Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Trial Of Geert Wilders (Bumped)

"This court is not interested in the truth. This court doesn't want me to have a fair trial." - Geert Wilders, February 4, 2010

It has come to my attention that some informed people don't even realize that Geert Wilders is on trial in what could well be the most important trial of the our time. Indeed, sometimes when I've mentioned the name "Geert Wilders," I've gotten a blank stare and the response, "Who?" and "What's going on?"

In my view, it is an abomination that the story of the trial of Geert Wilders is not making headlines in every newspaper in the West, including in the American media. Especially in the American media.

Paul Marshal, senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, explains some of the importance of this trial and indicts the American media at National Review Online:
The American media’s silence about the Geert Wilders trial is puzzling — the trial is explosive, much more so than most of America’s perennial “trials of the century.” Wilders, leader of the Freedom party, is arguably the Netherlands’s most popular politician, but for years he has had to live in safe houses, including on military bases. He now faces the possibility of imprisonment on charges of “group insult” and “incitement to hatred,” as defined by articles 137 (c) and (d) of the Dutch penal code, for his public speeches and op-eds criticizing Islam.

Apart from its direct and immediate threat to free speech, the trial exposes the growth of political violence and repression in the Netherlands, long lauded as the most tolerant country in Europe, if not the world....

The media’s silence is also disturbing since it indicates their reluctance, even fear, when it comes to grappling with the West’s increasing censorship of anything that might be deemed offensive to some Muslims. So far, the effects in the U.S. are small — such as the Yale University Press’s removing the famous Danish cartoons from a book about those same cartoons — but they betray a mindset common to much of Europe: preemptive self-censorship.
Much more HERE in the article "Western Civilization on Trial"; contributors to the essay also include Bat Ye'or, Clifford D. May, Daniel Pipes, Nina Shea, and Robert Spencer.

Robert Spencer weighs in as follows:
The Geert Wilders trial ought to be an international media event; seldom has any court case anywhere had such enormous implications for the future of the free world. The case against him, which has all the legitimacy of a Stalinist-era Moscow show trial, is a manifestation of the global assault on free speech sponsored chiefly at the U.N. by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). If Wilders loses, the freedom of speech will be threatened everywhere in the West.

Even if he wins, a dangerous precedent has been set by the fact of the trial itself: It is a sad day for the freedom of speech when a man can be put on trial for causing another man offense.
If offending someone were really a crime warranting prosecution by the civil authorities, the legal system would be opened up to absurdities even greater than the Wilders trial....
Of course, thanks to the Internet, the most-publicized "offense" that Mr. Wilders committed was making the video Fitna, a short film using words from the Koran, news headlines, and news video footage to illustrate the threat that jihad and Islamization pose to the Netherlands. Watch the video for yourself. Exactly what in that video isn't true?

No matter. The truth doesn't matter! As Stogie points out in this essay:
Geert Wilders is on trial for telling the truth.
Furthermore, we have yet another disturbing aspect of the trial:
Wilders is being limited in the number of witnesses he can call: out of 18 requested, only 3 were approved by the court.
Of note: one of the approved witnesses is Wafa Sultan, a former Muslim and the author of A God Who Hates.

In his unique style, Pat Condell addresses the matter of the trial of Geert Wilders in the following video, absolutely worth your time if you care one whit about freedom and justice:

Additional reading: "The Railroading of Geert Wilders."

Learn more about the trial of Geert Wilders by reading the various tabs at Wilders on trial: A sledgehammer blow to the freedom of speech.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 2/11/2010 04:00:00 PM