freedoms, most notably freedom of speech. Despite, or perhaps because of, the trial, Mr. Wilders’ Party for Freedom became the third-strongest parliamentary faction in last June’s elections. This allowed Mr. Wilders to become a political king-maker by backing the new center-right minority government.

Meanwhile, as part of his defense Mr. Wilders has been putting the entire Muslim religion on trial. His defense includes not only invoking free speech but also calling expert witnesses to testify on the accuracy of his views of Islam. Before the judges could rule on whether it’s a hate crime to compare the Quran to “Mein Kampf,” Mr. Wilders wants them to rule on whether he was correct to make the comparison. This is only contributing to further religious animosity.

A retrial will achieve nothing but exacerbate these tensions. It’s time to drop the charges against Mr. Wilders before it further undermines the credibility of the Dutch legal system and the country’s tradition of free political discourse.

Further Reading

Fitna: A Review by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S


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  1. It’s like a “peaceful sect” of the KKK complaining about all the negative press that they receive then demanding anti-KKK groups be thrown in jail for contesting their views and slander. Does one KKK killer make the rest of them killers? Probably not, but that doesn’t make the KKK untouchable.

  2. Syrian Nationalist Party

    I guess I will be hanged
    Most likely they will hang me in Holland for what is written and said by me and SNP about Christians, Jews and Muslims, as well as the fraud religions. We got 20+ older members 50+yrs who written to me saying how lucky that I can exercise free speech and say it all. They are too afraid to even raise such topic in Holland. Denmark and Sweden as well, the few members we have would not dare to say anything about religion or criticise adherents. All these backward European countries are the don’t rock the boat type, if you do, you are castigated as uncivilized anarchist. Beats me how the Danish Cartoonist was allowed to publish his cartoons. Agree, this Wilders in court for his opinion is ridiculous and absurdly medieval.

  3. Glad to hear that someone in the American media woke up for a second & noticed this. I’m also glad to hear this stupid Orewllian “hate speech” crap get the contempt it deserves. The correct term is thought crime.

    The Catholic church had “heresy”. The Nazis had “Zionist” this or that. The Commies had “counterrevolutionary” or “reactionary”. Now the PC establishment has it’s various forms of “hate crimes”.

    Now it’s not just the actions that get punished but the thoughts that they believe motivated them. Punishing people for thoughts is thought policing. It’s really straightfoward & I’m shocked that folks don’t regularly get this despite the term “Orwellian being a pop culture buzzword these days.

    Class warfare is alive & well in 2010 & Geert is on trial for criticizing a protected class (religion) under the latest repressive dogma. “Political Correctness” is only the latest version of this crap.

  4. Criticism of ALL religions should be permitted.
    Just as Geert Wilders should not be prosecuted or punished for criticizing a religion, neither should the ‘Holocaust revisionists’ be prosecuted or punished for questioning the ‘official
    version’ of the Holocaust.

    The ‘official version’ of the Holocaust has itself undergone considerable revision since 1945 (including the debunking of the ‘human lamp-shades’ and ‘shrunken heads’ myth) and some high-profile ‘survivor accounts’ (such as [i]The Painted Bird[/i], [i]The Apple[/i], and [i]The Fifth Diamond[/i]) have been exposed as hoaxes. The role of some wealthy Jewish families (such as the Rothschilds and the Warburgs) in facilitating the Holocaust for their own profit and for the Zionist cause has also been revealed.

    “The saving of Jewish lives from Hitler is considered here as a potential threat to Zionism, unless they are brought to Palestine, when Zionism had to choose between the Jewish people and the Jewish state, it unhesitatingly preferred the latter.”
    — David Ben-Gurion, Dec 17th 1938

    It is illegal in some nations to question the Holocaust, but it is [u]not[/u] considered a crime to write false ‘survivor accounts’ of the Holocaust. In those nations the Holocaust functions as a religious belief, and questioning the Holocaust is prosecuted as a ‘hate crime’. But those who exaggerate the Holocaust in falsified ‘survivor accounts’ and novels are, as believers in the Holocaust ‘religion’, exempt from prosecution.

    The doctrine of Freedom of Speech should be upheld across all religious, ethnic, and political lines. Let Geert Wilders and others criticise Islam, let anyone criticise their own or any government, and let the Holocaust revisionists question the Holocaust.

  5. True. Europe is behind America in the free speech department. They still think that its a government’s place to decide what can be read or discussed in public.

    Holocaust revisionism has a free hand in the marketplace of ideas here in America but it fails to attract interest outside of the communities that need the spectre of scheming, lying, evil Jews as part of their worldview (Islamists & white nationalists).

    I think most people instinctively sense the motives that would make someone champion this or that historical issue. When you have some “Afrocentric” professor prattling on about how all these pharaohs, philosophers, Jesus, ect were really black, you sense what motives are really behind this crap.

    When you have certain Jewish pressure groups pushing Holocaust this-&-that down everyone’s throat you know it’s not the interests of objective truth they have at heart. Obviously.

    And when you have a handful of historical revisionists fanatically obsessing over inconsistencies in the Holocaust story you infer certain motives & agendas too.

