FaithWorld

Netherlands to prosecute Wilders for anti-Islam statements

January 21, 2009

The Netherlands plans to prosecute right-wing MP Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination with anti-Islam statements he made in his film “Fitna” and public comments. An Amsterdam court overruled the public prosecutor who had argued Wilders was protected by the right to free speech.

(Photo: Geert Wilders in Jerusalem, 14 Dec 2008/Ronen Zvulun)

In “Fitna,” Wilders urged Muslims to tear out “hate-filled” verses from the Koran, which he compares to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The film intersperses shots of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and other bombings with quotations from the Koran.

In the months before it was released in late March, “Fitna” prompted concern in the Netherlands that it could become a repeat of the Danish cartoon controversy. But if it wanted to provoke a backlash, it failed. The Muslim community reacted calmly and the issue soon blew over. In fact, the country’s National Coordinator for Counterterrorism found a silver lining in the long debate preceding the film, saying it actually brought Christian and Muslim groups closer together. Wilders has tried to kindle interest in the short film, which he promoted last month during a trip to Israel, but it doesn’t seem to be catching on.

If the “Fitna” affair has mostly calmed down, is any good purpose served in reviving it and giving Wilders another platform to air his views? Do the Dutch need to pursue this even after he apparently failed to make his case in the court of public opinion?

Comments
9 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

ikea–This is absolutely ridicuous. Muslims kill someone for criticizing Islam, and you say that they are not hate filled. Shame on you Netherlands, you pushover, you gutless excuse for a state. Your government will burn while Islam beecomes more and more powerful and freedom of speeech becomes more and more eroded. You make me ashamed to be a Western citizen. If being a Western citizens means accomodating for other countries in a manner that white-washes the values that our society was based on, I have a hard time finding myself Muslim. This is a travesty of justice, a slap in the face of every Dutch man and woman who helped build your society of free speech and liberal values for the last 4000 years.

Posted by Adam Wightman | Report as abusive
 

Adam: You are doing a good job creating a rift between the world’s Muslims and European countries. I have news for you. The whole world now knows that Israel is the biggest terrorist state ever existed on this planet. She proved to be worst than the Nazis, committing crimes against humanities, using illegal weapons, white phosphorous and depleted uranium on civilians and destroying schools, hospitals, and United Nations’ relief buildings. Olmert, Livni, Ehud Barak and Perez should be tried for crimes committed against humanities. Nice job Adam; good try!

Posted by Moe | Report as abusive
 

Hi Wightman, from your comments you are proven more hate filled than the muslims you are commenting , god bles this hope less ,fearing child.

Posted by shaik | Report as abusive
 

Moe, if you meant to say that Israel is worse than the Nazis then you should be ashamed of yourself. You clearly know nothing of history and the atrocities that the Nazis committed not only against the Jews but every country that they invaded and fought against. Go pick up a history book and think before you write next time.

Also, while I don’t agree with all that Adam says, it is definitely a concern when free speech is eroded as it clearly has been in many countries. The UK and most of Europe included.

Posted by adoba | Report as abusive
 

Adam is right. Not completely but close. The west CANNOT bend to Islamic fascism. They will not negotiate. They HATE us, because we exist outside of their religion. They kill westerners and hide behind each other to confuse us. And as we in the west come from a diametrically opposing viewpoint, there will NEVER be total peace. The best we can do is keep them out of the west. If the Mullahs get nukes do you believe they’ll hesitate to use them? Stop the immigration. It’s madness. You’re arming your enemies, and enemies they are. If prosecuting your own people, for speaking their minds has become the way to keep extremists happy, then reason has truly deserted the Netherlands. And your children will regret your capitulation. You cowards.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive
 

This prosecution of Geert Wilders is a very concerning development. Especially, when no one wants to speak out against those who dare challenge our core values and way of life. It seems that in our goal to become inclusive and secular democracies, we have taken it way too far and are starting to silence and punish those who are working hard to remind us as to how precious and delicate our civilization, core values and statehood is.

Geert Wilders wants Islam to modernize and quit practicing entitled manufactured hatred against non-muslims. It is so sad that Geert Wilders makes some very valid points about the Qu’ran and while some verses may have suited Islam in the past, in the undeveloped world, it is without a doubt, that these same passages are used as inspiration to fuel a new generation of terrorists, who want to re-affirm old hatreds and the dark ages.

Most muslims are not extremists and do not do terrorism. But the fact remains that there are enough of them to make the religion look bad and there is quiet complicity and sympathy within those mosques where the terrorists frequented. If there was not quiet sympathy there for the terrorists, those terrorists would have been turned over to the authorities before any evil acts even get a chance to develop against innocent civilians.

It might even be fear of reprisals in the muslim community against those who speak out against their own mosque-born terrorists.

Hence, the real problem of terrorism is not so much the terrorists themselves, or their victims, it is the so-called “everyday” or “ordinary” or “moderate” muslim, which fails to speak out against violent extremist Islam in their own mosques, whether is because they fear reprisals, they don’t want to get involved, or quietly sympathize with those terrorists.

It is the moderate muslims, any where they are in any country who need to make a decision whether they want their institution to join the modern world or regress tot he dark ages and bring the perpetual path of death and destruction to the world and worst of all, unto themselves, through their action or inaction.

Posted by Watcher | Report as abusive
 

@Moe,

Moe, if Israel, never existed, another Israel would have been created, I mean another enemy which is perceived an enemy of Islam, don’t you think? Don’t you think another focus of hate would have been created to electrify and bind the brotherhood?

Moe, I have never heard one muslim say, we have to quit preaching hatred towards, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, or non-muslims. I also have never seen any body say that all the religions are equal.

