Dutch MP Geert Wilders to be prosecuted for anti-Islam hate speech

Geert Wilders to be prosecuted

Amsterdam — The Amsterdam court has ruled that the Public Prosecutor’s Office should after all prosecute the populist politician Geert Wilders for anti-Islamic remarks.

The Public Prosecutor decided halfway through last year, after six months investigation, not to prosecute on the grounds that Mr Wilders had not committed a punishable offence either in remarks he made to the Volkskrant newspaper or in his controversial film Fitna.

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Dozens of organisations and private individuals had reported the PVV party leader for discrimination and inciting hatred. His comparison of the Qur’an with Hitler’s book Mein Kampf and remarks in the film Fitna in particular caused widespread commotion. The decision not to proceed against Mr Wilders sparked numerous complaints to the Amsterdam court.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has accepted the ruling of the court. Mr Wilders said he was surprised and dismayed and denied having broken any law.

– Source: Geert Wilders to be prosecuted, Radio Netherlands, Jan. 21, 2009

“In a democratic system, hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to… draw a clear line,” the court in Amsterdam said.

Mr Wilders said the ruling was a “black day for me and for freedom of speech”.

“I am shaken. I had absolutely not expected it,” he told the Dutch news agency, ANP.

– Source: Islam film Dutch MP to be charged, BBC, Jan. 21, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday January 21, 2009.
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