EU High Court: Woman’s Criminal Conviction for Muhammad Slur Does Not Violate Freedom of Expression

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled last week that an Austrian woman’s freedom of expression was not violated after she called the Prophet Muhammad a pedophile.

According to the court’s ruling, the Austrian courts who prosecuted the woman “carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected.”

The woman, who was not revealed by the court, had stated in two public seminars that the Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to a 6-year-old girl was tantamount to pedophilia. Muhammad consummated the marriage when the girl turned 9-years-old.

He “liked to do it with children,” the women said during one of the seminars. “A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?”

In 2011, an Austrian court ruled that the woman had disparaged religious doctrines and ordered her to pay a fine of $547.

In its summary, the ECHR argued that the Austrian courts who prosecuted the woman were justified because her statements about the prophet of Islam go “beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate” and and “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace”.

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