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Geert Wilders Goes on Trial - Comments

gcdavis's Avatar Comment 61 by gcdavis

If you're interested in reading the indictment...
http://www.rights.no/filer2/wilders_summons.pdf

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 20:19:00 UTC | #433973

GBile's Avatar Comment 62 by GBile

Wilders states that what he says (about the quran, islam and islamic culture etc.)is 'true'.

He intends to summon witnesses to back him up. Among them: Ayatollahs from Iran and even Mohammed B., the murderer of Theo van Gogh.

It will be interesting to hear what they have to say.

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 20:22:00 UTC | #433974

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 63 by Mr DArcy

Since when is racism the same thing as hatred of Islam? What "race" do muslims belong to? Since there is no scientifically accepted definition of "race" it must refer to the human "race".

Blaming the problems of capitalism on incoming immigrants has a long history; the Chinese in the USA, the Irish in Britain, the Turks in Germany, etc. It's a political scapegoat to blame immigrants for the local problems faced by workers. "They're taking our jobs", "They're taking our housing", "They're living off our taxes"... ad nauseum. The fact that most immigration/emigration is economically inspired seems to escape many. Wilders is applying this message to Holland, and hoping to pick up some votes by doing so. I would never vote for anyone like Wilders, who supports capitalism.

AFAIC he can say what he likes about Islam. I detest all religions with the same amount of venom.

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 21:15:00 UTC | #433990

ligfietser's Avatar Comment 64 by ligfietser

You want to know why he is on trial? All you have to do is to replace the word "muslim" by "jew".

Oh, and by the way, for him every "non-western immigrant" belongs to this category. Mostly he speaks of muslims, but on many cases he talked about "non-western immigrants" e.g. non-whites.

Godwin does not apply to Geert W.

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 21:33:00 UTC | #433997

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 65 by Adrian Bartholomew

69. Comment #453230 by ligfietser on January 21, 2010 at 9:33 pm
Oh, and by the way, for him every "non-western immigrant" belongs to this category. Mostly he speaks of muslims, but on many cases he talked about "non-western immigrants" e.g. non-whites.
I am failing to see what point you are making here. If you are informing us that you are of the opinion that Wilder’s is a racist then I think many people would agree. If you are saying that we’d all change our minds about Wilder’s being dragged to court had he criticised Jews instead of Muslims I think I’d disagree. I suspect you are saying neither of the above but I’d rather get your clarification.

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 21:47:00 UTC | #433998

Kmita's Avatar Comment 66 by Kmita

"mixed images of terrorist attacks with quotations from the Islamic holy book... and scenes of muslim men using said book to incite violence on non muslims."

FIXED
It's been a while since I watched that movie, but I'm fairly certain.

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 23:34:00 UTC | #434023

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 67 by Steven Mading


69. Comment #453230 by ligfietser on January 21, 2010 at 9:33 pm
avatarYou want to know why he is on trial? All you have to do is to replace the word "muslim" by "jew".

Oh, and by the way, for him every "non-western immigrant" belongs to this category. Mostly he speaks of muslims, but on many cases he talked about "non-western immigrants" e.g. non-whites.

Godwin does not apply to Geert W.

Then go after him for THOSE things - rather than the few rare times he's actually telling the truth. Lendear's comment #71 is important. Does the law make it illegal to tell the truth in situations where doing so is insulting? In other words, is the veracity of the claim irrelevant to its legality? If the answer is "yes", then there's a huge problem with the law - a gigantic one. If simply insulting people is illegal regardless of whether the insult is true or not, and the court won't even LOOK at the evidence of whether it's true or not, then that means everybody gets to make whatever fraudulent claims they feel like and you cannot hold them accountable for it (like the British Chiropractic Association does).

Truth comes first. Emotional impact comes second.

People brought up critiques of Jews to draw an analogy. Here's the thing, though. The primary problem isn't that what Nazis said about Jews was insulting and demeaning. The primary problem is that the insulting demeaning things weren't TRUE. It was morally wrong simply because it was slanderous lies, taken on a gigantic scale. The fact that a thing is demeaning is not BY ITSELF enough to prove that it was morally wrong to have said it. (For example, it's not automatically morally wrong to disrespect and demean Nazis. It's not automatically wrong to disrespect and demean Pat Robertson's 700 club.)

