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Trial of Anti-Islamic Dutch MP Continues

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TEHRAN, May 24 (ICANA) – An appeals court in Amsterdam has decided to continue the hate-speech trial of anti-Islamic Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:34:27 PM
Trial of Anti-Islamic Dutch MP Continues

The appeals judge presiding over the trial rejected Wilders' calls to drop the case on Monday and rebuffed his claims that an earlier court decision was biased, AFP reported.

In a hearing broadcast online by Dutch public television, Judge Marcel van Oosten ruled that "the request is denied," stating that "the trial must go on."

In 2009, an Amsterdam court ordered the prosecution of the Freedom Party leader for "incitement to hatred and discrimination."

He is accused of inciting hatred of Islam and insulting Muslims.

The People's Party for Freedom leader argues that his comparison of Islam and Nazism and his demand for a ban on the Holy Qur'an are both part of a legitimate public debate.

On April 1, Wilders asked for a public debate on the “real nature and character” of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), saying that such a debate could encourage Muslims to leave the religion of Islam.

The right-wing politician likened the Holy Qur'an to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.

Wilders faces five counts of giving offence to Muslims and people of non-Western immigrant origin, particularly Moroccans.

In 2008, the xenophobic politician released a short film called Fitna that accused Islam of encouraging violence. The movie sparked angry protests in many Muslim countries across the globe.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon described the movie as “offensively anti-Islamic.” The European Parliament also banned the screening of the film, saying it provokes hatred.

The Freedom Party is the third-largest political party in the Netherlands.

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