If you cannot say either of these two things in this forum, you have your answer why muslim societies are always at war with non-muslim societies.

Please reply to this comment, as it is the linch pin and is the most crucial point.

For your information, I do not hate muslims, nor do I hate Islam. I respect and like quite a few of my colleagues that I work with. But I am concerned why “moderate” muslims don’t protest in the streets against the hate and racism taught to the children and adults against other cultures and religions in their mosques?

When will someone standup and say “I am sick and tired of being told to hate all the time and who to hate…”?

Posted by Watcher | Report as abusive
 

@Moe, Shaik,

I have a question, why do Muslims come to democratic, secular and inclusive societies, if they hate western culture so much?

I work with a lot of friends who practice Islam. They have a life 100 times better in western nations, than the one they had in their country of origin, whether they came from Pakistan, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Saudi, Bahrain, etc..

Why all the rage and complaint against the western societies when all they do is nurture, that is they give free health-care, welfare, social programs, free education, there is security, food, clean air, clean water, jobs…etc.

If it is so bad, is it not better to leave those western countries and return to your country of origin. I have seen many “Inwards” looking people do this.

I am extremely baffled by all this anti-western behavior, when all the western societies have given is the soft, milky hand of help and assistance. I cannot think of one country where the opposite would hold true, if there is, please someone set me straight.

As a child of an immigrant in a western country, my father, my siblings have all become educated, contributing members of society, and friends of all relgions, countries, races and creed. We nothing but gratefulness and gratitude to the country, which nurtured us.

It is sad that I never hear enough Islamic voices being grateful the same way.

I am not a Christian, but am grateful from the bottom of my heart and eternally so, that Western countries have developed higher levels of Wisdom to truly accept others, who want to change themselves and contribute to humanity, as a whole, not just their own societies.

God bless democratic, secular and inclusive societies, for they are so precious and beautiful that they are truly worth fighting for.

Posted by Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Well there are Muslim leaders out there who try to tackle this subject. For sure theit number is small. See below:

Jihadi cleric Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif is one of the chief ideologues of the global jihad movement and he knows Ayman Al-Zawahiri for last 40 yrs. Sayyed Imam has recently come out against Al-Qaeda, and published a new book, The Document of Right Guidance for Jihad Activity in Egypt and the World, that forbids waging jihad against the rulers of Muslim countries and in the West. (For MEMRI’s first report on Sayyed Imam, released Dec. 14, 2007, see http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=a rchives&Area=sd&ID=SP178507 )

He considers this jihad has little or no chance of success, and thus does more harm than good.

Following are the excerpts:

“Bin Laden and His Followers Lied to… [Mullah] Muhammad Omar and Betrayed Him”

On 9/11:
“The Followers of Bin Laden Entered America… and Acted Perfidiously Toward Its People”

“This (9/11) was perfidy towards the enemy, because they entered America with a visa, which is a contract of protection. There is no dispute about this among the scholars – even… [if someone] forges the signature of the residents of [the Abode of] War, and they believe it to be authentic, and then he enters their land, he is forbidden to betray them in anything – their lives, their honor, their property, without any distinction between combatants (military) and non-combatants (civilians) among the residents of [the Abode of] War, as long as he remains in their country… “

“The followers of bin Laden entered America with his knowledge and by his order, and they acted perfidiously towards its people, and killed and destroyed… Then they called their treachery and their perfidy a ‘raid’ in order to compare their actions to the Prophet’s raids. To tie their perfidy and treachery to the Prophet is to diminish him and to mock him, and the punishment for diminishing the worth of the Prophet is well-known to Muslims; Qadi ‘Iyyad mentioned it in Al-Shifa, and Ibn Taymiyya in Al-Sarim Al-Maslul.”

“Many Ignorant People Admired Al-Qaeda’s Actions Due to Their Lack of Knowledge in the Shari’a”
“What induces people to do this (admire Al-Qaida) is their hatred for America. They don’t see any good from it. Al-Qaeda plays on this chord just like Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad, and others do. America always supports Israel. Even [America's foreign] aid, the common people don’t notice it, since it is either old weapons that America gets rid of to provide work for its factories, or old stocks of wheat it wants to get rid of, or birth control pills. This is American [foreign] aid – that is, America aids itself.

“Shari’a Court Should be Established to Hold Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri Accountable”

Other comments from the document:

“Allah said (Koran 17:36): ‘Pursue not that of which you have no knowledge’.
It Is Forbidden to Harm Tourists, Even If it is Known that They Are Infidels”

“Since taking history into account is an obligation… one must not try something that not only brings no benefit, but entails preponderant damage.”

“The jurisprudential principle states that ‘the easier [option] is not rendered void when the more difficult [option is not feasible].’ On the basis of this principle, if changing [things] by force is difficult, then the obligation devolves onto changing [things] through words; and if this is difficult, the obligation is limited to condemning [the wrong] in one’s heart, which is obligatory in any case…”

“The alternative is not to kill civilians, foreigners, and tourists, to destroy property, and [to commit] aggression against the lives and property of those who are inviolable under the pretext of jihad. All of this is forbidden. Wisdom requires situating things in their proper place and not confusing them. Allah said (Koran 2:269): ‘He grants wisdom to whom he pleases, and he to whom wisdom has been granted has been given a great good; and none but men of understanding remember”

“It is obligatory to act kindly towards one’s neighbor, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Violation of this is a cardinal sin. All of them fall under what Allah said (Koran 60:8): ‘Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and justly with those who did not fight you over religion and did not drive you from your homes; Allah loves those who deal justly.”

“Do not be aggressors, for Allah does not love the aggressors.”

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/