Geert Wilders: “This Conviction Only Makes Me Stronger”

The court at Schiphol handed down a verdict today against Geert Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid, PVV) in the Netherlands. As expected, Mr. Wilders was found guilty of “hate speech” for asking his supporters whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. The defendant declined to appear in court for the reading of the verdict.

The interesting thing about the judgment is that the court decided not to fine Mr. Wilders, saying that his conviction was punishment enough. More than anything, that aspect of the verdict highlights the political nature of the trial — by not imposing any punishment, the judges removed as much fuel for martyrdom from the verdict as they could.

And since Mr. Wilders’ political fortunes will not suffer from this farrago of “justice” — his popularity may well be enhanced — the real weight of the judgment will felt by his colleagues in the PVV, and by ordinary Dutch citizens, who have now been clearly shown that they have no right to free speech in their country if what they say might offend Moroccans.

The judge said: “Freedom of speech can be limited, for example to protect the rights and freedoms of others, and that is what this case is about.” In other words, a new legal right has been granted to Moroccans. Practically speaking, the court established a clear legal precedent that guarantees a Moroccan the right never to be insulted while he is in the Netherlands.

The following video is the English-language statement issued by Geert Wilders in reaction to his conviction:

Below is the report on the verdict from Fox News:

Prime Minister Candidate Wilders Guilty of Hate Speech, Dutch Court Rules

A Dutch court convicted populist lawmaker Geert Wilders — who is running to be prime minister — of hate speech Friday, at the end of a trial he branded a politically motivated “charade” that endangered freedom of speech.

Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said the court would not impose a sentence because the conviction was punishment enough for a democratically elected lawmaker. Prosecutors had asked judges to fine him $5,300.

The politically charged prosecution centered on comments Wilders made before and after the Dutch municipal elections in 2014. At one meeting in a Hague cafe, he asked supporters whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. That sparked a chant of “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” — to which he replied, “we’ll take care of it.”

Prosecutors say that Wilders, who in 2011 was acquitted at another hate speech trial for his outspoken criticism of Islam, overstepped the limits of free speech by specifically targeting Moroccans.

On Friday, he was convicted for the interaction with the crowd of supporters in the Hague cafe, which judges said was carefully orchestrated and broadcast on national television. He was acquitted for similar comments he made in a radio interview a week earlier.

In a tweet, Wilders called the verdicts “madness” and said that he had been convicted by three judges who hated his Party for Freedom.

Wilders was not in court for the verdict that came just over three months before national elections. Wilders’ party is currently narrowly leading a nationwide poll of polls and has risen in popularity during the trial.

Even before the hearing, Wilders vowed not to let a conviction muzzle him.

“Whatever the verdict, I will continue to speak the truth about the Moroccan problem, and no judge, politician or terrorist will stop me,” he tweeted shortly before the verdict.

He had denied the charges and insisted he was performing his duty as a political leader by pointing out a problem in society.

Before declaring Wilders guilty, Steenhuis stressed that freedom of speech was not on trial as Wilders had claimed during the case.

“Freedom of speech is one of the foundations of our democratic society,” the judge said. But he added: “Freedom of speech can be limited, for example to protect the rights and freedoms of others, and that is what this case is about.”

21 thoughts on “Geert Wilders: “This Conviction Only Makes Me Stronger”

  1. Yet everybody will half a brain can understand, that any limitation to freedom of speech means there is no freedom of speech.

  2. Even if he triumphs at the election (and I hope he does), the aftermath of Trump’s victory shows the ingrained and depraved hostility of the ‘Postmodern Progressives’ (or whatever they want to call themselves) to common sense.

    For as long as they continue to hold the education system in their doctrinaire hands, the Body Politic will be riven in two – and they have the backing of the barbarians.

    There must be fundamental changes if Western civilization is to survive the menace of Marx’s ghoul.

  3. I read on another blog that the Court referred to Moroccans as a race, and thereby categorizing anything said against them as racist hate speech. The court was quite incorrect. Moroccans are not a race but a blend of North African desert tribes with some Arabian thrown in from the days of Islamic conquest. This is from a dear friend of the family who spent almost ten years there as an English teacher and missionary. Geert was referring to nationality and not race, but the Court insisted upon its own ‘race’ to judgment.

