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article image'Stop Tumor Named Islam' poster is not hate-speech: Dutch court

By Adriana Stuijt     Mar 10, 2009 in Politics
The Dutch High Council acquitted a man earlier judged guilty of racial hatred and -incitement for displaying a poster saying "Stop Tumor Named Islam'. Insulting a religion is not inciting racial hatred against a group of people, the court has ruled.
The unnamed man had been found guilty of insulting Islam by two lower courts: the 's Hertogenbosch magistrate's court and the judical review court.
However, the Dutch High Court ruled today that 'there are not enough grounds for finding someone guilty of racial incitement who makes insulting comments about any given religion, even if its followers say that they feel insulted.
"Such a statement must be unmistakingly linked to a specific group of people who are identified as such through their religion as different from other groups.'
Guidance for Geert Wilders case
Judicial experts say that the country's highest court thus also may have provided legal guidance for the pending case in the Amsterdam law courts against anti-jihadist parliamentarian Geert Wilders.see
Wilders has become hugely popular in The Netherlands this year, with a top pollster noting that if elections were to be held this month, he would become the country's next prime minister as his Party for Freedom would win more voters than the present senior party in the ruling-coalition, the Christian Democrats. see
The Amsterdam judges who are going to have to rule over the question as to whether the Party for Freedom chairman had tried to instigate hatred and racial discrimination, will have to decide whether Wilders' public anti-jihadist statements were 'unmistakably targeting a specific group of people, or were only critical of islam as a religion.
The High Court emphasised that in the case of the poster "Stop the Tumor Named Islam'" it did not instigate hatred and discrimination of a specific (race) group; it instead targetted a group of people because of their religion.
It's still not known when or even if the case in Amsterdam is being heard against Wilders: there are strong rumours that judges are afraid to adjudicate the case because they might also be placed under a Fatwa, an Islamic order to kill, if they dared to find Wilders not guilty. Wilders has been under 24-hour Dutch security-protection for the past four years, ever since a written Fatwa addressed to Wilderswas attached with a knife to the body of slaughtered cineast Theo van Gogh by his murderer Mohammed Bouyeri.
The Dutch Public Prosecutors' office initially refused to lodge judicial charges against him because they did not view any of his public statements about the religion as punishable under any Dutch laws.
This decision was appealed against by Islamic organisations, who demanded that a full bench of judges should rule on this matter - not the legal experts at the the public prosecutors' office. see
Wilders' lawyer, adv. Abraham Moszkowicz, has found that the Amsterdam Court of Appeals made a number of grave errors in the legal justification of their decisions to have Geert Wilders prosecuted for his criticism of Islam.
The judges in Amsterdam based their decision to prosecute him, on remarks that were falsely attributed to Wilders or were misquoted in a way that twisted the meaning of his words.
Erroneously attributing a statement by Italian journalist and author Oriana Fallaci to him is only one of the blunders committed by the court, says Wilders In an interview with Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf.
"They also twisted one of my statements in such a way as to crucially change the meaning. 'No more Muslims in the Netherlands', is something completely different than what I actually said, which was 'No more Muslim immigration into the Netherlands'.
"The public prosecutor has been ordered by this court to prosecute me, based in part on statements I never made." Wilders has filed an appeal with the Dutch High Court of Justice against the Amsterdam court's decision to prosecute him. see
More about Geert wilders, Anti-jihadist, Amsterdam
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