An Amsterdam court is prosecuting Dutch MP Geert Wilders for a case of “hate-speech” and inciting hatred against muslims. Mr. Wilders has made many statements about Islam being a violent “ideology” but at the heart of the case is a short documentary he made called “FITNA”. This movie contains interpretations of verses from the Quaran, hate speeches by muslim clerics, graphic images of killings of hostages and more.
I have been following the case of Geert Wilders for two years now and at the core of his prosecution is “freedom of speech”. It is probably the most important of cases in recent history with relevance to all democracies. The Indian media will not cover this story as the parties may not appear to have much relevance in the Indian context, but what it misses is the fact that it not only concerns freedom of speech but also the Islamic terror threats that we have been continuously facing.
I also write this in the context of the constant clamor of some sections of our establishment and media for peace with Pakistan. I am clear : There cannot be peace with an Islamic Pakistan. A media giant like Times Of India even runs a campaign called “Aman Ki Asha” largely limited to some song, dance and poem-recital programs. At the heart of Mr. Wilder’s various pronouncements is his logic that “Islamic ideology and Democracy are not compatible value systems” One may or may not agree with that but I believe that is the essential reason why an Islamic Pakistan will always be at odds with an Indian Democratic Constitution. Freedom is a fundamental guarantee that our Constitution makes and so is the freedom of speech.
Sample this UN resolution championed by none other than Pakistan, leading the OIC countries:
“ A United Nations forum on Thursday passed a resolution condemning "defamation of religion" as a human rights violation, despite wide concerns that it could be used to justify curbs on free speech in Muslim countries. The U.N. Human Rights Council adopted the non-binding text, proposed by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic states, with a vote of 23 states in favour and 11 against, with 13 abstentions. Western governments and a broad alliance of activist groups have voiced dismay about the religious defamation text, which adds to recent efforts to broaden the concept of human rights to protect communities of believers rather than individuals. Pakistan, speaking for the 56-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said a "delicate balance" had to be struck between freedom of expression and respect for religions.” (Source: http://www.correntewire.com 27/3/2009)
There are countless other websites and blogs which have reported this UN resolution (no.62/145) but the politically correct mainstream media in India has probably glossed it over.
President Obama initially backed the resolution but later backed out knowing well that the resolution is directly in contravention of the US Constitution’s First Amendment.
"October 29, 2009: Obama Opposes UN Anti-Defamation Resolution: Thankfully, there is some sanity in the U.N. The Obama administration has announced that it is strongly opposed to a resolution that would condemn negative speech against religions. Hillary Clinton said in a news conference that such a resolution would be a major blow against free expression and speech…..”
“….It should also be noted that this kind of “protection” from criticism is completely contrary to the search for truth. If Islam, or Christianity, or Buddhism is true, then the way to find this out is to engage in unfiltered, unflinching dialog, and to respond to criticism.” (Source: http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/obama-opposes-un-anti-defamation-resolution/)
Fortunately, the UN resolution mentioned above is “not binding” on any country and therefore practically meaningless. One cannot expect anything better from this scandal-ridden organization which should now be flushed down the toilet.
Written by Ajita Kamal , Posted on 05 March 2009(http://nirmukta.com/2009/03/05/religions-silencing-dissent-the-global-resurgence-of-blasphemy-laws)
Religions Silencing Dissent: The Global Resurgence of Blasphemy Laws
"In 1990 the Organization of the Islamic Conference(OIC) adopted the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI). In effect the OIC member nations had signed onto an agreement declaring Shariah law as the only guide to human rights. According to wikipedia, “Articles 24 and 25 of the CDHRI make all the rights and freedoms stipulated in it subject to Shariah and only to Shariah”. Protecting Islam against blasphemy is an integral part of Shariah.The CDHRI was presented at the UN in 1992 and was accepted into the Human Rights Commission’s A Compilation of International Instruments (vol. II (1997), pp. 478-84) in 1997....."
This is why the case against Geert Wilders is important to the entire free world and all democracies.
Writes Robert Spencer the noted author of Islam related books :
“The Geert Wilders trial ought to be an international media event; seldom has any court case anywhere had such enormous implications for the future of the free world. The case against him, which has all the legitimacy of a Stalinist-era Moscow show trial, is a manifestation of the global assault on free speech sponsored chiefly at the U.N. by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). If Wilders loses, the freedom of speech will be threatened everywhere in the West. Even if he wins, a dangerous precedent has been set by the fact of the trial itself: It is a sad day for the freedom of speech when a man can be put on trial for causing another man offense. If offending someone were really a crime warranting prosecution by the civil authorities, the legal system would be opened up to absurdities even greater than the Wilders trial".
Had Pakistan been located in Africa we probably wouldn’t give it another thought on any day. It is our singular misfortune that it is our “good neighbor” (to use Shahrukh Khan’s moronic assertion) Pakistan is grappling with the same issues which have been raised by Geert Wilders and for which he is being prosecuted.
Let’s not desire peace with this neighbor and let them live their lives as they wish. We need not be at conflict but should always be prepared for one. They can never stop terrorism till such time it completely destroys their own country and only then they will feel a genuine desire for peace.