Iconoclast: myth of islamophobia: The Vienna – phoenix connections

 

Here is a recent marching event highlighting the persecution of Christians in Muslim lands.

PrayerMarch

Iconoclast: The Myth of Islamophobia: The Vienna – Phoenix Connections

The Myth of Islamophobia   4-20-14

This was the 20th anniversary of the film Forrest Gump  and it was featured all week on the AMC cable TV channel.  There is the fabled line repeated at various touching moments in this now classic movie uttered by the fictional character’s mother portrayed by the Hollywood  actress  Sally Fields,   dying of cancer.  Forrest portrayed by Academy award winner actor Tom Hanks: later said in the film, “Momma always said: life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get”.  Watch a You Tube segment, here.

That could be the tag line for the Easter Sunday production of The Lisa Benson Radio Show on the Salem Radio Network broadcast from Phoenix on KKNT 960 AM that aired today. There was also a subtext, the program connected Austrian human rights activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf in Vienna with Rabbi Jonathan Hausman who had sponsored a talk by her at his synagogue   in Stoughton, Massachusetts in 2013. Her appearance was part of the Irwin and H. Ethel Hausman Memorial Speakers Series.  It was all about the leverage of networking in the counter-Jihad international community.

Earlier in Holy Week of both Passover and Easter, Lisa Benson had called me to tell me of her experience of being the captive passenger in a cab she got into at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport.  It was driven by an Islamist Sudanese who spying her Jewish star on a necklace and locked her in for a wild journey to her home at high speed trying to convert her.  This occurred after a week and a half away on the east Coast in Washington, DC.  That was scary enough.  Now she asked me on a phone call for advice on   a suggested topic for today’s Easter Sunday broadcast.  I advised her that she might consider addressing CAIR’s relentless Islamophobia attacks against the film Honor Diariesabout the issue of misogyny in Muslim Majority countries.  We discussed the attack against the film’s executive producer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Somali apostate, author of the acclaimed biographies, Infidel and Nomad. Ali is a vigorous defender of women’s and girl’s rights in these Muslim honor shame societies.

Benson might consider addressing the topic of CAIR’s assault on free speech under the First Amendment of our Constitution.  This was buttressed by an interview I had just concluded last weekend with Brooke Goldstein of The Lawfare Project who had confronted a CAIR spokesperson on a Fox News program with host Megyn Kelly of The Kelly File.  The program on Fox News Cable TV illustrated CAIR’s Islamophobia charges against Ms. Ali and the film’s Jewish producers at the Clarion project.  Watch this You Tube video of the Fox News Kelly Files segment, here.   Then there was   Brandeis University’s President Frederick Lawrence cowardly succumbing to a lynch mob composed of 86 signers of a letter from the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies faculty and the leaders of the Muslim Student Association chapter. He withdrew an honorary doctorate for Ms. Ali and as commencement speaker.  As to who might join me in a discussion of this topic, I suggested Rabbi Hausman.

He has been called an Islamophobe and worse in hearings before the Florida legislature on the pending American Law for American Courts (ALAC) legislation. Moreover, Sen. Alan Hays, the Florida Senate sponsor of ALAC, had been accused of being an Islamophobe by representatives of CAIR- Florida and CAIR National for proposing that legislation as “bullying Muslims and other minorities”.  Then Arab American standup comic Dean Obeidallah also accused Hays of being an Islamophobe for sponsoring textbook review legislation as equivalent of “censorship”. The Florida legislation was spurred by citizen activist criticism of the treatment of Islam and Muslim culture in world history texts approved by the Florida Department of Education.   I reached out to Rabbi Hausman who consented to join me on the radio panel.

After several turns of a flier for today’s broadcast I went to sleep late Saturday night and awoke in the middle of the night, found the final version and posted it.  Within minutes of doing that I received an email from Elisabeth Sabaditsch Wolf in Vienna offering to call in and tell of her group’s victory in the annual conference by the Office of Democratic Institutions of Human Rights  (ODIHR) of the Organization of Cooperation and Security of Europe (OSCE).  Ms. Sabaditsch Wolf is the leader of the Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa  or Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa (CMPE) a registered NGO.  In the late summer of 2013, CMPE, together with representatives of the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA), Washington, DC-based Center for Security Policy and ACT! had journeyed to Warsaw for another ODIHR conference on the legal definition of Islamophobia in response to one stated by the Turkish representative.  I wrote her back suggesting that this might be worthy of an interview about what had occurred there and had been covered in a Gates of Vienna (GoV) series of articles last fall.  We agreed to talk about this on a Skype call that occurred this morning.

