The Corner

Geert Wilders on Trial

Geert Wilders had his first day in court in Amsterdam today (they are six hours ahead of EST), where he faces five charges of “inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims and insulting their religion” in his short movie Fitna.

The opening of the trial, expected to last a month in Amsterdam, followed a successful weekend for the maverick Dutch politician, with his influence over a new rightwing government confirmed and a campaign speech in Germany aimed at establishing a trans-national European movement against Muslim immigration.

Proceedings were derailed after the judge made a sneering comment about Wilders’s rhetorical style:

Wilders then asserted his right to remain silent for the rest of the trial, prompting a comment from the presiding judge, Jan Moors, which was challenged by Wilders’s lawyer.

Moors said Wilders was known for making bold statements but avoiding discussions, adding: “It appears you’re doing so again.”

I thought the right to silence was pretty well established in the court proceedings of civilized nations, and it is news to me that judicial proceedings have “discussions” as one of their purposes. The Euro-establishment is out to get Wilders, though, and they’re not going to be fussy about methods. If they don’t take this man down, their whole worldview is imperilled.

Conservative/libertarian blogger Randall Parker has suggested a blog bomb on Wilders’ behalf. That is, he suggests that on this coming Thursday, October 7, “all bloggers who support a basic right to free speech ought to write posts protesting the prosecution of Geert Wilders.”

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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