In its death throes, Eutopia has decided to smash the lights of liberty.
— Mark Steyn
Tomorrow is G-Day.
Reposted from IFPS: Bat Ye’or, Clare Lopez, Daniel Pipes, David Harris, David Yerushalmi, Diana West, Mark Steyn, and Nidra Poller weigh in on the Geert Wilders trial.
Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders goes on trial in Amsterdam on Wednesday, January 20, on charges related to his political campaign to stop and reverse the Islamization of the Netherlands. The International Free Press Society has asked an array of legal experts, authors and journalists to reflect on this momentous event, and we present their comments below.
Politics and freedom
Muslims might feel insulted by Geert Wilders’ opinions on Islam. However, Geert Wilders and non-Muslims feel insulted — threatened — by the hostile and negative opinions on them enshrined in Muslim holy books, laws and customs. These are not hidden or dismissed as outdated, but continuously and proudly published, taught and publicly expounded throughout the world — without being opposed by Muslim leaders.
Westerners have been conditioned by their governments, their media, the Palestinisation of their culture and societies, to be the culprit and to accept without a murmur the continuous harassment of the permanent terrorist threat. Such terrorism has taken already many innocent lives and wounded countless others since it started, in the 1960s, in Europe with the collaboration of Palestinians and Nazi groups murdering Jews and Israelis.
In view of an aggressive indigenous and foreign terrorism within the Netherlands itself, it is clear that Geert Wilders is answering a provocation against him that obliges him to live under permanent security controls. How is it possible that in the XXIe century, in a democratic and peaceful Europe, some people, politicians, intellectuals, cartoonists or others, need 24-hour security when they have done nothing but lawfully express themselves ? Will self-censorship define our culture?
For most Europeans, Geert Wilders appears to be the hero and defender of their lost freedoms and dignity; a conviction would reinforce his aura and weaken his political enemies. Public opinion would see those enemies as the stooges of the Organization of the Islamic Conference who continuously and by every means pressure European governments to punish severely what it consider blasphemy according to shariah law. For instance, in March 2006, the Executive Committee of the OIC held its first Ministerial Meeting in Jeddah.1 They decided that the OIC Member States and its Secretary-General ought to pursue efforts to realize the following objectives: 1) adoption of a resolution at the 61st session of the UN General Assembly to proscribe defamation of religions and religious symbols, blasphemy, denigration of all prophets, and the prevention in the future of other defamatory actions; and 2) planning a global strategy to prevent the defamation of religions with the implementation of effective and appropriate measures.
Western governments must decide whether they judge by Western or shariah laws. Wilders has defied shariah law, and, as a consequence, his life is in constant danger. It seems to me that the threats against him are the real crimes the Netherlands should address. If Wilders is convicted, Europeans will see in such a verdict the suppression of their own freedom to defend themselves and their submission to dhimmitude.
Wilders’ prosecution reveals a real and profound social and political malaise. Punishments and insults will not help, it will worsen it. Through him, governments must listen to the discontent of their own people whom they have consistently ignored or despised. This is Wilders’ message. It is also Flemming Rose’s revolt and Kurt Westergaard’s ordeal — to name a few other prominent revolutionaries against the imposition of shariah in Europe, without forgetting the Muslim apostates.
The Free World is watching and listening. Buying Europe’s security by appeasement, political correctness, self-censorship and the Palestinisation of society, will lead only to civil wars.
Humans have short memories. But history will record that Wilder’s trial will either condemn freedom of speech, or support this most precious right of Mankind against intellectual terror and cultural totalitarianism.
His Free Speech is Our Free Speech
By Clare M. Lopez
17 January 2010
When Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders goes on trial this week in the Netherlands, he will stand alone before a Dutch court. But make no mistake: it is the very principle of free speech which hangs in the balance there. Brought up on charges of inciting hatred, Wilders is one of the few leaders anywhere in the Western world who dares to denounce a supremacist Islamic doctrine that commands its faithful to jihad and terror against non-believers. As he showed so honestly in his courageous film, ‘Fitna,’ a system of pluralist, tolerant, liberal democracy is fundamentally incompatible with literal, textual Islam as presented on the pages of the Qur’an.
