Wilders wins, but … 81

Geert Wilders has scored a victory for freedom. He has been acquitted of “inciting hatred”.

We agree with Mark Steyn’s comments:

The court ruled that some of Wilders’ statements were insulting, shocking and on the edge of legal acceptibility, but that they were made in the broad context of a political and social debate on the multi-cultural society.

“On the edge of legal acceptability,” eh? As for the latter part — “the broad context of a political and social debate” — the genius “jurists” are effectively conceding … that the Dutch state was attempting to criminalize the political platform of a popular opposition party. That’s the sort of thing free societies should leave to Mubarak & Co, and even then, you can only get away with it for a while before people draw the obvious conclusion.

Nevertheless, as in all these cases, the process is the punishment. The intent is to make it more and more difficult for apostates of the multiculti state to broaden the terms of political discourse. Very few Europeans would have had the stomach to go through what Wilders did

And at the end the awkward fact remains: Geert Wilders lives under 24-hour armed guard because of explicit death threats made against him by the killer of Theo van Gogh and by other Muslims. Yet he’s the one who gets puts on trial.

That’s the Netherlands, 2011. Shameful. As for the Islamic imperialists, they’re taking their case to the logical venue [the United Nations Human Rights Committee], arguing the ruling meant the Netherlands had failed to protect ethnic minorities from discrimination.

Meanwhile Muslims everywhere in Europe (and all over the world) continue to do their utmost to incite hatred of non-Muslims, especially Chritsians and Jews, as they have done for some 14 hundred years.

However, there does seem to be a turning of the tide in European public opinion on “multiculturalism”, which is to say Islam in Europe.

Reuters reports:

Opposition to immigration, particularly from Muslim or predominantly Muslim countries, is on the rise. …

Wilders, 47, is one of the most outspoken critics of Islam and immigration in the Netherlands.

His Freedom Party is now the third-largest in parliament, a measure of support for its anti-immigrant stance, and is the minority government’s chief ally. …

Wilders told reporters after the ruling. “This is not so much a win for myself, but a victory for freedom of speech. Fortunately you can criticize Islam and not be gagged in public debate.”

The ruling could embolden Wilders further. He has already won concessions from the government on cutting immigration and introducing a ban on Muslim face veils and burqas. …

Some Dutch citizens have started to question their country’s traditionally generous immigration and aid policies, worried by the deteriorating economic climate, higher unemployment, incidence of ethnic crime and signs that Muslim immigrants have not fully integrated into Dutch society.

Similar concerns have helped far-right parties to gain traction elsewhere in Europe, from France to Scandinavia.

And there is also this report at Hudson New York:

The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.

A new integration bill (covering letter and 15-page action plan), which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads: “The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people. In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role. With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society.”

Why has it taken them several decades to wake up?

Immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants to ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.

They had actually been bribing Muslims to immigrate into Holland, and only now see what was wrong with the policy:

The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner, “it is not the government’s job to integrate immigrants.” The government will introduce new legislation that outlaws forced marriages and … will impose a ban on face-covering Islamic burqas as of January 1, 2013.

If necessary, the government will introduce extra measures to allow the removal of residence permits from immigrants who fail their integration course.

The measures are being imposed by the new center-right government of Conservatives (VVD) and Christian Democrats (CDA), with parliamentary support from the anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV)

That’s the one Geert Wilders leads.

Polls show that a majority of Dutch voters support the government’s skepticism about multiculturalism. According to a Maurice de Hond poll published by the center-right newspaper Trouw on June 19, 74 percent of Dutch voters say immigrants should conform to Dutch values. Moreover, 83 percent of those polled support a ban on burqas in public spaces. …

The Interior Minister’s change of mind is perhaps the visible sign of a deep-sea change in the minds of the Dutch people and maybe of Europeans generally:

Interior Minister Donner… has undergone a late-in-life conversion on the issue of Muslim immigration. In September 2006, while serving as justice minister, Donner provoked an outcry after saying that he welcomed the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in the Netherlands if the majority wants it. He also said Holland should give Muslims more freedoms to behave according to their traditions.

Fast forward to 2011 and Donner now says his government “will distance itself from the relativism contained in the model of a multicultural society.” Although society changes, he says, it must not be “interchangeable with any other form of society.”

Meaning, Holland cannot be allowed to become an Islamic country.

The trouble is, try as he might, and try as all the leaders of Europe might, they cannot command the demographic tide to retreat. Unless something unpredictable happens to stop it, a Muslim majority will emerge in Europe before the middle of the century.