The United States has been living in a nightmare in which government decides who has a right to speak and who is a “terrorist.” Dutch politician Geert Wilders, is an outspoken critic of Muslims and their religion. Last year a Dutch public prosecutor refused to bring charges against him of hate speech but this week the Amsterdam Court of Appeal found there was a case to be made for inciting hatred. The court ruled Wilders had personally insulted Muslim believers by attacking the symbols of Islam and that his film, “Fitna” was “biased” and would encourage people to hate Muslims.
There is no doubt Court of Appeal believes it represents the truth and that somehow government should be endowed with the power to decide what is true or false, what is allowed to be said and what can not be said. The famous American criteria is “shouting Fire in a crowded theater” can directly lead to the death of other humans. As far as one can tell, there is not evidence anyone has been harmed because Wilders is a bigot. The bigots of this world have a right to their ideas and silencing their criticism or hatred opens the door for tomorrow having what today is deemed “right” to be reclassified as “wrong” by a different government.
I always thought in a free society an individual had the absolute right to make an ass of himself. Just about everyone trying to persuade people to join their religion is insulting another religion. Let the court of public opinion decide the fate of Wilders, not a government agency. One Bush experience in life is enough for a lifetime.