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European Court: Woman's Criticism of Muhammad Doesn't Count as Free Expression

Her statements may have been offensive. But that doesn't mean she shouldn't have a right to make them.

Tadeáš Skuhra/Dreamstime.comTadeáš Skuhra/Dreamstime.comAn Austrian woman accused of defaming the Prophet Muhammad is not protected by the right to freedom of expression, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled today. Her statements represent "an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam which could stir up prejudice and threaten religious peace," the court declared.

The woman, identified only as E.S., led what she billed as informational seminars on Islam back in 2009. At one of those seminars, she called Muhammad a pedophile because of his marriage to a girl named Aisha, who was just 6 years old at the time. "A 56-year-old and a 6-year-old? What do you call that? Give me an example? What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?" she said.

In 2011, an Austrian court convicted her of "disparaging" Islam and fined her 480 euros, the ECHR said. E.S. fought the conviction on several grounds. For one, she said her statements about Muhammad were true. She also claimed that she wasn't defaming the prophet but rather contributing "to a public debate" about him, according to the ECHR. Finally, she argued that religious groups should have to "tolerate even severe criticism."

The ECHR disagrees. In its ruling, a seven-judge panel argues that while Muhammad may have married a 6-year-old, there's a difference between child marriage and pedophilia:

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.

The court also rejects the woman's "public debate" argument. E.S. claimed to be an expert on the subject of Islam. As a result, the court replies, "she had to have been aware that her statements were partly based on untrue facts and apt to arouse (justified) indignation in others." The purpose of her statements was not to contribute to a public debate, the court declares, but rather to show "that Muhammad was not a worthy subject of worship."

The ECHR acknowledges that criticizing religious groups is fair game. But "statements...based on (manifestly) untrue facts" are not protected under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, the judges say.

One passage of the ruling seems to sum up the court's reasoning: "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."

M.S.'s statements may indeed have been offensive. But that doesn't mean she shouldn't have a right to make them. She wasn't calling for violence against Muslims; she was simply saying some mean things about Muhammad.

Reason's Jacob Sullum has explained on multiple occasions why offending Muslims should not be a crime. As he wrote in 2015, "Sacrilege may upset people, but it does not violate their rights. By abandoning that distinction, avowed defenders of Enlightenment values capitulate to the forces of darkness."

Photo Credit: Tadeáš Skuhra/Dreamstime.com

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  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Her statements may have been offensive.

    The woman, identified only as E.S., led what she billed as informational seminars on Islam back in 2009. At one of those seminars, she called Muhammad a pedophile because of his marriage to a girl named Aisha, who was just 6 years old at the time. "A 56-year-old and a 6-year-old? What do you call that? Give me an example? What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?" she said.

    Why are these statements offensive?

  • John||

    Because it is Reasonland and in Reasonland Muslims are sacred.

  • TuIpa||

    Well, Joe Seyton specifically.

  • TuIpa||

    "Joe graduated from Grove City College in 2017. It was at college where he realized journalism was his passion, and he's pursued it ever since."

    A whole year!!!

  • Quixote||

    That's a serious misuse of language. In fact, maybe his inexperience is what has prevented him from understanding that the "free speech" baloney doesn't protect offensive "information seminars" that damage the reputation of Muhammad any more than it protects sending out malicious Gmail "parody" confessions in the name of a very well-connected department chairman here at NYU. See the documentation of America's leading criminal "satire" case at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • TuIpa||

    If you're in college and you realize journalism is your passion, what you actually realized is that STEM degrees are hard.

  • darkflame||

    It's funny cause its true. Thanks for the laugh Tupla, I needed that.

  • TuIpa||

    It was my pleasure!

  • ||

    That's fine, just don't let it become your passion...

  • John||

    That is really funny.

  • BYODB||

    I'm big enough to admit that this is the literal reason why I pursued a degree in journalism. It's also why that's the not the degree I ended up with.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Boom! Headshot.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    ^ Thread winner! Shut it down!

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Because it is Reasonland and in Reasonland Muslims are sacred.

    And I suspect that at least a couple of them think it should be legal to fuck a 6 year old girl.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Because Ms. E.S. blasphemed the Prophet, and libertarians have always opposed blasphemy?

  • Dan S.||

    Since the point of the article was to oppose the court's ruling, your comment makes no sense.

  • snowhawk||

    Please explain where in this piece on an opinion by the ECHR you find an opinion by Reason? I read the article and didn't see a word where Reason offered it's own opinion on the ruling. It did in the end offer the name of one of it's writers who did write a piece on why offending Muslims should not be a crime. I'm an American and both Islam and Catholicism offend me and I have no problem coming up with absolute truths as to why!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I mean, if I play devil's advocate here, I don't know the historical record on this, but...

    Maybe he took her as his "wife" as a matter of technical law, but never laid a hand on her, in fact acting as a father figure, playing dress-up and having tea parties with her. Then, ok, maybe there's reason to accept he wasn't a "pedophile" merely because he had a marriage license filed in the county office.

  • TuIpa||

    "Then, ok, maybe there's reason to accept he wasn't a "pedophile" merely because he had a marriage license filed in the county office."

    We would have to ask Cathy but I don't think that works.

  • ||

    I don´t know how did they spend the first three years of marriage, but he started fucking her when she was 9.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Ok, so he showed some decorum. It's not like we're nominating him to the supreme court or anything.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Except I do not think Islamic texts supports the idea that he did not have sex with her before she reached puberty. They are basically defining pedophilia away merely because it might make Muslims feel bad.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Which is weird. History has all sorts of shit like that. I'm not going to defend a false prophet, but a lot of people seem to feel nowadays that the only way a historical figure can be good, or even not bad, is if they had completely modern sensibilities.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yeah man, but you can hoot and holler all day, about, say, Jesus's lack of modern PC, in that he had 12 male primary disciples, and no females! Not fair!

    But you can say that, and no Christians will go and have a hissy fit and burn cars and buildings and people, and conduct suicide bombings, in one giant hissy fit... Ain't gonna happen...

    Islamofascists, on the other hand... THEY get not only the heckler's veto, but also the violent assholes veto!

  • SQRLSY One||

    This case does, however, pose an "intersectionality" problem for conservatives, Trumpistas, and other GOP-suckers...

    Now this Austrian woman "E.S" is obviously an un-American, a ferriner, whose presence on our shores would MALGA (Make America Less Great Again).

    BUT, she likes free speech, so we can NOT honestly trot out that stale old tripe about how the ferriners dilute American political values!!!

    So, Austrian woman "E.S" shows up at our borders, to file papers asking for asylum... For "safe harbor" from the speech NAZIs of Europe... Assuming that she can actually get far enough to file papers, which is questionable these days... Should we let her in, or not, all ye GOP-suckers?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I see it more as letting her out of Eurotopia.

  • ipsquire||

    You know what would cause "intersectionality" problems for all the extremists? Come up with a DSM-5 diagnosis for "whattaboutism argumentation" as a condition.

  • JeremyR||

    Actually in some texts (not in the bible) he actually did have a couple. Mary Magdalene for one, but also a woman named Salome.

  • ||

    Mary Magdalene even wrote her own gospel.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hey, thanks for that, it was interesting! I will have to save the link!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    in that he had 12 male primary disciples, and no females! Not fair!

    *lights car on fire*

  • lap83||

    Pedophile or not, any culture that encourages parents giving away their 6 year old daughter to marry some old creep is fucked up. Then they are just supposed to hope that he's polite enough not to do anything with her for 10 years?