    • The MObama administration is reportedly going to consider Middle Easterners and North Africans … moslems … as a race for the 2020 census. Trump must shoot this down.

    • They may not be ‘a race’, as it would seem they are many races–but not European, and certainly not Dutch. I think the technical ‘not a race’ argument was perhaps the weakest one. The strongest argument is that an elected representative making a political speech ought to be able to raise issues of the demographic mix in his country, whether you characterise it as racial, national, or whatever–and it would seem that in the Netherlands, a small country that is the only country where its language is spoken (if you don’t count Flanders), and which has a distinct history and culture, it is not permissible to raise such issues.

  4. What a guy — Geert. So brave, so outspoken. I am totally on his side. Why should any European or western or any country be over-run by people that are absolutely opposed to their way of life, their standards and so on and so forth. I read the news daily, no matter how much I lose my appetite for breakfast or lunch. And some of it is absolutely sick-making but. . . duty calls. Ignorance is death.

    Geert Wilders for president of the Netherlands!!!

    And to that judge: You people don’t really understand freedom of speech. A free person can say whatever that person wants to say, at least here in America. Maybe you should appoint a committee, come here for awhile, so you can learn what free speech really is. And then take it back to your own country. Freedom of speech actually does include possibly offending other people you know. People hold on to their ideas until they are exposed to new ones. I t really is that simple.

  5. This is sick, but unsurprising.

    The Emperor has no clothes, they’ve now revealed *that* much.

    • They don’t care that they have no clothes, as long as they are the ones holding the whip.

  6. I don’t think he’s guilty of any crime because for normal people there is no such crime as hate speech. One day, when the world returns to some semblance of normality, these non-crimes will be removed from the statute books. Unfortunately, those who introduced them will escape the punishment they do richly deserve.

  7. I do believe he is 100% right in saying that this bit of legal nonsense will strengthen the position he and his followers maintain. In addition it may very well bring some other sleepers to wakefulness. The coffee is brewing and the toast is almost ready.

  8. So to summarize Judge Stenhuis’s position, freedom of speech was not on trial because freedom of speech is an illusion in the Netherlands.

  9. Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis – How can he say it is not about freedom of speech? If you limit speech then it is allowance of speech or limited freedom of speech. By using the right words it makes it more difficult to ignore the Truth. I think the term for that is cognitive dissonance.

  10. The Dutch were the first people in Europe to demand freedom of speech and association. Dutch resistance so infuriated the Holy Office of the Inquisition that on February 16, 1568, all the inhabitants of the Netherlands were sentenced to death as heretics and Bible readers, except only a few persons especially named in the edict. To stop the condemned from continually speaking out on their way to execution a bridle was fashioned to pierce through the tongue. But alas, the Dutch will need to rediscover their stones once again, and soon. So shall we all.

  11. The court didn’t enact an actual punishment because they were too frightened at where that may lead. Which just shows how dumb they are. If you’re going to have a show trail then you make it stick. The court merely demonstrated that they collectively have no leadership and do not have enough passion to even believe in their own values and beliefs. The only person who showed any leadership in this case was the man they were prosecuting.

    If any Dutch people were sitting on the fence about whether or not to vote for Wilders then this failure to carry through with an actual sentence should tip them over to Wilder’s side. This could well be Wilder’s “deplorables” moment.

  12. They didn’t impose a fine because they didn’t want to be in the position of having to jail him when he refused to pay it.

    Btw their position is self-refuting.

    If the universal affirmative proposition: “All people who make universal affirmative propositions (All S are P) are guilty of discrimination” is true, then the people who found Wilders guilty of discrimination are themselves guilty of discrimination.

  13. They didn’t impose a fine, because they lacked the guts for it. Even those three kangaroos know very well who will be the next prime minister. And which party will deliver the next justice minister. It won’t be D66, the party of which all three “unbiased” judges are certified members.

    • Shameful attempt by the Netherland’s judiciary to relegate the indigenous Dutch people to second class citizenry in their own country.

      Remember the names and faces of these Quislings!

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