Anti-Islam Film Sparks Hate Speech Trial

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Politician Geert Wilders may be the most widely known Dutchman in the world.

His short film Fitna became an international sensation on the Internet last year. It shows acts of Islamic terrorism next to violent verses from the Koran.

Wilders, a Dutch parliament member and leader of the Freedom Party, has been one of the most outspoken opponents of what some call the islamization of the Netherlands. Wilders has called islam retarded. He's compared it to Nazism and the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf. And now he could be sent to jail for it.

Last week a Dutch court ordered that Wilders stand trial for hate speech. 

Click play to watch CBN News Reporter Dale Hurd's conversation with the controversial Wilders, or read the transcript below.

Dale Hurd: What was the purpose of the film Fitna?

Geert Wilders: Our country, the Netherlands as many other countries is based on Christianity, is based on Judaism, is even based on humanism. But not on islam. And this is what I wanted to show people, not by using actors, but by using real images and real verses from the Koran, that the Koran is not just and old book from 1500 years ago.It's a book that is still very alive today. And people get a lot of wrong incentives from it today.

So I wanted to warn the people and I was quite successful, whatever you may think about "Fitna." In the Netherlands more than 3 million people watched it after 24 hours. And worldwide more than 20 million people watched it after two weeks.

Hurd: I'm sure people who have watched you provoke Islam over the years wonder if you have a death wish. Are you secretly daring Muslims to try to kill you?

Wilders: No and I'm not even provoking them as you said. I try to warn the people in the Netherlands and maybe even abroad and Western societies about the actual danger that Islam brings to our society and to our freedom.

Hurd: Do you believe that a moderate of democratic Islam can exist?

Wilders: No. I don't believe in it. I don't think there is a European Islam. There is no moderate Islam. Islam is, as I see it, a fascist ideology, full of hatred, submission and anything else that we should fight against. However, I make a distinction between the ideology, I believe islam is more an ideology than a religion and the people. There are of course, people, Muslims.I have nothing against Muslims who are not terrorists, who are.the majority of the Muslims in my country are law abiding people; are not terrorists at all.

Hurd: I've heard you call Islamic culture "retarded."

Wilders: It is a culture of backwardness, of retardedness, of barbarism.

Hurd: You've been called a racist. Do you believe in the superiority of whites?

Wilders: No, of course not. I am not a racist. I'm not even in contact with countries, with parties like the British National Party who believe in black and white. I am a Democrat, full stop.

Hurd: In your speech to parliament a few days ago, you referred to Muslim "colonists." What did you mean?

Wilders: Well, people that are coming to the Netherlands to stir up problems or who are in the Netherlands, they are not here to integrate. But to dominate. They don't give a d---, excuse my words, for all he criticism and all the culture that we have in the Netherlands today.

That's why I call them colonists. We have immigrants from Morocco who have been living here for 30 years who don't speak a word of Dutch.

Hurd: So you see Islam growing, you see a government you don't believe cares enough. So where is the Netherlands headed on this issue?

Wilders: The biggest problem we face today is the dominant political culture is one of cultural relativism. Most of the political elite really do believe in cultural relativism - really do believe that all cultures are equal. Wereas I believe they are not equal.

I believe the Christian and the Jewish culture is far better. And I'm not ashamed to say it. I'm not a racist to say that the Christian culture is better than the Islamic culture. There is an enormous gap between the political elite and the vox populi.

The people see that our country is changing. They see in their streets, in their neighborhoods, in their cities, in their villages; they see that it's often not the Netherlands anymore. They feel they live in "Little Morocco" or "Little Turkey."

We have an Islamic intifada today. I'm not exaggerating. In many, many cities in the netherlands. This is a problem. And the government looks the other directiuon and ignores it and puts it under the carpet, all the problems.

Hurd: Are you tired of living with a death threat over your head?

Wilders: Well, not tired, but sometimes - not sometimes - I wish I didn't have it. And I am not exaggerating if I say I lost my freedom. I lived in prison cells for half a year and army barracks and moved two places.

My life changed a lot and I can manage, and people don't have to have sympathy for me because I feel I have a mission. My mission is very strong, and I really believe in it. And I know that if we really don't get a sense of urgency and act and defend our culture, defend our freedom, that it's too late.

*Original broadcast October 13, 2008.

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CBN News
Dale Hurd

Dale Hurd

CBN News Senior Reporter

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