The first hearing in Elisabeth’s case will take place in the court of Vienna on November 23rd, starting at 9:00 CET. In collaboration with EuropeNews and Tundra Tabloids, we will be live blogging the event from the morning, aiming to decipher exactly what is the offense Elisabeth is charged with.
It is expected that the entire audio recording from the FPÖ seminars will be played in court, permitting the prosecutor to explain in detail what cannot be permitted to be said, and why the religiousness of Islamic teachings makes it so.
The defence, on its part, can be expected to document the accuracy and truthfulness of what was said, thus focusing on the core problem: Is it illegal to speak the truth about Islam?
The live blogging will report core issues as they unfold during the day, which can become detailed and extensive. At the end of the day, an edited report of the highlights will be published.
The live-blogging will take place on this URL. Be sure to bookmark it, and reload it on a regular basis Tuesday.
NOTE: Special thanks to Niels Thomsen from Sappho for doing the cartoon.
HEARING BEGINS AT 10:00 AUSTRIAN TIME: Cross posted from the Finnish blog, the Tundra Tabloids.
9:20 Henrik Clausen states that “we’re outside the court room, waiting for Elisabeth to appear at 9:00.”
Picture credited to http://sosheimat.wordpress.com/
UPDATE: More pictures from today’s proceedings found here.
10:34: Opening remarks
The room has seats for 15, 25 spectators there. ATV and other press asks for comments, but on advice of the lawyer ESW says ”No comments now, after the hearings”.
The judge informs ESW about her rights, that all she says can be used against her.
The public prosecutor makes a short summary of various conclusions from ESW, taken out of the context from 8 hours of teachings. Without the context, they sound omnious, like speaking of a ”Burqa ghost”, comparing her statements to those of Susanne Winter, mentioning that Muhammad married a child of 6, as well as the risk that we will eventually have a civil war.
Defence lawyer talks of the principles of gender equality, freedom of religion and the lack of reciprocity that exists in Islam, for example that other religions cannot be freely excercised in several Islamic countries. That ESW grew up in Islamic countries and has experienced the situation of women there directly.
He continues to explain that the statements mentioned were taken seriously out of context, and that some were not public, thus not relevant to the case. And that we should play the 8 hours of recordings to understand the context.
He proceeds to invoke three expert witmesses who will testify that ESW speaks the truth:
10:53: The judge inquires if we are talking Islamic extremism or of Islam as such?
Elisabeth explains that we are talking Islam as such, as defined by its scripture, and quotes Erdogan that there is no moderate Islam anyway.
The judge accepts that we can play the tapes.
Then proceeds to ask about us being lied to 24 hours a day. Elisabeth explains the concept of Taqiyya. The judge says: ”That is your interpretation”, to which Elisabeth responds: ”No, this is the canonical interpretation”.
Next question is: ”Is Islam in a never-ending war with the West?”
Elisabeth refers to history and newspapers to document that, and that Jihad has at times been considered a pillar of Islam.
11:15: The ”burqa ghost” story is related.
Elisabeth took a photo of a woman in burqa in Meitlinger Hauptstrasse, Vienna, and told about this in her seminars. It is difficult to figure out why the public prosecutor finds this offensive, not to mention illegal. The defence asks about this. Elisabeth explains a few things about freedom for women – all women – to decide for themselves.
A reference is then made to debates at OSCE, where she discussed child molestation, and says: Christian cardinals molest children in conflict with their religion, Muslims in line with theirs. As background the marriage between Muhammad and Aisha is related, as documented by several Hadith authors.
Paedophilia is discussed, in light of Muhammad being the perfect example for Muslims, as stated in Quran 33:21. That means everything Muhammad ever did or said, which is in the hadith.
Elisabeth explains what the hadith collections are, how they constitute an indispensable part of Islam, due to 33:21 and similar suras. And emphasises that she is not making up statements, merely quoting canonical Islamic scripture.
Henrik Clausen: [Now apostacy - more later]
11:34: The Judge opens a discussion if we’re talking of ”All Muslims” here.
Elisabeth says no, for most Muslims do not know what is in the Quran, which is in a language (Arabic) they do not understand, and thus place their confidence in the imams for interpretations.
Judge: ”Is every Muslim a Jihadist?”
Elisabeth: ”No, not at all. But Jihad is an obligation for Muslims.”
Elisabeth: ”Converts, not cultural Muslims, are problematic.”
Elisabeth: ”This is about the teachings of Islam, not about Muslims.”
Judge: ”You said Mulisms in the seminars?”
Elisabeth: ”Yes, in context that is needed to understand the relevance of this.”
Judge: ”What percentage of Muslims are Jihadis?”
Elisabeth: ”I do not know. Not the majority. One promille is enough to be a problem, though”.
