Daily Israel Report

Geert Wilders May Ask 'Muslim Idiots' to Testify in Hate Trial

Dutch legislator Geert Wilders said he may ask radical Muslim clerics “and other idiots” to testify in his trial on the use of hate speech.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/14/2009, 1:38 PM / Last Update: 9/14/2009, 5:09 PM

Dutch government prosecutors have announced they will put legislator Geert Wilders on trial January 20 on charges of discrimination and inciting hatred. Wilders said he wants to put Islam on trial and that he is “considering calling on radical imams and other idiots as witnesses.”

The Netherlands' largest newspaper called it the “trial of the century." It will begin on January 20, two months before municipal elections in which Wilders’s Freedom party is involved.

“I find it horrible that I’m prosecuted” Wilders said. “This is a political trial, and it’s sad that I'm prosecuted as a criminal for only voicing my political opinions. I hope free speech will prevail. I am convinced that the trial can only lead to my acquittal.”

The charges of the use of hate speech include Wilders's charging U.S. President Barack Obama with “closing his eyes to the great dangers of Islamisation” and comparing the president with Neville Chamberlain, the former British Prime Minister.

Chamberlain is remembered for his appeasement policy that culminated with his signing an agreement with Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini in 1938, allowing the Nazi dictator and murderer to annex Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia. The following year, Chamberlain declared war on Germany after Hitler invaded the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

Wilders defended his analogy concerning President Obama, saying at the time, “It is a tough comparison, but he is pursuing a dangerous, naive and irresponsible policy.”

Wilders catapulted into the international limelight in 2008 with his 15-minute movie called “Fitna,” which depicts Islam and its prophet Mohammed as encouraging hate and terror. The film set off violent riots in the Muslim world, and he was subjected to several death threats.