As usual, IANAL warning.
I found the press release issued by the European Court of Human Rights and it makes for an interesting reading. Let me quote from it:
The applicant, E.S., is an Austrian national who was born in 1971 and lives in Vienna (Austria).
In October and November 2009, Mrs S. held two seminars entitled “Basic Information on Islam”, in which she discussed the marriage between the Prophet Muhammad and a six-year old girl, Aisha, which allegedly was consummated when she was nine. Inter alia, the applicant stated 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 15 February 2011 the Vienna Regional Criminal Court found that these statements implied that Muhammad had had paedophilic tendencies, and convicted Mrs S. for disparaging religious doctrines. She was ordered to pay a fine of 480 euros and the costs of the proceedings. Mrs S. appealed but the Vienna Court of Appeal upheld the decision in December 2011, confirming in
essence the lower court’s findings.
OK, so I see why theses statements may be insulting to a Muslim (accuracy is for another day’s discussion), but I detect a bit of a problem: If disparaging religious doctrines is a crime in Europe, how come we never hear about Muslims crapping on Christianity or Judaism being fined? They give you the answer further down the press release.
The Court found in conclusion that in the instant case the domestic courts carefully balanced the applicant’s 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
Feelings are to be protected? It is an impossible task to do so as we well know that we are living in a society of the perpetually insulted and triggered. But the truly scary part is where it says “to have religious peace preserved.”
They are scared of Muslim riots and violence. European courts have officially surrendered the rights of the people to the threat of violence from a group. It is easier and cheaper to fine your ass and shut you down than have a destructive minority respect the individual rights of the citizens.
This bowing to violence, this lack of moral strength to stand up to bullies is how Europe had two World Wars and assorted conflicts with millions upon millions of citizens killed in less than 100 years. And I do believe they are bound to have another one of those “parties.”