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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another Shameful Victory for the Universal Gutless Left


Geert Wilders

Cross-posted from Radarsite

From CBC News


"Amsterdam's Court of Appeal has ordered the prosecution of outspoken Dutch politician Geert Wilders for hate-speech, related to his anti-Islamic film, Fitna.

In a decision posted on Wednesday, the court called on public prosecutors to begin a case against the right-wing, anti-immigration politician over statements he made in interviews, in editorials and in his 15-minute film, released last March on the internet.

The court singled out Wilders for insulting comments likening elements of the Muslim faith to Nazism and calling the Qur'an "a fascist book."

"The court considers this so insulting for Muslims that it is in the public interest to prosecute Wilders," a summary of the court's decision said.

Commenting to Dutch media, Wilders called it a "black day for myself and for freedom of speech."

Wilders' short film, which drew widespread condemnation and protests in Muslim countries, intersperses violent, graphic imagery — including from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and the beheading of a Caucasian man – with quotations from the Qur'an, Islam's holy book.

It ends with text saying Islam "seeks to destroy our Western civilization" and a caricature of Muhammad, his head drawn in the shape of a bomb that explodes into a crack of thunder and lightning.

The title, Fitna, refers to a Qur'anic term for "strife."

Wednesday's decision overturns the one made by the Dutch public prosecutor's office last year. After a six-month investigation, the office had decided not to pursue a case against Wilders, saying his remarks did not amount to a punishable offence."

Fousesquawk comment: This is just an example of what is going on in The Netherlands, the most-screwed up county in Europe-a country that dares to tolerate the intolerable. This episode ranks alongside the time when a Dutch informer tipped off the Gestapo to Ann Frank's hiding place during the German occupation.* (After reflection- and a little scolding from the comments section- maybe that is a bit of hyperbole; they are not equal in degree.)

This is a country that lives in fear of its Muslim population, many of whom are young Moroccan punks that roam in gangs, assault Jews on the streets and even assault their teachers in the classroom. The blog "The Dutch Report" has a video of just such an assault in a city near Utrecht (I am still trying to get it up here.) You can see it here.

http://dutchreport.blogspot.com/2005/01/moroccan-youth-at-school.html

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I support freedom of speech.

Can't you see the irony and hypocrisy though, of this guy calling to ban the Quran and then crying, "Freedom of speech!" when he gets into trouble?

Anonymous said...

UGH, I just read this part of your post:

This episode ranks alongside the time when a Dutch informer tipped off the Gestapo to Ann Frank's hiding place during the German occupation.

I'm sorry but to compare these two things and propose that they are on the same level is disgusting and really denigrating to the memory of Anne Frank. Show some respect, Gary.

Gary Fouse said...

Bryan,

You may, indeed, be correct. In terms of degree, they are not equal. A little hyperbole, perhaps. Yet, it is shameful what is being done.

(It wasn't really "disgusting", was it?)

As to your comment about banning the Koran. I am not sure he actually called for that. I know he referred to the Koran being fascist in nature.

Anonymous said...

Okay so I might have been using a bit of hyperbole too when I said "disgusting." But still, Wilders isn't going to be hunted down, captured, and sent to a concentration camp to die after being stripped of his dignity. He's simply going to face trial and be subject to what consequences that might entail. So to compare the two is just wrong, and disrespectful to the memory of what Anne Frank and other people who were ACTUALLY persecuted went through.

And yes, he did call for the Quran to be banned.

That is hypocrisy. He can't have it both ways if he truly believes in freedom of speech.

Either he gets to say what he wants, the Quran stays and Muslims get to say what they want

OR

they can go through with his ban on the Quran and be perfectly justified in then prosecuting him for the things he says.

Gary Fouse said...

Bryan,

Good points all. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that Mr Wilders is going to wind up like Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who was slaughtered on a Dutch street by a Muslim for making a film critical of Islam's treatment of women. Then we may again bring up comparisons to Ann Frank. Ditto for Ayaan Hirsi Ali-still in hiding. The situation is Holland is sickening, but after having been there many times, I am not surprised.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Is it just me, or is it a strange irony that the country where pot is legal is under threat from Muslim extremists? Or do those two things go hand-in-hand for some reason?

Gary Fouse said...

Lance,

It's a long story, and I don't want to come across as some right-wing nut (don't say anything). The Netherlands, as a result of the Nazi occupation, evolved as a nation that prided itself on its tolerance. It has extended to lax drug laws (at least pot and hash), porn, and everything else. Now it is coming full circle as they are faced with a hostile immigrant population that just happens to be largely Muslim, which just happens to be going through one of those militant, jihadist phases. So now, in the name of their cherished tolerance, they tolerate what is intolerable. They just don't know how to tell these folks to act right or get out. As a result, their own citizens are being bullied and terrorized.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Indeed. It seems like they haven't mastered the "the right to swing your fist ends where my face begins" concept. Not that we've completely mastered it in this country either, but I think that we have a better sense of it than a lot of other places.

Anonymous said...

Is calling for a ban on a document or writings that call for violence and murder a denial of free speech?

Gary Fouse said...

A very provocative question by Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

YES, because it's still censorship and it's still a slippery slope. I am not a Muslim and I don't personally believe in the holiness of the Quran, but I own a copy. Should I face criminal charges?

Also, why stop at the Quran? The Torah has plenty of violence and genocide in it, better ban that one next!

The Christian New Testament contains the book of Revelation which speaks of Christ returning to Earth and slaughtering a bunch of people and that all Jews except 144,000 will go to hell (if you interpret it literally). Better ban that one next!