In order for me to respect the Dutch government, they'd have to be fighting this on the grounds that the things Geert Wilders said about Islam were not only insulting BUT ALSO FALSE, and as he is the defendant, it should be their burden of proof to prove that what he said was false. (i.e. put the burden of proof on the plaintiff, not the backward way the English libel laws work)

If the mere fact that it was insulting and hateful was BY ITSELF enough regardless of whether or not he was lying about Islam, then honesty becomes a crime under that legal setting.

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 23:48:00 UTC | #434027

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 68 by Adrian Bartholomew

If simply insulting people is illegal regardless of whether the insult is true or not
I hope this isn’t the ONLY tack they take in the trial because personally I’m not that bothered whether its true or not. People can be mistaken about things and if someone says something insulting about a group of people which later turns out to be false then I don’t want the person speaking out to have lost their only defence. People will be scared to speak out against things they think are wrong on the off-chance, however unlikely, they may be wrong. I’m also thinking of Simon Singh here. If we imagine a crazy world where we suddenly discover germ theory was wrong and that chiropractic really can cure ear infections I STILL wouldn’t want Mr Singh to be subject to libel.

After all do GROUPS, COMPANIES, ASSOCIATIONS and entire RELIGIONS ever need protection from the free speech of individuals?

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 00:10:00 UTC | #434037

Philster61's Avatar Comment 69 by Philster61

Muslims dont need Gert Wilders to incite them to riot. They were doing it long before he entered the scene. Why dont the Dutch follow the Danes example over the Kurt Westergaard affair? Pat Condell nailed it when he says the Dutch must be scratching their heads wondering what happened to their open liberal free society. Yet again Holland has rolled over on the ground and stuck its tail between its legs.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 04:30:00 UTC | #434085

Drosera's Avatar Comment 70 by Drosera

What Wilders said about the Koran can be said with equal justification about the Bible. In part this also reads like the wet dreams of people like Atilla the Hun and Adolf Hitler. But Wilders will never admit this, because he is a bigot.

I am not at all in favour of this trial, and despise religion, but those who defend Mr. Wilders should realize what kind of a person they are supporting. If we need second rate demagogues like Geert Wilders to defend our culture, then that culture is itself in trouble, regardless of any real or perceived Muslim threat.

Isn't it obvious that by painting all Muslims with the same brush, by treating them all as potential terrorists and criminals, by turning them into second rate citizens, you are driving them into the arms of the fundamentalists? Let's not forget that most Muslims are perfectly ordinary people who just want to have a job and a good education for their children. Their problem is that many of them only recently migrated from the Middle Ages (rural areas of Morocco and Turkey as far as the Dutch Muslims are concerned) into the Twentieth Century. I am confident that our secular society and proper education will eventually wear away the nastier aspects of their religion. The same happened after all with Christianity in Europe. There is too much scare mongering going on here.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 09:53:00 UTC | #434119

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 71 by Quetzalcoatl

One thing that bugs me about this sort of debate is something Office Cleaner did earlier. He referred to "indigenous people" and "Muslims" as if they were two separate things entirely. This kind of division of language is something I'm seeing increasingly often, and I don't like it one bit. The two are far from mutually exclusive.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 09:59:00 UTC | #434121

Paul Gray's Avatar Comment 72 by Paul Gray

I'm in favour of freedom of speech, so I hope that the case against Mr.Wilders is thrown out of court.

78 Comment #453384 - Quetzalcoatl does not like it when Office Cleaner suggests that "indigenous people" and "Muslims" are mutually exclusive. Well it's perfectly possible to be indigenous and Muslim, this is very common in what is labeled by some as the "Muslim world", however in my experience it is a very rare occurrence in Western Europe. It is of course perfectly possible to be Dutch or British or both and still be non-indigenous to the local area.


Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

indigenous adjective
/ɪnˈdɪdÊ\'.ɪ.nəs/ adj
naturally existing in a place or country rather than arriving from another place
Are there any species of frog indigenous to the area?
So who are the indigenous people of this land?


I'm guessing that Quetz does not like this word when it is applied to humans?

