Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More on Geert Wilders' prosecution by foolish lawyers

An English translation of the Dutch Court of Appeal ruling calling for the criminal prosecution of Geert Wilders is here.

It is an argument that we have seen well refuted in Canada over the last year's debate on the Human Rights Commissions. I won't go into it in any detail now. However, one passage jumped out at me:
The Court of Appeal has considered that the contested views of Wilders (also as shown in his movie Fitna) constitute a criminal offence according to Dutch law as seen in connection with each other, both because of their contents and the method of presentation. This method of presentation is characterized by biased, strongly generalizing phrasings with a radical meaning, ongoing reiteration and an increasing intensity, as a result of which hate is created. According to the Court of Appeal most statements are insulting as well since these statements substantially harm the religious esteem of the Islamic worshippers. According to the Court of Appeal Wilders has indeed insulted the Islamic worshippers themselves by affecting the symbols of the Islamic belief as well.

Secondly, the Court of Appeal has answered the question whether a possible criminal prosecution or conviction would be admissible according to the norms of the European Convention on Human Rights and the jurisprudence of the European Court based thereon, which considers the freedom of expression of paramount importance. The Court of Appeal has concluded that the initiation of a criminal prosecution and a possible conviction later on as well, provided that it is proportionate[my emphasis], does not necessarily conflict with the freedom of expression of Wilders, since statements which create hate and grief made by politicians, taking their special responsibility into consideration, are not permitted according to European standards either.
Provided that it is proportionate! In other words, freedom of speech must be balanced against hate speech. This is the given assumption of the court without any serious consideration of just what it is that is being hated. The object of Wilders' hate cannot be considered for the court would not dare to "insult" Muslims by passing any serious judgment on Islam. Otherwise, how could it outlaw religious insults? Of course, I'm sure one can still insult Christianity in the Netherlands, but we are not really talking about anything but arbitrary justice on behalf of those deemed legitimate victims, when we talk about the legal concept of "proportionality".

As was noted in yesterday's post on the concept of "proportionality" applied to Israel, the concept as a ruling legal principle is mindless: we should be disproportionate in our critique or war on certain evils, like Islamist movements that foment war not on behalf of any realistic vision/reality of a state or national interest, i.e. on behalf of an orderly world, but rather in the cause of an apocalpytic ideology that calls for child martyrs to keep its genocidal flame alive.

In Wilders' somewhat different situation, the Dutch court seems to value the "proportionate" because the court refuses to make any judgments on the good and evil in religion and culture. We have no right to "insult" others too much, whatever they believe, or do, but especially if they are not part of some dominant or established religion/culture. Thus Wilders' has some right to the protection of his freedom of speech; on the other hand, he can't hate Islam too much. At a certain point his hatred is a provocation. (By the way, the court is implying that as a member of the Dutch parliament Wilders' provocation is not actually in the cause of proposing duly-constituted or legitimate legislation on immigration and related matters - Wilders is simply written off as violent - in an age when the Dutch parliament has given up much of its sovereignty to European law.) The Court of Appeal doesn't seem to be arguing for Wilders' prosecution for disturbing the peace, or uttering threats, but only because his expression of political-religious resentment is not proportionate to his right to free speech. And it doesn't really matter why. Wilders might believe the Koran is an evil book, but such value judgments have no relevance to a court in a neo-feudal culture. The court chooses, when it decides to hear a case, to single out one man of hate from the rest of us haters, including the many whose hate is encouraged by a certain popular, intuitive, reading of the Koran.

One may conclude that the cult of "proportionality" is the ascendancy of arbitrary justice: whomever offends the empire's favorites of the day will suffer. Today Wilders, but maybe tomorrow some Muslim. That is how the Dutch-EU elites apparently plan to keep the peace: making it too scary to open your mouth. But as to any rational discussion that would distinguish good and evil: it just got a lot weaker in the Netherlands. But you can't build much of a peaceful order without free debate. You can have unpeaceful debate, in recognition of a shared interest worth fighting about, or you can forego recognition of a shared national interest and live with the consequences when one or another group decides to break from the empire. So, in reality, I'm guessing the Dutch will not keep the peace very successfully, not nearly as well as would a society where people had no right not to be insulted because of their religious beliefs.

So, let me insult where I deem it appropriate: the Dutch elite are fools; their multiculti religion is self-righteous and a dangerous delusion. It will rule and end as horribly as every other Gnostic ideology ever put in power. We should all insult them for it.

Here is the statement by Wilders' Freedom Party:
Court decision an all-out assault on freedom of speech
woensdag 21 januari 2009

The Freedom Party (PVV) is shocked by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal's decision to prosecute Geert Wilders for his statements and opinions. Geert Wilders considers this ruling an all-out assault on freedom of speech.

Geert Wilders: "Apparently this is The Netherlands today. If you speak out you might be prosecuted. To participate in public debate has become a dangerous activity."

