Is the Dutch Court of Justice afraid of G.Wilders? – That is the question!
G. Wilders, Dutch son of an Indonesian mother was kicked out of the VVD political party some time ago, just to stop his radical intolerance of foreigners from politically embarrassing the party. Too stubborn to quit his parliament seat, he then managed to instigate nationalist feelings using discriminatory slogans. His populism and funds from secret, partly Jewish and American sources have propelled him from a one-man party, to a party with so many parliamentary seats that the present Dutch ruling cabinet could not be formed without him. His PVV party, the name meaning party for the freedom (yet strongly anti-freedom of immigrants) is now condoned in but does not itself have a minister in government cabinet. This gives Wilders a powerful leverage in setting the tone for Dutch government policy on any and every issue – from Dutch response to EU policies, to the role of Dutch monarchy, to immigration, finance, labour and pension, and nuclear energy matters.
Neither academically intellectually sound, nor knowledgeable, nor well informed on any issue whatsoever, he is constantly lashing out with slogans at foreigners, while projecting himself as the idol of native Dutch white nationalists. His black hair is always dyed blond, but his tanned Indonesian skin and eyes are not of the indigenous Frisian nor Limburger that he pretends to be. Yet, he manages to fool enough native Dutch voters; mostly of low class, low intelligence and too young to see the facts. These are the people he easily incites into hatred for and discrimination against foreigners, especially against Muslims. But he is also against anything non-Dutch, even against Dutch ministers and parliamentarians with any slight shade of foreign blood or ancestry. The irony is that he himself has foreign blood, his wife is a foreigner, his mother too, and among those he puts on his party’s Dutch parliamentary seats are Hungarians and Czechians so dubious that they had to relinquish their seats. In imitation of Ayan Hirshi Ali – another radical VVD party member who was chucked out of Dutch parliament, Wilders went so far as to produce an anti-Islam movie called Fitna.
Now the charges against Wilders in court include: inducing hatred, discrimination and insulting Islam and Muslims. His attitude to Muslims and immigrants in the Netherlands is hardly different from that of the NSB against the Jews last century. Wilders has become such a radical Dutch political phenomenon that all other political parties are wearied of him. He dares to even challenge the ruling house of Orange, and threatened to limit the powers of the queen. In court, rather than focus his defence on the charges against him, he managed to so frighten the court system itself and the judges that to please him, these were replaced twice. Still he tried to dismiss the authority of the court system if he was not freed. Partly due to the political influence of his party, and partly due to the idiosyncrasies of Dutch Sense, Wilders even managed to get the government prosecutors to plead in court for his release from the charges, instead of prosecuting him. This makes a big mockery of the Dutch judicial system.
The present team of judges trying his case in the Amsterdam court is yet to pass judgement. But it is already obvious that they will have difficulty if they pronounce him guilty. The parties most affected – foreigners and Muslims have long given up the hope of a fair court consideration of their plight. They are too weakly involved in the defence that is too dominated by unwilling state attorney. In short, Wilders has managed to hijack the Dutch court system. By so doing, he is setting a most dangerous precedence. If Wilders is declared not guilty in court, from now on, radically minded people who discriminate will assume free rights in mishandling foreigners. Moroccans, Africans, Antillians, Surinamese and Turks will face more harassment in public, and racial discrimination especially against coloured immigrants will continue to grow without impunity.
The argument by Wilders lawyer – Bram Moscowic that Wilders as politician should be free to raise discriminatory issues and enjoy being immune to charges, is against all norms of common sense.
Especially as a public figure with powerful influence on many weak-minded people, a politician should be precisely more careful and not less careful in his or her public utterances than private people are. Last century, the Klu-Klux Klan in America, the White Supremacy movement in Europe and the Nazi were able to inflict their heavy burden of murder and death on millions of innocent foreigners mainly because irresponsible public leaders incited masses of their supporters through careless utterances.
Politicians have an exemplary role that should not be to threaten the sense of social peace among a sector of society – foreigners in this case. To not uphold the need for a good exemplary role by letting Wilders go Scot free, is to sentence foreigners to accept growing tension in Dutch society. By freeing Wilders of the charges against him, the Dutch judicial system will be acknowledging that the courts are afraid to fully try him. That will be a bad precedence. That will encourage others to emulate Wilders, but will also encourage Wilders to assume that he is henceforth above the law. Is that what a respectable court system wants? Is that in Dutch national interest? The final court judgement on this case will surely set the boundaries for political freedom of expression in the Netherlands.