Wilders Walks

|

The incredibly stupid prosecution of Dutch politician Geert Wilders is over. Wilders, who faced up to a year in prison for "hate speech," was allowed to walk for saying mean things about Islam:

The public prosecution department on Friday afternoon stated that Geert Wilders is not guilty of discriminating against Muslims. Earlier on Friday it announced he should also be found not guilty of inciting hatred.

Prosecutors Birgit van Roessel and Paul Velleman reached their conclusions after a careful reading of interviews with and articles by the anti-Islam politician and a viewing of his anti-Koran film Fitna.

They said comments about banning the Koran can be discriminatory, but because Wilders wants to pursue a ban on democratic lines, there is no question of incitement to discrimination 'as laid down in law'.

On the comparison of the Koran with Mein Kampf, the prosecutors said the comparison was 'crude but that did not make it punishable'.

Last year, I argued against banning Wilders from entering the UK. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

28 responses to “Wilders Walks

  1. A victory for free speech.
    Wilders is still a fucktard.

    1. I would go that far. Not quite a victory for free speech, he just didnt go far enough to break the law. His free speech is still limited.

      1. Well, these prosecutors didn’t feel, in their wisdom, that he did. But that doesn’t change the capriciousness inherent in a law that limits free speech based on the offensiveness of it as subjectively determined by the people it’s directed against.

      2. Speech is still limited, but the edge of the envelope is either farther out than before or was discovered/revealed to be farther out than some feared. So, a victory for free speech.

        Everything is quantitative.

  2. I suspected from the beginning they would realize that persecuting him like this would lead to his beatification amongst the (native) public, and the gov. couldn’t have that.

    Of course, Wilders has his own wounds to consider, since he wanted to ban the Koran in the Netherlands which is a comparably evil form of free-speech restriction.

    1. This. Headline should read “right wing statist asshole is found not guilty by left wing statist assholes”

      1. C’mon Domo…you forgot to capitalize your sentence.

  3. A Steyn/Levant redux. The Dutch State still holds the power to prosecute unpopular speech.

    1. Don’t worry, they’ll get around to banning The Diary of Anne Frank eventually.

  4. So status quo, you can still be arrested for saying mean things about Islam. Just this guy wasn’t found guilty of it under these circumstances. Great little country, y’all got there.

  5. There is no freedom of speech in any country except this one, and here it’s solely because of the 1st Amendment. Man, am I glad that Jefferson lost to Madison in that battle.

    1. I’m not.

    2. Man, am I glad that Jefferson lost to Madison in that battle.

      We’re not convinced he did.

    3. +1

      Any country with such “hate speech” laws deserves a Freedom House “partly free” rating (at best).

    4. Hmmm…I wonder if this is actually true. I’m thinking it probably is, which is pretty damned sad that there isn’t a single other country on the planet with true free speech. I certainly can’t think of another country that has free speech rules as stong as the US.

  6. just out of curiosity, how many Muslims have been prosecuted, and how many convicted of hate speech in Holland (yeah, I’m calling it Holland… want to make something of it tulip head? Oh noes!!! don’t kick my ass with those wooden shoes – they really hurt!)?

    1. Excellent point. I’m betting a pretty small amount, and that a lot of really hateful imam type speech gets “overlooked.”

      1. I’m betting a pretty small amount, and that a lot of really hateful imam type speech gets

        That’s “cultural”.

    2. Don’t you think the folks in the other 85% of the Netherlands deserve some credit for their country’s dumb laws? Why do the poor folks on the coast always have to take the blame?

  7. “They said comments about banning the Koran can be discriminatory, but because Wilders wants to pursue a ban on democratic lines, there is no question of incitement to discrimination ‘as laid down in law’.”

    So, hate speech isn’t hate speech if he wants the government to enshrine his hate in law?

    This is one of the reasons hate speech laws are so ridiculous…

    I think they came to the right decision here–and it’s absurd. You aren’t advocating for discrimination if you’re encouraging everyone to vote for a government that will discriminate?

    That says a lot more about those stupid hate speech laws than it does about Geert Wilders.

    1. Yeah, the reasoning is exactly backwards. Hate whatever you want, so long as your hate is accompanied by a state-enforced restriction of freedom.

      But privately espouse your beliefs, without any enabling coercive power? You’re under arrest.

      1. Well, it makes a sort of sense if you consider “political” communication the last ditch and what must be preserved at all cost, for fear of being locked in on policy because of never being able to argue for change.

  8. …..and it’s absurd. You aren’t advocating for discrimination if you’re encouraging everyone to vote for a government that will discriminate?

    Joseph Heller are you ever wrong?

  9. You Shall Not Discriminate. You shall mash up your mind and force yourself to see eveything as one big mushy pile of everything else. Distintions such as “Everything Else” shall henceforth be illegal discrimination as “else” implies borders between entities or between ideas. The word “or” is also banned. Identity is henceforth only to be recognized by the state and only for the purpose of punishing those who make distinctions and pass moral judgements.

  10. I’m stomping off, now!

  11. It’s not over yet. The courts ruling isn’t due till Nov 5 and they may reject the prosecutors reasoning.

    After all, the prosecutors in this case didn’t even want to bring the case to trial so there’s a good chance the court will ignore their desires again.

  12. Islam means “peace” IF (a huge “IF” here) when one “submits and surrenders” to their (sharia) way of life and their moon-god-allah. If you don’t “submit and surrender”, there is NO PEACE…never has, is, nor will be.

    Freedom, liberty and Islam have never gone together. Look no further than the koran where over 60% of this book deals with how NON-Muslims are to be converted, taxed (called jizya), enslaved, punished, fought and yes…KILLED! In every definition of a hate book, the koran qualifies as one and I applaud those like Wilders that have the guts top tell the world that Islam is only about “peace” on THEIR terms!!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.