Free Speech in Europe

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ed
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Free Speech in Europe

Post by ed » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:01 pm

The case, decided yesterday by the European Court of Human Rights, is E.S. v. Austria -- I assume from the facts and from the initials that this is the Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff case. Here's the court's own summary:

Criminal conviction and fine for statements accusing the Prophet Muhammad of paedophilia: no violation

Facts – The applicant held seminars with the title "Basic information on Islam" at the right-wing Freedom Party Education Institute. At one such seminar, referring to a marriage which Muhammad had concluded with Aisha, a six-year old, and consummated when she had been nine, she stated inter alia "[Muhammad] liked to do it with children", "the thing with Aisha and child sex" and "a 56-year-old and a six-year-old? What do you call that? Give me an example? What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?"

In 2011, as a result of these statements, the applicant was convicted of disparagement of religious precepts pursuant to Article 188 of the Criminal Code. She was sentenced to pay a fine of EUR 480, or serve 60 days of imprisonment in the event of default.

The domestic courts made a distinction between child marriages and paedophilia. In their opinion, by accusing Muhammad of paedophilia, the applicant had merely sought to defame him, without providing evidence that his primary sexual interest in Aisha had been her not yet having reached puberty or that his other wives or concubines had been similarly young. In particular, the applicant had disregarded the fact that the marriage with Aisha had continued until the Prophet's death, when she had already turned eighteen and had therefore passed the age of puberty.

Law – Article 10: Prescribed by law, the interference had pursued the legitimate aim of preventing disorder by safeguarding religious peace and protecting religious feelings, which corresponded to protecting the rights of others within the meaning of Article 10 § 2 of the Convention.

As the subject matter of the instant case was of a particularly sensitive nature, the domestic authorities had a wide margin of appreciation, as they were in a better position to evaluate which statements were likely to disturb the religious peace in their country.

As for the context of the impugned statements, the seminars had been widely advertised to the public on the Internet and via leaflets, sent out by the head of the right-wing Freedom Party, addressing them especially to young voters and praising them as "top seminars" in the framework of a "free education package". The title of the seminar had given the – in hindsight misleading – impression that it would include objective information on Islam. Anyone interested in participating had been able to enrol and as such the applicant could therefore not have assumed that there would only be like-minded people in the room but also people who might be offended by her statements.

The applicant's statements had been capable of arousing justified indignation given that they had not been made in an objective manner aimed at contributing to a debate of public interest, but could only have been understood as aimed at demonstrating that Muhammad was not a worthy subject of worship. The applicant had described herself as an expert in the field of Islamic doctrine, already having held seminars of that kind for a while, thus she had to have been aware that her statements were partly based on untrue facts and apt to arouse (justified) indignation in others. Presenting objects of religious worship in a provocative way capable of hurting the feelings of the followers of that religion could be conceived as a malicious violation of the spirit of tolerance, which was one of the bases of a democratic society.

The applicant had subjectively labelled Muhammad with paedophilia as his general sexual preference, while failing to neutrally inform her audience of the historical background, which consequently did not allow for a serious debate on that issue, and had thus made a value judgement without sufficient factual basis. Even if they were to be classified as factual statements, she had failed to adduce any evidence to that end.

As to the applicant's argument that a few individual statements had to be tolerated during a lively discussion, it was not compatible with Article 10 of the Convention to pack incriminating statements into the wrapping of an otherwise acceptable expression of opinion and deduce that this would render the statements, exceeding the permissible limits of freedom of expression, passable. Moreover, the applicant had been wrong to assume that improper attacks on religious groups had to be tolerated even if they were based on untrue facts. On the contrary, the Court had held that statements which were based on (manifestly) untrue facts did not enjoy the protection of Article 10.

With respect to the proportionality of the sanction, it was noted that the applicant had been ordered to pay a moderate fine of only EUR 480 in total for the three statements made, although the Criminal Code provided for up to six months' imprisonment. The fine imposed was on the lower end of the statutory range of punishment. Given the aforementioned, the criminal sanction had not been disproportionate.

