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Dutch politician acquitted on charges of inciting hatred of Muslims

CWN - June 23, 2011

A Dutch political leader has been acquitted of legal charges that were brought against him for allegedly inciting contempt for Muslims.

Geert Wilders of the Freedom Party was prosecuted for referring to Islam as a fascist ideology. But a judge ruled that his public statements on that score were “acceptable within the context of public debate.”

Wilders had stressed that his statement was a criticism of the Islamic faith, not of any individuals. He greeted the court verdict with satisfaction, telling supporters that he was relieved to know that public criticism of Islam remains legal in the Netherlands. The court's decision, he said, was "a victory for freedom of expression."

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