The Stalinist-show-trial aspect of the Geert Wilders “hate speech” trial in the Netherlands was thrown into sharp relief last week when the Amsterdam District Court refused to allow Wilders to call fifteen of the eighteen witnesses he had hoped to bring forward in his defense. Wilders in response was characteristically direct: “This Court is not interested in the truth. This Court doesn’t want me to have a fair trial. I can’t have any respect for this. This Court would not be out of place in a dictatorship.”
The three witnesses the court allowed Wilders are the Dutch Islamic scholars Hans Jansen and Simon Admiraal, along with the Wafa Sultan. Hans Jansen’s work on Islam is superb and groundbreaking, and he will be an excellent witness, as will Admiraal and the exemplary freedom fighter Wafa Sultan.
Nonetheless, this decision indicates the hollowness of Dutch justice and the court’s bias against Wilders. For some who would have been Wilders’s most effective witnesses were disallowed. He had wanted to call Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of Theo Van Gogh.
Why Bouyeri? Wilders, in the bizarre inquisition that has replaced justice in the Dutch courts, is accused of offending Muslims by pointing out that Muslims invoke the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example to justify violence. However, Bouyeri quoted the Qur’an in the note threatening Wilders and others that he stabbed into Van Gogh’s body, and invoked the Qur’an repeatedly during his trial as well. “Kill them, and Allah will help you and guide your hand,” he said. “There’s no room there for doubt or interpretation there.”
Bouyeri would have proven Wilders’ point immediately: he is simply telling the truth about how Islamic teachings incite all too many Muslims to violence – and if telling the truth is now illegal in the Netherlands, so much the worse for the Netherlands. By disallowing Wilders from calling Bouyeri and others, the court has hindered Wilders’ ability to make this case – suggesting (and by no means for the first time) that the Dutch authorities are determined to convict Wilders, and are not going to let any inconvenient facts get in the way of their doing so.
It is not exaggerating to say that the Geert Wilders trial is a defining moment in the history of Western civilization. One would have to go back centuries to find a court case with as much significance for the future course of the free world. If the farrago of “hate” charges against Wilders stick, and he is convicted, it will herald the end of the freedom of speech in the West, as a precedent will have been set that other Western nations (urged on by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is the organization most responsible for the global assault on free speech) will be certain to follow. The era of enlightenment and the understanding that all human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights will be definitively drawing to a close, and a new darkness will descend over Europe and the free world in general. For once the precedent is established that a man can be jailed and destroyed for offending a privileged class, the idea that every human being has rights that cannot be infringed will be damaged beyond repair.
And even if Wilders prevails, enough damage has been done already. The Dutch law (and there are others like it in other Western countries) that stipulates that someone can actually be tried and jailed for offending another person will remain on the books. Other trials will follow. The law will be used by the governing elites who developed it in order to maintain their power and silence independent and dissenting voices.
For that is, of course, the point of all this. The Dutch authorities stand arrayed on one side, with Wilders standing alone on the other. Yet despite the fact that he has nothing like their numbers, wealth, or resources, he threatens to topple their entire multicultural house of cards – for he has on his side a weapon that all of their power cannot defeat, the weapon of truth. And so they are desperate to silence him, and end forever his truth-telling about jihad and Islamic supremacism.
Yet even if they do silence him, the truth will still be the truth. They will not be able to obliterate it forever. But will they be able to help initiate a long, perhaps centuries long, period of darkness and oppression in Europe and its civilizational children?
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