  • darkflame||

    In Europe, they usually were just betrothed until both parties came of age. "Of age" would still have been way too damn young in the US, but at least they didn't just throw the girl at a dude and say "here, she's all yours now"

  • lap83||

    There's a big difference between betrothed and child marriage. Basically, the first involves an interest in basic parenting. The second is handing your nuisance of a child off to the first pedophile who will take her. The issue of when she has sex is almost beside the point because, duh, bad things happen to kids when their parents don't give a shit about them.

  • Ben of Houston||

    Also, marriages weren't about sex. They were about politics. People were so much in a hurry to create political alliances that the Roman Senate and later the Church both had to make laws defining the minimum age of marriage as 12.

  • snowhawk||

    This self proclaimed prophet was after all Muhammad. Who spent the first 40 years of his life raping (it didn't seem to matter their age or sex), pillaging, enslaving, and murdering those who couldn't protect themselves from this marauding War Lord. Which God of any other Spiritual enlightenment or segment of any of the worlds differing societies would have allowed one who had acted in such a manner to call himself a Prophet of God?

  • Cloudbuster||

    He deflowered her when she was nine. He was a pedophile.

  • ||

    Playing Devil's advocate here would also be blasphemy. It specifies the Prophet marrying Aisha at 6 and consummating at 9 in the Bukhari Haddith, twice. The Haddith is the sayings of the prophet and I'm fairly certain calling the prophet a liar is blasphemy.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Her statements represent "an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam

    anyone ask him how he felt about this?

  • John||

    Muhamad wasn't a prophet. God I hate it when people use that fucking term.

  • Dillinger||

    sour on islam in general.

  • commentguy||

    I think all usage of the term prophet comes with the implicit prefix "so-called".

  • Trollificus||

    Wow. How disrespectful! Mohammed is at least as much a "prophet of God" as Joseph Smith.

    And a better warlord, by far.

  • John||

    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.

    There is no solid evidence Muhumad even existed. Hard to see how someone we are doubtful even existed could be slandered. Moreover, slander actions lie with the person slandered not their fan club.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    There is no solid evidence Muhumad even existed.

    Damn that's some intelligent commenting there. There's no evidence whatsoever for almost everybody back then. This shit gets funnier. What do we call this. Mohammed Derangement Syndrome?

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Mohammed Derangement Syndrome

    Islam.

  • John||

    The actual existence of a historical Muhamad is a big issue.

    http://www.spiegel.de/internat.....579052.htm

    My God you are stupid. Your mental illness aside, you are just dumb as a rock.

  • TuIpa||

    The tell is he had the chance to present evidence like you did, and didn't.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    I think John likes me.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    The actual existence of Mohammed is irrelevant to your hate.

    It's fun how you get so worked up over a non-existent non-prophet.

    Keep up the good work!

  • ||

    As with Jesus, the existence of Muhammad is not really in doubt, but virtually none of the specifics of the story can be verified.

    Hard to imagine why the author of the Qur'an (whom we may as well call "Muhammad") would include the Aisha story, though, if there weren't some truth to it.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    1. You post a link to a non-English-language news source on a US blog.
    2. The article you linked to doesn't exist. The link ends up going to Spiegel's home page. I suppose it could have been memory holed, but it's just as possible that you posted a straight up fake link to look like you were providing evidence to back your claims.

  • John||

    http://m.spiegel.de/internatio.....79052.html

    Google is your friend you fucking retard. The debate and the doubts about the historical existence of Muhammed is well known to anyone familiar with the subject. Try not being ignorant once in a while

  • ||

    Your link says that no one seriously doubts the historical existence of Muhammad except a small handful of Germans who are ignoring contemporary corroborations.

    And I can say from my prior experience in academia, that the fact that any given group of German scholars doubts the existence of something that basically everybody else sees as obvious is "dog bits man" level news.

