Dutch court to hear Geert Wilders case over again

Geert Wilders A Dutch court approved on Friday a request from anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders to have new judges for his trial on charges of inciting hatred against Muslims, forcing the court to start the case over again.

It is alleged that one of the judges tried to influence one of Wilders’ witnesses. [Read more...]

Dutch prosecutor requests some charges against Geert Wilders be dropped

Prosecutors in the hate speech case against Dutch politician Geert Wilders on Tuesday requested the court drop charges of insulting Muslims from the list of crimes being considered.

Although prosecutors would continue pushing for a conviction on charges of discrimination and inciting hatred against Muslims, they said incendiary statements Wilders had made about the Koran and Islam could not be construed as a direct insult to people of the Muslim faith. [Read more...]

Dutch anti-Islam MP’s trial to go on

The hate speech trial of Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, set to become a shadow partner of the next government, will go ahead as planned after a court on Tuesday refused to dismiss his judges for alleged bias.

Wilders is charged with five counts of giving religious offence to Muslims and inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims and people of non-Western immigrant origin, particularly Moroccans, in comments made between October 2006 and March 2008 in Dutch newspapers and on internet forums.

Seven days of hearings have been scheduled in the month of October, with judgment expected on November 4.

Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) came third in June 9 national elections, and is concluding a deal to support a new minority government of Christian Democrats and liberals in return for a voice in policy-making. [Read more...]

Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders on trial for inciting hate

Geert Wilders Dutch anti-Islamist politician Geert Wilders, who plays a controversial but pivotal role in the formation of a new Dutch government, went on trial on Monday for inciting hatred against Muslims.

Wilders is charged with inciting hate and discrimination against Muslims in comments he made in the media and for insulting Muslims by comparing the Islamic faith to Nazism. [Read more...]

Danish book about the Muhammad cartoons controversy goes ahead despite the usual threats

A book about the publication of cartoons in Denmark that angered Muslims by showing images of the Prophet Muhammad will be released despite recent terror threats, the publisher said Wednesday.

“The book will come out as planned,” said Karsten Blauert, of Jyllands-Posten Editions.

The book, titled “The Tyranny of Silence,” is due out Thursday, five years to the day after the cartoons first appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Our take: Good for them! People in the civilized world can not allow a bunch of barbarians, who claims to act in the name of their religion, to violate their freedom with threats of violence and other acts of terrorism. [Read more...]

Bringing blasphemy back from the dead

Advertising is a free speech issue. To say ‘you can’t say that’ in an advert – to say that mocking Roman Catholicism, no matter how tongue-in-cheek, is not suitable advertising content – is as censorious as excluding a work of art from an exhibition.

‘If you ban our ad’, Antonio Federici’s spokesman told spiked, ‘you might as well ban any controversial story about the church – that’s the logical conclusion’.”
[Read more...]

Muslim minister’s media manners plan triggers German storm

A plan by Germany’s first high-level Muslim official to teach manners to the media triggered a storm of outrage Friday, with news editors accusing her of censorship.

Aygul Ozkan, minister of integration in Lower Saxony state, had asked media to sign a charter to abstain from racist reporting.

The draft proposed that signatories ‘use culturally sensitive language,’ educate readers to think ‘interculturally’ and devote news attention to ‘the challenges of integration.’ She suggested leading editors meet in August to publicly sign the charter.

Editors of Lower Saxony newspapers slammed the Ozkan plan.

‘It’s the crassest attempt by any politician for a long time to guide newspapers and the electronic media,’ said Rolf Seelheim, editor of the Nordwest Zeitung in the city of Oldenburg. [Read more...]