In the account below, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff describes the recent discussion of her case in the Austrian MSM, in which she was first supported, then attacked, and then allowed to publish a rebuttal (albeit partial). As she notes, the fortunate aspect of all this is that her case was even mentioned, since up until now there has been a blanket of silence over the whole affair in the media.
Many thanks to JLH for doing the bulk translations.
Who’s Really the Sick One Here?
by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
There are currently only two Austrian journalists who are willing and able to take up matters of the Counterjihad in the media without any of the PC nonsense that usually pervades the world of the MSM. One of these journalists is Christian Ortner, whose own website promotes liberal — i.e. Friedrich Hayek’s — values, and who frequently writes critically about the European Union, Islam, and other “untouchable” topics. He recently wrote an op-ed in Die Presse about the suppression of free speech in Europe which was also supportive of my case.
Naturally, the Muslim side needed to counter these opinions with the Muslim point of view, and sent an intellectual to do the job. Mr. Farid Hafez is a political scientist and who, along with another political scientist, is the co-editor of the yearly “Handbook of Islamophobia” in Austria.
I usually choose to ignore comments like those of Mr. Hafez. But in this case I felt compelled to counter because it attacked me personally. Much to my surprise — and that of the Austrian Counterjihad — my comment was published right away. Knowing what we know about the Austrian media, this is nothing less than sensational!
First, the opinion piece by Christian Ortner from “Criss-Cross” the editorial column of Die Presse:
There Is Freedom of Expression in Europe — So Long as Only the One Opinion Is Expressed
By Christian Ortner, Die Presse
Anyone nowadays who is especially critically of Islam must be prepared to be discredited as mentally ill or even criminal. What does that remind us of?
Shortly after he had maintained in a TV discussion that the majority of drug dealers are “blacks or Arabs,” the French columnist Eric Zemmour (Le Figaro) was convicted of “incitement to racism” by a Parisian criminal court. The judge was not impressed that even the socialist ex-interior minister Jean-Pierre Chevènement commented that Zemmour had only “spoken the truth.”
In the same way recently, the Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard had to answer a charge for his statement in a private circle that women in Islam had “no value except as baby machines” (Acquittal, but to be sure, only on technical grounds). Conversely, as is well-known, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was convicted because she spoke of the Prophet Mohammed’s sex life in an actionable manner.
Even the rather more upright police chief of Hannover, Uwe Binas, came in briefly for public criticism, because he had commented on the criminality of foreign youth in his city with the careless formulation, “apparently these groups tend toward different conflict resolution strategies than Germans.” At any rate, Binas kept his job — unlike Thilo Sarrazin, whose views cost him his job as head of the Bundesbank.
The more such incidents become public, the stronger grows the impression among the public that freedom of expression in the Europe of the 21st century is winding down; especially when it is a question of Islam and the — overwhelmingly Muslim — immigration to Europe. (It has been a long time since anyone lost his job because of inappropriate remarks about the Christian God.)
Unfortunately, the impression is not false. On the one hand, freedom of expression in most European states is ever more limited by increasingly restrictive laws concerning Islam, mostly under the pretext of preventing discrimination. On the other hand, the moral bludgeon of “Islamophobia” threatens anyone who does not find it okay that Western values seem to be dispensable for many Muslims living here.
And “Islamophobia”, as Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan explains, is “a crime against humanity.” Anyone who criticizes Islam is an Islamophobe. Or at least an “alarmist,” as the Frankfurter Allgemeine features editor Patrick Bahners is pleased to title his recent polemic against allegedly rampant “Islamophobia.”
It is unfortunately not useful for open “republican discourse” ( Jean-Pierre Chevènement) if criticism of Islam — even if excessive in individual cases — is dismissed as a syndrome (“phobia”) or at worst, punished as criminal (“incitement to racism”). During the Soviet period of communism, dissidents were designated as mentally ill and/or criminal. It does not suit the liberal European constitutional state to use similar methods to persecute the advocacy of opinions, no matter how wayward in individual cases.
Next came the response from Farid Hafez, also in Die Presse:
When Freedom of Expression Is Confused With Incitement Against Islam
Guest Commentary. A response to Christian Ortner’s column “There Is Freedom of Expression in Europe — So Long as Only the One Opinion Is Expressed”
Not everyone who criticizes Islam is an Islamophobe. Whoever maintains that, as Christian Ortner recently did in his “Criss-Cross” (Die Presse, March 3), misunderstands the countless serious studies which have been done in this area, and brings the concept of “Islamophobia” into discredit.