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

More here.

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Elisabeth’s Voice: The Final Push to the ECHR

 

 

In 2011 Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was convicted of “hate speech” in an Austrian court for telling the plain truth in her seminars on Islam. As we have noted in previous posts, her case is now pending at the European Court of Human Rights. Her legal costs for the petition are considerable, and she has issued an appeal for contributions to her defense fund.

For readers who are not already familiar with her case, here is a brief timeline of what has happened up until now:

 

October 2010 Elisabeth was indicted in Vienna, Austria, for statements she made in one of her seminars on the ideology and effect of Islam.
February 2011 Elisabeth was convicted of “hate speech” in an Austrian court. In order to obtain a conviction, the trial judge was forced to introduce a new charge, “denigrating the teaching of a legally recognized religion” — during the trial itself.
December 2011 the verdict was upheld by the appellate court, which noted that her statements constituted “an excess of opinion” punishable under Austrian law.
December 2013 the verdict was upheld by the Austrian supreme court, which noted that under the European Convention of Human Rights, freedom of religion overrides freedom of expression. Elisabeth notes that criticism of Christianity comes under the rubric of art, while criticism of Islam is criminal. She says: “There is no political freedom without religious freedom, inclusive of the right to criticize religion.”

The following video shows excerpts from one of Elisabeth’s seminars. Statements such as these have now been criminalized by the Austrian judicial system.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to Rembrandt Clancy for translating and subtitling the audio, and for translating the German text of the slides and superimposing the English version in the video.

Many thanks also to Henrik Ræder Clausen for selecting the clips to be excerpted from the original seminar video, and to Vlad Tepes for uploading the final result:

 

If you would like to help Elisabeth defray the costs of her legal defense, please visitenglish.savefreespeech.org and follow the instructions for donating.

Video transcript:

Al-Ghazali, a very well known, leading cleric of the 11th century says the following:

Imams and their Holy Lies

“Understand that lying is not wrong in itself. If a lie is the only way to achieve a good result [for Islam], it is permitted. Therefore we must lie, if the truth will lead to an unpleasant result.”

Al Ghazali (1059-1111) One of Islam’s most important theologians.

It is not I, who is saying that, . . . that is what Al-Ghazali says.

Let’s hear more of what people have to say. And Muhammed Mermer said as long ago as 1998:

 

“We shall Erect a Theocracy in the Heart of Europe”

It is our historical task to establish in the heart of Europe a theocratic state for Allah and our great Prophet, Mohammed. We shall sweep away these corrupt and degenerate Nazi-Germans.

Mohammad Mermer: 20:2:1998

Once again, it is not I who says that.

That is Sheikh Al Qaradawi again. I have already shown him.

Within the framework of annual conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Warsaw, our group veritably destroyed the term islamophobia. We opposed the OSCE by tearing apart a manual for teachers which deals with islamophobia, and we asked why there is this brochure on islamophobia when there is not even a legal definition of it. The authors of this brochure then had to admit to us that they in fact had no legal definition.

This video in no way infringes on the religious freedom of Muslims. They are allowed to continue practising their religion in Austria.

Right?

The prohibition, however, the prohibition against showing the video publically violates the freedom of expression of non-Muslims.

Now look at the pictures. It is permitted to do that: [to submerge a crucifix in urine].

It is permitted to crucify a frog, because it comes under the category of art. But making a film about Mohammed is blasphemy. That is just how warped the world has become!

Right? Good.

The small difference is that criticism of Christianity comes under the rubric of art; and criticism which bears on Islam is criminal. An analysis or criticism, — it matters not at all whether it is this or something else — is no longer possible under such legislation. This criticism, this analysis, will be seen as a human rights violation. To think that such a thing is at all possible today!

And that is what I always say and what I say over and over again, “There is no political freedom without religious freedom, inclusive of the right to criticise religion.”

Good. We are concentrating here on Universal Human Rights and the conflicting Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, — and about which no one actually knows anything, including our politicians, — or they pretend to know nothing, or do not wish to know anything. It is also important for you to know that it is an instrument, an Islamic human rights instrument which has been applied more frequently.

You have heard me mention the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The OIC countries recognise only the human rights of Islam, and not Universal Human Rights.

Supporters of Sharia must be deported for undermining free and democratic society.

The Sharia, according to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), is incompatible with individual rights. We must say that in no uncertain terms.

