Wilders Acquitted Of Incitement To Hatred
It’s a trial that never should have been—no matter what one thinks about Wilders.
Wilders has previously said that it was not he who was put on trial but his “freedom of speech,” arguing Western values are at stake in the Netherlands.
Wilders, who identifies as an agnostic, leads an anti-Islam Freedom Party that has enjoyed growing support in the Netherlands. The Dutch MP first courted controversy with his film "Fitna," a short piece that juxtaposes passages from Islamic holy texts and grisly scenes of terrorism perpetrated by Islamic Totalitarian organizations.
As a result of his activism Wilders was not allowed to enter the United Kingdom for several months, with the ban lifted in late 2009. Just a few months prior to banning Wilders the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary allowed a radical Lebanese propagandist, who calls for violence and terrorism in the name of Islam, to enter the U.K. The important distinction is that Wilders, whether or not one agrees with him, does not advocate for violence.
Wilders’ ideas are provocative, even faulty. His call to ban the Quran because the Netherlands bans Hitler’s "Mein Kampf" on the premise that it is violent ignores that no book should be banned as it opens the door for a whole lot of censorship, including for other religious texts. However, Wilders had a right to express ideas, as long as he did not call for violence, without fear of being put to trial. He has already paid the price for his ideas just by being forced to live under tight security due to fatwas, Islamic religious edicts, which call for his beheading.