Sunday 28 October 2018

Court rules Insulting Prophet Muhammad not covered by freedom of expression

Freedom of speech and expression are good to air one's inner self so long these do not hurt a person,  a group or a community. It is often seen in the West, however, that this liberty has been misused when it comes to one's personal beliefs, faith and religion. And when it comes to religion, Islam is the most targeted religion around the world. The making of caricatures in France a few years ago, though had a protection of freedom of speech and expression ruling, it did hurt the Muslims all over the world,  but their protests were never registered, for the people of other faiths other than Islam find in convenient to take their inborn revenge against Islam under the protection of this ruling.

However, there has been a breeze of fresh air as a court has recently ruled that Insulting Prophet Muhammad not covered by freedom of expression and it is liable to punishment. And how so true this is as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is more dearer to the Muslims than even their families. While the Christians and Jews may mock their prophets, the Muslims would never allow this at any cost.

The court ruling came in a case in which an Austrian national identified as Mrs. S. held two seminars in 2009, entitled “Basic Information on Islam,” in which she defamed the Prophet Muhammad’s marriage.

According to a statement released by the court on Thursday, the Vienna Regional Criminal Court found that these statements implied that Muhammad had pedophilic tendencies, and in February 2011 convicted Mrs. S. for disparaging religious doctrines.

A panel of seven-judges of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday, 25th October 2018,  ruled that: "Defaming the Prophet Muhammad “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate" and "could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace” and thus exceeds the permissible limits of freedom of expression" and upheld the decision of a lower court decision. [1]

The court’s decision follows common sense and decency, yet will undoubtedly upset many on the far-right and so-called “liberals” that routinely appeal to “free speech” to spread falsehoods and attack disadvantaged minorities—ironically the very objectives for the introduction of free speech laws in the first place. [2]

It may be added that Austria is considered to be one of the most Islamophobic countries in Europe at present. The right-wing coalition came to power by promising to deal with the migrant crisis and stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment. And only in June this year, the chancellor Sebastian Kurz shut down seven mosques and expelled up to 60 imams, invoking the usual racist dog whistles of “parallel societies, political Islam and radicalization”. [2]

Photo | References: | 1 | 2
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