Dutch MP Geert Wilders was cleared of inciting hatred against Muslims by an Amsterdam court on Thursday.
A judge ruled that his comments describing Islam as “a fascist ideology” and comparing the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf were not a criminal offence.
Prosecutors began investigating Wilders in January 2009 based on anti-Islamic comments made to the media and his documentary ‘Fitna’, which branded Islam as a violent religion.
The case against the 47-year-old Freedom Party leader was brought by several minority groups.
Wilders said he was exercising his right to free speech to criticise Islam, not stirring up hatred towards Muslims.
The judge said that while his views could offend some, they were “acceptable within the context of public debate”.