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 11:15:00 UTC | #434135

SeculR's Avatar Comment 73 by SeculR

I think we should all be free to praise, criticise and yes, even insult each other without fear of prosecution. That’s how we learn about each other and learn the strength of people’s feelings and by so doing, gain better insight. If a person’s convictions are so weak that they need to resort to the law, to lies, to coercion, or to violence to prop them up, then those convictions are probably of little worth.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:41:00 UTC | #434149

NickG's Avatar Comment 74 by NickG

Steve Zara "EDIT: Yes, this was ironic."
Not really, rather it was sarcasm.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:47:00 UTC | #434152

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 75 by Richard Dawkins

I have just watched Fitna. I don't know whether it is the original version, but it is the one linked by Jerry Coyne. Maybe Geert Wilders has done or said other things that justify epithets such as 'disgusting', or 'racist'. But as far as this film is concerned, I can see nothing in it to substantiate such extreme vilification. There is much that is disgusting in the film, but it is all contained in the quotations, which I presume to be accurate, from the Koran and from various Muslim preachers and orators, and the clips of atrocities such as beheadings and public executions. At least as far as Fitna is concerned, to call Wilders 'disgusting' is surely no more sensible than shooting the messenger. If it is complained that these disgusting Koranic verses, or these disgusting Muslim speeches, or the more than disgusting Muslim executions, are 'taken out of context', I should like to be told what the proper context would look like, and how it could possibly make any difference.

To repeat, Wilders may have said and done other things of which I am unaware, which deserve condemnation, but I can see nothing reprehensible in his making of Fitna, and certainly nothing for which he should go on trial. Like the film of Theo van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, the style of Fitna is restrained, the music, by Tchaikowski and Grieg, is excellently chosen and contributes to the restrained atmosphere of the film. The horrendous execution scenes are faded out before the coup-de-grace; all the stridency, and almost the only expressions of opinion, come from Muslims, not from Wilders.

Why is this man on trial, unless it is, yet again, pandering to the ludicrous convention that religious opinion must not be 'offended'? Geert Wilders, if it should turn out that you are a racist or a gratuitous stirrer and provocateur I withdraw my respect, but on the strength of Fitna alone I salute you as a man of courage, who has the balls to stand up to a monstrous enemy.

Richard

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:52:00 UTC | #434154

Galactor's Avatar Comment 76 by Galactor

Why is Wilders on trial?

Wilders moet terecht staan wegens groepsbelediging en het aanzetten tot haat tegen moslims en niet-westerse allochtonen.

which translated means that Wilders is on trial for "insulting groups" and inciting hatred against Muslims and non-western non-natives.

It is not clear to me whether the charges originate from the film Fitna - I suspect not.

Some Dutch politicians tried to ban the film and the whole trial is very much in attendance by the political system which finds itself having to throw out freedom of speech in preference to not offending Muslims.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 13:13:00 UTC | #434159

Drosera's Avatar Comment 77 by Drosera

Richard Dawkins said:

Why is this man on trial, unless it is, yet again, pandering to the ludicrous convention that religious opinion must not be 'offended'?


Maybe you should read the comments here, and those to the posts by Jerry Coyne and Russell Blackford, especially those written by Dutch people (like myself), who evidently know better than you what kind of a person Wilders is. It has already been said repeatedly that Wilders is not on trial for arguing against religion, or for making Fitna, but for inciting discrimination against a specific part of the Dutch population. I don't agree with this prosecution, if only because it is to Wilders's advantage, whichever way it ends. The law on which it is based is also highly questionable, as others have already pointed out here. But very few educated people in the Netherlands would salute Mr. Wilders like you do.

You seem to think that the enemies of your enemies are your friends. Maybe that is not a very rational thing to do.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 13:16:00 UTC | #434160

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 78 by Adrian Bartholomew

Could anyone provide some links to Wilders interviews where he says something objectionable because I'm actually struggling to find it? I see plenty in text that people claim he has said but I'm finding it hard to find stuff coming from his own mouth on video.

I'm watching an interview he did 2 years ago just before Fitna's release for instance where he makes it plain that he is talking about Islam and not all Muslims:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0jUuzdfqfc

I'm going to carry on looking for something objectionable. I have a feeling that anyone that is anti-immigration is automatically branded racist and I need a bit more than that to make that jump.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 13:42:00 UTC | #434163

mmurray's Avatar Comment 79 by mmurray

"Anyone who publicly, orally or in writing or images, deliberately insults a group of people on grounds of their race, religion, philosophy or sexual orientation shall be liable to a maximum prison sentence of one year or a third category fine."


