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Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker faces hate speech trial
by Toby Sterling
Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders sat in the defendant's dock Wednesday, nodding his head as prosecutors read aloud a hundred remarks he has made condemning Islam, Muslims and immigrants - notably one comparing the Quran to Hitler's "Mein Kampf."
Wilders' criminal trial for allegedly inciting hate against Muslims has resonance across Europe: He is one of a dozen right-wing politicians on the continent who are testing the limits of freedom of speech while voicing voters' concerns at the growth of Islam.
The flamboyant bleach-blond politician has also called for taxing clothing commonly worn by Muslims, such as headscarves, because they "pollute" the Dutch landscape. He may be best known for the 2008 short film "Fitna," which offended Muslims around the world by juxtaposing Quranic verses with images of terrorism by Islamic radicals.
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