Here is my entry in a National Review symposium today, “Western Civilization on Trial”:
The Geert Wilders trial ought to be an international media event; seldom has any court case anywhere had such enormous implications for the future of the free world. The case against him, which has all the legitimacy of a Stalinist-era Moscow show trial, is a manifestation of the global assault on free speech sponsored chiefly at the U.N. by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). If Wilders loses, the freedom of speech will be threatened everywhere in the West.Even if he wins, a dangerous precedent has been set by the fact of the trial itself: It is a sad day for the freedom of speech when a man can be put on trial for causing another man offense. If offending someone were really a crime warranting prosecution by the civil authorities, the legal system would be opened up to absurdities even greater than the Wilders trial.
But of course what Dutch authorities, Muslim groups in the Netherlands, and the OIC really want to accomplish is to silence Wilders’s truth-telling about jihad and Islamic supremacism. The court’s railroading of Wilders was clear from that fact that 15 of his 18 requested witnesses were disallowed, including Mohammed Bouyeri, the Koran-inspired murderer of Theo Van Gogh who would have proven Wilders’s point immediately. As Wilders himself put it Wednesday: “This court is not interested in the truth. This court doesn’t want me to have a fair trial.” The darkness descending over Europe, as indicated by this trial, may ensure that there is no fair trial there again for a long, long time.
Other symposium participants include Bat Ye’or, Paul Marshall, Clifford D. May, Daniel Pipes, and Nina Shea. Read it all.