When Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders goes on trial this week in the Netherlands, he will stand alone before a Dutch court. But make no mistake: it is the very principle of free speech which hangs in the balance there. Brought up on charges of inciting hatred, Wilders is one of the few leaders anywhere in the Western world who dares to denounce a supremacist Islamic doctrine that commands its faithful to jihad and terror against non-believers. As he showed so honestly in his courageous film, 'Fitna,' a system of pluralist, tolerant, liberal democracy is fundamentally incompatible with literal, textual Islam as presented on the pages of the Qur'an.
Increasingly, Wilders' fellow countrymen and lovers of individual liberty under rule of man-made law across Europe are responding to his call to confront those who would follow the way of Islamic jihad. We all are beginning to understand that Geert Wilders is Everyman—every man and woman who believes in the freedom to speak one's mind, to express truth as he sees it without fear of repression or prosecution. Free speech means nothing if it does not include the right to offend, and no belief system, not Islam and not any other, can be exempt. To speak the truth is no crime—but to rise up in gratuitous violence at the sound of truth, however offensive, ought to be.
The American Founding Fathers declared that our rights derive not from any government or religion but from the Creator Himself and the natural state of human beings. As such, no government may or ought try to alienate such rights from its people. Nor may Islam or any faith. Geert Wilders knows this and to ensure that inalienable rights remain the hallmark of human dignity, he stands in the dock for all of us.
Netherlands: the world is watching. Do not lead Europe into a long black night where the light of freedom flickers but fitfully as it does in every place where Shari'a is law. Stand with your forebears who, like William of Orange, fought to keep Dutchmen free, and do not fear the violence of assassins and mobs. Your liberty is our liberty and Wilders' free speech is our free speech.