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No Prosecution Of Wilders In The Netherlands

CBCNews (with thanks to Alan):

Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders will not be prosecuted for making anti-Islam remarks, nor for his short film Fitna, public prosecutors announced on Monday.

"The fact that [Wilders'] statements are hurtful and offensive to a large number of Muslims does not necessarily mean that such statements are punishable," the Dutch Public Prosecution Service said in a statement.

According to prosecution spokeswoman Hanneke Festen, Dutch law forbids inciting hatred against a group based on race or religion. However, it also allows for freedom of speech.

"We came to the conclusion that [Wilders' statements] may be hurtful and painful for Muslims but they were made in the context of a debate in society," Festen said.

"That doesn't mean you can say anything, but you have to really cross a line and be unnecessarily hurtful and insulting and not add anything" to the national debate in order for prosecutors to act.

Public prosecutors said individuals filed more than 40 complaints against Wilders over the film and comments he made to the De Volkskrant and De Pers newspapers, as well as on the internet calling the Qur'an, the Islamic holybook "fascist."...

Wilders has called for the Netherlands to halt immigration from Muslim countries and also to stop the building of new mosques around the country.