Netherlands: Geert Wilders acquitted but the plaintiffs won’t stop

Geert Wilders

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A Dutch court on Thursday acquitted populist politician Geert Wilders of charges of inciting hatred against Muslims, in a case that tested freedom of speech in the traditionally liberal country.

The court case has attracted attention, not just because of Geert Wilders’ controversial comments about Islam — which he compared to Nazism — but also because of the increasing influence of his political party, which supports the minority Dutch government on economic and other issues.

Found here.

Wilders had stressed that his statement was a criticism of the Islamic faith, not of any individuals. He greeted the court verdict with satisfaction, telling supporters that he was relieved to know that public criticism of Islam remains legal in the Netherlands. The court’s decision, he said, was “a victory for freedom of expression.”

But the plaintiffs won’t stop here:

While even the public defender’s office has previously requested he be cleared of all charges, the plaintiffs in the case are now considering bringing the issue to the UN and European courts.

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Terror: suspects arrested in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany

More terrorists threatening to bomb/attack sites in Europe:

Police in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have arrested at least 10 Islamists suspected of plotting an attack in Belgium. Another 15 were arrested for allegedly recruiting insurgents for Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Police in Belgium and neighboring countries carried out two separate anti-terror raids on Tuesday, arresting at least 25 people.

Federal prosecutors in Belgium first announced the arrests of at least 10 Islamists suspected of plotting an attack on an unknown target in Belgium.

Ten Belgian, Dutch, Moroccan and Russian nationals have been arrested,” a spokesman for the Belgian Prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday. The Russian nationals were of Chechen origin, he said.

One of those Russians has been detained in the western German city of Aachen, close to the Dutch border. The others were arrested in Belgium’s second city Antwerp and in the Dutch capital Amsterdam.

via Terror suspects arrested in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 23.11.2010.

Netherlands: Catholic journalist receives torture, death threats for pro-life letter

Lifesite news report that Mariska Orbán de Haas, a Dutch Catholic pro-life journalist, has‘received hundreds of death threats and more than ten threats of torture. Her ‘crime’ against Dutch sensibilities was to write an open letter to pro-abortion parliamentarian Representative Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert.

Lifesite news report:

‘The letter, published on October 27, sparked outrage in the largely liberal, pro-abortion Netherlands. Orbán soon offered a public apology, but that has not prevented her from receiving an avalanche of angry responses. French journalist Jeanne Smits reports that the letter has generated 350,000 tweets on Twitter, and various sites have created distorted pictures of her face, portraying her as a devil.’

Mariska Orbán had written an open letter to Hennis-Plasschaert because she had called a letter from Bishop Everard de Jongdisgusting’ for asking ‘representatives to stop the killing of the unborn in the face of impending budget restrictions, pointing out that defunding “bloody abortion clinics” would save money and help preserve future generations who could care for the elderly.’ Along with the letter the Bishop had also sent a plastic model of a fetal humanbeing.

Orbán wrote to the representive publicly, pointing out that both she and Hennis-Plasschaert have experienced the suffering of miscarriages, and that the fetal model she received from Bishop De Jong would resemble their lost children at the time of their deaths.

In that light,” asked Orbán, “is it not ‘disgusting’ that our society permits us to abort more than thirty thousand babies in the Netherlands every year?” She noted that children who die by abortion are “exactly the same as the mysterious little lives that we expectantly carried within us.”

via Catholic journalist receives torture, death threats for pro-life letter in Liberal Holland « Protect the Pope.

So strong with pro-life peaceful journalists for saying the truth but then not so brave with Islamists, aren’t we?

Anyway, it’s disgusting that someone voices her opinion and what she gets is death threats and torture threats. Tolerance for other people’s opinions is basic in a democracy. And showing what’s really a foetus when they are aborted is showing the truth.

Bulletin of the Oppression of Women: Aug 12 – Nov 2, 2010

August 12, 2010
Iran
The ‘confession’ from a woman facing stoning.

August 13, 2010
India
A female engineer is facing threats for not wearing a veil.

August 15, 2010
USA
A Tulsa shelter helps abused Muslim women.

UK
Muslim parents are charged with beating and imprisoning their daughter over a facebook fling. Continue reading

Netherlands: Prominent jihadist recants and denounces terrorism

The imprisoned Dutch terrorism suspect Jason Walters said in an open letter that he has renounced Islamic radicalism.

