Dutch prosecutors asked judges on Tuesday to acquit anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders of a charge of giving offense to Muslims and not to award damages to his hate speech accusers.
"Comparing the Koran and Islam to Mein Kampf, national socialism, fascism and communism can without a doubt be hurtful. But hurting feelings as such is not a punishable insult" under Dutch law, prosecutor Paul Velleman told the Amsterdam district court.
Wilders, set to become a shadow partner of the new Dutch government, went on trial last Monday for calling Islam "fascist" and likening the Koran to Hitler's "Mein Kampf".
Fellow prosecutor Birgit van Roessel asked Tuesday that the complainants' damages claim be dismissed as they had not managed to show that Wilders' utterances were aimed directly against them.
"We believe that none of the complainants suffered direct damages," she said -- insisting the trial was not politically motivated as Wilders had claimed.
Wilders is now also being sued by Imam Fawaz Jneid.
Former Dutch MP Hirsi Ali wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, claiming that Dutch law was changed to allow the courts to prosecute Wilders. The Dutch Justice Ministry denies the charge.
Hirsi Ali also wrote that the trial could cause the tensions between Dutch Muslims and PVV voters to a boil, and lead to violent confrontations.