Via Instapundit and Samizdata, a request for funds to assist Geert Wilders in his defense against charges of inciting hatred against Muslims. The charges are based on Wilders film Fitna, in which verses from the Koran were read over visuals of Islamic terrorism.
According to the panel of three judges, Wilder’s insults against Islam were so serious as to outweigh his right to free speech. Hmm… We’ve had cases in Australia where quoting embarrassing verses from the Koran, or pointing out that Mohammed had sex with a nine year old girl, tortured his enemies, raped captured women, etc, have been called hate speech. Legislation in the state of Victoria specifically states that truth is not a defense.
You don’t have to agree with everything Wilders says to believe that the charges against him are politically motivated, cowardly and wrong. He has said the Koran should be banned, since it is a genuine example of hate speech. I don’t think so. Its nasty and dull. But that’s not a crime. If it was dictated by God directly to the angel Gabriel, then God is a small minded bigot with little imagination and no poetic skill. I don’t think Mein Kampf should be banned either, or Silent Spring.
Suggesting the Koran or any book should be banned is wrong, but it is not evil. Radical Islamism is evil. Pointing this out, even in a society where people are accustomed to politer debate, should not be a crime.
You can donate to Wilder’s defense here.