Sakset/Fra hofta

Amerikanere kan ha vanskeligheter med å forstå debatten om Europa og islam. Men ytringsfrihet bryr de seg om. At nederlandsk påtalemyndighet reiser sak mot partileder og parlamentariker Geert Wilders for hans meninger, blir lagt merke til.

Wall Street Journal skriver på lederplass at de er fullt klar over hans provokative stil.

Mr. Wilders made world news last year with the short film «Fitna.» In the 15-minute video, he juxtaposes Koranic verses calling for jihad with clips of Islamic hate preachers and terror attacks. He has compared the Koran to Hitler’s «Mein Kampf» and urged Muslims to tear out «hate-filled» verses from their scripture. This is a frontal assault on Islam — but, as Mr. Wilders points out, he’s targeting the religion, not its followers. «Fitna,» in fact, sparked a refreshing debate between moderate Muslims and non-Muslims in the Netherlands, and beyond.

Men Wilders krysser ikke grensen til vold. En domstol kom i juni til at meningene er krenkende for visse grupper, men at det er prisen for ytringsfrihet.

«That comments are hurtful and offensive for a large number of Muslims does not mean that they are punishable,» the prosecutors said in a statement. «Freedom of expression fulfills an essential role in public debate in a democratic society. That means that offensive comments can be made in a political debate.

Men en domstol har denne uken kommet til motstatt resultat. Wilders meninger kalles «hatefulle» og «fornærmende» for muslimer.

The court yesterday overruled this decision, arguing that the lawmaker should be prosecuted for «inciting hatred and discrimination» and also «for insulting Muslim worshippers because of comparisons between Islam and Nazism.» This is no small victory for Islamic regimes seeking to export their censorship laws to wherever Muslims reside. But the successful integration of Muslims in Europe will require that immigrants adapt to Western norms, not vice versa. Limiting the Dutch debate of Islam to standards acceptable in, say, Saudi Arabia, will only shore up support for Mr. Wilders’s argument that Muslim immigration is eroding traditional Dutch liberties.

At oppfatningene kan svinge 180 grader på noen uker sier noe om vilkårligheten i lover om blasfemi og hatefulle ytringer. Bare det at det reises sak vil bidra til å sette en grense, som vil avskrekke andre.

Silencing Islam’s Critics

A Dutch court imports Saudi blasphemy norms to Europe.