THE QURAN ON TRIAL?
Posted by Andrew Roman on January 27, 2010
The subtitle to this unassuming little blog is “Combating Liberalism and Other Childish Notions.” I word it this way because I am of the mind that anything that is constituted to erode liberty, assail rugged individualism, increase government intrusion into the lives of its citizenry and attempt to legislate against the thoughts of its people must be fought. At the same time, any macro policy that is devised based on fanciful premises and emotion – the very foundation of modern liberalism – is, by definition, childish, and almost always ineffective.
Hence, the subtitle.
However, a more apropos subtitle might be “Exposing Liberalism For The Childish Notion It Is,” or “Dropping The Drawers Of Liberalism For The World To See” or “Aren’t Libs Dopey?” – although that last one might be a tad too Bill O’Riley.
In yet another example of how lefties are loathe to progress past the initial “Don’t It Feel Good” stage of policy creation to what the great Thomas Sowell calls second-stage thinking (i.e., asking “what happens next”), the case against Geert Wilders in Holland exemplifies perfectly why modern liberalism doesn’t work when it comes to a very specific group of people – namely, those who are alive.
Mr. Wilders is on trial in Amsterdam for offensive and prejudiced remarks against Islam. He is, in effect, on trial for Islamophobia. But the case, already absurd in that it is, on its surface, attempting to legislate what one man can legally hate, is evolving into a trial against the Quran itself – and that is not what the ever-tolerant, always open-minded, everyone-join-hands-and-say-howdy leftists had in mind.
The never-ending lefty push for utopia looks to be backfiring in a profound way.
Leon De Winter, in a Wall Street Journal article, writes:
The Amsterdam court trying the controversial Dutch politician is now preoccupied with the question of whether this book (the Quran), sacred to more than a billion believers, can be compared to one of the most vile publications in the history of Western civilization — Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
What could possibly go wrong?
In his writing and speeches, Mr. Wilders has found these two works to be similar in terms of their anti-Semitism and incitement to hatred, and has thus called for a publishing ban on the Quran similar to the one in place for “Mein Kampf.” This is what triggered Mr. Wilders’s prosecution for discriminatory and insulting remarks against Muslims and Islam. The Dutch politician, though, denies having insulted Muslims. He insists his focus is on radical Islam and the Quran, which he considers to be not only a religious text but also a political pamphlet encouraging Muslims to discriminate against and, if necessary, kill Jews, Christians, apostates and other unbelievers. That’s why Mr. Wilders claims the right to criticize and condemn Islam.
Following complaints brought by mostly Muslim and radical leftist activists, Amsterdam’s district attorney in 2008 at first found no legal basis for prosecuting Mr. Wilders. Prosecutors were forced to change course only after an activist appeals court last year ordered Mr. Wilders’s prosecution—basically condemning the politician before any trial could even begin and before Mr. Wilders had a chance to defend himself. The court’s unusual intervention illustrates the Dutch confusion about the conflict between two essential rights: the right to free speech and the right to protection from discrimination.
This is really quite a story – an important one.
What looms on the horizon is a genuine, bona fide, first-class outbreak of hostilities between the nation of Holland and the Muslim world.
Because Wilders’ legal team is calling on an impressive slate of expert witnesses to testify in this witless trial – including openly anti-Semitic, radical Islamists.
It’s a brilliant move by the defense.
After all, if a man is being put on trial for comparing Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” to the Quran, it must now be determined whether or not there is any truth in what he is alleging. The question, therefore, is: Is it unreasonable to comment on and compare the anti-Semitism of the two books?
That means, with the help of expert testimony from such radical Islamists as Mohammed Bouyeri (Theo van Gogh’s killer), and well-known anti-Semite Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, the Quran itself must take the stand.
Is this really the type of thing that should be pursued in a court of law in a modern, civilized society?
Mr. De Winter says that regardless of the trial’s outcome, Mr. Wilder’s will find himself in a good position:
According to polls, Mr. Wilders’s Freedom Party, a libertarian-conservative movement with populist tendencies, is currently the most popular political party in the Netherlands. If elections were held today, Mr. Wilders would be a serious contender for the position of prime minister. Mr. Wilders’s detractors are mistaken if they think a conviction would hurt him politically.
The trial is a win-win situation for him: If the court rules to restrict Mr. Wilders’s right to free speech, many Dutchmen will interpret this as an effort by the politically correct establishment to limit the growing strength of the Freedom Party, which would widen its appeal to many voters. If, on the other hand, the prosecution fails to prove that Mr. Wilders has purposely insulted Muslims because of their religion, Mr. Wilders’s views will be seen as vindicated. Again, he will gain politically.
The irony is … Muslim groups were not among those who brought Wilders to trial.
Wilders is being charged with Group Insult of Muslims, Fomenting to Hate and Discrimination Against Muslims Because of their Religion, Fomenting to Hate and Discrimination Against Non-Western Foreigners and/or Moroccans Because of their Race, and Incitement to Hatred Against Moroccans and Non-Western Immigrants.
So, will radical Islamists in the Netherlands now be charged with similar charges when they spew anti-Semitic rhetoric? Or when the spout off with anti-Western sentiments? Or anti-Christian?
Why wasn’t Wilders also charged with Fomenting to Hate and Discrimination Against Haters of other Non-Aryan Races and Populations? (i.e., Naziphobia)
The very notion that a man in a modern European country can be tried for his dislike, disapproval, or hatred of any given religion is downright frightening.