In Amsterdam, the Geert Wilders trial began amidst criticism from the man that you either love or hate. Wilders said via Twitter that not only was he standing trial for what some consider “anti-Islamic” statements, but that freedom of expression for 1.5 million people is also standing trial with him.

BERLIN - OCTOBER 02: Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders speaks to supporters on October 2, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. Wilders came on the invitation of German renegade former Christian Democrat (CDU) Rene Stadtkewitz, an outspoken Islam critic, to speak to approximately 500 supporters in Berlin. Wilders is seeking to create an international alliance of critics of Islam, called the 'International Freedom Alliance,' in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark, the United States and the Netherlands. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

As you may recall, Wilders is standing trial for statements he has made criticizing the religion of Islam. Some consider his criticism of Islam to be racist and hate speech. According to many, Islam appears to be off limits when it comes to any type of condemnation whatsoever. The Geert Wilders trial is proving that theory to be true.

Whether you agree with Islam or not; the ability to criticize publically the religion shouldn’t be considered hate speech. The ability to criticize any religion shouldn’t be infringed. A person being put on trial for comparing Islam to Nazism is a crime in itself. That’s not to say that Islam is like Nazism, but the ability to say so if you believe it is a fundamental human right. Once individuals are put on trial for speaking their minds, we inevitably head down a slippery slope from which there is no return.

Due to his controversial statements about Islam, Geert Wilders has received numerous death threats and has to live under constant protection. Wilders critics have brought him to trial to consider statements made on the radio, TV, and editorials he has written that they deem offensive to Islam.

It’s a very dangerous thing when someone else’s opinion can determine our guilt or innocence in the eyes of the law. It’s even more dangerous when laws are created that can only be interpreted through the vagueness of a person or group of people’s opinion regarding an issue.

You can agree with Wilders assertions about Islam or not; but if you care about freedom here or anywhere else you have to disagree with the whole notion of the Geert Wilders trial. He could face up to a year in prison (my guess is he’ll end up spending some time in jail) but could retain his seat in the Dutch Parliament.

Bram Moszkowicz, lawyer for Wilders, said today that during the entire Geert Wilders trial he [Wilders] will exercise his right to remain silent. During the proceedings, Wilders demanded that the presiding judge be replaced. The trial has been suspended for a period of 24 hours.