And if you (the immigrants), accept the values of our society, and are law abiding, then you are warmly welcome; if not, then you are not welcome.

And here you see a few courageous women, who are doing something to ensure that our life remains the way it is. They encourage all who are present here, men and women, to rise to the limits of your possibilities, to do something; to the limits of your possibilities, to defend our culture, our values, our democracy and our freedom . . . within the limits of your possibilities!

Seminar Participant 1

Right, I was very much happy with all of it, in as much as it is an unbelievably important contribution: . . . for this country is not the country into which I once came into the world and in which I grew up; . . . and it is not the country in which those values are lived which are important to me as a committed European, . . . values which are also important to me as a Westerner and as one who values human rights.

This land is being transformed in increasing measure into a mediaevally religious dictatorship; this land, whose values we developed after harsh, centuries-long battles, and for which our forefathers worked hard; values, complete with the philosophical superstructure and foundations — and its religious background.

That is a society the likes of which has otherwise never been seen, and it is something unique and certainly something worth protecting. Therefore Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff’s contribution is particularly significant, because she exposes and demonstrates here — by the seminars she conducts — the very large extent to which we are not free —

… to what extreme degree we are not free.

Seminar Participant 2

Yes, I think it is very important to attend this seminar, certainly. I am forever learning something new, because one finds it nowhere in the media nor in any newspaper; but one learns it only here.

And I have to be grateful to Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff that she does this in spite of being denounced. One should be grateful to her and I wish her luck in her perseverance through this weather.

Seminar Participant 3

The seminar is very rich in content; it is comprehensive and highly interesting. The reasons why I myself wanted to attend this seminar are that I myself was occupationally employed for four years in the Arab region, and acquired my own impressions. And I think that our culture . . . our ideology, must be defended.

For previous posts on the “hate speech” prosecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, seeElisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.

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SEE YOU IN STRASBOURG!

 

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As regular readers know, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is in the process of raising money for herdefense fund in order to appeal her “hate speech” conviction to the European Court of Human Rights.

Although her fundraising post has gone off “sticky”, she still needs your help. If you want to see her achieve victory in Strasbourg, please visit her website and choose one of the donation options.

Elisabeth sent this note to thank all the generous people who have donated thus far:

I always like to say thanks. It means so much to me, simply because I enjoy acknowledging other people’s work. Even more so if people trust me enough to hand over some their hard-earned money to fight for what we hold most dear: our freedoms, especially our freedom of speech (including opinion and conscience).

For the past five years I have been fighting a hate speech charge, one that was later turned into a “denigration of religious teachings” charge, and — not surprisingly — have lost all the way to the Austrian supreme court. I am sure most of you already know the details of the case, and even more of you have donated to my defense fund. Without these donations, I would not have been able to pay my exceptional lawyer, Dr. Michael Rami, who has been with me all the way to the supreme court and who has represented me — and us — so valiantly. Without your donations and your generosity, I would not have been able to continue this fight, the fight for the truth, the fight for our God-given right to criticize an ideology driven to eliminate any form of equality, dissent, and our way of life.

I cannot claim to know the outcome of the petition to the European Court for Human Rights. There is no way to know, although the chances appear more favorable than those presented to us in the Austrian court system. What I can promise is that I will never cease to fight for freedom of speech. I will never accept the verdict by the Austrian court system. It is wrong. It is unjust. And most of all, it is dangerous on so many levels.

Please continue your generous support. Not only with respect to the Save Free Speech Defense Fund, but also to Gates of Vienna and Vlad Tepes, as they have been and continue to be crucial to the success of this fight against the inroads of sharia law in our legal systems.

I will never give up and I will never give in.

— Elisabeth

P.S. I also want to thank our translators JLH and Rembrandt Clancy, without whose diligent translations you would not be able to read the verdict in the English language.

JLH had this to say in the comments on Elisabeth’s fundraising post:

 

On of the most important things to know about Elisabeth is that she does not have to be doing what she is doing. When her lawyer demonstrated in their appearance at court in Vienna that he was capable of demolishing the charges brought against her, the court adjourned, twisted itself into a pretzel to produce another charge like a rabbit out of a hat, and convicted her of it, while refusing to hear proposed defense witnesses. Then it set a fine which was admittedly set low enough so she could afford it.

The purpose was not to administer justice, but to intimidate her, like those before her, into going away quietly, thankful not to receive a worse punishment. But, as one of her friends pointed out, it had the opposite effect—what I think of as the William Tell Effect. Tyranny meant to crush, when applied to the wrong subject, reveals an iron will. So Elisabeth has chosen to stand in the path of a tyranny that is rushing down the tracks in Austria and the rest of Western Europe, and in many ways and in many places in the US. And in the process, she is consuming enormous amounts of time and money.

