Court: Wilders Allowed to Call Islam a Fascist Ideology
MP Geert Wilders does not incite to hatred or violence against Muslims. His comparison of Islam with Fascism is permissible, a district court in The Hague ruled yesterday.
The Netherlands Islamic Federation (NIF) had put forward a number of statements by the Party for Freedom (PVV) leader in a summary injunction. The NIF considered that Wilders had broken the law by comparing Islam with Fascism, calling the Koran the Islamic version of Hitler's Mein Kampf and the Prophet Mohammed a barbarian. All remarks are legal, the court decided yesterday.
The foundation demanded that Wilders take back his statements. But the court said: "A parliamentarian must be able to put forward his views." And "the right of freedom of speech is decisive here."
Wilders does not have to make a correction. This would according to the court be the same as a forced apology and therefore at odds with the principle of freedom of speech. "Regret cannot be forced with a verdict," according to the ruling.
According to the court, Fascism must be viewed more broadly than the NIF does. The federation of Turkish Muslims associates the term with "malignancies of Nazi Germany" such as the Holocaust. But the court said Fascism is a "collective term for ideologies with principles that embrace a totalitarian political system that leaves no room for dissenters."
NIF did not disprove that ideas are prevalent in Islam that are at odds with democratic principles. The group also did not succeed, according to the judge, in refuting Wilders' view of Mohammed being a barbarian.
1) Court: Wilders Allowed to Call Islam a Fascist Ideology