    Slowly but surely, folks are getting politically skeptical when it comes to revisionism & noticing that there’s always a less-than-honorable political agenda trying to legitimize itself with those new revelations.

    Europe’s censoring of this particular group’s story is backfiring & giving them credibility they really haven’t earned. They’re generating smoke & some folks will probably assume that there’s fire.

  6. @Jeff Hansen: I’m glad to see that you try to see this topic objectively and without prejudice. Of course, everyone has an ‘agenda’ they are pursuing on various topics, and it’s a universal part of life that we owe it to ourselves and to others to learn to evaluate all controversies objectively.

    Hololcaust critics or ‘revisionists’ are not all racists, as the Jewish Anti-Defamation League and many European and Commonwealth governments would have us believe. In fact, some Jews are Holocaust critics, such as the Orthodox Rabbis who attended the Holocaust Revision Seminar in Tehran last year. There is a broad spectrum of Holocaust revisionists, from reasonable to radical.

    Even if one accepts 100% the ‘official story’ of the Holocaust, it remains evident that the Holocaust has been exploited to justify the cause of Zionism and Israeli exceptionalism. The anti-Zionist Jewish activists Norman Finkelstein and Gilad Aztmon have described what they call “The Holocaust Industry,” which seeks to profit from promoting the issue of the Holocaust.

    On Thursday, November 10th, 2010, the Telegraph (London) reported:

    [u]FBI charges 17 over ‘$42m theft’ of Holocaust survivor funds [/u]

    “Seventeen people have been charged in the US with the theft of $42 million (£26 million) from Holocaust compensation funds provided by the German government to help survivors.
    He said the defendants created thousands of false applications and duped residents of New York’s Russian Jewish immigrant community into participating, sometimes by convincing them that they qualified for payouts.
    U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara described the decade-long scheme at a news conference, saying the money was stolen in a “perverse and pervasive fraud” from the Conference on the Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, a not-for-profit group that disburses funds provided by the German government to individuals and organisations.
    Six corrupt employees approved more than 5,500 fraudulent applications for aid, leading to millions of dollars being paid to people who did not qualify for help, Mr Bharara said.
    Mr Bharara said there was such a “culture of fraud” among the defendants that some claims conference employees and their families received payments.”

    I disagree with Jewish Professor Henry Makow’s opinion on some subjects, but I think that Makow makes well-reasoned points in his essay [i]The Other Side of Holocaust Denial — Freedom As Hate Crime[/i], in which Makow (whose four Jewish grandparents perished in the Holocaust) wrote:

    “Jewish organizations dishonour Holocaust victims by using them for political purposes. It is tasteless to cast Jews as the world’s premier victims. Humanity is one family and no genocide is more important than another.”

  7. I’m sure I overstated my case with the whole “all revisionism is agenda based” deal & probably should’ve qualified my statement a bit more. I wasn’t wanting to hijack the Geert Wilders deal & have it become a Holocaust forum.

    The point I was trying to make is that most people sense on some level that this stuff appeals to most of it’s supporters for all the wrong reasons. The whole ideology-in-search-of-facts deal. This keeps it from getting any traction outside of the Islamic & white nationalist communities. The fact that Jew-haters are drawn to it like flies kills it no matter how much truth it could have on it’s side.

    I personally don’t see why anyone would be shocked that a bunch of scoundrels lied & profited off of the Holocaust. I would expect that to happen. I’ve actually read Mr Finkelstein’s book & get pissed at the crap he takes for speaking up the way he does.

    Many in the Jewish community are sick of the whole “Holocastianity” phenomenon & regularly say so. Who would want to be assigned a personal identity as perpetual victim & outsider? I wouldn’t.

    I see the whole subject as another stupid, divisive wallow in identity politics being done at the expense of everyone trying to just live their lives & be WHO they are instead of WHAT they are.

    I see the opportunists & demagogues who live for these issues as part of the problem. And there are always going to be plenty lined up on both sides of any issue, drafting us all into their crusades, convincing us that our personal details are our uniforms in their little wars.

    1. Jeff Hansen:

      I agree with everything that you wrote in your most recent comment.

      Since the Geert Wilders case is all about free speech, political correctness, ‘thought crimes’, and ‘blasphemy’, the issue of Holocaust denial as a ‘thought crime’ in European and other countries is entirely germaine to the issue of Widlers’ criticism of Islam, particularly when the Netherlands is one of those countries that has made it a crime to question the Holocaust.

      I say “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” and I think that everyone should be free to publicly criticise every ideology, including Islam, the Holocaust, ‘climate change’, the ‘War on Terrorism’, and [u]whatever[/u].

      Jeff Hansen wrote: “I see the opportunists & demagogues who live for these issues as part of the problem. And there are always going to be plenty lined up on both sides of any issue, drafting us all into their crusades, convincing us that our personal details are our uniforms in their little wars.”

      Amen to that.

      I do not want to live in a society that is coercively dominated by Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Capitalism, Socialism, or any other ideology. Criticism of Islam is fine with me, but when a ‘Freethinker’ site like this one devotes a highly disproportionate number of its articles to criticizing Islam, while neglecting the issues of Christian, Jewish, and Hindu supremacism, I begin to wonder what the site owner’s agenda is.

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