Right-wing, Dutch firebrand, Geert Wilders has recently been convicted of hate speech – a charge which is tantamount to thought crime. The crime in particular? Discrimination towards Moroccans, or so the Dutch authorities contest. This occurred during a street protest in The Hague, wherein Mr. Wilders and his supporters had responded to chants of, “Do you want more or fewer Moroccans in this city and in the Netherlands?” To which Wilders and co. responded, “Fewer, fewer!” This coming in response to rowdy incidents in Emmen incited by Moroccan asylum seekers.
This was not, however, the first time that Mr. Wilders has run into political hot water for his rhetoric. Back in March of 2014 he was judged to have incited hate speech, though he was not, in that particular instance, convicted of any crime.
This instance of authoritarian speech suppression, grim though it seems, may actually be a boon down the line given that it has only bolstered the popularity and standing of Geert Wilders and his Party For Freedom (PVV). The trial (which Wilders firmly and publicly stated he would vigorously appeal) will also draw massive attention to the Dutch politicians cause. And given that Mr. Wilders’ party are considered a favorite in the upcoming elections, sympathy garnered from the firebrand’s persecution could put him over the edge. If that happens and the PVV win, then Geert Wilders will be the next Prime Minister of the Netherlands and will undoubtedly keep his promise to, “Make the Netherlands Great Again!”
Despite the long term boon of the conviction there are a multiplicity of short term pitfalls which have caused Wilders to take to the internet in protestation. You can see his full public statement regarding the affair here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1vE_TrtZEw