[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Update: Thanks for the Instalink and welcome to Instapundit’s readers. While you are here, you might also check out my piece at Big Journalism: Fourteen Clear Factual Errors in Richard Stengal’s Essay on the Constitution (And I Am Looking For Your Help). This is where I am trying to draw attention to a journalistic scandal I have dubbed “Stengelgate,” that is even receiving some attention on Fox News. And of course check out the many great posts at this site.
I heard over a week ago that Geert Wilders had been acquitted and I didn’t bring it up, here, because a few other stories were dominating, and because frankly they had falsely reported that he had been acquitted in the past. But when I saw this editorial by him, helpfully available for free at the Wall Street Journal, I had to post it.
In Defense of ‘Hurtful’ Speech
A Dutch court vindicates a politician’s right to air controversial views on Islam.
By Geert Wilders
Yesterday was a beautiful day for freedom of speech in the Netherlands. An Amsterdam court acquitted me of all charges of hate speech after a legal ordeal that lasted almost two years. The Dutch people learned that political debate has not been stifled in their country, and they learned they are still allowed to speak critically about Islam and that resistance against Islamization is not a crime.
I was brought to trial despite being an elected politician and the leader of the third-largest party in the Dutch parliament. I was not prosecuted for anything I did, but for what I had said. My view on Islam is that it is not so much a religion as a totalitarian political ideology with religious elements. While there are many moderate Muslims, Islam’s political ideology is radical and has global ambitions. I expressed these views in newspaper interviews, op-ed articles and in my 2008 documentary, “Fitna.”
I was dragged to court by leftist and Islamic organizations that were bent not only on silencing me but on stifling public debate. My accusers claimed that I deliberately “insulted” and “incited discrimination and hatred” against Muslims. The Dutch penal code states in its articles 137c and 137d that anyone who either “publicly, verbally or in writing or image, deliberately expresses himself in any way that incites hatred against a group of people” or “in any way that insults a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief, their hetero- or homosexual inclination or their physical, psychological or mental handicap, will be punished.”
Read the whole thing. He’s earned the right to it.
Update: If you have trouble reading it at the WSJ, try his own site instead.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]