«Far-right MP Geert Wilders on trial for discrimination against Muslims Geert Wilders, the far-right MP who likens the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, goes on trial today in a politically charged test of the limits of tolerance and free speech in the Netherlands.Apenas uma observação: discordo em absoluto da classificação de Wilders e do PVV como partido de "extrema-direita". Nas declarações de Wilders nada aponta nesse sentido, como afirma Daniel Pipes no artigo hoje aqui divulgado. De resto, a notícia foca alguns dos pontos essenciais deste caso. Via Jihad Watch.
Mr Wilders, 46, leader of the Freedom Party, is charged with incitement and discrimination against Muslims over his outspoken comments attacking Islam and for his film, Fitna, which juxtaposed images of 9/11 and beheadings with verses of the Koran. He has called the Koran “a fascist book” and described Islamic culture as retarded.
Mr Wilders (...) has called his indictment a political trial but the Amsterdam Court of Appeal decided that it was in the public interest to prosecute him because his comments have been “so insulting to Muslims”.
“The freedom of speech is on the verge of collapsing,” Mr Wilders added. “If a politician is not allowed to criticise an ideology anymore this means that we are lost, and it will lead to the end of our freedom. However, I remain combative: I am convinced that I will be acquitted.”
He faces up to two years in prison if convicted but his opponents fear that, win or lose, his Freedom Party will receive a boost in next year’s election where it is expected to challenge the ruling Christian Democrats for the largest party vote.
Mr Wilders has received numerous death threats for his campaign against the “Islamisation of our societies” views but has built a large following by exploiting a backlash against relaxed Dutch immigration policies, vowing to close Holland’s borders if he comes to power.
“My supporters say, ‘At last there is someone who dares to say what millions of people think’. That is what I do.” Today’s hearing in Amsterdam district court is a formal opening session to determine who will be called as witnesses and whether they will all be heard in public.
In its judgment ordering the prosecution of Mr Wilders the Court of Appeal stated: “The court considers this so insulting for Muslims that it is in the public interest to prosecute Wilders. By attacking the symbols of the Muslim religion, he also insulted Muslim believers. In a democratic system, hate speech is considered to be so serious that it is in the general interest to draw a clear line.”»