The following editorial is from Kurier , which is a pro-EU, pro-immigration daily in Austria. Thus it is quite surprising that the editor-in-chief actually understands the implications of Tuesday’s verdict in the Vienna appeals court against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.
Many thanks to JLH for translating this piece:
A Verdict With Consequences
Islam defends itself against insults. Christian churches do not (yet).
December 21, 2011
Anyone who commits religious harassment against Islam must reckon with judicial condemnation. On Tuesday, the Regional Supreme Court of Vienna upheld a lower court conviction, according to which the presenter of an FPÖ seminar gave voice to an “excessive opinion.” In its decision, it referred to the European Court of an Rights, according to which freedom of expression does not mean that it is permissible to baselessly insult others. So far, so good.
This could also change dealings with Christian religions. We are right now in a historical phase when denigration of Christian symbols is a trivial offense. It is interesting that Islam may be what brings this development to an end. The most recent instances, such as piddling on a crucifix (in Munich) or a Madonna covered by a condom (in St. Pölten) clearly come under the blasphemy paragraphs in the law. But because no one — even bishops — wants to look like an art-hating fundamentalist, they are too cowardly to defend themselves. The Blues, who are the only ones who do battle against this, are unceremoniously dispatched (even by judges). Justice, however, is not expected to have a double standard. One could wonder whether the most recent judicial decision will also apply to Christians in the future.
For previous posts on the “hate speech” prosecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, see Elisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.