The ideals that I once honored have been lost and I have come to realize that they are morally bankrupt,” Walters said in what he called a “review document” written from the maximum-security prison in Vught. It was published recently in the Dutch daily De Volkskrant.

Walters is a leading member of the jihadist Hofstadgroep, made up of Islamists primarily of Moroccan origin. The group was led by Mohammed Bouyeri, who is serving a life sentence for killing controversial Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004.

Observers said Walters’ letter offered a window into the mind of a man who had dedicated his life to propagating militant Islam through violence. It helped to understand why some adopt terrorism and what prompts them to reconsider.

Walters’ review could also inform the increasingly partisan immigration debate in Germany and other European nations about how to prevent the radicalization of immigrant youth and help them become functioning members of society.

…”The image that the world only exists of believers and infidels, in which the latter are motivated only to destroy the former, is a childish and coarse simplification of reality,” Walters said. “It ignores the complexity and many nuances of which reality is rich.”

Analysts and counter-terrorism authorities say Walters’ letter is likely to spark debate in militant Islamist circles and serve as an important tool in efforts to counter jihadists in Europe. In a statement, the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism (NCTb) described it as “a remarkable document” not seen before in the Netherlands.

Dutch terrorism analyst Edwin Bakker from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael said the letter would serve as “a good tool in the ideological fight against terrorists and Islamists.”

…”I have watched with horror how a once lofty ‘struggle for freedom’ that should have been the go-ahead signal for a new, just world – especially in Iraq – has turned into a bloody escalation of violence, sectarianism and religious mania,” he wrote. “Unheard of cruelty and crimes have been committed in the process.”

He said the random killing by Islamists of innocent Muslims had rendered the struggle for Islamic rule “a total failure.”

The 25-year-old said he hoped his letter would serve “to warn youth not to be misguided by false promises and ideals.” He called on Islamists “to put down their weapons and employ other, productive methods” in order to bring about reforms instead of blaming the United States and the West.

via Prominent Dutch jihadist recants and denounces terrorism | World | Deutsche Welle | 31.10.2010.

According to the police, on his hit list were Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders.

Opinion: “Geert Wilders’ trial has backfired in any way possible”

Geert Wilders… The politically charged trial took another twist last week when one of Mr. Wilders‘ expert witnesses, the Arabist Hans Jansen, wrote on his website that a member of the judiciary had tried to influence him. He said that at a dinner party before he was supposed to testify, one of the appeals judges whose decision compelled the prosecutors to press charges tried to “convince me of the correctness of the decision to take Wilders to court.”

 

To further complicate matters, the trial judges then denied a defense request to question Mr. Jansen in court about his allegations. An oversight panel of jurists finally granted the defense’s request to dismiss the presiding judges, calling their colleagues’ refusal to hear the witness “incomprehensible.” The trial, which was supposed to end next month, theoretically must start over with new judges.

 

Prosecuting Mr. Wilders has backfired in every way imaginable, not least politically. The trial has seemed to confirm his charge that avoiding debate over the implications of Muslim immigration leads to the erosion of Western freedoms, most notably freedom of speech. Despite, or perhaps because of, the trial, Mr. Wilders’ Party for Freedom became the third-strongest parliamentary faction in last June’s elections. This allowed Mr. Wilders to become a political king-maker by backing the new center-right minority government.

via The Lost Cause Against Wilders – WSJ.com.

I didn’t know that one of the judges had tried to influence a witness. The doubt is how many more were called with the same objective.

Background:

Netherlands: Restart for Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker’s hate speech trial

Geert Wilders

Restart for Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker’s hate speech trial < Dutch news | Expatica The Netherlands:

“The hate speech trial of Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders will start afresh after judges trying him were ordered to step down Friday by a panel of their colleagues at the politician’s request.

The trial will start afresh,’ Amsterdam district court spokeswoman Mercedes Grootscholten told AFP after a panel of oversight judges said Wilders’ concerns of bias on the part of his trial judges were ‘understandable.

Judge GH Marcus, the president of a panel convened to consider Wilders’ request for the judges’ recusal, said their denial of his request to recall a witness ‘appears to be in conflict with the applicable jurisprudence‘.

We find the applicant’s fear that the court’s decision points to a degree of bias, also in light of earlier incidents, understandable,’ the judge said.

Wilders, 47, went on trial on October 4 for inciting hatred by calling Islam ‘fascist’ and likening the Koran to Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’.

There have been seven days of hearings so far. Judgement had been set for November 5.”

Background:
New Dutch Government agrees to ban burqa, cut deficit.