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On June 23 Dutch politician Geert Wilders was pronounced not guilty on accusations of hate speeches and hate crimes against Islam and muslims. He is a politician who spoke out openly against Islamisation of his country and appeasement of muslims. He was accused of "hate speech" crimes for comparing the Koran to Mein Kampf and Islam to Nazism. Mein Kampf is banned in Netherlands and therefore Wilders demanded that the Koran be banned too. The accusations also included the documentary he made, FITNA, which includes graphic images of Islamic terror juxtaposed with verses from the Koran. It is strange that those mullahs who made, and keep making, violence-inciting speeches against non-muslims, were never put on trial but Wilders, who protested, was put on trial.
No religion should be above questioning, debate and even ridicule. Some of it may hurt the sentiments of religious people. That does not mean issuing death threats or killing people. We have seen people being killed for even questioning blasphemy laws.Wilders was even prevented by the UK government in January 2010 from screening his documentary on an invitation by members of the House of Lords. This was later overturned by the courts. Such is the length to which appeasers will go.
The Dutch MP is surely not the first one to question Islam or the verses in the Koran. In 1985 Chandmal Chopra and others filed a case in the Calcutta High Court seeking a ban on the publishing and distribution of the Koran. This is commonly known as The Calcutta Quran Petition. The reasons cited by Chopra were similar to those of Geert Wilders – that the Koran contains hate and violence-inciting verses against members of other communities or non-believers. The Calcutta petition thoroughly exposes the ‘pseudo-secular’ credentials of the Congress, the Communists and the media. The Koran doesn’t need to be banned nor should those who question any religion or religious book be prosecuted. Freedom of thought, speech and expression is more important than any religion.
British PM, David Cameron, is on record for stating ‘multiculturalism’ has failed in the UK. So is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The reasons are all too well known. The Dutch are known to be a very liberal and tolerant people. But when intolerance and violence visits you because you question faiths it is bound to start a movement against the intolerant. Theo Van Gogh, related to the famous artist Vincent Van Gogh, was brutally murdered on the streets of Amsterdam for making a documentary on the sufferings of muslim women. Our government and media who hyper ventilate on issues of women are too scared to even talk about this subject. The greatest response to the plight of muslim women was the Shah Bano verdict reversal by a constitutional amendment by the Congress. Another clip from Religulous further demonstrates the hypocrisy. (Caution: Some images are graphic)
That is a high price to pay for freedom of thought and speech. Salman Rushdie had an international ‘fatwa’ on his head. Closer home MF Hussain had seen violent protests, threats and court cases. I condemn Hussain’s painting of India as a nude woman with names of states written on the nude body. Hussain was also selective in his pornography and his paintings were not banned in India. If he managed to annoy some Hindus it is more because his own community is incapable of taking the slightest offence or questioning of their religion. But that is as far as I will go. I am even more opposed to a media and a government that is selective in its defence of freedom of speech. In India, freedom of speech in the media and government, where religion is concerned, almost means you can offend Hinduism as much as you want but other religions are untouchable.
Sonia Gandhi’s NAC has currently proposed a draconian Communal Violence Bill. Well, anyone reading India’s long history may understand that religious violence was brought into this culture by Islam and Christianity and not by Hinduism. They were minorities then too. We cannot alter history but we can attempt to ensure it doesn’t repeat itself. In the meantime, let’s celebrate Geert Wilders’ victory. It’s a victory for all those who stand for democracy and freedom.