A Dutch reader named EC has contributed the following analysis of the Geert Wilders trial and its significance in the post-WWII political context of the Netherlands.
The Trial of Geert Wilders
The trial of Wilders ban this morning, Wednesday January 20, at the court of first instance in the Amsterdam Court of Justice. This is a preliminary session in which a plan for the proceedings is set.
The indictment against Mr. Wilders cites:
- Group insult of Muslims,
- Incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims because of their religion, and
- Incitement to hatred and discrimination against non-Western foreigners and/or Moroccans because of their race.
This trial can be seen as one phase in the efforts by his enemies to get Wilders ostracized because of his outspoken attacks on Islam, especially radical Islam, on excessive mass immigration from non-Western countries, especially by Muslims, on bad conduct by some groups of immigrants, and on the politically correct attitude of many authorities and most of the establishment.
The trial was requested by leftist individuals and organizations. Initially the public prosecution office deemed their request not sufficiently justified by law and refused to prosecute. But this judgment was overruled by the Court, which ordered the prosecution office to start proceedings. Later the prosecution office widened the scope of the Court order to include the charge of racism.
Objections by Wilders against the changes have been rejected. He has always said that he had only a problem with Islamic ideology but not with Muslims as people as long as they were orderly, as most are, and did not commit crimes or try to impose sharia law in Holland. Then he would help them to become full members of Dutch society.
The maximum penalty for the charged crimes is two years’ imprisonment.
Wilders will certainly fight for acquittal and he is certain of the outcome. He is to be defended by Bram Moszkovicz, a prominent Dutch lawyer. May he display Ciceronian qualities !
This trial is a political one because in fact it is used to impose, by way of a judicial verdict, as legally binding on the Netherlands, the core of political correctness which has, during recent decades, increasingly infiltrated and penetrated Western politics and society. What cannot yet sufficiently be obtained by the democratic process may now be enforced by the judicial process. Thus, along with freedom of expression, democracy is also at stake. This is a decisive link in a wider political strategy. The link has become necessary, because Wilders is clearly a rising star in the polls and could, after the elections, possibly become the next Prime Minister. This threat is now countered by prosecuting him.
A trial to make Europe legally safe for sharia
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At first sight, it would seem that the enemies of Wilders are not very clever, for the trial offers Wilders a unique and protracted opportunity to extensively explain to a worldwide public the evils and dangers of Islam. He could bring forward openly all kinds of information and proof: exactly the way of acting he is accused of ! This could perhaps even induce a turning point in the public opinion in the Netherlands, Europe and the West in general, and would not miss some effect on parts of the Muslim masses in the world.
However, it remains to be seen whether this will actually happen. Will the authorities respond with restrictive and intimidating measures, and will there be a lack of fair reporting by the media?
The conviction of Wilders is not the final purpose of his trial. It is only a means to ban him, and with him his party and similar parties in Europe, from publicity and from the political stage. His enemies will think that the intended outcome for the Netherlands and Europe, namely the legal suppression of criticism of Islam and the elimination of Islamophobic political forces from the democratic process, are worth the price of a certain measure of defamation of Islam as a consequence of the trial. With that end in view, the permanent effects — suppression of free speech — far outweigh the temporary risk that defamation entails.
Since a European judge is the last resort, the result of this trial could be a halal European justice and a halal European democracy. This would make Europe legally safe for sharia.
So this process is a milestone in the conquest of Europe by political correctness and Islam. For the third time within a century Europe is in very deep trouble. This time, new invasion by the U.S. and Britain in Normandy to liberate Europe is unthinkable. These countries are themselves in the same process of decline as continental Europe.
However, as history has shown the effects of developments, once set in motion, are not always predictable.
Earlier threats to political correctness and Islam were dealt with by other means:
- In 2002 Pim Fortuyn was murdered by a leftist fanatic on the eve of the general elections of which Fortuyn was expected to become the great winner. He had brilliantly criticized the weaknesses of the establishment and especially political correctness, immigration, and Islam. Although he was a democratic politician, he was compared to German Nazi leaders by his enemies.
- In 2004 Theo van Gogh was murdered by a fanatic Muslim because of the film Submission, which dealt with the oppression of Muslim women. Van Gogh made this film in cooperation with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She received death threats and was forced to go into hiding.
- In 2006 some alleged irregularities in the asylum application of Ayaan Hirsi Ali were used to deprive her of her Dutch nationality and so to remove her from the parliament and from the country. With her campaign against the abuses of Islam, especially the oppression of women, she had become a nuisance to the politically correct political parties and media.
The net results of all these events seemed, till now, rather positive for their perpetrators. However, a third murder could be less effective than the envisaged trial. This legal approach is also more consonant with the reigning hypocrisy and self-complacency which is so typical of political correctness. Moreover, in legal proceedings, those with the biggest wallet (i.e. Islam with our petrodollars) can often ruin their opponents. In contrast, a murder has a widespread and very pre-emptive intimidating effect and thus is no less a precedent than a judicial verdict.
The hundreds of death threats Wilders has received since 2004 have not yet led to his murder. This is probably due to his 24/7 protection during the last six years. This heavy security has hindered in his private life considerably; he is hardly a free man any longer.
