Now to the matter at hand.
We, in this country, have a very high regard toward our bill of rights. Enough so even the politically correct crowd has to use incramentalism in their attempts to whittle them down.
Our first amendment, which holds in part, our right to speak freely against our government and other institutions without fear of reprisal, is perhaps the one held most dearly to our collective bosom. For all sides of the political spectrum have used it as their shield in advancing their thoughts, platforms, and or points of view. It is well woven into the national fabric.
Other nations have also felt they are privy to this "inalienable right". Alas, many are finding out their governments, specifically the judicial "branches", do not feel the same. And only in the case of either massive public outcry or massive amounts of time and money, are there ever positive outcomes (the recent actions in Canada come to mind).
Sadly, the Dutch seem to have fallen pray to those who would seek to have their "freedom to speak their minds" snuffed out under the blanket of censorship. All under the guise of that politically correct generated farce known as 'hate speech".
A Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to put a right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements.
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders made a controversial film last year equating Islam with violence and has likened the Koran to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.
"In a democratic system, hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to... draw a clear line," the court in Amsterdam said.
Mr Wilders said the judgement was an "attack on the freedom of expression".
"Participation in the public debate has become a dangerous activity. If you give your opinion, you risk being prosecuted," he said.
Not only he, but all Dutch citizens opposed to the "Islamisation" of their country would be on trial, Mr Wilders warned.
"Who will stand up for our culture if I am silenced?" he added.
The three judges said that they had weighed Mr Wilders's "one-sided generalisations" against his right to free speech, and ruled that he had gone beyond the normal leeway granted to politicians.
"The Amsterdam appeals court has ordered the prosecution of member of parliament Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination, based on comments by him in various media on Muslims and their beliefs," the court said in a statement.
"The court also considers appropriate criminal prosecution for insulting Muslim worshippers because of comparisons between Islam and Nazism made by Wilders," it added.
The court's ruling reverses a decision last year by the public prosecutor's office, which said Mr Wilders's comments had been made outside parliament as a contribution to the debate on Islam in Dutch society and that no criminal offence had been committed.
Prosecutors said on Wednesday that they could not appeal against the judgement and would open an investigation immediately.
Gerard Spong, a prominent lawyer who pushed for Mr Wilders's prosecution, welcomed the court's decision."This is a happy day for all followers of Islam who do not want to be tossed on the garbage dump of Nazism," he told reporters.
Why, you may ask, does this bother me? It is because of a number of things.
Firstly, in my time on earth, I took great pride and pleasure in publishing "The Worlds Greatest Newspaper"; The Chicago Tribune. My personal views manifested themselves quite readily in what the paper presented to the public, and on the editorial pages. I was often at odds with the FDR administration, the Democratic Party, Communism, and any number of other persons, places, and things. However, at no time did I need worry about being censured or about finding myself in chains. carried off to some darkened cell, to await what may come. This is not to say we were not above self censorship. Indeed, when asked (that being the key) to hold back on printing such information as would be detrimental to our winning the war, we did so. But being "forced" ... never, sir, never!
Secondly, since the years have past, while I watched the ways of man continue on after my passing, I began to see the most hideous of beasts find form and substance upon the land. It goes under the guise of "we are all really equal and this being true, are deserving of equal respect". The name of this beast, and that of it's equally despicable cousins; "Political Correctness" and "Diversity/Multiculturalism".
It is in the willful adherence to and following of these three, we may very well see the downfall of not only our great nation, but what is left of western civilization as well. These demons (and demons Screwtape and his ilk are well fond of to be sure) are what lay the groundwork for "hate crimes" legislation. (Double Jeopardy any one?) They ultimately demand "respect" be given to individuals, causes, and groups which are, by our standards, not worthy of same.
Islam, seeks to find its way into the mainstream of western culture. Once it archives this (and it all but nearly has) it will move into it's second phase. That would be the "molding" of our culture, our rules, our laws to conform to the accepted and proscribed Islamic way of doing things. Political Correctness, Diversity, and Multiculturalism, are the main weapons which Islam and its followers are using to achieve this end. Based on what is occurring even now in Europe, and quite possibly will be happening soon here in America, they are well into the second phase.
The third and final phase, ironically enough, is the abandoning of these demonic pests. For there is no place in Islam for anything which falls outside of its form and function. You must either convert or die (or pay a "tax", assume second hand citizenship status, and slowly die that way). There are no other options. In fact, getting back to "Freedom of Speech", no worries there ... as long as it conforms to "the will of Allah" as sanctioned by the local Iman, you can say anything you want... assuming you are a man ... of Islamic faith ...