"If I have to appear in court, not only I will be prosecuted, but also hundreds of thousands of Dutch citizens who reject the Islamisation of the West. In Dutch Parliament only the Party for Freedom is willing to speak up for the preservation of our culture and our many freedoms."

The Freedom Party leader now faces legal proceedings that will probably take years to conclude and will also involve enormous legal fees.

"We depend on small donations. The Freedom Party is the only party in Parliament that does not accept any government funding. This court decision jeopardizes the very existence of the Freedom Party. We simply cannot afford the enormous legal expenses."

"This is a black day for freedom."


See Fitna here

Sign the Petition and pledge to boycott Dutch goods!
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UPDATE: I regret the title of this post: "foolish" was not nearly strong enough. It is a shame that good minds have to waste time on the utter nonsense of the Dutch court's decision. Ezra Levant has an excellent line by line analysis of the court's mindless hypocrisy, its obvious politicization of the law, which Ezra rightly identifies as little more than a suicide note for the Dutch nation which now issues fatwas against its members. When a high court in what was once a leading Western democracy can descend to this self-righteous evil it is surely a wake up call that we must renew our self-ruling nations now or embrace the coming violence.

Mark Steyn also explores the suicide theme:
The Dutch, like the Canadians, think they can maintain social peace by shriveling the bounds of public discourse and bringing what little remains under state regulation. But one notices that the coercive urge, which comes so naturally to Euro-progressives, only goes in one direction. The Swedish Chancellor of Justice shuts down the investigation into the Grand Mosque of Stockholm for selling tapes urging believers to kill "the brothers of pigs and apes" (ie, Jews) because that's simply "the everyday climate in the rhetoric". The masked men marching through the streets of London with placards threatening to rain down another 9/11 on the infidels are protected by a phalanx of Metropolitan Police officers. The PC nellies of the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission, happy to hound the last neo-Nazi in Saskatchewan posting to the Internet from his mum's basement, won't go anywhere near Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Dameus al-Hayitia, the big-time Montreal imam whose book says infidels are "evil people", Jews "spread corruption and chaos", and homosexuals should be "exterminated".

Instead, the state's response to explicit Islamic intimidation is to punish those foolish enough to point out that intimidation. You don't have to be as intemperate as Minheer Wilders can sometimes be: In the Netherlands even the most innocuous statement can get you into trouble. To express his disgust at Theo van Gogh's murder, the artist Chris Ripke put up a mural outside his studio showing an angel and the words "Thou shalt not kill". But the cops thought this was somehow a dig at the local mosque and so came round, destroyed the mural, arrested the TV news crew filming it, and wiped their tape. The Dutch have determined to commit societal euthanasia, and dislike fellows pointing out it might not be as painless as they've assumed.

11 comments:

Walker Morrow said...

Hey, how's it going?

Just thought I'd let you know that I've started up a new project today, because of the Geert Wilders case. It's called Defend Geert Wilders, and I'm hoping to use the site to sort of centralize a lot of the info, the press releases, the opinions, etc. on the case.

The url is: http://defendgeertwilders.wordpress.com/

Witness said...

This will be an interesting and bizarre case to follow. The interesting thing about Wilders documentary is that he does not provide any narrative whatsoever. The only voices heard are those of Muslim fanatics who were preaching hate, speaking freely and of their own volition.

Wilders is accused of putting the hateful speeches together with verses of intolerance from the Koran in a way that constitutes hate speech. It is bizarre that by exposing hate and intolerance one becomes accused of spreading hate and intolerance.

It is a weak case, and Wilders will surely not be charged with anything. But the fact that the accusations have not yet been tossed out is crazy. This case will surely turn into a forum for all kinds of conspiracy theories and propaganda.

I'll look forward to seeing how your new project takes form over the coming months.

Dag said...

Many people have an intense hatred of individualism. They long for and fight for and kill for a return to the collective, to the tribe, to the clan. There, all things are decided by the strong-man, and woe unto those who fall out of favor with Him. So it is with Wilders today. So it is with many of us. Many more tomorrow.

Witness said...

Correction: I should have said Wilders will not be CONVICTED of anything, he has already been charged.

His film, by the way, is worth watching. Graphic and hard to watch at times, but it is a good film. If you have not yet seen it it is still available for free online: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3369102968312745410

truepeers said...

Thanks Walker for this Wilders clearing house. Now blogrolled for readers' convenience.

I am not as pessimistic in the long run as Dag because there is a reality that intervenes in peoples' poorly thought-out desires to be ruled by big men and experts. In this case, the cowardly judges who turn their back on individual freedom with an insane "legal" argument are nonetheless clearly products, in their intellectual heresy, of a culture that requires individual freedom to operate and even to produce heresies such as this. The judges are parasites on an intellectual tradition and a part of it.