Does deliberately here equate to intent ? So if you say `Archbishop XXXX protected paedophiles' when it is true does the prosecution have to show you intended this to be insulting or does it just have to show it was insulting.

Michael

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 13:58:00 UTC | #434166

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 80 by Adrian Bartholomew

Sorry for the double post but in reply to:

77. Comment #453380 by Drosera on January 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

I am confident that our secular society and proper education will eventually wear away the nastier aspects of their religion.
And I am not confident of that although I think the data is marginally improving:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/news/2010/460.html
And linked from the above website if you want to get down and dirty with the data for UK schools:
http://www.measuringdiversity.org.uk/

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:01:00 UTC | #434168

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 81 by Richard Dawkins

You seem to think that the enemies of your enemies are your friends. Maybe that is not a very rational thing to do.
I did no such thing. I explicitly stated that my endorsement of Wilders should be withdrawn if he turned out to have made racist or otherwise objectionable statements. I asked for examples and you replied, not by giving them to me but by inviting me to read all the way through the entire thread. I look forward to doing so when I get time. Meanwhile, I simply repudiate the 'enemy's enemy' charge. That would be valid only if I continued to praise Wilders after being convincingly told something bad about him. In Fitna, taken on its own, I have found no cause to put Wilders on trial or even to censure him in any substantial way.

Richard


Richard

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:20:00 UTC | #434171

decius's Avatar Comment 82 by decius

Comment #453484 by Drosera

especially those written by Dutch people (like myself), who evidently know better than you what kind of a person Wilders is.


How is this relevant?

If he is put on trial because of Fitna, then Fitna should be examined on its own merit - everything else is a worthless ad-hominem attack.
We don't censure Gesualdo's music because he committed uxoricide and murder.


But very few educated people in the Netherlands would salute Mr. Wilders like you do.



Bandwagon fallacy.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:39:00 UTC | #434174

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 83 by Quetzalcoatl

Invariance-

But don't you see! Muslims happen to mostly have brown skin! Criticizing them is illogical, because the only nasty people in the world are all white. This has been established very rigorously by humanities scholars and social scientists. All the problems in developing world are wholly and solely the byproduct of Western imperialism. Didn't you know that?


I know you're being sarcastic, but who were you talking to there?

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:40:00 UTC | #434175

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 84 by Quetzalcoatl

Invariance-

How about you trying to be serious, instead?

What point are you trying to make?

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:49:00 UTC | #434176

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 85 by Bonzai

Well saying that Wilder shouldn't be charged because of Finta is not the same as otherwise endorsing him and his other views, nor should we actually turn the guy into some hero because of this incident.

To me it is simply about whether someone should be charged for criticizing Islam. It has nothing to do with whether Wilder is a scumbag,--he might very well be based on what I read about him.

Invariance, what are you talking about?

Oh, yeah, you were the guy with IQ 150.01 who tried to argue that Eurasians may indeed be superior racially yesterday and complained about Jarad Diamond's 'political correctness". I am still waiting for your examples.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:54:00 UTC | #434177

RyuHayabusa's Avatar Comment 86 by RyuHayabusa

Though I'm an atheist, I believe that liberalism will be the death of America and Europe. In fact, the ball is already rolling and it's only a matter of time. Nothing will stop what has already begun. Low birth rates amongst whites coupled with mass immigration and forced acceptance of this multi-culturalism ideal are leading to the dismantling of Western society. Though Wilders is a right-winger, I applaud his fight against the Islmamification of the Netherlands. Liberals lack the backbone to fight for their heritage and the culture which gives them everything they have, but will fight vehemently for the rights of those who would destroy those things. It's Rome all over again.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:56:00 UTC | #434179

bethe123's Avatar Comment 87 by bethe123

Drosera --

Since you speak Dutch you have much easier access to Wilders material, and have us at a disadvantage. You could do us all a service if you might provide examples of why you do not like Wilders.


. I am confident that our secular society and proper education will eventually wear away the nastier aspects of their religion.