Assuming that Anonymous lives in the United States, then he or she completely fails to understand our cherished concept of freedom of speech. Unless the speech is being used to make a direct, specific call to violence, then it is protected free speech. The Quran makes no such direct threat, as its content is abstract and religious in nature, and also subject to interpretation as all religious texts are.

So either get on one side or the other of the free speech battle. Like I said, you can't have it both ways and claim to truly believe in freedom of speech.

Gary Fouse said...

Bryan,

Don't pick on me. I never said to ban the Koran. I also have a couple of copies I bought in Egypt. I can't read them since they are in Arabic, but they look nice.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I think that we ought to ban Macbeth. How many regicides need to happen before the world wakes up?

Gary Fouse said...

I agree, Lance. Besides, it's boring stuff. Why torture kids with it?

Gary Fouse said...

I agree, Lance. Besides, it's boring stuff. Why torture kids with it?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

You've obviously never had the pleasure of being in my class. Would you believe that I actually get some kids to like it? And don't even get me started on Hamlet (which also encourages regicide, I might add). Of course, I don't win over everybody, but some skeptical minds to come to understand why it's been around for 400 years.

Or am I being defensive at the expense of my own joke?

Anonymous said...

Bryan and Gary -- Yes, I certainly am an advocate of free speech. And I don't think the Koran can be banned, but it certainly can be discussed with the view that, as Lance says, "the right to swing your fist ends where my face begins." And free speech certainly isn't promoted by imprisoning a man who has opened that discussion. I think Bryan has a tendency to over-generalize.

The Torah has violent passages, but they refer to historical events. Nothing in there that promotes repeating those events, or an ever-ongoing responsibility to convert the world. The Talmud is the instrument of interpretation and has been and is meant to be continuously revised and adjusted. Nothing violent in there. Nothing about domination or conversion. In Christianity, the Inquisition is the closest to what the Koran demands. But, the Inquisition was left in the dust, while the rules of the Koran are still followed as originally written and very much alive.

The Koran, also, has many passages that call for, as the personal responsibility of each Muslim, to fight an ongoing war with Dar Al Harb (the non-Muslim world of war) to do everything and anything until the entire world follows the teachings of Mohammed. This cannot be compared to current proselitizing efforts of Christianity, which never ever include violence. The Koran not only specifies detailed rules for subjugation of Jews and Christians (which, by the way are very much still followed in today's Muslim countries), but instructs that others (hindus, buddhists, athiests) -- must convert or be killed. Murder of apostates is also called for. These are not vague references or "indirect." They are direct calls to violence, if the Koran is to be obeyed.

It could also very well be said, that Islam has parts of it that are religion, but that a good deal of Sharia law isn't religion. It's a systemic ideology that can be compared to any other systemic ideology, and that part of that totalitarian ideology contains a demand for its followers to use force (of course, only after "persuasion" has failed) to have it prevail world-wide. It's written that if Muslims don't participate in this (Jihad) then they are sinners. (Note the "invitation" speeches by Bin Laden and Ahmadinejad to GWBush and Americans to convert "or else.")

As opposed to the Torah recording past events, and yes, having rules and laws that are often vague and very much open to interpretation, Mohammed instructed that since the Koran was written by Allah (he only transcribed it) that not one word of history recording, or of "rules" can be changed or disregarded -- ever.

It's "possible" for the Koran to be reinterpreted somehow, I guess, or these violent instructions to simply be ignored, as, obviously many Muslims have done, but those who have are considered apostates by the rest.

Geert Wilders has not only done nothing against free speech, his actions have nothing to do with any slippery slope -- it is about violence we are witness to every day. He is an extremely courageous man, who in the face of very serious death threats, has publicized these verses calling for violence -- so that non-Muslims would no longer remain in ignorance of what influences the Muslim world -- projecting our PC fantasy onto them, that all people are as well-intentioned as we are, and that they only have "grievances" that can be met.

As we have been observing and experiencing, massive violence has erupted world-wide as a result of direct obeyance of the Koran. Muslims are claiming that Islam is being attacked, but what they don't specify is that they consider non-conversion, non-submission, by the rest of us, the attack. If there were not the current uprising attacking the western way of life, no one would care at all what it does or doesn't say in the Koran, as it has been for a long, long time.

Were there a non-religious cult in the US that was gaining popularity, that called for violent uprising, certainly the documents involved would be "banned." The Constitution isn't a suicide pact. Nor is free speech. There are still laws in Japan and Germany which prohibit certain writings that promoted ideas of supremacy and war-mongering. There IS a war going on. Can religion be used as the means to cloak and excuse justifiable and moral supression of incitement to violence?

It's a great, great shame on Western Civilization that a hero like Wilders is allowed to be persecuted (and might very well be killed or sent to Jordan according to new UN rules) for speaking the truth. All must speak out against this horror. Write to the Embassy of the Netherlands immediately. At least try to help -- for your own sense of self-respect.

By the way, if I were writing this in the EU, I could go to prison because according to UN rules recently adopted by the EU, "criticism of Islam" is now a criminal offense. Extradition to Jordan or other countries, if they file a complaint, is part of it.

This is the loss of free speech, here and now.

Gary Fouse said...

Lance,

I don't know.

Gary Fouse said...

Anonymous,

Good comment. However, the Koran will never be banned for a variety of reasons. Let's just make sure that the Islamists never succeed in having the Bible and Torah banned.