woensdag 21 januari 2009

Geert Wilders To Be Prosecuted

So long, free speech!

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 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 like "Islam is a fascist ideology".

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 the 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 lighting.

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.


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