That it is precisely Patrick Bahner’s “Alarmists” that is being criticized is that much more astonishing, if one notes the limited number of such works in comparison to the absolute multitude of writings with Islamophobic content beginning with Oriana Fallaci, Necla Kelek, Ayaan Hirsi Ali all the way through Thilo Sarrazin to Henryk Broder — all bestsellers.
One example offered by Ortner was Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. On her home page, she poses with Geert Wilders, the global crusader against Islam, and demands freedom of expression. She also claims that violence is in Islamic theology. In Austria, she says, speaking about Islam as it is taught to Muslims is discounted as an insult.
And what was her audience? No, this time, it was not the leaders of the right-populist parties in Israel. She said these words in Florida at the founding meeting of United West, with the motto “The Unification of Western Civilization against Sharia Islam.”
A Debatable Verdict
That the case against Sabaditsch-Wolff for incitement was dropped (among other things, she said “Islam is hostile,” “the Koran is evil”) and only the charge of denigration of religious doctrine led to a conviction is certainly a dubious result.
What kind of philosophy does this woman represent when she messianically claims that she began her anti-Islam campaign for her daughter? Because in the end this daughter would be living in a country where burqas, and honor killing as well as genital mutilation will be considered cultural enrichment. It is beyond debate that this view of the world is sick. Let us assume that this is simply consciously-applied intelligence. Then we are talking about hostility to Islam as a strategy. That does not make things any better. Because this strategy must fall on fertile ground.
The Delusion of Islamization
Here is where the insanity becomes really obvious. It is about the delusion of Islamization which is used over and over by rightist politicians. As the delusion of Jewish capital that ruled the world existed, so today the delusion of Islamization is being pushed.
Mr. Ortner complains that Thilo Sarrazin lost his job because of the truncation of freedom of expression. It can correctly be determined that there was a not unprofitable and agreeable compensation for Mr. Sarrazin.
Let us take note of the racism report by ZARA* that is relevant to Austria and determines that more frequently than is reported women with head scarves are rejected in the job market and are exposed to racist comments in everyday life. This exclusion of people marked out as “other” has nothing to do with freedom of expression.
Verbal exclusion and discriminatory party ads go hand-in-hand with everyday discrimination. To an extent the verdict against Sabaditsch-Wolff is also a sign of a sound political culture, if that kind of incitement cannot be paid for by tax money.
Farid Hafez is a political scientist, teaches at the university, is publisher of the Yearbook for Research in Islamophobia.
Die Presse surprised me by publishing my response. However, the editors cut parts of my text, some of which were significant. Here’s the published version:
The Islamization of Europe Is No Delusion
by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
Guest commentary. A response to yesterday’s essay, “When Freedom of Expression Is Confused With Incitement Against Islam”, by Farid Hafez
Farid Hafez, a so-called expert on Islamophobia, comments on me personally in a Die Presse guest commentary (March 30). That is fine, since until now my case has been completely ignored by the Austrian media. I would certainly prefer it if Hafez would deal with the content of my talks rather than launching attacks against me.
But that is is precisely what he does not do. Like so many other Islam apologists, he avoids answering me and other critics of Islam with factual arguments (We are not anti-Islam, but are against Islamization, which is not a delusion, but reality). It is these very apologists who constantly shift from the factual to the emotional level.
I assume that Mr. Hafez is acquainted with the contents of the Koran, the Hadiths and the Sira (the biography of Mohammed). I also assume that Mr. Hafez is acquainted with the over 200 Koran verses which explicitly call for hatred against and killing of the so-called kuffar (Islamic designation for infidels, ergo non-Muslims) and are preached week after week in mosques all over the world. Mr. Hafez, I am not “claiming” anything. I am simply proving the calls for violence by quoting from the Koran.
The Fear Felt by the Left and the Islamists
But it is much simpler to ignore the content and instead to smear the messenger. That is true for me as it is for Geert Wilders. Precisely the use of the concept “global crusader” reveals Mr. Hafez as someone who is quite familiar with the language of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. This organization is the leader in matters of Islamophobia.
They do not care that a phobia is an irrational fear and Islam critics are in no way irrational. There is no Islamophobia. There is only the fear of Leftists and Islamists that normal people could be informed about the real Islam.
Hafez further laments “this exclusion of people marked out as ‘other.’ which is not a question of freedom of expression.” Yet only three percent of Turks want to marry a local woman, while Turkish women are forbidden to marry non-Turkish men or infidels — as opposed to the 80 percent of Russian immigrants who do not feel compelled to look for a “pure believer” in the homeland. Who is excluding whom, Mr. Hafez?