However, let's be clear. From your statement above, I see that even you admit there is a problem with Islam.
However, I would go even further that Islam is currently the most vile of all religions, and what you may dismiss as scaremongering, others may see as legitimate concern. I am not Dutch, but it would not be my first choice to invite Islam, in its current form, into any country I resided in.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 15:02:00 UTC | #434181

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 88 by Quetzalcoatl

RyuHayabusa-

I don't suppose you have any actual evidence to back all that up?

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 15:02:00 UTC | #434182

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 89 by Adrian Bartholomew

From http://www.geertwilders.nl/ (there is video of it too):

Geert Wilders' personal speech at pre-trial hearing
woensdag, 20 januari 2010

Mister Speaker, judges of the court,

I would like to make use of my right to speak for a few minutes.

Freedom is the most precious of all our attainments and the most vulnerable. People have devoted their lives to it and given their lives for it. Our freedom in this country is the outcome of centuries. It is the consequence of a history that knows no equal and has brought us to where we are now.

I believe with all my heart and soul that the freedom in the Netherlands is threatened. That what our heritage is, what generations could only dream about, that this freedom is no longer a given, no longer self-evident.

I devote my life to the defence of our freedom. I know what the risks are and I pay a price for it every day. I do not complain about it; it is my own decision. I see that as my duty and it is why I am standing here.


I know that the words I use are sometimes harsh, but they are never rash. It is not my intention to spare the ideology of conquest and destruction, but neither do I intend to offend people. I have nothing against Muslims. I have a problem with Islam and the Islamization of our country because Islam is at odds with freedom.

Future generations will wonder to themselves how we in 2010, in this place, in this room, earned our most precious attainment. Whether there is freedom in this debate for both parties and thus also for the critics of Islam, or that only one side of the discussion may be heard in the Netherlands? Whether freedom of speech in the Netherlands applies to everyone or only to a few? The answer to this is at once the answer to the question whether freedom still has a home in this country.

Freedom was never the property of a small group, but was always the heritage of us all. We are all blessed by it.

Lady Justice wears a blindfold, but she has splendid hearing. I hope that she hears the following sentences, loud and clear:

It is not only a right, but also the duty of free people to speak against every ideology that threatens freedom. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States was right: The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

I hope that the freedom of speech shall triumph in this trial.

In conclusion, Mister Speaker, judges of the court.

This trial is obviously about the freedom of speech. But this trial is also about the process of establishing the truth. Are the statements that I have made and the comparisons that I have taken, as cited in the summons, true? If something is true then can it still be punishable? This is why I urge you to not only submit to my request to hear witnesses and experts on the subject of freedom of speech. But I ask you explicitly to honour my request to hear witnesses and experts on the subject of Islam. I refer not only to Mister Jansen and Mister Admiraal, but also to the witness/experts from Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Without these witnesses, I cannot defend myself properly and, in my opinion, this would not be a fair trial.

I'm finding this very interesting. His opinions on banning the Koran I utterly disagree with but then he is from a country that has banned Mein Kampf. This will be a fascinating case. By the way I am pretty sure the Jefferson quote isn't actually Jefferson because I used it myself yesterday and researched it a bit and it looks like it is a myth.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 15:10:00 UTC | #434185

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 90 by Bonzai

Steven Mading

Truth comes first. Emotional impact comes second.

People brought up critiques of Jews to draw an analogy. Here's the thing, though. The primary problem isn't that what Nazis said about Jews was insulting and demeaning. The primary problem is that the insulting demeaning things weren't TRUE. It was morally wrong simply because it was slanderous lies, taken on a gigantic scale. The fact that a thing is demeaning is not BY ITSELF enough to prove that it was morally wrong to have said it.


Jesus fucking Christ. What the hell are you talking about?

How do you equate criticizing an ideology (say Judaism or Islam under a certain interpretation) with slandering a whole people with diverse backgrounds and outlooks (Jews)?

It is always untrue to make broad generalizations about a group as diverse as "Muslims" simply based on an abstract label of religious affiliations

So now let's take a hypothetical scenario, what if the Nazi stereotype about Jews was 'true', does it justify exterminating them? Words have consequences in the real world and "the truth" can kiss my ass if the result is mass slaughtering.

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 15:14:00 UTC | #434188