Dutch Politician Who Criticized Islam Appeals Discrimination Conviction

REUTERS/Francois Walschaerts

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
Font Size:

A Dutch politician has begun his appeal against his 2016 conviction for inciting discrimination against Muslims, refusing to apologize for seeking to legally limit Islamic influence.

A Dutch court convicted Geert Wilders, of the Freedom Party (PVV), in 2016 for inciting discrimination against Muslims during a campaign rally in which he asked the audience whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands, according to Straits Times. The responded by chanting “Fewer! Fewer!” to which Wilders replied “We’re going to take care of that,” according to Reuters. Wilders now accuses prosecutors of trying to limit his freedom of speech. (RELATED: Geert Wilders Convicted Of ‘Inciting Discrimination’ [VIDEO])

“What the Islamists haven’t been able to do to me, the prosecutors are trying to do anyway: destroy freedom of expression,” Wilders said in a tweet before his appeals hearing began.

Geert-Jan Knoops, Wilders’ lawyer, argued at the beginning of the proceedings that prosecutors had applied a double standard to Wilders and that they had “selectively applied” to him the standard by which they determine whether speech is discriminatory. Knoops claimed that while the court prosecuted Wilders for his statements concerning Muslims, they chose not to prosecute his political rival, Alexander Pechtold, for comments he made against Russians, even though people complained about such comments.

Wilders said that he has never called for violence against Moroccans but has advocated for reducing their numbers in the Netherlands by legal means. He is an outspoken critic of Islam, which he has called a fascist ideology, and has even called for Mohammed cartoon drawing contests and posted to social media saying “Islam is dangerous.” He embraces the media’s characterization of him as an “anti-Islam politician.”

The Dutch constitution overtly outlaws discriminatory speech in any context. Wilders was, however, acquitted of a hate speech conviction in 2011.

Wilders’ appeals hearing will continue until June 6.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact