Topsy-Turvy in the Netherlands: Punishing Hate Speech but Applauding Eugenic Infanticide
Posted Jan 23 2009 5:37pm
I only bring this up because it provides a vivid example of how so much of the West has become, in the old Gilbert and Sullivan phrase, topsy-turvy. The Dutch Government is bringing a parliamentarian named Geert Wilders up on charges of hate speech for making incendiary statements about fundamentalist Islam. From a blog opinion article about the event:
"The Freedom Party (PVV)," read yesterday's press release, "is shocked by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal's decision to prosecute Geert Wilders for his statements and opinions. Geert Wilders considers this ruling an all-out assault on freedom of speech." The appalling decision to try Wilders, the Freedom Party's head and the Dutch Parliament's only internationally famous member, for "incitement to hatred and discrimination" against Islam is indeed an assault on free speech.
I am not defending Wilder's views, which I understand are quite xenophobic. But here is the point: The Dutch prosecute offensive speech, but not the killing by doctors of babies born with disabilities! Wilders is "evil" for what he says, according to one official quoted in the story, but eugenic murder is respectable, and the killing guidelines (Groningen Protocols) are openly published and applauded. Topsy-turvy is a polite way to put it.