Increasingly, Wilders’ fellow countrymen and lovers of individual liberty under rule of man-made law across Europe are responding to his call to confront those who would follow the way of Islamic jihad. We all are beginning to understand that Geert Wilders is Everyman—every man and woman who believes in the freedom to speak one’s mind, to express truth as he sees it without fear of repression or prosecution. Free speech means nothing if it does not include the right to offend, and no belief system, not Islam and not any other, can be exempt. To speak the truth is no crime—but to rise up in gratuitous violence at the sound of truth, however offensive, ought to be.
The American Founding Fathers declared that our rights derive not from any government or religion but from the Creator Himself and the natural state of human beings. As such, no government may or ought try to alienate such rights from its people. Nor may Islam or any faith. Geert Wilders knows this and to ensure that inalienable rights remain the hallmark of human dignity, he stands in the dock for all of us.
Netherlands: the world is watching. Do not lead Europe into a long black night where the light of freedom flickers but fitfully as it does in every place where Shari’a is law. Stand with your forebears who, like William of Orange, fought to keep Dutchmen free, and do not fear the violence of assassins and mobs. Your liberty is our liberty and Wilders’ free speech is our free speech.
By Daniel Pipes
Who is the most important European alive today? I nominate the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. I do so because he is best placed to deal with the Islamic challenge facing the continent. He has the potential to emerge as a world-historical figure.
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The Islamic challenge consists of two components: on the one hand, an indigenous population’s withering Christian faith, inadequate birthrate, and cultural diffidence, and on the other an influx of devout, prolific, and culturally assertive Muslim immigrants. This fast-moving situation raises questions about Europe retaining its historic civilization; it become a majority-Muslim continent living under Islamic law (the Shari’a).
Wilders, 46, founder and head of the Party for Freedom (PVV), is the unrivaled leader of those Europeans who wish to retain their historic identity. That’s because he and the PVV differ from most of Europe’s other nationalist, anti-immigrant parties.
The PVV is politically mainstream, with its roots lying not in neo-Fascism, nativism, conspiricism, antisemitism, or other forms of extremism, but in libertarianism and mainstream conservatism. (Wilders publicly emulates Ronald Reagan.) In addition, Wilders is a charismatic, savvy, principled, and outspoken leader who has rapidly become the most dynamic political force in the Netherlands. Finally, the PVV benefits from the fact that, uniquely in Europe, the Dutch are receptive to a non-nativist rejection of Islam. It has done well electorally; polls now generally show the PVV winning a plurality of votes and becoming the country’s largest party. Thus, Were Wilders to become prime minister, he could fulfill a leadership role for all Europe.
But he faces daunting challenges, including his opponents’ dirty tactics. Most notably, they have finally, after 21/2 years of preliminary skirmishes, succeeded in dragging him to court on charges of hate speech and incitement to hatred.
Although I disagree with Wilders about Islam (I respect the religion but fight Islamists with all I have), we stand shoulder-to-shoulder against this lawsuit. I reject the criminalization of political differences and the attempted thwarting of a political movement through the courts. Accordingly, the Middle East Forum’s Legal Project has worked on Wilders’ behalf, raising substantial funds for his defense and helping in other ways.
Wilders today represents all those Westerners who cherish their civilization. The outcome of his trial has implications for us all.
Mr. Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org) is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.
(c) 2010 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.
PURSUIT OF A PARLIAMENTARIAN
David B. Harris
Here, in this Ottawa winter, it is dismayingly easy to recall claims that Canada’s capital city is the coldest after Ulan Bator. I don’t know what heralds the Mongolian capital’s emergence from winter, but a sure sign that Ottawans have defrosted is the blossoming of a kaleidoscope of tulips in their millions, and the advent of the internationally-acclaimed Canadian Tulip Festival. We have the Netherlands — and, indirectly, the Nazis — to thank for both.
When the Nazis took Holland during the Second World War, the Dutch Royal Family escaped to Canada and made Ottawa their home-in-exile. It was in this city that Queen Juliana gave birth to Princess Margriet in 1943, and Canada’s Parliament helped ensure the Princess’s royal claims by declaring their hospital suite “extraterritorial” — Dutch territory. For the only time in Canadian history, a foreign flag — that of the Netherlands — flew over Canada’s Parliament.
Connections of law and spirit were further cemented when the First Canadian Army liberated much of occupied Holland. Remembering all of this, the Dutch Royal Family upon liberation sent Ottawa thousands of tulip bulbs, a gift that continues yearly, to this day.
