Dutch Prosecutors Legitimize Extremism, Further Anti-immigrant Sentiment

Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV,) has recently been indicted by Dutch prosecutors for "inciting hate." What was Wilders' crime? He led an anti-Moroccan chant inside of a cafe -- not on the street, nor a public square. For many years, Wilders has been shouting about the "Islamization" of the Netherlands, even referring to Moroccans as "scum" in a television interview.

After being charged by the prosecutor's office, Wilders expressed no remorse, simply arguing that he was saying what millions of people believe. In essence, the prosecutor's office allowed Wilders to prove his argument that instead of targeting jihadists, they are instead wasting time by persecuting the most dedicated anti-jihadists in the Netherlands.

Not too long ago, the United States was a country where gay marriage and cannabis were unlawful. The Netherlands was ahead of the global pack, with its self-declared "tolerance." However, cannabis is not legal in the Netherlands, it is merely "tolerated." 

Times have changed, and the Netherlands has not kept pace. In fact, extremist, anti-immigrant forces are pushing the country back legislatively, with the Netherlands recently criminalizing the teaching of cannabis cultivation. It is unclear yet whether an agriculture professor teaching about growing tomatoes could face prosecution should he accidentally say "cannabis" instead of "tomatoes" during a lecture. 

Nonetheless, if someone were to file a complaint against the lecturer, he could face a fine of up to 81 thousand euros, or up to 3 years imprisonment. Such is the level of speech policing the Dutch people are currently facing, where even writers such as myself are being summoned by the police to explain articles critical of the police -- I am to be interrogated in a few weeks. 

In essence, the Netherlands is traveling backwards, to 1984, where speech is policed in even the most intimate of settings, where talking about cannabis is crime, where gays are brutally beaten, where politicians are put on trial for statements that would barely even make the news in the US.

NL Times
In 2010, the Toronto Sun wrote: "If you think Amsterdam is the gay capital of Europe, you're half-right, but 10 years out of date. Today it's the gay-bashing capital of Europe." 

In January earlier this year, the NL Times reported: "A gay man was briefly kidnapped, severely beaten and then robbed last Sunday morning in Amsterdam and police are now asking potential witnesses to come forward. It was the second gay bashing incident in the capital that night."

Tofik Dibi, one of the top Muslim politicians in the Netherlands, said: "Tolerance is the Netherlands’ main export, but it’s an illusion. Or a delusion. The Netherlands is not actually that tolerant... Before September 11th, I wasn’t seen as Muslim, you know? But since then, I feel it’s all I’m seen as; as if I constantly need to prove I’m not plotting something.”

Dibi is basically saying that Geert Wilders is accomplishing his objective of spreading anti-immigrant fear, an objective which is only furthered by the show trials to which Wilders is constantly subjected. 2015 in the Netherlands is indeed starting to look a lot like 1984.