  • John||

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03.....koran.html

    Try reading. It might make you less stupid. It is a long shot but miracles can happen

  • ||

    . . . and that one says not that Muhammad didn't exist, but that he didn't write the Qur'an:

    Mr. Wansbrough insisted that the text of the Koran appeared to be a composite of different voices or texts compiled over dozens if not hundreds of years. After all, scholars agree that there is no evidence of the Koran until 691 -- 59 years after Muhammad's death -- when the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem was built, carrying several Koranic inscriptions.
  • Dizzle||

    If you dig really deep there are Hebrew and Christian writings at the time accusing the man who would become Muhammad of trying to claim he was a prophet of their religions before he piece-mealed all their stories together and made up his own named Islam.

  • Spiritus Mundi||

    I don't think he existed. Maybe if I had a visual reference. Could you draw me a picture of what he looked like?

  • ||

    So since he had sex with adults as well, he was not a paedophile, just a child rapist? Makes sense, since most child rapists aren´t paedophiles by this definition, and many actual paedophiles recognize that they have a problem and actively do their best to not hurt anyone. Still not a reason to fine her, though. BTW, "defamation" of Muhammad should be considered a woman´s moral duty to womankind.

  • lap83||

    Muhammad's life and the majority of his followers are offensive.

  • Juice||

    I was about to say holy shit, but then I remembered that it's Europe and that's just the way it is there. You don't have freedom of speech.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Bingo

    Freedom is the exception, not the rule

  • Mickey Rat||

    A law against blasphemy even if one does not call it a law against blashemy

  • Juice||

    They have those in England and in a few other countries.

  • ||

    Yes, there are laws against blasphemy. They are crap and shuld be all abolished - but in many European countries, their absence means that blasphemy against Islam is the only kind of blasphemy that gets punished.

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    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.

    So as long as you continue to have sex with them until they reach their majority it doesn't matter when you started?

    This is like sexual-homesteading. Regardless of how new the plot of ground is as long as you mix your labor with the undeveloped property it's yours to manage as you please!

  • Mickey Rat||

    See trope "Wife husbandry".

  • ||

    Well and look at the mention of his concubines, "We don't know whether or not *everyone* he slept with was pre-pubescent so we can't categorically classify him as a pedophile."

    Find one adult woman who will say you had sex with her and you're free to 'mix your labor with the undeveloped property' all you like.

  • T. Lord||

  • ||

    Regardless of how new the plot of ground is as long as you mix your labor with the undeveloped property it's yours to manage as you please!

    And Islamic Law isn't real shy about categorizing women as property.

  • Eddy||

    "The ECHR acknowledges that criticizing religious groups is fair game. But "statements...based on (manifestly) untrue facts" are not protected under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, the judges say."

    How exactly do we know, unless of course the court is relying on Islamic texts as normative. Not even the Koran, but the supplemental stuff about the life of Mo.

  • Spiritus Mundi||

    "untrue facts" lol. Eurotopia newspeak

  • Mr. JD||

    An unfortunately number of people here seem to think that whether he had sex with the girl while she was young is relevant to whether it's a crime to call him a pedophile.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is relevant to the idea of truth as a defense against a charge of defamation.

  • DRM||

    Well, yes, but that's American law. Plenty of countries' laws do not allow a truth defense.

  • TuIpa||

    One more reason they're shitholes.

  • Aloysious||

    Her statements may have been offensive.

    No. They weren't offensive in the slightest.

  • Dylboz||

    How can you defame a dead person, especially one whose very existence some 1400 years ago is itself unverifiable? Can Austrians be charged for defaming Santa Claus, too?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If we had justice, yes.

  • ||

    If Megyn Kelly was Austrian, I guess they could charge her with defaming him with her claims that he is the worst thing he could possibly be (white).

  • Eddy||

    If I were her, I wouldn't talk that way about Santa Claus in Turkey.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "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."

    Hurting the feelings? I hope this is a clumsy translation. Otherwise, wow, what a continent of cucks and snowflakes!

  • ||

    "Objects of religious worship". Why does the court objectify Muhammad?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    "malicious violation of the spirit of tolerance" was my nickname at band camp (because I shat in the tuba).

