These political trials on Islam began in 2002, when a Paris court examined a complaint against Houellebecq, who in his novel “Platform” had defined Islam as "the stupidest religion". The writer Fernando Arrabal, arrested in 1967 in Francoist Spain, was called by Houellebecq to testify in court. "What a joy to be a witness in a trial for crimes of opinion," Arrabal said in court in Paris. "Zaragoza, Valladolid, Santander", the playwright lists a series of Spanish cities. "This is the list of prisons I've been to for doing the same thing as Houellebecq."
Oriana Fallaci also ended up on trial that year for her book “Rage and Pride”. And who was there among the civil parties? The Great Mosque of Paris. The leftist newspaper Libération called her "the woman who defames Islam". When she died in 2007, Oriana Fallaci was still on trial in Bergamo, Italy.
Do we know another subject whose criticism in Europe involves the risk (if not life) of a trial? This offensive achieved an acceleration when the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (the body representing Islamic countries around the world) opened an office in the European Parliament!
Since 2014, the Council of Europe has organized the "European Day against Islamophobia".
After the Second World War and the horrors of Nazism and Stalinism, a fundamental principle of Western democracies was that people could be put on trial, but not ideas and opinions. Europe is today allowing dangerous Islamist and "human rights" groups to restrict the boundaries of our freedom of expression, exactly as in the Soviet show trials.
It getting to be quite a long list of critics of Islam, journalists, writers and intellectuals across Europe today who are being told to raise their right hand before a judge and swear to tell the truth, nothing but the truth. A disturbing, but very common sight, in which "incitement to hatred" has become a political weapon to be directed against those who disagree with submission.
Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author, in English, of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books, in addition to books in Italian. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Gatestone, Frontpage and Commentary.