Then the quote about ”Islam is shit” is debated. Elisabeth points out that she was debating, using visual quotes, if it is legal or punishable to say ”Islam is shit”. Thus, what we are discussing here is the meta-question:
Is it illegal, or punishable, to debate the legality of saying: ”Islam is shit”?
12:06: The defense lawyer goes through some point of the charges, asking Elisabeth:
Lawyer: You said: ”Muslims kill due to Islamic teachings. Christians also kill, but not due to their religious teachings.” Are there not verses in the Bible that encourage killing?
Elisabeth: Not in the New Testament, and not actively used today.
Defence lawyer explains the death threats against Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the security she needs to live under.
Elisabeth tells about the killing of Theo van Gogh and the Quran quotes used to justify that.
Lawyer asks: ”Are there child marriages in Islamic countries?”
Elisabeth: ”yes, for example Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan. Also the late ayatollah Khomeini recommended paedophilia, and the current Iranian President Ahmadjinedad recommends his teachings.
Elisabeth: According to Islamic law, these marriages are legal and justifiable.
Lawyer: Are corporal punishments, like chopping off of limbs, part of Islamic law?
Elisabeth: Yes, this is described for instance in Reliance of the Traveler.
Henrik Clausen: [Defence lawyer and Elisabeth have explained about the classical Sunni Islamic book "Reliance of the Traveller", unwrapping a fresh copy in court.]
12:40 :The lawyer contines to ask Elisabeth to explain various statements:
Lawyer: What is meant by ”We are decadent”?
Elisabeth: That is the point of view of Islamic fundamentalists.
Lawyer: What is meant by ”We do not want Sharia here, full stop”?
Elisabeth: Free, secular socities is what we want.
Lawyer: What is meant by ”Islamic law is not compatible with free societies, we need to understand this.”?
Elisabeth: Islam is a whole, and this whole is not compatible with free societies like the Austrian.
Laywer: Did you see any veiled Muslim men?
Elisabeth (laughing): No, this is an obligation just for women.
Lawyer: You were referring to Paris, Brussels, Rotterdam. What is the meaning of that?
Elisabeth: This is a reference to the no-go zones, where Sharia is effectively in effect. There immigrant youth torches cars, throw stones at the police etcetera.
Prosecutor: Are each and every one of these persons Muslims?
Elisabeth: The majority are.
Lawyer: What is meant when you say: ”How many times have we been told that Islam is a Religion of Peace?” Is this an incitement to hate or violence?
Elisabeth: I do not mean to incite hatred or violence. We need to be informed, make people aware, inform our politicians and write letters to the newspapers.
Lawyer: What is meant by ”We do not want gender apartheid, polygamy”?
Elisabeth explains polygamy in Islam, and the fact that this is a reality in Europe, today.
Elisabeth finally tells about the First Amendment of the US Constitution, the absolute right to express ones’ opinions, as a fundamental prerequisite for a sound democracy.
[At this point, more people have arrived. There are 18 seats for the audience, 30-35 listeners total.
13:08 Breaking for lunch.
14:00: The NEWS journalist Dolna was called as witness. Technicalities of her recording equipment are discussed by the judge, including the fact that of the first seminar only half an hour was recorded.
The judge inquired about some of the statements quoted being from breaks, not from the seminar proper. 3-4 persons heard those, not 32 or more, the criterium for a statement being ‘public’. This is important for legal reasons, as only statements made to a large group can be punishable.
The judge dug further into the methods of the journalist. Why did the journalist quote statements made in the breaks, not part of the lecture? The journalists says ”For journalistic reasons”. Also for dramaturgic reasons, that it makes for a more dramatic and catching article.
Further, the judge asked if it was made clear in advance that the journalist would be recording the seminars. She responded that she had not told anyone, as her work constituted ”Investigative journalism”, a journalistic tool.
The lawyer probed further into the issue of the quotes being part of the prepared seminar, or offhand comments in the breaks.
Next, the events concerning the opera ”Idomeneo” were discussed. The background is that the performance of this classical Mozart piece by Deutsche Oper Berlin, which was cancelled due to Islamic pressure. The director had added decapitation of Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad to the original play. Fear of unrest caused the play to be cancelled. The well-known German magazine Focus had, in that context, written that we should under no circumstances cave in to pressure like this.
This rounded off the day after roughly 3 hours of hearings. Since there is a need to play the complete recordings (8 hours) from the seminars, the next hearing was scheduled for January 18th.
The proceedings had a serious breach of procedure: The journalist from NEWS.at had not been summoned as a witness, yet was permitted to take the stand. Witnesses are not permitted to be present at the hearings before they are summoned. The defence lawyer will look into possible consequences of this.
This is the end of reporting for today. Please join us on January 18th 2011 for more news from the frontiers of defending the free societies of the West.