The Tip of the Iceberg
And isn’t honor killing in this connection just the tip of the iceberg? If a father tells his son to cut off the daughter’s head, because she may have been too friendly with an “infidel,” is that not a kind of “exclusion of a person marked out as ‘other’”? In this context, let us also not forget the preachers who week after week, with the help of Koran verses 7:166, 2:65 and 5:60, designate Jews as apes and pigs and thereby exclude them.
Among other things, Mr. Hafez questions my philosophy. I can explain it to him: I stand for absolute freedom of expression, democracy, universal human rights (as opposed to the Islamic Human Rights of the Cairo Declaration of 1990), pluralism, equality of men and women. What is reprehensible about that? In closing, my thanks to Mr. Hafez for his remote diagnosis that my point of view is “sick.” I feel quite healthy.
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff lived in Iran, Kuwait and Libya and has dedicated herself to the “Battle against the Islamization of Europe.” In February she was convicted of “denigration of religious doctrines” by the Viennese regional court.
Below is the original text of the letter I wrote to Die Presse. The portions that appear in the original and not the published version are bolded and colored red. The two texts were translated separately, and Die Presse did its own editing, so the comparable passages may differ slightly in wording, even where the sense is the same:
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, M.A.
Housewife and Mother
Critique of Islam: Not “sick” But Very Healthy!
Farid Hafez — a so-called expert on Islamophobia — is now commenting on me personally. That is fine, since until now my case has been completely ignored by the Austrian media following the motto, “Don’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.” Admittedly, I would find it preferable, and more significant, if Hafez dealt with the content of my many talks rather than launching ad hominen attacks against me. But he, like so many other Islam apologists, specifically avoids answering me and the many other critics of Islam with factual arguments. It is these very apologists who always switch from the factual to the emotional level, because they are so vulnerable through their own documents.
I assume Mr. Hafez is acquainted with the contents of the Koran, the Hadiths and the Sira (the biography of Mohammed). I therefore also assume that he is acquainted with the over 200 Koran verses which explicitly call for hatred against and killing of so-called kuffar (Islamic designation for infidels, ergo non-Muslims) and are preached week after week in mosques. I further assume that Mr. Hafez knows the Doctrine of Abrogation which makes legally obligatory the replacement of several, older Meccan verses with later, substantially more hostile Medinan verses. Mr. Hafez, I am not “claiming” anything — I am simply proving the calls for violence by quoting from the Koran. Now, before I am accused of arbitrarily quoting out of context — There is no context in the Koran, since the verses are arranged in order of their length and not according to connectedness. But of course Mr. Hafez knows all this quite well.
Mr. Hafez — like all other representatives of the Islamic religious community — does not go into all this. It is much simpler to ignore the content and instead smear and revile the messenger. That is true for me as it is for Geert Wilders. The turn of phrase “global crusader” reveals Mr. Hafez as someone who is very familiar with the language of the Organization of the Islamic Conference — the second-largest world-wide organization — for the OIC, which is the leader in affairs having to do with Islamopobia. It is of no interest to them that a phobia is an irrational fear, while critics of Islam have been dealing with the teachings of Islam for many years. There is no Islamophobia. There is only the fear of the Left and the Islamists that normal people will be informed about the true Islam.
Mr. Hafez further laments “this exclusion of people marked out as ‘other’ which has nothing to do with freedom of expression.” And yet only three percent of Turks want to marry a local woman, while it is forbidden for Turkish women to marry non-Turkish men or infidels. This in contrast to 80 percent of Russian immigrants, who do not feel compelled to seek a “pure-faith” woman in their homeland. Who is excluding whom, Mr. Hafez?
And isn’t honor killing in this context only the tip of the iceberg? When a father tells his son to cut off the daughter’s head because she may have become too friendly with an “infidel,” is that not a kind of “exclusion of the person marked out as as other”? And in this context, let us not forget the preachers who week after week use Koran verses 7:166, 2:65 and 5:60 to designate Jews as apes and pigs and thus exclude them.
Among other things, Mr. Hafez questions my philosophy. I can explain it to him, because it is quite simple: I stand for absolute freedom of expression, democracy, universal human rights (as opposed to the Islamic human rights of the Cairo Declaration of 1990). pluralism, equality of man and woman. I ask you: what is reprehensible in that?
In closing, I thank Mr. Hafez for his remote diagnosis that my point of view is “sick.” But I feel quite healthy.
|*||zara.or.at (Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus Arbeit or “Civil Courage and Anti-Racism Efforts”) is an Islamophilic organization whose purpose and labors may be compared to CAIR in America, i.e. taqiyya.|
For previous posts on the “hate speech” prosecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, see Elisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.