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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Geert Wilders cleared of hate charges by Dutch court

A good day for freedom of speech, and a good day for Geert Wilders.
Not so good for the many Muslims that have had their panties in a bunch because the thought that Geert was being a racist!
Any time you diss Islam, you are called a Racist... though Islam is not a race.
If you say anything bad about Muslims (Regardless of what they do) you are an Islamaphobe.
so seeing Mr. Wilders prevail in this decision is awesome,
not that Muslims will understand it.

Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders has been acquitted of charges of inciting hatred against Muslims.

Mr Wilders had described Islam as "fascist", comparing the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf.

He insisted his statements were directed at Islam and not at Muslim believers - something which is legal under Dutch law.

Judge Marcel van Oosten told him his statements were "acceptable within the context of public debate".

"The bench finds that although gross and degenerating, it did not give rise to hatred," he said.

The verdict was greeted with applause from Mr Wilders' supporters in the public gallery.

Outside the courtroom, the 47-year-old politician said he was "incredibly happy" with the

Supporters of Geert Wilders erupted into applause in the public gallery of the court as presiding judge Marcel van Oosten acquitted the populist politician of all charges of hate speech and discrimination against Muslims.

Judges found that while some of his comments, especially his words about a "tsunami" of immigrants, had been "crude and denigrating", they were legal and a legitimate part of the country's ongoing debate over multi-culturalism.

Mr Wilders called the verdict a victory for free speech and many analysts agree that the scope of debate in this country's culture wars may have just been widened.

Mr Wilders is an enormously popular politician here and the support of his Freedom Party is crucial to the current centre-right government, which is adopting many of his anti-immigrant positions.

With the acquittal, it appears the radical views of Mr Wilders are now more mainstream in a country that for decades was viewed as one of the most liberal and tolerant in the world.

"It's not only an acquittal for me, but a victory for freedom of expression in the Netherlands," he said.

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