Following Islamic law, appeals court upholds conviction of Sabaditsch-Wolf for “denigrating” Islam

In October 2010 Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf of Austria was indicted for making the most generic sorts of criticisms of Islam that any Islam critic might make. In February 2011 she was convicted of “denigration” of Islam for having said that the Muhammad “had a thing for little girls.” Now her conviction has been upheld.

On one hand, as I’ve argued before, it is silly for Islam critics to call Muhammad a “pedophile,” or say that he had a “thing” for little girls, because the context of his marriage to Aisha was entirely different from what those terms suggest to modern ears. On the other hand, it is simply inevitable that modern people will object to the fact that this man—whose behavior is the model for all Muslims—married a nine year old girl, and it is inevitable that they will express their objections. And this normal expression of a normal opinion is now against the law in Europe. As Diana West explains, Wolf has not been convicted for stating the fact (which is uncontested by the court ) that Muhammad had sexual relations with a girl; she has been convicted for disapproving of Muhammad for having such relations. The court found that it is wrong “to look down on sex with children if the alleged perp, centuries ago, was the Islamic prophet.”

West continues:

As Henrik Rader Clausen put it, live-blogging the proceedings for the blog Gates of Vienna, Elisabeth, in the court’s eyes, expressed “an excess of opinion that can not be tolerated. It is a ridiculing that cannot be justified.” Cannot be tolerated, cannot be justified by whom, by what? The answer is by Islamic law. It is literally against Islamic law to criticize or expose Islam or its prophet (Muhammad) in any adverse way. This prohibition against freedom of conscience is now part of Austrian law as well. That the verdict upheld against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff actually imperils the most innocent and vulnerable among us—little girls whose molestation the courts have implicitly excused as a religious rite—only underscores the depravity of the Vienna high court….

In early 2010, [Afshin Ellian, a Dutch columnist], commenting on the trial of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders for allegedly anti-Islamic statements, had this to say:

“If you cannot say that Islam is a backward religion and that Muhammad is a criminal, then you are living in an Islamic country, my friend, because there you also cannot say such things. I may say Christ was a fag and Mary was a whore, but apparently I should stay off of Muhammad.”

How did Westerners lose the freedom to express the most normal and reasonable opinions about Islam? They lost it by allowing Muslims into the West. To quote again my 1997 speech, “How Immigration Destroys Our Culture and Our Freedom,” which I quoted yesterday in connection the the beating of EDL leader Tommy Robinson by Pakistani Muslims:

[T]he freedom that we’ve given to cultures that don’t honor freedom destroys freedom…. As the numbers of Muslims grow in the West, we will inevitably lose our freedom to say anything critical about Islam.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 23, 2011 03:11 PM | Send

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