Wilders is dangerous, Muslims tell court

18th October 2010, Comments 6 comments

Muslims told judges trying anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders for hate speech Monday that he was dangerous, dividing a multicultural society that used to cohabit peacefully.

"Mr Wilders is a dangerous ideologist who has divided Dutch society," Naoual Abaida, a trainee lawyer with a native Dutch mother and Moroccan father, told the court.

"I am asking you to protect me as a Muslim and a Moroccan against Mr Wilders," she said, referring to his "Islam-bashing" and "insulting, polarising language".

Wilders, 47, went on trial on October 4 for inciting hatred by calling Islam "fascist" and likening the Koran to Hitler's "Mein Kampf".

The prosecution service asked the court for his acquittal last Friday, saying his criticism, though hurtful, was not criminal.

On Monday, lawyers for Wilders' accusers -- a group of individuals from around the country -- asked for a guilty verdict and a symbolic damages award of one euro.

"We are the daily target of xenophobic statements," Mohamed Rabbae, politician and activist, told the judges as Wilders looked on, occasionally lifting his eyebrows or making faces.

"Our children have become unsure about their future ... in this climate of discrimination, hate and enmity as propagated by Mr Wilders."

This in turn caused "anger, bitterness and a deepening of the divide between Muslims and native Dutch", said Rabbae.

In June 2008, the prosecution service dismissed dozens of complaints against the politician, citing his right to freedom of speech.

But appeals judges ordered in January 2009 that he stand trial as his utterances amounted to "sowing hatred" -- compelling the prosecution to mount a case against him.

Wilders, who will give parliamentary support to a new, rightist coalition government inaugurated last Thursday, risks up to a year in jail or a 7,600-euro fine for comments made in his campaign to "stop the Islamisation of the Netherlands".

Wilders' defence lawyer will make his case on Tuesday and Friday.

Judgment is expected on November 5.

© 2010 AFP

3 Comments To This Article

  • Charles Martel posted:

    on 18th October 2010, 16:59:05 - Reply

    Naoual Abaida doesn't need to be taught about hate. Her faith, culture and political ideology is filled with it.
  • David Catleugh posted:

    on 18th October 2010, 15:22:54 - Reply

    Who is it that needs 24 Hour police protection? Oh, I remember, its Geert Wilders, he has to be protected from followers of "the religion of peace".
  • Newspaniard posted:

    on 18th October 2010, 14:35:07 - Reply

    There they go again. If these Death Cult members can't get their own way with threats and bullying, they bring out their gold plated "Victim Cards". They are right when they say that they live "along side" the Western population, they are correct; they seldom if ever make any attempt to integrate, which is why there is so much concern about them.