She says she is doing this so that her daughter will not have to live under the shadow of Islam, which oppresses and brutalizes all of its subjects, but women and girls most of all. In fact, she is also doing it for anyone who believes in Free Speech.

As followers of GoV are aware, true democracy is the greatest enemy of both Islam and Western collectivism. When the might of the Habsburg Empire descended on William Tell—as told by Schiller and sung by Rossini—one man’s indignation was enough to start an avalanche of protest that made tiny Switzerland into one of the few bright spots in the political spectrum of Europe today. Elisabeth is not an archer, but she has taken aim at the heart of the Beast, and she is now going to the “court of last resort” which is in the bowels of the monster that is tightening its tentacles on the West. She deserves all the help she can get.

 

 

For previous posts on the “hate speech” prosecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, seeElisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.

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Final Push to the ECHR

First published at Gates of Vienna

Elisabeth’s Voice: The Final Push to the ECHR

 

In 2011 Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was convicted of “hate speech” in an Austrian court for telling the plain truth in her seminars on Islam. As we have noted in previous posts, her case is now pending at the European Court of Human Rights. Her legal costs for the petition are considerable, and she has issued an appeal for contributions to her defense fund.

For readers who are not already familiar with her case, here is a brief timeline of what has happened up until now:

 

October 2010 Elisabeth was indicted in Vienna, Austria, for statements she made in one of her seminars on the ideology and effect of Islam.
February 2011 Elisabeth was convicted of “hate speech” in an Austrian court. In order to obtain a conviction, the trial judge was forced to introduce a new charge, “denigrating the teaching of a legally recognized religion” — during the trial itself.
December 2011 the verdict was upheld by the appellate court, which noted that her statements constituted “an excess of opinion” punishable under Austrian law.
December 2013 the verdict was upheld by the Austrian supreme court, which noted that under the European Convention of Human Rights, freedom of religion overrides freedom of expression. Elisabeth notes that criticism of Christianity comes under the rubric of art, while criticism of Islam is criminal. She says: “There is no political freedom without religious freedom, inclusive of the right to criticize religion.”

The following video shows excerpts from one of Elisabeth’s seminars. Statements such as these have now been criminalized by the Austrian judicial system.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to Rembrandt Clancy for translating and subtitling the audio, and for translating the German text of the slides and superimposing the English version in the video.

Many thanks also to Henrik Ræder Clausen for selecting the clips to be excerpted from the original seminar video, and to Vlad Tepes for uploading the final result:

 

 

If you would like to help Elisabeth defray the costs of her legal defense, please visitenglish.savefreespeech.org and follow the instructions for donating.

Video transcript:

Al-Ghazali, a very well known, leading cleric of the 11th century says the following:

Imams and their Holy Lies

“Understand that lying is not wrong in itself. If a lie is the only way to achieve a good result [for Islam], it is permitted. Therefore we must lie, if the truth will lead to an unpleasant result.”

Al Ghazali (1059-1111) One of Islam’s most important theologians.

It is not I, who is saying that, . . . that is what Al-Ghazali says.

Let’s hear more of what people have to say. And Muhammed Mermer said as long ago as 1998:

 

“We shall Erect a Theocracy in the Heart of Europe”

It is our historical task to establish in the heart of Europe a theocratic state for Allah and our great Prophet, Mohammed. We shall sweep away these corrupt and degenerate Nazi-Germans.

Mohammad Mermer: 20:2:1998

Once again, it is not I who says that.

That is Sheikh Al Qaradawi again. I have already shown him.

Within the framework of annual conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Warsaw, our group veritably destroyed the term islamophobia. We opposed the OSCE by tearing apart a manual for teachers which deals with islamophobia, and we asked why there is this brochure on islamophobia when there is not even a legal definition of it. The authors of this brochure then had to admit to us that they in fact had no legal definition.

This video in no way infringes on the religious freedom of Muslims. They are allowed to continue practising their religion in Austria.

Right?

The prohibition, however, the prohibition against showing the video publically violates the freedom of expression of non-Muslims.

Now look at the pictures. It is permitted to do that: [to submerge a crucifix in urine].

It is permitted to crucify a frog, because it comes under the category of art. But making a film about Mohammed is blasphemy. That is just how warped the world has become!

Right? Good.

