Geert Wilders has long been a thorn in the side of Holland's politically correct powers that be. In an era of rigid multiculturalism, the gadfly politician has persisted in asking uncomfortable questions about the compatibility of Islamic mores and European values – an often-lonely campaign that has earned him death threats from Muslim fanatics and the disdain of the Dutch political class, media, and civil authorities. But rather than challenge Wilders in the court of public opinion, the Dutch establishment has decided to put him on trial.
This Wednesday the Dutch Court of Appeals in Amsterdam ordered a criminal prosecution of Wilders on charges of "incitement and hatred and discrimination." His specific crime: statements that he has made about "Muslims and their belief." Citing Wilders's comparisons of Islam with Nazism, the Court of Appeals claims that criminal prosecution is the "obvious" response to this allegedly intolerable insult.