  • shortviking||

    This is the kind of shit Rev calls "progressive" and anyone who rightfully calls it out as gross is a backwater bigoted clinger.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You seem to misunderstand my position on superstition.

    I blame your lousy education.

    (Bright side: Trump loves you for it.)

  • shortviking||

    But not your position on pedophilia, apparently.

  • ||

    She wasn't calling for violence against Muslims;

    And even that, in and of itself isn't a crime.

    I can say, "Somebody should really punch those Nazis in the face." or even "Somebody needs to hit Brad Marchand in the face with a stick." all I like. It's not until I say which Nazis, whom should do the punching, and it's established that my call for them to be punched in the face or hit with sticks caused them to be punched in the face or hit with sticks inappropriately does my speech become anything other than free rhetoric.

  • Dillinger||

    how do you hate Marchand?

  • ||

    It's hockey people get hit in the face with sticks all the time. No hate required.

    As a fairweather hockey fan he's the name that came to mind when I think, "Who would get hit in the face with a stick and at least some people would just shrug their shoulders?"

  • Dizzle||

    Tom wilson

  • Curt||

    "And even that, in and of itself, isn't a crime"

    In the US.

  • ||

    Right. Setyon is a writer based in the US, presumably with US values, writing for a US audience. Presumably he'd have some manner of conceptualization of free speech vs. mens rea vs. statutory offenses.

  • commentguy||

    Depends what state you're in

  • ||

    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.

    So, at first I thought this was handing E.S. ammunition. He's not a pedophile because she's so young, he's a pedophile because Aisha *and* all of his concubines were young. Then I realized that this is Europe. What they're really saying is that you're not a pedophile as long as you break up the monotony of baby rape with a pubescent teenager once in a while.

    Christ what a fucked up continent.

  • Eddy||

    They're not going to extradite Polanski, are they?

  • Eddy||

    No, I expect not.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Communist Labour Party wants to hold more elections until Brexit loses and English six-year-olds can be handed over as spouses to Saracen blackamoors.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Maybe not down to six, but industrial scale child rape is all the rage in the shiny new multi culti Britain.

    See Rotherham "grooming gangs" for details.

    So much child rape enrichment!

  • Vernon Depner||

    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

    His "primary" interest? "Sure, she was young, but she was SO hot, and we really, really loved each other!"

  • DajjaI||

    I'm all for free speech, but her statements really crossed the line.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    What line? (I figured you were waiting on that so you could drop the punchline)

  • Presskh||

    You mean she crossed the line by telling the truth?

  • Harvard||

    That the left adores European society and longs for our culture to emulate them is what's most soul chilling.

  • Sevo||

    Europe: A good place to be from.

  • RabbitHead||

    Racist!

  • Arcxjo||

    How do you base something on "untrue facts"? Are those like alternative facts?

  • Rich||

    She wasn't calling for violence against Muslims; she was simply saying some mean things about Muhammad.

    The difference, of course, is: Saying mean things about Muhammad is calling for violence *from* Muslims.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Sounds to me like the EuroCourt wants to legalize "marrying" six-year-olds, so long as it's pleasing to Allah. This would be a good time to sell them that idiot child molester plank some infiltrators inserted as a joker into the LP platform. You can see the dip in our vote shares curve as that and antichoice Bob Barr made women cross the street to avoid the LP. Maybe voters will avoid the European party that appoints those judges?

  • Eric L||

    "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."

    Yet they have not gone after Andres Serrano for his photograph 'Immersion' (aka Piss Christ).

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Yeah but that's "art", which is a form of expression/speech entirely monopolized by godless Nietschian pomo misanthropes. It's only political when it serves the right purpose. Also Jesus DGAF if you pickle his likeness in urine because he's way above all that petty shit. Mo, on the other hand, would seem to be a easy mark not just for basic trolling, but for getting totally triggered by objective truth, individual liberty, any likeness of him whatsoever, even tasteful in nature, and equal opportunities and liberties being afforded to women.

