New Dutch law: prison time for "insulting speech"
She's also acutely aware of efforts by pro-immigration forces in western nations to demonize and ultimately silence their critics. And having been a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006 she's keenly aware of the politics and motives that drive the members of that body.
In a recent piece in The Wall Street Journal Ali describes what the Dutch government has done to try to blunt the growing influence of Geert Wilders Freedom Party:
Imagine if a leader within the tea party movement were able to persuade its members to establish a third political party. Imagine he succeeded – overwhelmingly - and that as their leader he stood a real chance of winning the presidency. Then imagine that in anticipation of his electoral victory, the Democrats and Republicans quickly modified an existing antidiscrimination law so that he could be convicted for statements he made on the campaign trail.Notice the astonishingly subjective test for being imprisoned: "...in any way insulting of a group of people..." Insulting as determined by whom? The code gives no objective criteria for determining what constitutes an "insult"--because there can be none.
All of this seems impossible in a 21st-century liberal democracy. But it is exactly what is happening in Holland to Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders.
[The growing popularity of Wilders' Freedom Party] has spooked Dutch parliamentarians, particularly those wedded to multiculturalism. [So last year] they modified... the Penal Code to make it possible for far-left organizations to take Mr. Wilders to court on grounds of "inciting hatred" against Muslims. Article 137C of the penal code now states that anyone "who publicly, verbally or in writing or image, deliberately expresses himself in any way insulting of a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief . . . will be punished with a prison sentence of at the most one year...." It continues: "If the offense is committed by a person who makes it his profession or habit, or by two or more people in association, a prison sentence of at the most two years...will be imposed."
Obviously the people most qualified to determine whether they've been insulted are the people pressing the claim. If my religion believes women are inferior to men, and you go spouting off about equal rights for women, you've offended me. QED.
Similarly, if my religion demands that girls be genitally mutilated, and you object to this practice, you've offended me. See how easy this is?
And sure enough, Mr. Wilders was soon charged with violating this impossibly subjective law. His trial began Oct. 4th.
Read Ali's article. Then think about the parallels with what's happening all over Europe and also here in the U.S.