[C]ertain politicians and media often portray Islam and Muslims, as well as the arrival of Eastern Europeans, as a threat to Dutch society. The criminal-law response to some of these statements has been criticised. (CoE - 15 Oct 2013)
In a post yesterday on The StateMaster Critical Terrorism blog I discussed how the Dutch State responded to the October-released report from the Council of Europe that was critical on the free flow of hate speech in the Dutch media and politics. The latest critical report from the CoE continued to criticize, as the UN human rights bodies had the previous year, how Islam and Muslims continue to be portrayed in the media as a threat to Dutch society and that little had been done to combat this problem, despite human rights conventions that the Netherlands has an obligation to. Here the Dutch State is responding to the critical CoE human rights report from October 2013 emphasis mine:
The Cabinet acknowledges the impression that the debate in the Netherlands about immigration and integration is sometimes conducted in fierce fashion. Heated debate is unavoidable in a constitutional democracy characterised by great diversity among its people, customs and personal convictions. Equally, that debate is essential, because it contributes towards clarification of problems and bringing about solutions. The Netherlands is a constitutional democracy with clear rules. However, this is not to say that everyone keeps to the rules. Discrimination whatever its shape or form is unacceptable and is countered rigorously. In relation to statements made by political parties, the Cabinet wishes to emphasise that the freedom of speech is a prerequisite for a properly functioning democracy. Nevertheless, racist statements are unlawful. Evaluating whether a criminal offence has been committed is reserved for an independent court.Reaction to the European Commission:
The government considers the ECRI report as a valuable tool to improve their protection. Citizens against discrimination The government has taken note of the appreciation that ECRI decides on the progress made to address. Racism and related forms of discrimination and intolerance in the Netherlands with the consent Everyone in the Netherlands have the same freedoms and everyone should be treated in a similar manner. This also applies to the freedom of expression. Anyone can say within the limits of the law in the Netherlands and write whatever he or she likes, even if others disagree with that.
The Dutch State's response to this latest report was the typical defense of "free expression" or, more accurately, the absolute right to say what the hell you want in media and in public without facing the consequences of how it breaches the peace, damages social cohesion and the rights of others to be regarded as full members of Dutch society. What we should see here is that the actual view of the Dutch State is that the "freedom of expression right" of a single writer to publish myths about Muslims in a media outlet - without consequences- to be of greater importance than the rights of Dutch citizens who practice Islam to live in peace and security in their own country.
While the Dutch State defends the "free expression rights" of individual bigots to publish myths and lies regarding Islam and Muslims in the Netherlands - it continues to work to deny the same respect for "free expression" rights to Muslims, Leftists and critics of the PVV through attempts to prosecute and punish. In a past post here on Yellow Stars (Free Speech in the Netherlands-PVV style), I described how a punk rock band who wrote a song called Mussolini of the Low Countries (about Geert Wilders) was told not to perform that song in public at celebration of the Netherlands' liberation from the Nazis. Timothy Garton Ash wrote an article that appeared in the LA Times regarding the crackdowns against Wilders and PVV critics, but now, the PVV and VVD ruling allies are using the Dutch State to persecute and punish.
Now- we should know that the Dutch State intelligence service, the General Intelligence and Security Service, AIVD in Dutch, is actually a highly politicized intelligence agency with the real mission (forget the one they give us) of protecting the political order by denouncing Muslims, Leftists and PVV critics as "threats to the democratic legal order." There is also the occasional announcement that somebody in some remote corner of the world "threatened Wilders." Of course, "democratic legal order" is defined by the AIVD, (see From Dawa to Jihad ), and in this document you see justification for the "concern about non-violent threats." Those non-violent "threats" are never the PVV and Geert Wilders (the real threat to Dutch democracy), but Dutch Muslim citizens who want to participate in the politics of their own country!
Besides its irrational obsession with anything dealing with "jihad" (even if it does not exist), the AIVD is also interested in finding and denouncing (don't laugh, I know hypocrisy is funny!) "polarizers" in Dutch society. No - not THE REAL polarizers in the media and politics that were pointed out by the CoE in their reports, nope, it's Leftists, but especially Dutch citizens that practice Islam are always the main target of the AIVD, even if the Muslims are harmless are engaging in the politics of their own country" It's also PVV critics who might "threaten Wilders" just by opposing him and his Islamophobia.
Which leads to the newest example of "free expression" hypocrisy and out of the Netherlands. There is the Muslim University in Rotterdam that is now facing suspension of its accreditation by the ruling VVD junta - bigots currently ruling the Dutch State because of some statements out of the rector of the University, Ahmet Akgunduz, that the ruling junta VVDers don't like. Dr. Akgunduz made some statements about the opposition to Turkish Prime Minister after the past summer's demonstrations in Turkey. Since Akgunduz is a Muslim, he does not have the same "free expression" rights that the Islamophobes in the Dutch media, the PVV, and he just might be denounced as a "polarizer" by the jihad obsessed, paranoid schizophrenics of the AIVD. Because he is a Muslim, Akgunduz's statements should be see as "violent" no matter how the actual statements read. Akgunduz should not have attempted to freely express himself on the level of professional Islamophobes of the Dutch media and political class, like PVVers, as he is just a Muslim. (see : Liberal Party: Accreditation of Muslim University should be Ended and VVD: Islamitische Universiteit aan banden leggen).
So, the Dutch media, Geert Wilders, his PVV "political party," the VVD, Mark Rutte - can be as polarizing as they want. It's their "freedom of expression," but don't be a Muslim. Leftist or PVV critic and try to exert YOUR freedom of expression. You'll end up in jail just like Joke Kaviaar, did for writing elk woord een vonk - every word a spark - on her blog. Yes, for writing elk woord een vonk on her blog, Joke Kaviaar was put on trial and put in jail for her attempt at "free expression!!!"
Elk Woord een Vonk!
The lying Dutchmen of the Dutch State lied to the CoE. So, the Dutch State lied to the Council of Europe when it asserted that it protects "free expression" as "part of a functioning democracy" (paraphrase). It is more true to say that the Dutch State protects Islamophobic bigots in publications like De Trouw to publish myths and lies about Islam and Muslims - contrary to its international human rights obligations - and is not concerned about the damage such myths and lies do to social peace, social cohesion and the ability of Dutch Muslims to be equal citizens in their own country. We have seen people hauled off to jail for writing "elk woord een vonk" on a blog, threats against universities and staff for their "free expression" the ruling parties don't like - and espically a politically oriented intelligence agency that goes after "non-violent threats" and "polarizers" who are Muslims, Leftists and PVV critics.
The only ones we see hauled to jail for speech crimes are Muslims and Leftists, while Wilders remains free. Other Dutch citizens that have tried to engage in "free expression" that is from the far Leftist perspective or write a song or give a speech critical of the PVV have been harassed and even put in jail. The only "free expression" protected by the Dutch State as stated in its response to the CoE human rights report is Islamophobic hate speech out of politics and media who get full protection from the Dutch State. Contrary to what the Dutch State says above, the rules (de regels) are not so clear - do not apply to everyone - and we have yet to see people actually hauled to jail for hate speech against Muslims and immigrants.
|Wilders as Nazi camp guard: Threats against Joop.nl cause removal of this cartoon.||.|