Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Truth on trial
The Netherlands is littered with the graves of thousands of Canadian soldiers and airman who gave their lives to liberate Holland from the tyranny of the Nazis.
I wonder what those men would think of the Dutch today if they could see the country that was reborn from the ashes of German occupation. Would they think their sacrifice was wasted?
In Amsterdam, in 1944, if you strode into the public square, stood on a bench, and denounced Nazism, you would likely have been murdered on the spot, if any Nazis were present. If they weren’t, chances are, a fellow countryman, likely a government functionary, wishing to appease and curry favour with the occupiers, would have turned you in.
In 2010, if you were to stand in the same spot and say the same things about Islam, you have a pretty good chance of being shot or knifed to death by Islamists, considering the fates of Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh. You have an equally good chance of being turned on by the government functionaries and driven from the country, as was Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Or put on trial by those same people, as is the fate of our friend, the popular nationalist politician, Geert Wilders.
Wilders goes on trial today for saying rude things about Islam and for wanting to preserve Dutch and European culture in the face of another tyrannical “ism”, Islamism.
Unlike the situation of the last generation when the country was occupied by a foreign invader promulgating a nasty, brutal religion of its own making, this new “ism” is a hostile religion that was invited in by the Dutch and made as comfortable as possible and appeased at every turn in the road, no matter how suicidal its demands are to the historic nature and character of the Dutch nation.
Many commentators talk about how this is a battle over free speech.
In part, it is.
Free speech doesn’t exist in Europe, or in Canada for that matter, and hasn’t for some time. It resulted from a unilateral surrender in an undeclared war long ago.
All the members of the EU have passed anti-speech legislation intended to prevent people from spreading the evil doctrines perpetrated by the Nazis, but these laws have now been used to prevent citizens from discussing another doctrine they find evil; namely, Islam.
In Canada, we can trace the exact date free speech died. It perished in the Supreme Court of Canada on December 13, 1990 when the high court upheld legislated speech-limiting laws, giving the government of Canada the license to prosecute people for speaking their minds even when what they speak is the truth and even when that discourse is of a political and public nature.
But at least we have not yet descended to the scurrilous level of using the court to try to penalize and destroy a legitimate leader of a political party with seats in the legislatures of the Netherlands and the EU for expressing his constituents’ viewpoints, as the Dutch are doing.
This is nothing less than an attack on democracy.
For some time, I have been reading his website, listening to his speeches and watching his interviews, and I have concluded that Wilders is a very principled person. I have not observed that he has said or written one word on this subject that is not truthful
It is truth that is on trial.