The trial of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders on discrimination and inciting hatred charges resumed in Amsterdam on Monday with both defence and prosecution saying the entire case should be heard again.
Last October the trial was abandoned after senior court officials ruled several irregularities in the proceedings could be deemed prejudicial. New judges have now been appointed.
The leader of the anti-Islam PVV party faces several charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims, Moroccans and non-Western immigrants.
Wilders took the stand at the end of Monday’s hearing and said the trial is about a “much bigger” issue than him alone. “Freedom is being sacrificed because a totalitarian ideology wants to turn it into a sin,” Wilders said. “It is the duty of free people to resist this.”
If you can stomach it, you can read Wilders’ speech to the court here. Some excerpts:
“The ideology of Islam is especially noted for killing and oppression and can only produce societies that are backward and impoverished. Surprisingly, the elites do not want to hear any criticism of this ideology…. All over Europe multicultural elites are waging total war against their populations. Their goal is to continue the strategy of mass immigration, which will ultimately result in an Islamic Europe – a Europe without freedom: Eurabia….
“The lights are going out all over Europe. Anyone who thinks or speaks individually is at risk. Freedom-loving citizens who criticize Islam, or even merely suggest that there is a relationship between Islam and crime or honour killing, must suffer, and are threatened or criminalized….
“It is not only the privilege, but also the duty of free people – and hence also my duty as a member of the Dutch Parliament – to speak out against any ideology that threatens freedom. Hence it is a right and a duty to speak the truth about the evil ideology that is called Islam.”