Hate-Free Speech

January 23, 2009

Hate-Free Speech

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, January 22, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Islamofascism: A threat to basic freedom has opened a new front in the war on terror. Dutch filmmaker and politician Geert Wilders is finding out what it means to yell “truth!” in a crowded theater.

Read More: Europe & Central Asia

Wilders is a leader in the Dutch Freedom Party and a thorn in the side of politically correct Europeans who’ve been cowered by their increasing Muslim populations into accepting the creeping Islamicization of Europe — or Eurabia, as we and others have dubbed it.

In March 2008, Wilders posted “Fitna,” a film about the Koran, on the Internet. It equates Islam with violence and the Koran with Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” at least in its advocacy of obscene violence against humanity and as a blueprint of things to come.

The opening scenes of “Fitna,” a Koranic term sometimes translated as “strife,” shows a copy of the Koran followed by footage of the attacks on the U.S. on 9-11, then London in July 2005 and then Madrid in March 2004. Subtle he is not. But neither is he a criminal.

It did not help that Wilders included in the film a scene showing Muslim protesters holding signs reading “God Bless Hitler.” This would tend to lend credence to Wilders’ thesis. Mention of Hitler and Nazism in any context is still a touchy subject in Europe to this day, as is criticism of anything Muslim.

On Wednesday the Dutch Court of Appeals ordered a criminal prosecution of Wilders, who is also a member of the Dutch parliament. “The Amsterdam appeals court has ordered the prosecution of member of parliament Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination, based on comments by him in various media on Muslims and their beliefs,” the court said in a statement.

As his film shows, this largely amounts to quoting the Koran accurately and reporting the statements of Muslim organizations and their supporters, many of which can’t be repeated here.

Wilders is in fact guilty of nothing but resisting the Islamicization of Europe and the attempt to impose Sharia law on the West. Suppressing all criticism of and debate about Islam is part of that move. Free speech and Sharia law are incompatible.

Columnist Mark Steyn felt Wilders’ pain in 2008, when he went on trial in Canada for “Islamophobia.” As in Wilders’ case, this consisted largely of quoting Muslim speakers verbatim and then drawing obvious conclusions. Steyn ultimately prevailed, without civil libertarians warning of any “chilling effect” on public discourse.

Leading this charge to eviscerate freedom of speech in the West is a group called the Organization of the Islamic Conference, composed of Muslim governments in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and around the globe. Its stated mission is “defending the image of Islam, and combating the phenomenon of Islamophobia.” In practice, this means using our freedoms to end them.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the OIC, says the group has already targeted the United States. “We have established an OIC group in Washington, D.C.,” he announced recently, “with the aim of playing a more active role in engaging American lawmakers.” Prosecution of American politicians and opinion-makers may not be far off.

Ihsanoglu also gave us a warning: “In confronting the Danish cartoons and the Dutch film ‘Fitna,’ ” he said, “we sent a clear message to the West regarding the red lines that should not be crossed.”

We are reminded of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, great-great-grandson of the famous artist, who crossed that “red line” and paid for it with his life in 2004. He was shot and his throat slit on an Amsterdam street after making the film “Submission,” which criticized the Islamic world for its harsh treatment of women as exhibited in the Taliban’s reign of terror in Afghanistan. Was his film hate speech or merely a documentary of Muslim intolerance?

Islamofascists know that free speech is the linchpin of Western democracy. We need people like Wilders, van Gogh and Steyn, who dare to exercise that right in the face of such threats. We need to know the truth, for that’s what shall keep us free.

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