Chalk one up for free speech, whatever you may think of Geert Wilders. A Dutch Court is poised to dismiss a case of hate speech and incitement to violence against Mr. Wilders, who is an outspoken critic of the religion of Islam. Curiously, the reluctant prosecutors in this case had argued for the defendent "Criticism of a religion is not punishable". The Wall Street Journal reports:
The Lost Cause Against Wilders: ... Then the politically charged trial took another twist last week when one of Mr. Wilders' expert witnesses, the Arabist Hans Jansen, wrote on his website that a member of the judiciary had tried to influence him. He said that at a dinner party before he was supposed to testify, one of the appeals judges whose decision compelled the prosecutors to press charges tried to "convince me of the correctness of the decision to take Wilders to court."
Thomas Jefferson, one of our founding fathers forewarned 231 years ago:
To suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own.
--- Thomas Jefferson. Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:302, Papers 2: 546.
Admit it, Texas Board of Education, the fellow was truly a visionary!