    Jesus FTW.

  • LiborCon||

    Yet another example of the fact that rights only exist in the US. Here, Freedom of Speech is a fundamental right:

    "…it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right"
    - District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) at 592

    Everywhere else, "rights" are merely privileges granted to the people by their governments. So Fuck Europe.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    In before Hihnbot launches into fevered rant about how no one understands Heller except him and everyone else is stupid for not realizing the brilliance of his deduction that it somehow means the exact opposite of what it actually says.

  • ||

    The irony being that it's a common expression in England that they don't have the First Amendment because they don't need it - unlike Americans, they just take freedom of speech for granted.

  • TuIpa||

    And how is that working out for Hitler dog?

  • ||

    There may be a strain of denial in what they say.

  • Rob Misek||

    Wake up and open your eyes.

    Free speech is being trampled on in the US too.

  • Presskh||

    Agree. But only if you say disparaging things about the left. It's being primarily trampled by private left-leaning companies, who will demote or fire you for espousing views that do not fit their political agenda.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Her statements represent "an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam which could stir up prejudice and threaten religious peace," the court declared.

    Fucking Euro-pussies.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Moohamhead can lick my hairy balls. Come get me, EU.

  • Kilbarry1||

    Sad. We Irish Catholics obviously missed our chance to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in 1994 when a member of a small left wing party brought down the Government by suggesting that Cardinal Cahal Daly was in cahoots with a Catholic Attorney General to protect a pedophile priest. The Democratic Left party then joined the Labour Party, did a reverse takeover and accuser Pat Rabbitte became its leader. It wasn't the ONLY occasion when the ECHR might have defended our religious liberties. See my article "Eight Falsely Accused Bishops (including Archbishops) in Ireland."
    http://irishsalem.blogspot.com.....s-and.html

  • Kilbarry1||

    In case anyone thinks "well can we be sure it wasn't true?" the issue regarding the extradition to Northern Ireland of Fr Brendan Smyth was debated in the BRITISH parliament and the following are extracts from the House of Commons Hansard Debates for 21 November 1994:

    "Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Attorney-General what representations his Department received from the Catholic Church in respect of Brendan Smyth; and if he will make a statement.

    The Attorney-General: None." ..........

    "Opus Dei
    Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Attorney-General what is his policy in relation to employing members of Opus Dei in his Department.

    The Attorney-General: There is no specific policy in relation to the secondment of Opus Dei members to my Department. The civil service does not discriminate on grounds of religion."

    If it were not so politically incorrect, one might imagine the Whitehall mandarins being quietly amused at the antics of their ridiculous ex-colonial subjects.

    "New caught sullen peoples, half devil and half child" indeed - should they ever have let us go?

  • Rob Misek||

    Pedophilia, of course it is.

    How else will a million crazy terrorists find 72 virgins each to rape in the afterlife.

    The judge is crazy too. He's under the delusion that if he rules it, it must be true.

    Religious peace? Where is the peace when opponents insist that their mutually exclusive unproven beliefs are true, meaning only irrational people could disagree.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    This is a bit off topic, but it's trending online: Arab men who enjoy Western cuisine need prostate exams.

  • TheBullDog||

    Capitulation. The court is afraid.

  • Presskh||

    Would the same court have the same ruling if a Muslim had said something similar about Jesus? Probably not - Europe is lost.

  • Michael Cook||

    Yesterday Turner Classic Movies treated me to the 1988 classic "A Man For All Seasons." This adoption of a hit play relates the tragic story of a man of classically high principles, Cardinal Thomas More, who gets in the way of Henry VIII's urgent need to divorce his wife. We should try to remember that all of Europe is not all that many centuries removed from chopping blocks being a relevant part of political life.