This shared history of struggle for liberty and democracy must leave Canadians wondering whether disturbing legal developments in the Netherlands signal a loss of The Hague’s commitment to the freedoms for which Canadians and Dutch sacrificed. In the land of the tulip, “the first freedom” — freedom of speech — may be in the balance.
For outspoken Dutch parliamentarian and leader of the Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, is being prosecuted by his own government.
Wilders is an international voice of resistance against the supremacist, totalitarian impulses, demands and incursions of radical Islam — “Islamism”.
In truth, many reasonable voices object to some of his ideas, such as the banning of the Qur’an, and his tone can be provocative in ways that play into the hands of those hoping to divert attention from the radical Islamic threat. But Wilders’ words, for better or worse, are the stuff of vigorous exchanges of views in an open, plural world. To the extent that he is warning about documented threats, his focus is timely. To the extent that his country’s governing elites, like those in many Western countries, often abdicate responsibility for recognizing and dealing with the multi-front threat of Islamism, Wilders warnings can be imperative.
Wilders sees the tripartite menace of Islamism. He sounds the alarm on the threat and actuality of growing terrorist violence. He identifies Islamic radicalism as in many cases a preparatory phase for this violence and associated subversion. And he sees that a “soft jihad” is also afoot, a nonviolent jihad of demands to privilege Muslims within society, demands that are contrary to every constitutional principle of equality known to Western liberal values — and the Dutch constitution. In short, Wilders recognizes the range of the threat, from the violent rampages of outright terrorists to the charm offensives of business-suited Islamists.
Today, Mr Wilders persists, inseparably bound to bodyguards protecting him from the fate of Theo van Gogh, the filmmaker critical of Islam who was shot and stabbed to death in an Amsterdam street by a Dutch-born Muslim. This kind of menace has not stopped Wilders from warning about Islamism’s invasive trend, but neither has it stopped the Dutch government from pursuing Wilders in ways that have raised deep concerns about free expression in Holland.
There are serious worries that, underlying the Dutch prosecution, is a wish to silence someone who is embarrassing governing politicians wishing to ingratiate themselves with the increasing numbers of fundamentalist Dutch Muslims and mosques. There is also suspicion that anything less than highly-visible state-persecution of Wilders could lead to Islamist assaults on Dutch interests, at home and abroad, similar to those that cost the Danes so heavily during the Mohammed Cartoon Affair. Genuine human rights activists worldwide, are mustering to Wilders’ side, in the growing conviction that Dutch law is being put to uses contrary to the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and more in line with sharia law standards and sensibilities.
An indication of possible caprice in the matter, comes from a startling statement attributed to authorities:
“It is irrelevant whether Wilder’s witnesses might prove Wilders’ observations to be correct”, the ‘Openbaar Ministerie’ stated, “what’s relevant is that his observations are illegal”. … [link]
Another invitation to disbelief is the fact that, despite the manifest risks to Wilders’ life, the Dutch government is refusing to try the case in a secure courtroom of the sort that was provided for van Gogh’s Islamist killer. This has driven columnist Mark Steyn to raise a thought that, in other days and times, would have been inconceivable: “You’d almost get the impression it would suit them if he failed to survive till the verdict.” [link]
We will see what happens to this turbulent parliamentarian.
In the meantime, it is for the rest of us to shine a light on proceedings, and on what they say about the state of things — and of things to come — in the Netherlands, and elsewhere. By the coming of spring’s tulips, we should have an idea whether the country will be true to its sacrifices and enlightened traditions, or risk grovelling before more primitive ones.
David B. Harris is a lawyer and Director of the International and Terrorist Intelligence Program, INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc., Ottawa, Canada. His three decades in intelligence affairs have included testifying on terrorism and national security before Canadian parliamentary and US congressional bodies; appearing as intervener’s counsel before federal terrorism-related inquiries; consulting to intelligence organizations in Canada and abroad; and time as a senior manager of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in1988-90. Between 2004 and 2006, he successfully fought off a defamation lawsuit brought by the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) and its Chair, Dr Sheema Khan. The suit was part of a joint, North America-wide libel “lawfare” assault by CAIR-CAN and its Saudi-funded, American unindicted co-conspirator CAIR mother organization, on the constitutional free speech rights of media and commentators who were enquiring into the radical history, ideology and links of the CAIR/CAIR-CAN enterprise. In a victory for US First Amendment and Canadian Charter rights, Dr Khan and the enterprise, part of the Washington, DC and Ottawa, Canada “Wahabbi Lobby”, were ultimately forced to withdraw from their various libel suits in the face of damaging disclosures.
