Dutch court to rule on Geert Wilders hate speech case

A Dutch court on Wednesday was set to rule on whether to dismiss charges against anti-immigration lawmaker Geert Wilders for allegedly inciting hate against Muslims.

Wilders,one of the most popular politicians in the Netherlands, has called fora ban on the Quran, saying Islam is a violent religion and Muslimimmigrants are destroying Dutch culture. Wilders says he is innocent and the case is an attack on his right to freedom of speech. He has asked the case be dismissed.

Muslimgroups say his rhetoric goes too far and amounts to inciting hatredagainst them. Freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination areguaranteed under Dutch law.

If the court rules the case should go to trial, it will also set a trial date and settle witness lists.