The European Court of Human Rights ruled on October 25 that to state that the Islamic prophet Muhammad “liked to do it with children” and “… A 56-year-old and a six-year-old?… What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?” goes “beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate,” and could be classified as “an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam which could stir up prejudice and threaten religious peace.”
The Court’s judgment has a long history.
In 2011, free speech and anti-jihad activist, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, was convicted by an Austrian court of “denigrating religious symbols of a recognized religious group” after she gave a series of small seminars: “Introduction to the basics of Islam”, “The Islamization of Europe”, and “The impact of Islam”.
No Muslims appear to have attended Sabaditsch-Wolff’s seminars. The court case against her came about only because a magazine, NEWS, filed a complaint against her after secretly planting a journalist at her seminars to record them.
Wolff was convicted of having said that Muhammad “liked to do it with children” and “… A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? … What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?”
On February 15, 2011, the Vienna Regional Criminal Court — according to the summary in the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) — found that “these statements implied that Muhammad had had paedophilic tendencies”, and convicted Sabaditsch-Wolff “for disparaging religious doctrines” under §188 of the Austrian penal code, which states:
“Anyone publicly denigrating or mocking any person or thing that is the object of worship of a domestically existing church or religious society… among whom his conduct is liable to cause legitimate annoyance, is punishable by imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to 360 daily rates”.
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