The small difference is that criticism of Christianity comes under the rubric of art; and criticism which bears on Islam is criminal. An analysis or criticism, — it matters not at all whether it is this or something else — is no longer possible under such legislation. This criticism, this analysis, will be seen as a human rights violation. To think that such a thing is at all possible today!

And that is what I always say and what I say over and over again, “There is no political freedom without religious freedom, inclusive of the right to criticise religion.”

Good. We are concentrating here on Universal Human Rights and the conflicting Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, — and about which no one actually knows anything, including our politicians, — or they pretend to know nothing, or do not wish to know anything. It is also important for you to know that it is an instrument, an Islamic human rights instrument which has been applied more frequently.

You have heard me mention the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The OIC countries recognise only the human rights of Islam, and not Universal Human Rights.

Supporters of Sharia must be deported for undermining free and democratic society.

The Sharia, according to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), is incompatible with individual rights. We must say that in no uncertain terms.

And if you (the immigrants), accept the values of our society, and are law abiding, then you are warmly welcome; if not, then you are not welcome.

And here you see a few courageous women, who are doing something to ensure that our life remains the way it is. They encourage all who are present here, men and women, to rise to the limits of your possibilities, to do something; to the limits of your possibilities, to defend our culture, our values, our democracy and our freedom . . . within the limits of your possibilities!

Seminar Participant 1

Right, I was very much happy with all of it, in as much as it is an unbelievably important contribution: . . . for this country is not the country into which I once came into the world and in which I grew up; . . . and it is not the country in which those values are lived which are important to me as a committed European, . . . values which are also important to me as a Westerner and as one who values human rights.

This land is being transformed in increasing measure into a mediaevally religious dictatorship; this land, whose values we developed after harsh, centuries-long battles, and for which our forefathers worked hard; values, complete with the philosophical superstructure and foundations — and its religious background.

That is a society the likes of which has otherwise never been seen, and it is something unique and certainly something worth protecting. Therefore Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff’s contribution is particularly significant, because she exposes and demonstrates here — by the seminars she conducts — the very large extent to which we are not free —

… to what extreme degree we are not free.

Seminar Participant 2

Yes, I think it is very important to attend this seminar, certainly. I am forever learning something new, because one finds it nowhere in the media nor in any newspaper; but one learns it only here.

And I have to be grateful to Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff that she does this in spite of being denounced. One should be grateful to her and I wish her luck in her perseverance through this weather.

Seminar Participant 3

The seminar is very rich in content; it is comprehensive and highly interesting. The reasons why I myself wanted to attend this seminar are that I myself was occupationally employed for four years in the Arab region, and acquired my own impressions. And I think that our culture . . . our ideology, must be defended.

 

 

For previous posts on the “hate speech” prosecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, seeElisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.

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Appointment in Vienna: Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff met today in Vienna with U.S. congressional delegation

Appointment in Vienna

At the request of Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff met today in Vienna with a congressional delegation from the United States. In addition to Ms. Bachmann, Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Robert Pittenger (R-NC), and Steve King (R-IA) were present.

The private meeting took place this afternoon (early evening Austrian time) in a local Viennese coffeehouse. The American visitors had heard about Elisabeth’s case, and discussed it with her over Apfelstrudel, Sachertorte and Viennese coffee.

The congressmen and woman listened intently to what Elisabeth had to say. Rep. Bachmann was particularly concerned about the recent supreme court decision that upheld Elisabeth’s “hate speech” conviction.

“We don’t want this to happen in the USA,” said Ms. Bachmann. “Every American citizen has the right to express themselves. Everyone should have the security to speak.

“We are proud of you. You are a brave and unique person. God has given you a special gift to speak out.”

Rep. Gohmert and the other congressmen said they were appalled by the decision.

After the meeting, Rep. Bachmann told Elisabeth that meeting with her had been the highlight of her visit to Vienna. Then Elisabeth walked the American delegation to their next meeting with Austrian MPs. The American representatives said they were anxious to discuss the case with their Austrian counterparts.

For previous posts on the “hate speech” prosecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, seeElisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.

Posted in Free Speech, Support | Leave a comment

Will There be Finally Justice For Elisabeth At The Austrian Supreme Court Today?

UPDATE: The Austrian Supreme Court upheld Elizabeth’s conviction of denigration of religious beliefs.

Stay tuned for updates.

elisabeth before supreme court ruling 11.12.2013

I will be live blogging from the Austrian Supreme Court House with the help of journalist, Henrik R.Clausen who is accompanying Elisabeth. The Austrian Supreme Court will be hearing Elisabeth’s case on Dec. 11th (today) at 10 am.