Is Geert Wilders in the Dock — or Is It the Dutch and What It Means To Be a People?
By David Yerushalmi Esq.
Geert Wilders, Member of Parliament of the Netherlands and chairman of the Freedom Party, goes on trial Wednesday in the land of the Dutch. His alleged crime: criticizing Islam in such a way that it insults Muslims and causes other people to hate devout Muslims because of their faith in Islam and its scriptures. Specifically, the lengthy summons and charge sheet set out a host of Wilders’ statements that violate two specific criminal laws. One, Wilders publicly dared to criticize Islam and its scripture in such a way that he insulted devout Muslims who take their faith in Islam seriously. Two, his public statements incite others to hate or discriminate against Muslims because of their religious beliefs. If found guilty, Wilders might very well be imprisoned and stripped of his political office.
The case demonstrates in classic terms the convergence between the Left and tyranny, a relationship documented historically by many commentators and pundits, but not well explained. In the Dutch state’s zeal to prosecute Wilders, we have the opportunity to understand in theoretical and in existential terms, how Western Elites in the guise of Progressive governance seek to destroy their own national existence and to impose an iron-fisted control over thought and speech.
The two Dutch criminal laws at issue are:
Article 137c Dutch Penal Code
1. He who publicly, verbally or in writing or image, deliberately expresses himself in an way insulting of a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief, or their hetero- or homosexual nature or their physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities, will be punished with a prison sentence of at the most one year or a fine of third category.
2. If the offence is committed by a person who makes it his profession or habit, or by two or more people in association, a prison sentence of at the most two years or a fine of fourth category will be imposed.
Article 137d Dutch Penal Code
1. He who publicly, verbally or in writing or in an image, incites hatred against or discrimination of people or violent behaviour against person or property of people because of their race, their religion or belief, their gender or hetero- or homosexual nature or their physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities, will be punished with a prison sentence of at the most one year or a fine of third category.
2. If the offence is committed by a person who makes it his profession or habit, or by two or more people in association, a prison sentence of at the most two years or a fine of fourth category will be imposed.
It is a rather facile effort to insult and cause hatred of the Dutch politicians who have, out of a multicultural religious fervor, enacted these laws, possibly leading to yet another summons and charge sheet directed at the author of this essay. We need not pause long here. What do you say to the Netherlanders who would tolerate such fascist legislation? Is it really possible that a Western European country would criminalize speech that insults a group of people for their anti-Dutch beliefs? Does it matter if the people insulted believe in or worship an evil or violent creed? Is truth a defense? According to the plain language of Article 137c, the answer is no. Can it be that the Dutch courts won’t limit the statute’s reach? The state, in the guise of the prosecutor, wants nothing less than to control Wilder’s public speech by taking his freedom, and more importantly, his Dutch heritage.
The question, thusly framed, is why? What could be the rationale for such laws? There are already laws on the books in the Netherlands and in every Western country criminalizing incitement. Depending on the jurisdiction, criminal incitement is typically circumscribed by the requirement that the inciting speech be a real threat and not just an empty rant of a wild man. But what does it mean to criminalize a man’s speech because it criticizes another man’s religion or beliefs? In the West, freedom of speech is highly prized because a man’s participation in representative government necessitates a willingness to permit public criticism.
Granted, no nation should grant speech no limits. Should we allow political advocacy the ground to advocate murder and the violent destruction of national existence? Even in the U.S. we circumscribe such speech when it is likely to incite imminent violence. But the Dutch have moved beyond incitement and have explicitly criminalized truthful public critique of another’s violent religion or faith. Again, we are forced to ask, why?
To understand the rationale for such laws, we need not travel far. Europeans brought the truth of the Enlightenment to the West. This new truth is not merely close at hand, it is the hand. Indeed, it is the whole of a man’s existence.