In conclusion, the domestic courts had comprehensively assessed the wider context of the applicant's statements, and carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the rights of others to have their religious feelings protected, and to have religious peace preserved in Austrian society. They had discussed the permissible limits of criticism of religious doctrines versus their disparagement, and found that the applicant's statements had been likely to arouse justified indignation in Muslims.

In addition, the impugned statements had not been phrased in a neutral manner aimed at being an objective contribution to a public debate concerning child marriages but rather amounted to a generalisation without factual basis. Thus, by considering them as going beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate and classifying them as an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam, which was capable of stirring up prejudice and putting at risk religious peace, the domestic courts had come to the conclusion that the facts at issue contained elements of incitement to religious intolerance.

They had thereby put forward relevant and sufficient reasons and had not overstepped their – wide – margin of appreciation. The interference with the applicant's rights under Article 10 had indeed corresponded to a pressing social need and had been proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued.

Conclusion: no violation [of free speech principles] (unanimously).

(See also Otto-Preminger-Institut v. Austria, 13470/87, 20 September 1994; Wingrove v. the United Kingdom, 17419/90, 25 November 1996; İ.A. v. Turkey, 42571/98, 13 September 2005, Information Note 78; and Giniewski v. France, 64016/00, 31 January 2006, Information Note 82)

The cases cited at the end also bear reading; note that Otto-Preminger-Institut v. Austria, for instance, upheld a restriction on blasphemy against Christianity, as did Wingrove v. UK. Such speech, of course, would be constitutionally protected in the U.S., at least since Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson (1952). Thanks to Seth Barrett Tillman for the pointer.

Eugene Volokh is the Gary T. Schwa
https://reason.com/volokh/2018/10/26/eu ... ze-calling
https://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-cou ... 1540580231

Cant call mohammad a pedo.
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by ed » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:14 pm

Soooo .... a old fart that rapes a child has to be allowed to put that rape into context.

Seems fair.
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:54 pm

If they are enforcing Muslim blasphemy laws -- regardless of the legal pretext -- then Islam is their official religion.
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Giz » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:19 pm

Cowards pretending that their dhimmhi appeasement is morally brave defence of toleration.

It's the kind of stuff that Orwell and Kafka might have been able to brainstorm, but would have discarded as being to ridiculous to put in a novel.

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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by shuize » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:36 pm

I really miss Christopher Hitchens.

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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:09 pm

When the time comes, they will line up politely and wait their turn to be shot.
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Giz » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:41 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:09 pm
When the time comes, they will line up politely and wait their turn to be shot.
Or they will go full nazi.

They just don't do sensible moderation.

Mind you, these days, who does?

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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Skeeve » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:54 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:09 pm
When the time comes, they will line up politely and wait their turn to be shot beheaded.
FTFY


Q: What did Mohamad say when his wife called him a pedophile?

A: "Thats a big word for a nine-year-old!"
Then Skank Of America could start in...

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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:23 pm

"Pedophile" is one of those infidel concepts.
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by shemp » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:27 pm

Skeeve wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:54 pm
Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:09 pm
When the time comes, they will line up politely and wait their turn to be shot beheaded.
FTFY


Q: What did Mohamad say when his wife called him a pedophile?

A: "Thats a big word for a nine-year-old!"
"It is not I who is mad! It is I who is crazy!" -- Ren Hoek

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Is what you got
Freedom from choice
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Skeeve » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:32 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:23 pm
"Pedophile" is one of those infidel concepts.
Well, no wonder those bloody wog paki-muslims Asians liked the young stuff!
...
On March 11, the Mirror revealed the results of an eighteen-month investigation into the rape and sexual trafficking of up to 1,000 girls, some as young as 11, with offenses dating back to the early 1980s.
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/03/tel ... -the-left/
Then Skank Of America could start in...

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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Witness » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:14 am

Statement from the lady (https://vladtepesblog.com/ – the kind of site where you can buy the "silver cross of St. James Matamoros" :mrgreen: ):
Statement from Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, concerning the Euro-‘human rights court’ ruling
Posted on October 26, 2018 by Eeyore — 7 Comments ↓

On Thursday, 25 October the ECHR ruled that my conviction by an Austrian court for discussing the marriage between Prophet Mohammed and a six year old girl, Aisha, did not infringe my rights of freedom of speech.

