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Geert Wilders and the Death of Free Speech
by Robert Spencer
During his State of the Union address, Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court for overturning major portions of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. But the Supreme Court was upholding the freedom of speech: when the high court struck down key McCain-Feingold provisions last month, its ruling declared that "if the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech."
This was a key victory for defenders of the First Amendment. But now, from the Netherlands, comes a threat to the freedom of speech that is much more serious and destructive than anything John McCain and Russ Feingold ever contemplated: the trial of Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
Wilders, the Dutch Parliamentarian who produced the film Fitna, went on trial January 20 for charges including having "intentionally offended a group of people, i.e. Muslims, based on their religion." Fitna is a film which compellingly links images of terrorist attacks with passages from the Koran which incite Muslims to jihad.
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