The retreating move of the court in the Wilders case
by Paul Cliteur
September 4, 2020
This afternoon the Court of Appeals in the Hague convicted Geert Wilders of group insult for the “Fewer Moroccans” statement (art. 137c Sr). He was acquitted in the attempts by the Public Prosecutor to convict him for incitement to hate or discrimination (art. 137d Sr).
Though it is naturally a disappointment that Wilders was not cleared of all charges, it is nevertheless a small success that now suddenly, the incitement to discrimination on grounds of race has disappeared. That takes a bit of the sting out of the conviction, because now only the group insult on the basis of race remains.
It is quite a backward move that the Appeals Court is making compared to the standpoint of the lower court. One step further, the Supreme Court, and the group insult will also die. That is not imaginary, because the Supreme Court will, hopefully, see clearly that Moroccans are not a race, but rather a nationality. No Moroccan race, no Moroccan ethnicity, just a nationality. And the legislature has explicitly not included that in the law. Thus, the zealots for stretching the concept of race can claim what they want, but, in doing so, they violate the principle of legality, and with it the rule of law.
What remains a problem is that the administrative elite, for one puzzling reason or another, is obsessed with labeling one group a “victim” while someone who spends the rest of their life on a jihadist death list can count on a lot less compassion.
Prof. Paul Cliteur is a professor in Leiden, a member of the first chamber [Senate] with Forum for Democracy, and the author of, among others, “The State vs. Wilders”.