Monday, January 25, 2010
Geert Wilders' Opening Statement
Video by Vlad Tepes Blog-hat tip to Klein Verzet
Above is Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders' opening statement at his trial in The Netherlands on charges he has incited hatred against Muslims and immigranmts. It is in Dutch with English sub-titles.
I feel it is an eloquent statement in defense of frredom of speech. I recognize that European countries have laws governing speech which are often not as absolute as our laws in America. Yet, it is frightening that this man might go to prison for his words. To my knowlege, Wilders has never advocated violence against any group, nor hatred toward any group as a people. He feels that Islam represents a threat to Western ideals of freedom. He does not attack Muslims as people, yet he has pointed out that Islam has tenets that conflict with Western ideals of freedom. For that, he risks going to prison.
One might note that on this blog, I have often attacked the words of others, including those I consider Islamic radicals who preach hate against non-Muslims. Yet I have never advocated that those whose words I condemn be arrested and imprisoned for those words.
That is exactly what is happening to Geert Wilders today in The Netherlands. I think it is shameful, and I hope that the final verdict will be that Wilders has a right under Dutch law to express his opinion.