  • mondo_cane||

    [ The purpose of her statements was not to contribute to a public debate, the court declares, but rather to show "that Muhammad was not a worthy subject of worship." ]

    I believe Mr/ Stetyon, the writer here, either isn't as articulate as he should be, or he misunderstands what he's writing about. I say this, because nowhere in my understanding of Islam is Muhammad supposed to be worshipped. He is to be recognized as "the prophet", but prophets are not worshipped as if they were God. And God (whose name in Islam is Allah) is the only being or entity to be worshipped. Anything else would be called heresy.

  • Longtobefree||

    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.

    She was repeating statements from the Koran; does this mean the Koran is not factual? Is that not offensive speech by the court?

    "statements...based on (manifestly) untrue facts" are not protected under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, the judges say.

    I did not find where the judges showed which facts were/are untrue.

    On the other hand - EU, so who cares?

  • Rob Misek||

    Seriously? Untrue facts?

    Where did you learn English?

    You are a journalist you say?

    Here is the definition of fact.

    "something that actually exists; reality; truth:"

    Untrue truth eh?

  • fcnsc||

    Everywhere else, "rights" are merely privileges granted to the people by their governments. So Fuck Europe.
    FCNSC
    - District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) at 592

  • Rob Misek||

    Everyone's rights are trampled on.

    Your shithole smells fine eh?

    Equality of employment- affirmative action
    Right to life - abortion
    Free speech - holocaust

  • Vince Smith||

    And Bernie Sanders wants us to be more like Europe!

  • buybuydandavis||

    Cathy Young retweeted a twitter thread that made a pretty good point about this.

    Basically, the EU has plenty of laws against speech. Plenty of blasphemy laws. Plenty of hate speech laws. The Court really didn't do anything out of the ordinary.

    Of course such laws are an abomination, but that's the way Europeans, and most all of the world *but* the US, rolls.

    Belief in free speech is the freak exception in the world, not the rule.

    Hence the inadvisability of mass immigration if you want to preserve things like the 1st Amendment in the US.

    Import Not Americans, become Not America.

  • n00bdragon||

    You have the right to speak freely, as long as you don't say the wrong thing. (We decide what)

    You have the right to go wherever you want, as long as it's not the wrong place. (We decide where)

    You have the right to keep the result of your own labor, as long as it's not too much. (We get the rest)

    You have the right to expedient and fair justice, as long as you're popular. (Otherwise kiss your ass goodbye)

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "offending Muslims should not be a crime"

    Oh, hell, I am rapidly moving to the position that defenestration of Muslims shouod not be a crime. Or at most misdemeanor littering.

    And I feel much the same about Progressive Lefties.

  • Spiritus Mundi||

    I hear defenestration is ok in Prague.

  • BillBrennan||

    She will, of course, be free to say anything she wants about Christianity.

  • gah87||

    And Ireland still has a constitutional ban on blasphemy.
    Europe is only 75 years out of Nazi totalitarianism, and barely 30 years out of Soviet totalitarianism. I suppose we need to keep that in mind when working with the EU's notion of "liberal" democracy.

  • ||

    The EU totalitiarianism, same as the old one, even many of the same faces.

  • ||

    "there's a difference between child marriage and pedophilia", remember this statement/illogical conclusion, it will be the foot in the door to legitimize all things the West has not for millenia. Is it only pedophilia because there's only one child bride? What if you have multiple? Or is it not philia because they don't love their brides?

    This is coming to a court near you, I can promise that.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam (Barry Sotero)

    Well, in Europe now, the present doesn't belong to them does it?

  • Mike d||

    To be fair to the EU, they're not the ones fining/jailing the woman for saying that, it was the Austrian court. They're just refusing to overturn the Austrian's court stupid ruling because their own Article 10 laws are very weak and specific. But it's better than nothing I guess.

    So it's sort of a "states rights" type of thing, where each country makes their own (or doesnt) free speech laws. The EU actually pushes them in favor of being more pro free speech, just not hard enough.

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