Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Dutch (and European) Death Spiral: Three articles

Critics of Islam on Trial in Europe: Wilders Convicted

By Giulio Meotti
  • On December 9, for the first time in Dutch history, a court criminalized freedom of expression: The truly heroic Dutch Member of Parliament, Geert Wilders, was found guilty of the "crime" of "hate speech."
  • The death sentence against Salman Rushdie in 1989 by Iran's supreme leader looked unreal. The West did not take it seriously. Since then, however, this fatwa has been assimilated to such an extent that today's threats to free speech come from ourselves. It is now the West that put on trial writers and journalists.
  • The Red Brigades, the Communist terror group which devastated Italy in the 1970s, coined a slogan: "Strike one to educate one hundred." If you target one, you get collective intimidation. This is exactly the effect of these political trials about Islam.
  • "Hate speech" has become a political weapon to dispatch whoever may not agree with you. It is not the right of a democracy to quibble about the content of articles or cartoons. In the West, we paid a high price for the freedom to write them and and read them it. It is not up to those who govern to grant the right of thought and speech.
  • In Europe now, the same iron curtain as in the Soviet era is descending.
Left: Writer Salman Rushdie. Right: Dutch MP Geert Wilders.
After the Second World War and the horrors of Nazism and Stalinism, a central tenet of Western democracies has been that you can put people on trial, but not ideas and opinions. Europe is now allowing dangerous "human rights" groups and Islamists to use tribunals to restrict the borders of our freedom of expression, exactly as in Soviet show trials. "Militant anti-racism will be for the 21st century what communism was for the 20th century," the prominent French philosopher, Alain Finkielkraut has predicted.

The Guilty Verdict Dutch Politicians Wanted So Much
Left Wing Politicians Who Insulted Moroccans Worse, Not Prosecuted

By Douglas Murray 
  • Remarks, incomparably more damning icepicks than "fewer Moroccans", [were] made by members of the Netherlands' Labour Party, who of course were never prosecuted.
  • Members of the Netherlands' Labour Party, who never of course were prosecuted, have wielded incomparably more damning icepicks than "fewer Moroccans".
  • The irony cannot have been lost on the wider world that on the same day that news of Wilders's conviction came out the other news from Holland was the arrest of a 30 year-old terror suspect in Rotterdam suspected of being about to carry out 'an act of terrorism'.
  • Internationally it will continuously be used against Wilders that he has been convicted of 'inciting discrimination' even though the charge is about a proto-crime – a crime that has not even occurred: like charging the makers of a car chase movie for 'inciting speeding'. As with many 'hate-crime' trials across the free world, from Denmark to Canada, the aim of the proceedings is to blacken the name of the party on trial so that they are afterwards formally tagged as a lesser, or non-person. If this sounds Stalinist it is because it is.
  • In the long-term, though, there is something even more insidious about this trial. For as we have noted here before, if you prosecute somebody for saying that they want fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands then the only legal views able to be expressed about the matter are that the number of Moroccans in the country must remain at precisely present numbers or that you would only like more Moroccans in the country. In a democratic society this sort of matter ought to be debatable.
  • If there is one great mental note of which 2016 ought to have reminded the world, it is how deeply unwise it is to try to police opinion. For when you do so you not only make your society less free, but you disable yourself from being able to learn what your fellow citizens are actually – perhaps ever more secretly – feeling. Then one day you will hear them.
The trial of Geert Wilders has resulted in a guilty verdict. The court – which was located in a maximum security courthouse in the Netherlands near Schipol airport – found the leader of the PVV (Freedom Party) guilty of 'insulting a group' and of 'inciting discrimination'. The trial began with a number of complaints, but the proceedings gradually honed down onto one single comment made by Wilders at a party rally in March 2014. This was the occasion when Wilders asked the crowd whether they wanted 'fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands'. The crowd of supporters shouted 'Fewer'.
On Friday morning the court decided not to impose a jail sentence or a fine, as prosecutors had requested. The intention of the court is clearly that the 'guilty' sentence should be enough.

The Dutch Death Spiral
From Paradise to Bolshevik Thought Police

By Giulio Meotti 
  • "It would have been better if the Dutch state had sent a clear signal [to terrorists] via a Dutch court that we foster a broad notion of the freedom of expression in the Netherlands." — Paul Cliteur, Professor of Jurisprudence, Leiden University.
  • The historic dimension of Wilders's conviction is related not only to the terrible injustice done to this MP, but that it was the Netherlands that, for the first time in Europe, criminalized dissenting opinions about Islam.
  • "I will never be silent. You will not be able to stop me... And that is what we stand for. For freedom and for our beautiful Netherlands." — Geert Wilders, Dutch MP and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).
  • "We have a lot of guests who are trying to take over the house." — Pym Fortuyn, later shot to death to "defend Dutch Muslims from persecution."
  • Before being slaughtered, clinging to a basket, Theo van Gogh begged his assassin: "Can we talk about this?" But can we talk?
Twelve years ago, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (left) was assassinated by an Islamist who pinned on van Gogh's chest a letter threatening the life of Geert Wilders (right). Today Wilders, the most prominent politician in the Netherlands, lives in hiding under round-the-clock protection.
A country whose most outspoken filmmaker was slaughtered by an Islamist; whose bravest refugee, hunted by a fatwa, fled to the U.S.; whose cartoonists must live under protection, had better should think twice before condemning a Member of Parliament, whose comments about Islam have forced him to live under 24-hour protection for more than a decade, for "hate speech." Poor Erasmus! The Netherlands is no longer a safe haven for free thinkers. It is the Nightmare for Free Speech.
The most prominent politician in the Netherlands, MP Geert Wilders, has just been convicted of "hate speech," for asking at a really if there should be fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. Many newly-arrived Moroccans in the Netherlands seem to have been responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime there.

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