So what happens when the parasitical "lawyers" in our culture reduce things to madness when we can't even produce people who can offer similarly insane legal reasoning, at the same level of pretense to be balancing rights? Does then the big man come along? Maybe, but for how long: a totalitarian West would entail such a reduction in our capacities that much of the world would die off. I tend to think it will be a crisis that leads to a renewal of modernity. Hitler, after all, only lasted 12 years as a parasite on German individualism (his army was full of officers who were the products of Western individualism, but even if Hitler had won the war, how easy would it have been to reproduce that capability in the officer corps with the brain dead products of the Hiter youth?); the Soviet empire, imposed on a more backward peasantry (for the most part) did in some ways advance individual freedom for peasants - within limits - and still only lasted a few generations because of those limits.

People may desire the totalitarian when they are too scared or cowardly to fight for freedom, when they want to turn away from hard realities and choices and failed multiculti ideologies. But when they have to start paying the real price, they are likely to seek some return to modern freedom. Without free individuals, life sucks in so many ways.

Walker Morrow said...

Thanks Truepeers!

Dag said...

Life isn't fair; but over-all, most of us get what we work for, good or ill. One can see everything possible in life if one looks long enough over a large enough territory, and some of it is so bad it's shaming to see. But there is a capacity among people even at the worst of times and in the worst of situations to transcend it. They get what they work for.

We'll get what we work for. Maybe not all of us, not right away, and not exactly as we'd hoped for; but we'll get what we work for to a great degree. It might only be the knowledge that we worked for something. That works for me.

Charles Henry said...

Walker, thanks for starting up that blog.
Is there an address or a means by which we can send you links or material to be posted there?

For instance, I'm looking for the French media reaction to the story, to translate. When they report on it, I'll translate it. And it can be added to your site.

Here's one to add to your "who's talking about it" list, an editorial from the Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123258473846504459.html

Also, I listened to US radio talk show host Mike Gallagher this morning, and was surprised to hear him lead off his program with the Geert Wilders story. So far he hasn't archived that part of his show yet, if he does I'll send you that link as well.

Walker Morrow said...

Hey Charles,

Thanks for bringing that up, that's a good idea. It'd be great if you could send me stories surrounding the case. Probably the best email to use is: dresdenmorrow@gmail.com

I'll add that address to the site as well, sometime tonight. Thanks for suggesting that, and for the WSJ article.

USpace said...

.
Partij voor de Vrijheid! The Koran shouldn't be banned. Mein Kampf isn't a 'Holy Book', but it shouldn't be banned either, but you should be able to criticize it and the idiots who agree with it.

As you may suspect, Geert Wilders is NO racist. He is simply against out-of-control immigration; and against immigrants who won't assimilate; and the ones who beat Gays and rape non-Muslim women for not being covered up.
He is also very much against the ones who kill their own daughters and sisters for their 'family honor'.
.
here’s an absurd thought -
your Supreme God knows
Christ was a pedophile

and a raping terrorist
converting slaves by the sword
.
Muslims are not a 'race' anyway, they are followers of a religion/ideology and its Sharia Law.
Most Muslims aren't even Arabs, which by the way, is also not a 'Race'.

But their duty is, according to their Koran, to spread Sharia law over the whole Earth. It might take 100-200 years, if they succeed.

Is that the kind of world you want for your great-grand children's great-grand children? A Taliban Planet? I bet not.
Muslims are the biggest victims of Islam. Wilders is NOT against Muslims, he is against Islamic Fundamentalism.

You should read the Koran, but be careful, for the Koran prohibits non-Muslims from reading it.

I wonder why.

This is BIG, this is REAL BIG! SPREAD THE WORD to the world everyone! The EU Mandarins have crossed the line! If this goes to court, how much more of the public will become aware of this tyranny?

All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. If there is no freedom of speech, then there can be no real freedom.

The Christians and Jews don’t riot when somebody makes fun of Christ or Jews. People must learn to be civilized, and held to account when they are not. Muslims included.

Geert Wilders is a hero spreading the painful truth. He MUST be protected!
.
here's an absurd thought -
your Supreme God says
Christians are a race

who love the Jewish race
and the peaceful Buddhist race

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
Islam for everyone

submit to glorious life
slavery and servitude

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
outlaw self-defense

exposing violent crimes
shall be deemed hate speech

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
decide to change your race

just simply change religions
your religion is your race
.
All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
.
Help Halt Terrorism Today!
.
USpace
.
:)
.

zebulon9 said...

If Geert Wilders falls, then Freedom of speech is dead in Europe. We are launching an extensive International Action SITA including two possible texts ; one comparing Wilders and Winston Churchill and another Wilders and Charlie Chaplin:


http://sitamnesty.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/i-support-democrat-geert-winston-wilders-against-islamic-fascism-and-its-dhimmis (Winston Eng)

http://sitamnesty.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/i-support-democrat-geert-charlie-wilders-against-islamic-fascism (Charlie Eng)

To support Geert Wilders and our dearly acquired freedoms please participate to the 2 suggested actions and transmit this message to your friends owners of a website in order they publish it.

An other way to support Geert Wilders is to give some money. To donate: www.geertwilders.nl