Courting Ruin

Well, it’s happened again. The Islamists are waging a fresh war in Western courts to get their way.

Actually, that’s not quite true. They’ve managed to scare enough people that they’re willing to do the Islamists’ dirty work for them: some Dutch people are threatening to sue Geert Wilders if his film exposing Islam’s dirty little secrets triggers a Muslim boycott of Dutch products in general.

(Hat tip: Ragnar Danneskjold)

My first reaction was like most others: I was appalled at the cowardly approach shown here. Mr. Wilders is not responsible for the unreasonable reactions of others to his film, and no one but him — not the Dutch government or Dutch people — should be responsible for his film.

But the more I thought about it, the more I found myself hoping they do file a suit against him. And more importantly, that they win that suit.

Yeah, it would suck for Mr. Wilders, but the consequences of such a lawsuit could be tremendous.

We would have, on the legal record in Holland, a ruling that Muslims can not be held to the same standard as normal, civilized people. That Muslims, in general, simply can not act like reasonable, mature, sensible human beings, and must be accorded special treatment and accomodations — much like the physically and mentally handicapped — to compensate for their shortcomings.

In this case, their inability to recognize certain inalienable human rights and control their fury and rage when provoked would accord them special protection from the sorts of things that the civilized world deals with — and shrugs off — on a daily basis.

And since rights and responsibilities are so thoroughly intertwined (or, at least, they ought to be), they would be enjoined from engaging in political discussions or talks about the nature of Islam in the West — because they would be, as the Dutch court ruled — too likely to get so inflamed that they would resort to violence.

It also ties in nicely with the move (which I normally oppose) of granting foreign court rulings any kind of legal standing here in the US. In this case, we ought to take it as a form of inspiration and warning about future cases being brought here — and you KNOW they will be.

At least, that’s how I think it ought to be. If your defense for something is “I couldn’t control myself,” then you have no right to bitch if the courts say “OK, but you’re not allowed to let yourself get in that kind of position again” — and makes it stick.

I am also reminded of the old legal defense if “insanity.” At one point, an irresistible compulsion was the standard — if you couldn’t resist committing the act even in the presence of a police officer, you were ruled insane and couldn’t be held liable for your actions. You’d still be locked up, but you’d be in a mental hospital, not a prison. Could this Dutch court ruling be extended to declare the vast majority of Muslims insane? They certainly talk like they would pass the above test.

Like I said, Mr. Wilders, sucks to be you. But at least you’ll be a martyr.

That’s a Western martyr, Mr. Wilders — one who suffers or dies for his cause. Not a Muslim martyr, which means you died while slaughtering innocents in the name of Allah.

I like our martyrs better.

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Today's lesson in irony