The truth of the Enlightenment was and continues to be that there is no truth. Western men live the certainty of this new absolutism because we accept the reduction of man to the mathematical physics of science. To gain the certainty that men are bound by the material counting of scientific symbols is to know that all else is belief or uncertain opinion. What Western men at one time understood as the truth of existence is now only an absolutely uncertain belief. If political man has no access to truth except the truth that no truth exists, there can be no truthful criticism.
The Dutch take their Enlightenment seriously. Geert Wilders’s crime is that he takes his nation and culture no less seriously than he takes Islam’s. No one can study Islam and its legal context, known as Shariah, and not know that it seeks the dominance or destruction of Dutch national existence and culture. The new Dutchmen take neither seriously except to say that neither exist outside of the mind and the “feelings” of the men who harbour such beliefs.
Wilders’ crime is not his speech. It is his commitment to the truth of existence of a Dutch people and nation grounded in Christianity. That truth violates the principles of the Enlightenment now engraved in the tablets of a Western world where the only truth permitted men in the public sphere is a multicultural pluralism devoid of any truthful content but that there is no truthful content.
To that breach of peace, Wilders is guilty. To be sure, his legal team will defend him in the context of the Enlightenment’s new truth. They will argue a technical compliance with the new hate crimes by claiming that he criticized a scripture not Muslims. They will argue that he called for no violent acts or discrimination only peaceful and lawful responses to a violent threat. This defense will echo meaninglessly within the judicial chambers. Wilders will be found guilty as charged and, given the law as written, he is guilty.
The only rational defense to the charges is that the Dutch statutes which Wilders is accused of violating are themselves a violation of what it means to be a Dutchman. If that defense fails, there is no such thing as a Dutchman and in time there will only be Muslimen in the Netherlands. And, with that, the Enlightenment will have reached its necessary end.
David Yerushalmi has been practicing law for 26 years. He is a litigator specializing in securities law, public policy relating to national security, and public interest law. Mr. Yerushalmi is licensed and practices in Washington D.C., New York, California, and Arizona and currently serves as General Counsel to the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., one of the nation’s leading national security think tanks founded by former Reagan administration official Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., and has been Of Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor for Policy Affairs to the Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies (Potomac, Maryland) since 1988.
I cannot overestimate the epochal importance of the court proceeding taking place next Wednesday the 20th in the Netherlands where Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders goes on trial for an array of charges that arises from his courageous and increasingly successful efforts to lead his countrymen against the Islamization of their country and the wider West. A man of political action, Wilders has been targeted not just for his political speech, but for his effectiveness as an advocate of liberty and pluralism, neither of which can survive in societies that are governed by, or in thrall to sharia (Islamic law).
It is not just the repressions and depredations of Islam that Wilders is outspoken about — a subject well-ploughed by certain academics and journalists alike. He is equally if almost singularly outspoken about the political remedies necessary to halt the extension of Islam’s law. Such remedies include stopping Islamic immigration and deporting agents of jihad. These are simple measures any democratic state that wished to repeal Islamization would take. These are simple measures that the Netherlands would take if Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom, which now rivals the country’s ruling party, ever came to power.
It is a political trial, then, in the worst sense, that we are about to witness. And it is about more than the future of freedom of speech. The trial of Geert Wilders is about the future of freedom.
A couple of years back, the novelist Martin Amis went to see Tony Blair and brought up the European demographic scenarios of my book. When the British Prime Minister got together with Continental leaders, Mr Amis wondered, was this topic part of “the European conversation”? Mr Blair replied, with disarming honesty, “It’s a subterranean conversation.” “We know what that means,” wrote Amis. “The ethos of relativism finds the demographic question so saturated in revulsions that it is rendered undiscussable.”
Geert Wilders is on trial for wanting to discuss it. The European political class will not permit this — even though what is “undiscussable” in polite society is a statement of the numbingly obvious if you stroll through Amsterdam and Rotterdam, not to mention Antwerp, Clichy-sous-Bois, Malmo, or any old Yorkshire mill town. The Dutch establishment is effectively daring the citizenry: “Who ya gonna believe — the state-enforced multicultural illusions or your lyin’ eyes?” Lest you be tempted to call their bluff, the enforcers are determined to make the price of dissent too high.
