The trial of Geert Wilders began yesterday. Personally, I can’t stand the man, and loathe his opinions, but I am far from convinced that this trial is necessarily a good idea. Russell Blackford also has his reservations. Wilders is clearly guilty of making inflammatory anti-Muslim statements, but the question before the court is whether they are illegal. The NRC published an overview of the situation just before the trial began. The key point is:
Wilders is charged with slandering a group and sowing hate, and discrimination on the basis of race or religion. He has targeted Muslims on the basis of their religion, the prosecution will argue, and non-western migrants or Moroccans on the basis of their race.
I suspect that with courtroom theatrics, such as attempting to call Mohammed Bouyeri (the murderer of Theo van Gogh) as a witness, Wilders will get the oxygen of publicity that he desires.