Douglas Murray writes at Gatestone (read the whole excellent article here):
The trial of Geert Wilders has resulted in a guilty verdict. The court – which was located in a maximum security courthouse in the Netherlands near Schipol airport – found the leader of the PVV (Freedom Party) guilty of “insulting a group” and of “inciting discrimination”. The trial began with a number of complaints, but the proceedings gradually honed down onto one single comment made by Wilders at a party rally in March 2014. This was the occasion when Wilders asked the crowd whether they wanted “fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands”. The crowd of supporters shouted “fewer”.
On Friday morning the court decided not to impose a jail sentence or a fine, as prosecutors had requested. The intention of the court is clearly that the “guilty” sentence should be enough. For Wilders himself this will have been another unpleasant ordeal. But he may have become used to them by now. Five years ago Wilders was put on trial for insulting a religion. The first trial fell apart after one of the judges was found to have attempted to influence the evidence of one of Wilders’s defence witnesses. Once the trial restarted, it resulted in an acquittal. So the Dutch Justice system turn out to have been “second-time lucky” in getting the conviction they appear to have so badly wanted.
This is apparent from remarks, incomparably more damning icepicks than “fewer Moroccans”, made by members of the Netherlands’ Labour Party, who of course were never prosecuted:
“We also have s*** Moroccans over here.” Rob Oudkerk, Dutch Labour Party (PvDA) politician.
“We must humiliate Moroccans.” Hans Spekman, PvDA politician.
“Moroccans have the ethnic monopoly on trouble-making.” Diederik Samsom, PvDA politician.
… Any half-way civilised society – as the Netherlands most certainly is – must see that trying to squash contrary views … is the behaviour of tyrants. This gang-up of the courts and the political elite in an effort to crush dissenting opinion is unbecoming for a great and distinguished nation such as The Netherlands. But they may yet have their comeuppance.
If there is one great mental note of which 2016 ought to have reminded the world, it is how deeply unwise it is to try to police opinion. For when you do so you not only make your society less free, but you disable yourself from being able to learn what your fellow citizens are actually– perhaps ever more secretly – feeling. Then one day you will hear them. And only then – when it is too late – will you remember why you should have listened.
There is a strong probability that the Freedom Party will be the next government of The Netherlands, and Geert Wilders, as its leader, will be Prime Minister.
Similar parties look fair to attaining power in other of the near-moribund countries of Europe. Donald Trump’s victory in America has inspired and strengthened all such resistance movements throughout the sick continent. They may yet restore it to vigorous life.
Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace.