I've been pretty focused on "the war at home," but today, I'd like to focus attention "across the pond" and lend my support to an international "hero in exile," Geert Wilders.
(Image by Bosch Fawstin.)
From The Trial of Geert Wilders: A Symposium:
"Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders goes on trial in Amsterdam on Wednesday, January 20, on charges related to his political campaign to stop and reverse the Islamization of the Netherlands. The International Free Press Society has asked an array of legal experts, authors and journalists to reflect on this momentous event, and we present their comments below."
Who is Geert Wilders? You can get the full story at Wiki and elsewhere, but briefly stated, Wilders is a Dutch politician (and an atheist Libertarian) who has come under intense scrutiny and persecution for his opposition to Islam. Not "moderate Islam." Not "Islamic Terrorism." No, simply Islam, for what it is at its core.
So why is Wilders a hero? For having the courage to call Islam for what it is, at its core. And he's not been shy about it; Wilders has compared the Koran to Mein Kampf, stating: "The book incites hatred and killing and therefore has no place in our legal order." If only more people had stated the same about Hitler before the Holocaust. It's easy to denounce after the crime, it takes real courage to speak up against a popular atrocity.
Wilders is a hero who has put himself on the front lines, which has gotten him not only banned from entering the U.K. for a time, he is also on trial for "hate speech," referring to his movie Fitna (Arabic for "disagreement and division among people.) Wilders describes the short film as "a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization". Reactions ranged from boycotts to YouTube bans, as well as the aforementioned U.K. ban and current trial. (And let us not forget the violence, both threatened and real, over the "Mohammad cartoon" controversy.)
Wilders is a hero for putting his own life on the line to protect not just Dutch values, but American values, which are universal values. This is not just a free speech issue, it is a fight for individual rights against not just religious tyranny, but tyranny in general. This trial is an important one, and the outcome will set the tone of that fight for years to come. (For a more personal account, I invite you to visit someone with first-hand experience: Bosch Fawstin's The Infidel, not only for his comic book work, but for his essays like "Calling Islam 'Islam'")
Geert Wilders is the "hero of the day" in support of him at his trial tomorrow. If you ever wanted proof of a "hero in exile," this is it. If you support Geert Wilders and our fight (and if you value freedom, then this is your fight, too), you can make a donation to the Geert Wilders defense fund. Give what you can, if you can. But money is not the only option; you, like Wilders, can speak up and make a stand.
Fitna by Geert Wilders