Nina Shea on Putting the Wilders Win in Context:
After being acquitted by a Dutch court of five criminal charges of hate speech against Muslims, parliamentarian Geert Wilders told reporters: “This is not so much a win for myself, but a victory for freedom of speech.” While Wilders was understandably happy and relieved he is not going to be spending the next 16 months behind bars, the significance of his victory seems overstated.
As I wrote in the Corner on October 17, “The Wilders case demonstrates the continued willingness of authorities in Europe’s most liberal countries to regulate the content of speech on Islam in order to placate Muslim blasphemy demands.” Wilders’ acquittal does not change that.
Regulation of speech is ultimately a method of conquest. What is unspoken-- a public Christian prayer or a public critique of Islamic violence-- is, in time, unthought.
Wilders is not the first Dutch parliamentarian to have faced anti-Muslim hate-speech charges, and, based on today’s decision, he may not even be the last. Before Wilders, Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali was accused of hate speech against Muslims. In 2003, Hirsi Ali, a women’s rights activist born a Muslim in Somalia, was subject to a criminal investigation for hate speech for her statements linking Islam’s Prophet Mohammed to abuses against women in Muslim communities. While that case was dropped, she was subsequently forced to stand trial in a civil action in the Netherlands for hate speech after announcing plans for a film on the treatment of homosexuals in Islam, a prospect the complainant — Holland’s main Muslim lobbying group — found to both cause “a great deal of pain” and be “blasphemous.” The court did not rule against the defendant but merely reprimanded the MP for having “sought the borders of the acceptable.”
Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Salman Rushdie, (the late) Pim Fortuyn, and (the late) Theo Van Gogh are several remarkably courageous Europeans who have risked and given their lives to warn us of the encroachment of Islam on the West. The Islamic assault has taken several stages:
1) Unfettered immigration into Europe to provide a cheap workforce for a European civilization that was furiously contracepting away its youth. Young hardworking Muslims gained their foothold servicing childless financially-liberated safety-net coddled Europeans.
2) Inculcation of Koran-mandated self-censorship under the guise of tolerance on aging European narcissists who are unaware of the Christian origin of their freedoms.
3) Intimidation of the censored European quislings by random acts of terror.
4) Use of the European Courts to enforce censorship by law (Muslims can use American atheists' tactics to wipe Christian freedoms from the public square, too)
5) Patience with the passage of several generations until the Muslim population is sufficiently large that mere force, rather than hijacking of the legal system, will be sufficient.
Islam is primarily a political ideology. Its religious insights are rudimentary. Islam is submission-- conquest and rule.
The dogged adjudication of the Wilders case over the past 29 months shows that Dutch courts remain all too willing to regulate speech on behalf of Islam, even when public officials are talking about matters of public interest, publicly.
Wilders and others have warned us. But Europeans, gelded by a century of atheism and paganism and contraception and war, won't listen. Even if they do, it will be too late, because they are losing population so rapidly that there will be too few Europeans to resist.
Whether the Wilders case sets any useful legal precedent for an ordinary Dutch citizen is particularly doubtful... Average Dutch citizens are very much left in the dark about what they can or can’t say about Islam with legal impunity. Then, there’s the matter of violence to consider; Wilders will continue to require bodyguards against those who have threatened him with death for blasphemy against Islam... Even without a conviction in the Wilders case, the chilling effect on free speech on and within Islam continues to widen in Europe.
Pope Benedict XVI, another good man of extraordinary courage, was right in his quote of Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus:
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".
Has Islam brought anything new that is not evil and inhuman? Not that I see. But unlike de-Christianized Europeans, Muslims are not stupid. They submit to their faith. They honor their (bloody) heritage. They have a long memory, and they are very good at conquest.
Despite courageous men like Wilders and Benedict, the lights will go out in Europe.