A Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to put a right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders made a controversial film last year equating Islam with violence and has likened the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. “In a democratic system, hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to … draw a clear line,” the court in Amsterdam said.
Mr Wilders said the judgement was an “attack on the freedom of expression”. “Participation in the public debate has become a dangerous activity. If you give your opinion, you risk being prosecuted,” he said. Not only he, but all Dutch citizens opposed to the “Islamisation” of their country would be on trial, Mr Wilders warned. “Who will stand up for our culture if I am silenced?” he added.
See also the Independent, 22 January 2009