Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Wilders Trial (I): the Expert Witness

Next Wednesday January 20 marks the beginning of a political show trial the likes of which have not been seen in the Netherlands in living memory.

While the Public Prosecution Service studied the case at length and declined to act on it, some postmodern zealots managed to get a minor Amsterdam Court to take up their miguided "anti-fascist" crusade.

Some have detected the insidious hand of the Organization of Islamic Congress (IOC) in the text of the indictment. Others stick to an ideological cabal in the governing coalition in which some have an interest in curbing free speech.

The Charges brought against Wilders are, "insult of a religious group, inciting hatred and discrimination". The text specifically states:
"(...) the Court of Appeal considers criminal prosecution obvious for the insult of Islamic worshippers because of the comparisons made by Wilders of the Islam with the Nazism."
Regrettably the law has abandoned objective principle, and instead decided to review complaints in "context" on a case by case basis. So we are assured that present spectable will be repeated numbers of times, which in itself will have a chilling effect on the freedom of expression.

Self censorship among pundits and artists has already become common practice. No one considers the use of the politically correct Index for the media an intolerable infringement on the freedom of the press. But then, that is how incremental nudging works.

Klein Verzet Blog elaborates on a legal precedent involving "group insult" and the all important differentiation between man and his ideas. Catholics, usually good philosophers, have always understood the difference between sin and sinner.

Prof. Afshin Ellian has had a bright idea. On Friday on his blog on Elsevier (in English) he proposed as follows:

Those in power in Islamist Iran represent a pure form of political Islam. It is a unapologetic form of Islamofascism, which includes antisemitism. The self-appointed President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad often expresses himself in antisemitic terms. (Iran's ruler) Ayatollah Khamenei is supported by other antisemitic clerics holding an ideology that is apocalyptic in nature. They believe that the appearance of the 12th Imam must be triggered through strife and mayhem (like all other collectivist, Utopian narrative, CT).
Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi is Khamenei's most important supporter. He's a member of various bodies of Government. In an address on January 5 he elaborated at length on the Jewish question. (...)  Geert Wilders MP should subpoena Mesbah Yazdi as an expert witness. Mesbah Yazdi must be questioned about his views on Jews. Are they rooted in the Koran?
The proceedings must be broadcast live. Islam will be on trial.(...) Let defending council Abraham Moszkowicz question him about the Jews and their tragic fate. Wilders should show him historical material and videos of murdered Iranians. Then the parallel between Nazism and Islamism will become apparent.
There are indeed philosophical parallels between Islam(ism) and Western totalitarian ideologies, such as fascism, National Socialism and Communism. The evil only differs in detail and in degree. Reduced to the root these are the common basics:
  • anti realist metaphysics;
  • socialist and anti free market capitalism in economics;
  • an anti reason, relativist and subjectivist epistemology; 
  • a view of man as a socially constructed victim. 
But it gets at its most problematic when it comes to ethics: i.e.
  • collectivism and anti individual rights.
To date in world history there has never been any benign collective, ever. And therein lies the clash of the ummah with liberal-democracy: the former is a collective, the latter rests on individual rights. These cannot be conciliated without laying the ax at the root of Western civilization.

Muslims must be given to understand that the price for living in freedom, is mutual toleration. Westerners must learn that the price of tolerating intolerance, is freedom. And freedom is the ground on which common prosperity rests. These are not vague abstractions, but very real concepts.

We shall be reporting throughout on the Wilders trial. One commentator has detected a certain tension at the Court: these people are "scared to death!" Last Wednesday during Wilders' appeal against the indictment, journalists were shut out of Court House, ostensibly for his safety. But as the pundit remarked, since when do journalists pose a security risk? The actual reason is - and this is our conclusion, not the pundit's - the Court is not only fearful of offering Wilders a platform from which to proclaim his 'abject ideas' - they're also terrified the presence of the press would reveal the event for what it is, a political show trial.

Continued on Part II


PVV information on planned demos at the Court (Dutch)
- Wilders' Freedom Party website (English)

Earlier on the Wilders Trial:

- "Team Wilders Versus Pomo Law"
- "Wilders is Fighting Back"

Related articles:

- NRO: "Bat Yeor: Geert Wilders and the fight for Europe - Does defending Western values constitute “inciting hatred”?"
- NRO: "Lights Out on Liberty", by Mark Steyn
- Politeia: "The Roots of the Unholy Alliance"
- Politeia: "The Mdina Precedent for Holocaust and Genocide"

Related dossiers:

- "Ellian Blogs" (compilation)
- "In Defense of Liberty"
- "Legal Jihad"
- "The Unholy Alliance"
- "Antisemitism"
- "Eurabia"
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