You may find this hard to believe, but the world isn’t completely insane. A Dutch court acquited populist politician Geert Wilders on Thursday. He had been accused of inciting hatred of Muslims by telling the truth.
Reuters has the report:
The case was seen by some as a test of free speech in a country which has a long tradition of tolerance and blunt talk, but where opposition to immigration, particularly from Muslim or predominantly Muslim countries, is on the rise.
Instantly recognizable by his mane of dyed blond hair, Wilders, 47, is one of the most outspoken critics of Islam and immigration in the Netherlands.
His Freedom Party is now the third-largest in parliament, a measure of support for its anti-immigrant stance, and is the minority government’s chief ally. But many of Wilders’ comments — such as likening Islam to Nazism — are socially divisive.
Really nice impartial work, Reuters. You didn’t even attempt to disguise your editorializing by saying, “Some people say his comments are socially divisive.” You went straight to they are socially divisive.
Unfortunately, the Wilders case isn’t an isolated incident. Australian newspaper columnist, blogger and TV star Andrew Bolt is currently being tried under his nation’s Racial Discrimination Act.
His offense? Suggesting in a series of columns that some light or white-skinned Aussies who identify themselves as aboriginal may have motives that are less than pure. The overly-sensitive “aboriginal” plaintiffs say they were offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by Bolt’s articles.
One day at a time. Wilders today, Bolt tomorrow.