Her lawyer told her this is to seen as a very positive sign as the court could have and would have thrown out the case in written form. So, we may assume that the case will not be thrown out. This leaves the following two possibilities:

  1. Uphold the existing conviction
  2. Elisabeth will be acquitted, or
  3. The case goes back to the lower courts.

The main question to be discussed is the merit/of what Elisabeth said. Does freedom of speech trump religious teachings?

 In the courtroom:

10:42: Henrik R.Clausen:  We are now in the courthouse. The defence atterney Dr. Rami says that an acquittal is quite likely – but adds that live reporting from the court room is not quite doable.

(TT: If that’s the case, then I will have to wait until they leave the courtroom and update the report at that time)

10:44: Henrik R.Clausen: While there is a good chance the case will be over and closed here, today, there is a reason it would be better to lose:

If the case is lost in Austria, it would be taken to the European Court of Human Rights, where the chance to win is very good. And winning it at the ECHR would have positive implications for free speech, includring the right to critize religion, all through Europe.

10:45: Henrik r.Clausen: Elisabeth getting ready for the court.

10:49: Henrik R.Clausen: The hearing is scheduled to last an hour. We cannot report directly from it, but will be taking notes and reporting right afterwards. The result first, of course!

11:51: Henrik R.Clausen: Bulk update coming below (Court is in recess):

The hearing is delayed due to the Public Prosecutor missing the 10 o’clock starting time. The Court starts with making a summary of previous proceedings, including the conviction of a € 480 fine or 60 days in prison for violation of Article 188, denigation of a legally recognized religion.

The Defence, Dr. Rami, presents his case, that since the statements of Elisabeth are based in documentation, they cannot be punishable under the law, as it does not constitute denigration.

He refers to the case of Salman Rushdie and his book ”The Satanic Verses”, which would also be shocking to the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and to the Danish Mohammad cartoons, which were explicitly meant to mock the beliefs of others. Those cartoons led to extensive riots and many deaths, a clear sign that Islamic forces seek to limit our freedom of expression, in particular as it pertains to Islam.

Dr. Rami also refers to two similar cases which led to aquittal, despite broad negative portrayals of religions, including stating ”Christianity is permeated by anti-Semitism”. What is on our desk today is benign compared to this. Further, the disputed statement (if Mohammad could rightly considered a paedophile or not) is a mere detail of a seminar about the foundations of Islam. And, as has been stated earlier, the idea that Mohammad was a paedophile makes sense in light of him having sexual relations to a minor (Aisha), as documented in Islamic scripture.

Finally, the whole point of freedom of expression is that it must be permissible to say things that cause offense, shock and unpleasent reactions among some listeners.

For the reason above, the Defense proposes that the Court delivers an unconditional acquittal.

12:05: Conviction upheld!

13:35 Henrik R.Clausen supplies more information:

The Prosecutor, held that it had no relevance that the statement in question was made during educational seminars. Further, the Prosecutor disagreed with the advertising of the seminars as being ”historical science”, and asserted instead that the intention of seminars was to defame Islam under a mantle of being ”scientific”.

As a comparison, she noted a case where somebody had asserted that microwave ovens cause severe damage to the quality and food and to public health, and had put skull warning stickers on the ovens. He was convicted for statements and actions that could not be justified by scientific methods.

Likewise, despite Islamic scripture and scholars being in agreement on the fact that Mohammad systematically had a sexual relationship with a minor (Aisha, aged 9), that is insufficient to deduce that Mohammad was a paedophile. Thus, stating so is unscientific and constitutes an impermissible excess of opinion.

The Court asks Elisabeth if she agrees with the presentation made by the Defence, which she wholeheartedly confirms.

First decision of the Court: The case will not be returned to a lower court for retrial.

It is the opinion of the Court that defaming Mohammad was a primary purpose of the seminars, rather than the purported purpose of providing factual knowledge of Islam. Thus, the seminars have made no meaningful contribution to discussions that would be of public interest, but instead had a primary purpose of defaming Mohammad, an icon of a legally recognized religion.

[Reporters' note: Having seen the slides used in the seminars, I can say with certainty that Mohammad was not a primary topic of the lectures, the focus was on Islamic law and practice.]

