In FrontPage this morning I discuss yesterday’s great verdict:
In a great victory for decency and sanity, the Court of Amsterdam has acquitted Geert Wilders of all of the spurious “hate speech” charges that have been hanging over his head for several years now. This is decisive defeat for the Islamic supremacist forces that have been trying to destroy the freedom of speech and compel dhimmi Western governments to label the truth about Islam and jihad as “hate speech.” It is good to be able to report that it is still not illegal to tell the truth in the Netherlands and in the West in general — but we are not out of the woods yet.
Wilders remarked: “I am delighted with this ruling. It is a victory, not only for me but for all the Dutch people.” He could have added — and for all free people the world over, who can by this ruling stave off at least for awhile longer the attempts to criminalize speaking accurately about a radically repressive ideology that would use our self-enforced silence about its nature and intentions to advanced unopposed. Wilders continued: “Today is a victory for freedom of speech. The Dutch are still allowed to speak critically about Islam, and resistance against Islamization is not a crime. I have spoken, I speak and I shall continue to speak.”
This should be axiomatic. It should be commonsensical. It should be taken for granted by every free person in every free society: that to criminalize criticism of any ideology or belief system establishes that ideology or belief system in a protected class, and gives it carte blanche to do whatever it pleases in the society at large. Criminalizing speech or thought is thus a clear path to authoritarian government, and the death of any free society.
Yet no one seems to grasp that, or to care. And so Wilders” case was a close-run thing. It was not certain that the verdict would go his way, and shameful that the case proceeded at all. Amsterdam judge Marcel van Oosten said Thursday that Wilders” statements about Islam, which were in every case true and accurate, were “acceptable within the context of public debate.” How generous of Marcel van Oosten, to determine with all the weight of his judicial authority that speaking unpleasant and unwelcome truths was “acceptable within the context of public debate”!What van Oosten should have said, had he had any clear understanding of the real implications of this case, was that the idea that Wilders should have been prosecuted at all on the charges of offending Muslims, and inciting hatred and discrimination against them, was absurd on its face.
If offending someone and inciting hatred is a crime, then freedom fighters ought to be able to bring charges against the Leftists and Islamic supremacists who routinely demonize and defame them. But of course, it never works that way. “Hate speech” laws in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the West are designed wholly and solely to criminalize non-Leftist thought “” as well as criticism of Islamic supremacism and jihad, which forces such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and its allies have been largely successful in convincing Western elites to regard as “racism.”…