In the Low Countries, a pattern is discernible. Whenever politicians seek to move the conversation from the “subterranean” to the surface, they are either banned (Begium’s Vlaams Blok), forced into exile (Aayan Hirsi Ali) or killed (Pym Fortuyn). Given that the court provided greater security to Theo van Gogh’s killer than to Mr Wilders, you might almost get the impression that the authorities are indifferent as to which of these fates consumes him.
Behind this disgraceful prosecution lies a simple truth that the Dutch establishment cannot tell its people — that, unless something changes, their nation will become more and more Muslim and, very soon, slip past the point of no return. They understand the tensions between their ever more assertive Muslim population and an aging “native” working class, but they believe that the problem can be managed by placing “the European conversation” — the non-subterranean conversation — within ever narrower constraints, and criminalizing any opinions outside those bounds. Some of them are blinkered and stupid enough to think that they need to do this in order to save the tolerant multicultural society from “right wingers” like Wilders. In fact, all they are doing is hastening the rate at which their society will be delivered into the hands of the avowedly intolerant and unicultural. In its death throes, Eutopia has decided to smash the lights of liberty.
Give me liberty or …
Paris January 18 2010
“…the statements of Wilders are un-Dutch, they don’t belong to our Christian-Judaic culture…. He discriminates Moroccans because of their race and causes hate against them…. His desire to ban the Koran brings fear and terror into peoples homes… The laws against hate crimes were made in 1934, to protect the Jews in a reaction to what was happening in Germany. That is telling. Prudently, parallels can be made –these laws had a clear cut political context.” Fokko Oldenhuis, Groningen University professor of Religion and Law (Elsevier December 17, 2009)
Dutch prosecutors are going after Geert Wilders with an axe, madly determined to hack him up–mind, heart and body politic—and bury the parts under the ashes of six million exterminated European Jews. Look how far we have come since a confused UK hid Salman Rushdie under its skirts, acting on remnants of principles and hardly aware of what was at stake. Today, the courts of a European nation proudly assume the role of hatchet man for conquering Islam.
There is no justification for the persecution of Geert Wilders. He is a legitimate political figure who speaks for a growing sector of the Dutch population and represents a hope for citizens of other European countries struggling to defend civilized values on the battlefields of a frankly declared war–the jihad– which their leaders and opinion-makers are determined to hide from view. European citizens are asking their governments to set limits on Islamic encroachment–the minaret construction freeze voted in a Swiss referendum—and the will of the people sometimes reaches the ears of their elected representatives– forthcoming law against full facial veiling in France, cancellation of permit for a mega-mosque at London’s 2012 Olympic site.
Geert Wilders has played an essential role in this transmission. Precisely because the “far right extremist populist” label written up for him by jihad sources and repeated by mindless journalists does not apply. When men and women of integrity stand up to confront the Islamic assault on our civilized values, they attract broad public support. The danger in Europe today does not come from the last dredges of retrograde extreme right forces, it comes from the jihad friendly Left. Communists, socialists, and ecologists in France shamelessly court the Muslim vote and accuse the Sarkozy government of pétainisme for daring to deport illegal immigrants.
Is this the lesson Europe has drawn from the Shoah? What could be more obscene than enrolling 6 million exterminated Jews in a battle to deprive one honest upstanding legitimate popular Dutch MP of the freedom to oppose the spread of an ideology that blatantly plans the extermination of the remaining Jewish population of the world? And actively promotes the plan here and now in Europe?
If every last Muslim immigrant were deported from every European country… if Muslims to the second and third generation were stripped of their citizenship and deported… many decent people would be unfairly deprived of their acquired rights, but… the wave of violent Jew hatred that is plaguing Europe would come to a sudden halt.
Many analysts who recognize these truths regret “extreme” positions taken by Geert Wilders. They believe he would better serve the cause, and avoid prosecution, if he would tone down his rhetoric. I disagree. Pulling punches, rounding out the angles, applauding the “majority of Muslims who are moderates” though they never appear in public, making false distinctions between Islam and Islamism is getting us nowhere. The fact that the prosecution has stooped to barring the press from a landmark trial that will determine the limits of free expression is an indication of their fear of the eloquence and clarity of Geert Wilders.
We do not want to be faced in this day and age with the choice of liberty or death. But moderation is not the answer. Give me liberty or send me to bed without supper is not a rallying cry for the defenders of freedom.