The Court considers the case to balance freedom of religion against the right to free expression against freedom of religion, Articles 9 and 10 Human Rights Convention. However, there is a much narrower limit to value judgements concerning religion than concerning nonreligous matters, and the notion that Mohammad may have been a paedophile constitutes an ”excess of opinion”, ”of no public interest”, as decided upon previously by the High Court.

The European Convention of Human Rights grants individual countries the right to interpret Article 10 (freedom of expression) as they see fit, and the Court holds that there are much tighter limits to freedom of expression on matters related to religion than on other issues.

Thus, the conviction for defaming a legally recognized religion is upheld.

Further, the Court considered the proportionality of the punishment relative to the crime of expression committed. The lower courts did not find unconditional imprisonment a necessity, but rather convicted Elisabeth a fine of € 480, which is fitting in light of her low income, optionally converted into 60 days of prison. The Court considers this proportionate to the crime committed and upholds it.

The complete verdict will follow in written form.

Side note: The conclusion is that Elisabeths’ case is now proceeding in full force at the European Court of Human Rights. Her defence attorney, Dr. Rami, takes this case very seriously and is with her all the way.

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Elisabeth at New English Review: Will There Finally Be Justice For Me In Austria?

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Will There Finally Be Justice for Elisabeth Sabaditsch Wolff in Austria?

               Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

In the middle of the night, I had a minor epiphany. It was an exchange of IMs via Skype  with a friend and fighter for truth about doctrinal Islam, Viennese human rights and NGO leader, Elisabeth Sabaditsch Wolff. She had just been informed by her counsel that her final appeal of decisions by municipal and state appellate courts for her 2011 conviction on hate speech charges would be heard by the AustrianSupreme Court on December 11, 2013. What raced through my mind might there be justice yet in mittel Europa?    ·Perhaps I ruminated there could be a rollback of Shariah blasphemy codes in Europe?

The Virtual Caliphate of the 57 Member Organization of Islamic Cooperation encouraged adoption of these codes.  The human rights rulings of the 56 member Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is composed of a broad swath of countries from Europe, Central Asia and North America with co-operating partners from many OIC members in the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. The OSCE Secretariat is conveniently located in Wolf’s hometown in the Vienna Hofburg, the Seat of the former Austrian Hungarian Empire. However as a leader in free speech advocacy NGOs like the Burgerbewegunga Pax Europa (Citizen movement Pax Europa) and the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA}  she and other colleagues  have contested the adoption of Shariah compliant Blasphemy code s ) in proceedings of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR) headquartered in  Warsaw, Poland.

Wolff is one of the remarkable people in Europe contesting the imposition of Blasphemy Codes restricting her right and hundreds of millions of Europeans to criticize doctrinal Islam, a right guaranteed here in America under our First Amendment. Unfortunately, a Constitutional right seemingly imperiled these days by Muslim advocacy and allied Civil liberties groups seeking to impose the false rubric of hate speech h. Wolf, as a young daughter of an Austrian diplomat and consular official in Chicago learned about those US Constitutional protections of Free Speech and the inalienable right to criticize a religion. .Something that these days most American school districts refrain from teaching in basic Core Curricula because of politically correct multiculturalism.  As a mother of a young daughter in Vienna. she sought in public lectures to discuss the de facto praise of pedophilia by Mohammed. He is the exemplar in Islamic Qur’anic doctrine, who in his 50′s consummated a marriage with his nine year old child bride, Aisha.

The subject of an expose by a leftist weekly in Vienna, Wolff was brought to trial in a mincipal court charged with violating hate speech and convicted under Austrian laws for criticizing a recognized religion.

We chronicled this in our interview with her in our collection, The West Speaks, published by the New English Review press.  She has spoken of her experience in forums across the US.

Here is what she relayed of today’s developments regarding her case in the Austrian courts:

Dear friends, I have excellent news for you.

I have been informed that the Supreme Court will be hearing my case on Dec. 11h at 10 am.

Her lawyer told her this is to seen as a very positive sign as the court could have and would have thrown out the case in written form.

So, we may assume that the case will not be thrown out. This leaves us with the following two possibilities:

  1.  I will be acquitted, or ;
  1.  The case goes back to the lower courts.

The main question to be discussed is the merit/of what I said. Does freedom of speech trump religious teachings?

Another positive sign; some of you may recall that my counsel had repeatedly endeavored to have the case tried in the media court. All motions were denied.

However, the gods are on our sides as by chance my case was allotted to the so-called media Senate.

It is very uncommon for the Supreme Court to deliberate as long as it did on my case (more than 11/2 years).

 A source familiar with the case thinks the court may want to avoid a conviction by the European Court for Human Rights.

