Any religion can be criticised – except Islam


A vitally important case for the future of free speech in Europe comes before the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) next week.

During 2008/09 Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff led a series of seminars for the Freedom Education Institute, a political academy linked to the Austrian Freedom Party (now part of the government). Amongst the 30 or so FP members attending the seminars was an undercover journalist for the Left-wing weekly magazine News.

Mrs Sabaditsch-Wolff was reported to the police, who questioned her concerning statements she had made about the Prophet Muhammad. Charges were brought by the public prosecutor for hate crime under Section 283 of the Austrian Criminal Code. Mrs Sabaditsch-Wolff was convicted of 'disparaging religious doctrines', fined €480 and ordered to pay costs.

Her crime? She told attendees, in forthright but accurate terms that the founder of Islam, considered by Muslims the perfect man, married a six-year-old girl and consummated the marriage when she was nine, and that this would be considered paedophilia in Europe today.

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