Saturday, February 19, 2011

ESW: Mark Steyn on the Verdict

Mark Steyn weighed in today on Tuesday’s conviction of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. Below are some excerpts from what he had to say:

The case of the part-time pedophile

Well, that’s what Perry Mason would have called it. But 21st century Europe is a long way from Erle Stanley Gardner. On Tuesday, in a story headlined “Austrian Court Upholds Islam’s Blasphemy Rules”, Nina Shea reported:

Today, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a young Viennese mother, was convicted under section 283 of the Austrian penal code of vilifying religious teachings for her negative commentary on Islam in a lecture before a political-party gathering in Vienna; she was fined 480 Euros. Sabaditsch-Wolff, a diplomat’s daughter, had lived and worked for several years in various Middle Eastern Muslim countries, and at the lecture in question spoke critically of the treatment of women and the practice of jihad in Iran, Libya, and other places that she had lived in.

Frau Sabaditsch-Wolff’s case came up while I was off with various health issues, but I said a few words about it when I was in Ottawa. This was Austria’s contribution to the hottest trend on the Continent — heresy trials. Officially, Mrs Sabaditsch-Wolff and Geert Wilders and Lars Hedegaard are in the dock as heretics against post-Christian Europe’s new religion of “multiculturalism”. But that’s just a transitional stage. As I wrote of the Wilders trial:

The good news is that the Openbaar Ministerie is doing such a grand job with its pilot program of apostasy prosecutions you’ll barely notice when sharia is formally adopted.

Elisabeth’s case attracted less attention than most of the others. In a follow-up, Nina Shea speculated as to why that might be:

This is probably due to the fact that she is an ordinary person and not an acclaimed writer, politician, or celebrity (think Mark Steyn, Geert Wilders, and Brigitte Bardot) — the most prominent examples of the growing ranks of Western Europeans and Canadians who have faced legal problems for criticizing Islamic teachings.

I think it’s also that Austria does not resonate in the imagination as a beacon of individual liberty in the way that the anglophone democracies and certain Continental countries do — or did. Nevertheless, this is a very dark decision. If Lars Hedegaard was acquitted on a technicality, Mrs Sabaditsch-Wolff was convicted on one. See if you can follow the judge’s “thinking”:

The integration of Muslims is surely a question of particular public interest — you are allowed to be critical — but not incitement of hatred…

The language used in the seminars were not inciting hatred, but the utterances regarding muhammad and paedophilia were punishable.

“Paedophilia” is factually incorrect, since paedophilia is a sexual preference which solely or mainly is directed towards children. Nevertheless, it does not apply to Mohammad. He was still married to Aisha when she was 18. It is a “denigration of religious teachings” and are found guilty and sentenced to 120 days, which approaches the minimum of €480.

So, although Mohammed deflowered Aisha when she was nine, it is “factually incorrect” to call him a pedophile because he was still hot for her when she was in her late teens? As a point of law, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish — and you’re gonna finish on top! Does this judicial ruling apply to all Austrians partial to a piece of underage totty? For example, Wolfgang Priklopil:

The Austrian girl who was kidnapped at the age of ten and imprisoned for eight years in a dungeon-like basement room by a pedophile predator who committed suicide when she escaped last week…

Whoa, whoa, hold up there. How can you say Herr Priklopil was a “pedophile” when he was still having sex with her when she was 18? And so were all his friends:…

Read the rest at Mark Steyn’s place.

As a recap, here is the video recorded in Ottawa last October of an interview with Mark Steyn about Elisabeth’s case:


Previous posts about the hate speech case against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff:

2009 Dec 5 Fighting a Hate Speech Charge in Austria
    11 Heckling the Counterjihad
    14 Whose Law?
    17 Defaming the Muslims of Pinkafeld
2010 Mar 11 A Mother and an Activist
    20 An Austrian “Hate School”
    22 Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff at the Freedom Defense Initiative
    29 Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff and the Wiener Akademikerbund
  Sep 9 “Islam is a Political Ideology Disguised as a Religion”
    16 “Justice Must Not Be Made the Handmaiden of Sharia”
    17 The Truth Does Not Matter
  Oct 11 Interview With Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
    16 Is the Truth Illegal in Austria?
    20 A Court Date for Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
    21 BPE Press Release on Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
    22 Elisabeth’s Voice: An Appeal
    23 Elisabeth’s Voice: A Follow-Up
    24 Raising Our Voices
    25 Elisabeth’s Voice is Growing
    27 Elisabeth’s Voice: More Information
    27 A Bit More Media Attention?
    28 We Are Elisabeth’s Voice
    30 Elisabeth’s Voice in Amsterdam
    31 Mark Steyn Joins Elisabeth’s Voice
  Nov 2 Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff: Target of Western Shariah
    6 Anatomy of a Discussion with a Leftist Journalist
    8 ESW in the WSJ
    10 “The Left is Very Much the New Far Right”
    11 Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff Versus the State of Denial
    17 Elisabeth’s Voice: An Update
    15 The New English Review Interviews Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
    20 Live-Blogging the Trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
    20 The ESW Defense File
    23 The Trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Day 1
    27 The Time That is Given Us
    28 ESW at Trykkefrihedsselskabet
  Dec 5 An Oasis of Civilization in a Desert of Barbarism
    22 An Unusual Hobby
    23 In Demand Everywhere
2011 Jan 14 ESW: Thoughts Before a Trial
    14 Live-Blogging the Trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Part Two
    16 ESW: A Submission to the Court in Vienna
    18 The Trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Day 2
    21 Elisabeth’s Voice, Phase Two
    28 Geert Wilders Supports Elisabeth’s Voice
  Feb 5 Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Luton
    10 A Dangerous Mindset
    13 An Appeal to Rectify an Oversight
    14 ESW: Submission III to the Court in Vienna
    15 ESW: The RT Interview
    15 The Trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Day 3
    16 Time to Say Thank You
    18 Convicted for Calling Muhammad a “Paedophile”
    18 Sentence First — Verdict Afterwards

Hat tip: Lexington.

3 comments:

IoshkaFutz said...

Weeks past, I was "admiring" modern art. Duchamp's store-bought Urinal fetched 1,800,000 dollars and the world's most expensive piece of modern artwork, Pollock's No. 5 went off the block at Sotheby's at 140,000,000 green ones.

What does this have to do with the recent verdicts, some going this way and some going that with technicalities pulled out of a hat?

Well let's say you're a modern artist who wants to enter his latest creation, a gray triangle with a pink dot at the center of it, at a biennale. You go and are refused, but on your way out, you see that another artist offering a gray triangle with a green dot in the middle has gotten in.

What besides whim, connections, power and at very best luck could have been the criteria for his acceptance and your refusal?

My silly conclusion? Art shows future trends, even precedes them. Unless we come to our senses, Justice will increasingly resemble modern art: no rhyme, no reason, no skill, no truth, no deeper meaning, but mere whim, connections, power and luck (expediency) will be the criteria.

Who'd have ever thought that the mentality behind Duchamp's Urinal or Pollock's famous creation, (done in a drunken frenzy), would be used to crush liberty of expression?

1389 said...

@IoshkaFutz,

I would have thought so.

This modern "art" of which you speak is an expression of nihilism.

Nihilism is no foundation for civil society or for anything else.

Those who believe in nothing will fall for anything.

Anonymous said...

Aisha: The Child Bride of Muhammad

What would you say, if a 54 year old man would have sex with your 9(lunar) years young dauhter?