A Dutch court’s conviction of opposition political party leader Geert Wilders of “hate speech” for asking constituents whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans to move into their nation (they wanted fewer) has not slowed him down.
“Millions of Dutch are sick and tired of political correctness. Sick and tired of the elite which only cares about itself and ignores the ordinary Dutchman, and sells out our country,” he said in a statement posted by the Gatestone Institute.
“People no longer feel represented by all these disconnected politicians, judges and journalists, who have been harming our people for so long, and make our country weaker instead of stronger,” said Wilders
“But I will keep fighting for you, and I tell all of you: thank you so much. Thank you so much for all your support. It is really overwhelming; I am immensely grateful to you. Thanks to your massive and heartfelt support, I know that I am not alone. That you back me, and are with me, and unwaveringly stand for freedom of expression.”
His statement also was posted on YouTube by the Party for Freedom:
Meanwhile, on Friday a 30-year-old man was arrested in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam after being found with a loaded AK-47 and an ISIS flag.
The London Telegraph reported Wilders was found guilty of hate speech and inciting racial discrimination for leading a chant calling for “fewer, fewer” Moroccans in the Netherlands.
The presiding judge, Hendrik Steenhuis, however, said no punishment will be imposed.
Wilder’s lawyer, Geert-Jan Knoops, said he will appeal.
It was more than two years ago when Wilders, whose reputation for blunt speaking and advocacy for a Netherlands-first attitude is legend, led a party rally where he asked supporters whether there should be “more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.”
The crowd chanted “fewer.”
The verdict comes just weeks before general elections. Wilder’s Party for Freedom holds the lead in some polls.
One of those who raised complaints about Wilders said he was satisfied with the verdict: “Half a million people feel the threat of Wilders every day. … I hope people who vote for Wilders will listen.”
The nation’s Moroccan community, mostly Muslim, still may bring a civil complaint, according to a solicitor for an organization of Moroccan mosques.
Wilders was unbowed by the court’s decision.
“The Netherlands have become a sick country. And I have a message for the judges who convicted me: You have restricted the freedom of speech of millions of Dutch and hence convicted everyone. No one trusts you anymore. But fortunately, truth and liberty are stronger than you. And so am I.
“I will never be silent. You will not be able to stop me. And you are wrong, too. Moroccans are not a race, and people who criticize Moroccans are not racists. I am not a racist and neither are my voters. This sentence proves that you judges are completely out of touch.”
Criticizing what he called the “multicultural elite,” he said his Party for Freedom now is stronger than ever.
“The Dutch want their country back and cherish their freedom. It will not be possible to put the genie of positive change back in the bottle,” he said.
“For centuries, we Dutch have been speaking the unvarnished truth. Free speech is our most important possession. We will never let them take away our freedom of speech. Because the flame of freedom burns within us and cannot be extinguished.”
WND reported when Wilders made a visit to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July to support Donald Trump, who has taken positions on immigration similar to Wilders’.
At the time, Wilders said, “Mr. Trump is a politician, whether the Europeans like him or not, who has one interest, and that is the interest of the American people.”
Wilders said Trump is “fighting for his own people, and that is what we are lacking in Europe, when it comes to trade, when it comes to immigration, when it comes to jobs, when it comes to so many issues.”
Wilders strongly opposes Europe’s open-borders practices but distances himself from extremists on the issue.
He explains he does not hate Muslims but is convinced that Islam itself is the problem. He concludes that since the Netherlands has banned Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” it also should ban the Quran, because it’s the source of an ongoing, 14-century effort to bring the entire world under the rule of Islamic law. The “Islamization” of Europe, he contends, is threatening Judeo-Christian culture, which he maintains, to the consternation of a multicultural establishment, is superior to the culture of Islamic nations.
Wilders has been under constant security protection since November 2004, when two North African Muslims were accused of planning to murder him and another outspoken critic of Islam in the parliament, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The attack at the Hague came shortly after the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Moroccan national.
Wilders also was banned from the U.K. as an “undesirable person” under Prime Minister Gordon Brown in February 2009, two days before he was scheduled to show his short film “Fitna” at the invitation of two members of the House of Lords. Wilders appealed the ban to Britain’s Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, which overturned it in October 2009.
Wilders writings and film “Fitna” warning of the “Islamization” of the Netherlands and Europe prompted Turkish, Moroccan and Antillean organizations in the country several years ago to bring charges against him of criminally insulting religious and ethnic groups and inciting hatred and discrimination.
But in June 2011, he was acquitted of the charges. Judge Marcel van Oosten called Wilders’ statements about Islam “gross and denigrating” but ruled they didn’t constitute hatred against Muslims and, therefore, were “acceptable within the context of public debate.”