In addition to our series on the Wilders trial and the corruption of the law (part I, part II), the following is the text of the speech Geert Wilders delivered yesterday at the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam.
Such fine words have not been uttered very often within the walls of the multicultural Shangrila. It would have been great to see how the MSM would have spun it. Regrettably the text isn't very open to interpretation. As a consequence it may be filed under the category 'buried news'.
Here's the text.
Mr Chairman, members of the Court,
For a brief moment I'd like to make use of my right to speak before the Court.
Of all our achievements freedom is at the same time the most cherished and most vulnerable. People have devoted their lives to this cause and indeed have died for it. Freedom in this country is the sum total of centuries. It is the result of a truly unique history that has led us where we are today.
I believe with all my heart and soul that freedom in our country is under attack. Our heritage - liberty - of which many generations could only dream, is no longer a given, can no longer be taken for granted.
I am devoting my life to the defense of liberty. I am aware of the risks involved and I am paying the price every day. It is my duty and therefore I stand before you today.
I know my words can be harsh sometimes, but they are never without a purpose. I do not intend to spare the ideology of conquest and destruction. But neither is it my intention to hurt people. I've got nothing against Muslims. I have an issue with Islam and the Islamization of our country, because Islam cannot be reconciled with liberty.
Future generations will question how we, in 2010, in this place, in this hall, have served our most precious achievement; if freedom exists for both parties in this debate, if there's freedom also for Islam critics, or if only one side may be heard in this debate in this country. Is the freedom of speech for everyone, or is it only for some? The answer to that question, is also the answer to the question if freedom still has a home in this land.
Liberty never was the possession of an elite group; it always was the heritage of everyone. It blesses everyone equally.
Lady Justice is wearing a blindfold, but she can listen all the better. I hope she hears the following words loud and clear.
It isn't just a right, but it's also the duty of free people to stand up against an ideology that is a threat against liberty. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States was right: the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
I hope the freedom of expression will triumph in this trial. That I may be cleared of the charges, but also that the universal freedom of speech may survive.
And finally, Mr. Chairman, members of the Court,
This trial deals with the freedom of expression. But it is also about truth. Is what is specified in the indictment true, and are the equations I've made, correct? If all that is true how can it be punishable by law? That's why I am asking you emphatically to grant me my requests for witnesses and expert-witnesses in the field of the freedom of speech. But I also request you to publicly grant me in full my requests for witnesses and expert-witnesses in the field of Islam.
I'm not just referring to Messrs Jansen and Admiraal, but also to expert-witnesses from Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries. I have to be able to defend myself. I have to show that what I've said is the truth. Please do not prohibit me this. Without these witnesses I can't defend myself and that, in my opinion, would make this an unfair trial.
You can send your reaction to Geert Wilders directly.