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Mr. Speaker, the God-given right of free speech to all people in all nations is no longer recognized in the Netherlands. The Dutch Government is intolerant of intolerance for terrorists. Thou shalt not criticize, says their commandment.
Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders made a documentary movie about real terrorist acts and real radical Islamic clerics encouraging violence in the name of hate. Wilders now is on trial for insulting Islam. He's charged with discrimination and incitement to hatred.
In Amsterdam, it's illegal for a Christian or a Buddhist or an atheist or anyone else to criticize Islam because radical Islamic clerics will incite their followers to murder people. So the Dutch are no longer allowed to talk about terrorism.
The Dutch Ministry of Justice says--get this--it doesn't matter if Wilders was telling the truth. The Dutch court says it's irrelevant whether Wilders might prove his observations to be correct. What's relevant is his observations are illegal.
Geert Wilders now lives under threat of a 5-year jail sentence from his own government for a violation of free speech. His trial is set to resume in July, the trial where the Dutch court said truth doesn't matter; it only matters if Wilders' words hurt somebody's feelings.
And Wilders lives in fear under the threat of death for speaking his mind about radical Islam. So-called religious leaders believe their radical religion says they can kill those who don't agree with them. Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, great-grand nephew of the famous painter Vincent Van Gogh, was a big believer in freedom of speech too. He and his partner, Hirsi Ali, made a documentary movie about women and Islam called "Submission." The radical clerics didn't like that one either, so they had Van Gogh murdered. Six terrorists were later arrested. One of the terrorists shot and then repeatedly stabbed Van Gogh as he rode his bicycle to work. He slit Van Gogh's throat and then stabbed him again, pinning a five-page radical rant to his body.
The rant listed all of the things they thought Hirsi Ali, his female partner in the film, had done to violate the Koran. And they threatened her with death. At the time, she was a sitting member of the Dutch Parliament.
Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia, and her family escaped when she was a child. She was raised a Muslim and subjected to the custom of female mutilation against her will. After surviving refugee camps in Africa, then a stay in Saudi Arabia, her family finally went to Canada. She was promised in marriage to a distant cousin she had never met. She refused that marriage and soon fled as a refugee to Holland. She became a warrior for women's rights, becoming an elected member of the Dutch Parliament. But after Theo Van Gogh's murder, she was run out of the country by her own government, the Dutch Government. They would not protect her. She was simply just too controversial. She resigned her seat in Parliament and she fled to the United States. She lives in this area around D.C.
Kurt Westergaard is one of the 12 artists who drew cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. Radical clerics then incited their followers to murder people in the streets. They rioted and they burned down embassies. Most of them, by their own admission, had never even seen these cartoons, and Westergaard had to flee for his life. He too lives in the United States under armed guard.
Threatening people and killing people for speaking their mind is just another form of terrorism. Van Gogh, Ali, Westergaard, and now Geert Wilders, have never used or advocated violence. They simply exercised their God-given right of free speech. So now in Amsterdam, truthful insult speech is a crime. What kind of free society says truthful speech can be illegal? The most controversial speech is political, religious, and even truthful speech. That is why it's protected. Freedom of speech is a fundamental principle, a God-given human right to all people in all nations. It has been said, I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it. But not in the Netherlands.
Geert Wilders should be able to speak his mind without becoming an enemy of his own country. The enemy of free speech is the court of the Netherlands and radical Islamic clerics who preach violence in the name of hate.
And, Mr. Speaker, that's just the way it is.
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