The political class is utterly complacent about this fate of a member of parliament, a representative of the people.
The explanation of the background of the present situation in the Western world can be found in a number of books and articles, especially in these articles: Fjordman’s “Political correctness: the revenge of Marxism” and “Electing a new people: the leftist-Islamic alliance”, and Baron Bodissey “Counterjihad and Counterintelligence”.
Diana West in her book “The Death of the Grown-Up”, suggests that a spoilt baby-boom generation lacks a sufficient sense of responsibility and public spirit.
As for Europe, Bath Ye’or in her book “Eurabia” reveals the secret ties between the EU and the Arab world, who since the 1970s have been working together for the mass immigration of Muslims into Europe, and towards the Islamization of Europe.
Residual Trauma from WW II in the Netherlands
For Holland, there the additional deep trauma which resulted from the German occupation and the Holocaust. In 1940, when suddenly attacked, overrun in a few days, and occupied by Germany — its traditional good neighbour and economically important partner — Holland was naïve and unprepared. Holland was a small, flat, and crowded country; it had not been involved in any European war since 1815. It had always managed to remain neutral, but there were no neutral neighbouring countries during WW II.
In view of these personal, cultural, scientific and economic ties with Germany, some people initially had difficulty believing that Germans could really be so bad. Additionally, the German occupation awakened elements of fascism and anti-Semitism that did not have much grip on Holland before the war. These elements furthered collaboration with the nazis. However, most people in Holland saw more and more clearly that this Germany was decidedly the bad one. A brave and active resistance movement could not prevent mass deportations by a very resolute and ruthless Nazi occupier. Nonetheless, many Jews and other persecuted Dutch people were helped into hiding and were saved.
Following the war feelings of guilt grew over what had happened in this country; ever since there has been a kind of permanent resistance. People feel morally bound not to let it happen again and to better protect the immigrants now (including nearly one million Muslims) than they did the 130,000 Jews during the war.
Politics in the Netherlands
Christian churches, political parties, unions and other organizations find it difficult to believe that a religion like Islam, indeed any religion, should not be a noble thing. Religion is sacrosanct and not to be questioned.
The socialists, for their part, see the immigrants as poor third world underdogs to be welcomed, helped and supported as much as possible, even including their family members in their home countries. Besides it is their newly imported electorate. They need each other.
All parties see Wilders as a right-wing extremist and a troublemaker. They do not understand that he is a classic patriot who is fighting for the freedom of his country. Patriotism has in any case become suspect, since it conflicts with multiculturalism. These political parties believe that without Wilders there would be fewer problems with immigrants. In their view immigrants, with a few exceptions, are as good human beings as any other human beings in the world. The problems with immigrants and Islam are explained away or excused. Even the think-tanks of some major political parties hardly possess any solid expertise on Islam and would never dare criticize it fundamentally.
But many people feel threatened by the ever-tightening grip of Islam on the country and the practically unlimited immigration, with all its consequences for social cohesion, and its enormous costs. The financial crisis makes these problems worse. In many cities young immigrants, especially Moroccans, terrorize certain neighbourhoods. Complaints and protests by the Dutch people there are mostly ignored by the authorities and their protests are ascribed to racism. In past decades the whole society has largely been brainwashed by political correctness, and many people and subsidized organizations have a vested interest in the asylum industry. Dissenting opinions are denounced as right wing extremism.
Very few people dare to speak out openly in favour of Wilders for fear of immediately being labeled racists and ostracized. But the common people with their common sense are the ones most directly confronted with the problems. They acknowledge the situation and support Wilders. They see him as the only person who can help get rid of this mess.
Most politicians lack historical knowledge and political vision. The Government is almost entirely devoid of political leadership; it is unable to counter effectively the growing administrative chaos and criminality, nor can it uphold the basic values of freedom and democracy.
This is a complicated and dangerous situation, and also a tragic one. In this dispute about the meaning of WWII and the Liberation for present-day politics, both sides accuse one another of endangering our moral legacy. Each views the other as a sort of fascist. One side compares Islam with Nazism; the other side compares the Muslims today with the Jews during the Holocaust. The Dutch obsession with “don’t let it happen again” —exploited for decades by political correctness to stifle any opposition — has somehow become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In Holland, problems are traditionally solved by consultation and compromise, with mutual concessions. Governments are always based on a coalition of several parties. But in this case a solution seems very difficult, the more so as the problem is an open-ended one dependent on international relations, influences and developments. The trial of Wilders is likely to widen the gulf between both sides, and to enhance the stakes of all involved, nationally as well as internationally.
Should Wilders ever become Prime Minister, his Government would probably be sabotaged by the other political parties and by other strong forces in the country, and boycotted as a kind of “apartheid regime” by the EU, the UN, the OIC, etc.
However, there are two positive trends here:
|(1)||Wilders is a staunch statesman, and he is winning over more and more people.|
|(2)||Even many of those who do not agree with him are of the opinion that he should be free to speak.|
Sadly, these are exactly the types of democratic factors that will be nullified by the trial.