Wolff’s comment  in  our Skype IM exchange was:

What is happening now is not the final decision, ast we appealed for an exceptional legal redress.
By scheduling the hearing, the court appears to have decided that this case needs more discussion.

If justice is borne out in this upcoming proceeding of the Austrian Supreme Court for Wolf that would be a remarkable precedent in the EU. It would add to the acquittals in the Amsterdam District Court decision   in the 2011 trial   of the Hon. Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV). It is also reflective of the April 2012 ambiguous decision of the Danish Supreme Court that denied truth as a defense while overturning a lower court conviction of Lars Hedegaard, executive editor of Dispatch International in Copenhagen. We wish Wolff the best result in the Austrian Supreme Court case. She and her daughter are anxiously awaiting the safe return home of her husband, a senior Austrian Army officer currently serving with the EU Training Mission in Mali.

Brava to Mother Courage in Vienna.

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Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa: Recognizing the Problem: Female Genital Mutilation Permitted in Teachings of Islam

OSCE Warsaw: FGM and Honor Violence

Video 4: Recognizing the Problem: Female Genital Mutilation Permitted in Teachings of Islam
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa

Related paper

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.

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Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, representing Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa at OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 8: “Freedom of Assembly and Association”

Losing the Right to Walk the Streets of London

 

Pax Europa

Below is the intervention read by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, representing Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 8 “Freedom of Assembly and Association”, Warsaw, September 27, 2013. Elisabeth’s speech on behalf of the EDL, “Losing the Right to Walk the Streets of London”, is followed by the official British response.

Many thanks to Henrik Ræder Clausen for recording these videos, and to Vlad Tepes for uploading them.

Intervention:

Right to respond, United Kingdom:

The text of the British response was not registered with OSCE. Below is the prepared text of Elisabeth’s intervention (official OSCE pdf version):

 

Losing The Right to Walk The Streets of London

BPE welcomes the statement from the EU as delivered by the United Kingdom.

Freedom of Assembly is a fundamental right enjoyed and exercised by individuals and groups, among others. This freedom is guaranteed in order to protest, again, among other reasons.

In June of this year, Tommy Robison and Kevin Carroll, both of the English Defence League, were arrested for attempting to walk to Woolwich, where Drummer Lee Rigby was hacked to death by a Muslim shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

Both Robinson and Carroll wanted to march to Woolwich to lay a wreath in commemoration of Rigby’s death and raise money for a cancer-stricken girl. The police put severe restrictions on the march, banning the two men from walking past a large mosque in East London and the borough of Tower Hamlets. In addition, a man was allowed to step forward and assault both Robinson and Carroll despite police presence. Later, they were arrested by a senior police officer on the pretext of obstructing the police.

Let me remind you that all the two men did was march while wearing t-shirts bearing the words “Support our troops”.

Ladies and gentlemen, this was a charity walk. By denying access to Tower Hamlets, the British government has effectively ceased sovereignty to that area by banning Robinson and Carroll from walking from point A to point B.

What is certain is that citizens are banned from exercising their right to walk the streets of their capital city; thus this constitutes a restriction on their freedom of movement.

Recommendations:

  • BPE reminds the United Kingdom of its commitments to facilitate public assemblies.
  • BPE calls upon the United Kingdom to effectively prosecute those who attack public rallies.
  • Finally, BPE calls upon ODIHR to send observers to assess the situation on the ground in the United Kingdom.

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.

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Elisabeth for Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting: Why Don’t Minorities Integrate Succeccfully?

Why Don’t Minorities Integrate Successfully?

Below is the intervention read by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, representing Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 1 “Preventing Aggressive Nationalism”, Warsaw, September 23, 2013:

Many thanks to Henrik Ræder Clausen for recording this video, and to Vlad Tepes for uploading it:

Below is the prepared text of Elisabeth’s intervention (originally published by ICLA):

National Minorities — Integration

It is important to point out the practices that support effective integration of national minorities. To this end, I would like to mention Austria’s inclusive policy of providing access to goods and services such as extensive language course financed by the taxpayer – provided to its national minorities, newly arrived immigrants, and others.

However, despite all the financial support extended, certain groups display a persistent inability to integrate into the host society.

In addition to tax money, numerous other policies are in place to promote successful integration. The question thus remains: why do certain national minorities find integration so challenging?

We therefore recommend to ODIHR that a working group be established tasked with understanding what additional reasons, e.g. cultural and religious reasons, there might be for the lack of successful integration.

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.

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