I was not extended the courtesy of being told of this ruling. Like many others, I had to read it in the media.

The ECHR found there had been no violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights and that right to expression needed to be balanced with the rights of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.

In other words, my right to speak freely is less important than protecting the religious feelings of others.

This should ring warning bells for my fellow citizens across the continent. We should all be extremely concerned that the rights of Muslims in Europe NOT to be offended are greater than my own rights, as a native European Christian woman, to speak freely.

I am proud to be the woman who has raised this alarm.

I am also optimistic. Since giving my seminars in Austria in 2009, we have come a very long way.

Ten years ago the press labeled me a “confused doom-monger” and I was compared to Osama Bin Laden. Now, Islam is being discussed in every sphere of life and people are waking up to the reality of a culture so opposed to our own.

The cultural and political threat posed by Islam to Western societies is now widely recognized and discussed. It is fair to say European society, as well as the political realm, is undergoing an enlightenment, as it is more awake than ever to the need to defend our own Judeo-Christian culture.

I believe my seminars in 2009, and subsequent work have contributed to strong push back against an Islamic culture which is so at odds with our own. And note with interest that only one sentence out of 12 hours of seminars on Islam was a prosecutable offense. I assume the remaining content is now officially sanctioned by our Establishment masters.

It is obvious to me that public education and discourse on the subject of Islam can have a fundamental and far-reaching impact, even if our state or supra-national authorities try to stifle or silence it, in order to appease a culture so foreign to our own.

This fight continues. My voice will not and cannot be silenced.

Meanwhile in Austria (https://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Austria):
Austria to close seven mosques and deport imams in crackdown on ‘political Islam’

Coalition government says move is ‘just the beginning’ as Turkey brands policy Islamophobic
Austrian face veil ban comes into force under new 'integration' policy

Anyone wearing clothes that obscure their face in public will now be liable to a fine of €150 (£132) and must remove garment ‘on the spot’ if ordered by police

Aaaand the new right-wingers in gubment already show their pelt:
Austria's far-right controlled interior ministry sends police list of critical media outlets whose access to restrict

Minister forced to defend commitment to press freedom

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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:19 am

So ... Austrexit next?

Sorry, can't come up with a cute pronounceable one.
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:22 am

Hey Witness!

Is there such a word as Anschlusslos, and if so does it mean what I want it to mean? :BigGrin3:
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Witness » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:31 am

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:22 am
Hey Witness!

Is there such a word as Anschlusslos, and if so does it mean what I want it to mean? :BigGrin3:
Made me howl with laughter! :lmao:

As for your question: the word, as written, exists yet in a completely different context ("Los" as in "lottery ticket"). But then German is a do-it-yourself language, so feel free to grab it for your purpose. You meanie!

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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by ed » Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:02 am

Completely self inflicted.
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Anaxagoras » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:08 am

More on the subject:

A Flawed European Ruling on Free Speech (The Atlantic)
The European Court of Human Rights invoked “religious peace” as a reason to limit criticisms of the Prophet Muhammad.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:25 am

If they enforce Muslim blasphemy laws, Islam is now their de facto official religion. Period.

Dar al-Islam now includes the EU.

But I betcha it doesn't fly in Poland or Hungary.
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by ed » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:47 am

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:19 am
So ... Austrexit next?

Sorry, can't come up with a cute pronounceable one.
OstAus

Austria Out

Ostreich Aus

OstAus

You are welcome
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Re: Free Speech in Europe

Post by Giz » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:32 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:08 am
More on the subject:

A Flawed European Ruling on Free Speech (The Atlantic)
The European Court of Human Rights invoked “religious peace” as a reason to limit criticisms of the Prophet Muhammad.
Nice little religious peace ya got here. Shame if something were to happen to it.


Seriously, have they heard of incentivizing bad behavior?