Monday, October 11, 2010

Interview With Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

“This case is not about Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff; it is about everybody. It is about all women, all children, all girls, and about freedom.”

When Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was in Berlin for German Reunification Day, she gave an interview about the hate speech case that is pending against her in Austria. For those of us who are used to hearing her fluent American English, it is startling (and gratifying) to hear her speak in her native language.

Many thanks to Henrik, Liz, and AMT for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Note: Elisabeth is in the process of setting up a trust account to cover her legal expenses (which will be considerable). When details become available, they will be posted here so that readers will know where to go to contribute to her cause.

Transcripts for both parts of the video are below the jump.

Part 1:

00:02 Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Geert Wilders told us yesterday
00:06 that Monday he will stand trial in the Netherlands.
00:10 The same is happening to you, you also have to stand trial.
00:14 Can you tell us the background for this?
00:17 The background of my charge is that I during the course of the past year
00:21 held a three-part seminar for a political party in Austria,
00:27 where I, referring to Quran quotes, have explained the current situation in Europe.
00:33 I quoted the Quran verbatim.
00:37 Two of these seminars were infiltrated by a journalist
00:41 from a leftist weekly magazine in Austria,
00:45 and afterwards felt I should be reported to the public prosecutor in Vienna.
00:51 The latest news is that the press knew that the case will go on trial,
00:59 before I was even informed myself. How can this happen?
01:02 This is true. The weekly knew it before me or my lawyer did,
01:08 and how this can happen today, makes us wonder. We were really surprised.
01:13 In any case, one should think that under the Rule of Law, the accused
01:17 should probably be the first to be told – in particular what charges will be brought.
01:24 That was not the case, we were really quite surprised,
01:29 and actually saddened by how the legal system abandons its citizens
01:34 and still, as things stand, still no formal charge has been presented,
01:41 as of this day, I do not know exactly what I am charged for saying
01:47 something the public persecutor and the State dislike.
01:50 I was told that it was everything I had said that was considered bad,
01:55 that this was found actionable, but no single statements,
02:00 but as mentioned, that is still not formalized,
02:03 and thus I do still not know exactly what will happen.
02:06 That I will be charged and will stand for court is certain in any case.
02:11 So, one can look at it his way: You quoted the Quran,
02:16 and were then charged with sedition – or what was the reason again?
02:20 Well, that is article § 283 b, as far as I remember´,
02:25 which means denigrating and putting down religious teachings.
02:30 So, one quotes the teachings, and is then charged for 'sedition',
02:34 but that is completely nuts, actually, right..?
02:35 Yes, completely crazy – but the way we are living today ..
02:39 it is crazy, and as I always say: Three times three is no longer considered to equal nine
02:44 and part of our work is to ensure that now as in the future, to make clear again,
02:50 that three times three remains nine, and this is what we all should work together for,
02:55 and if my part is that I have to stand for the court,
02:58 I will take that part and I will again make sure
03:02 that three times three remains nine.
03:04 Now, you are not the first person facing charges in Austria,
03:08 there was already Susanne Winter. To my knowledge she was fined € 20.000.
03:13 Are the two cases comparable, or had Susanne Winter
03:17  in her speech somehow shot much above the target?
03:21 It is not up to me to decide if Susanne Winter shot above her target.
03:26 However, the main difference between Susanne Winter and myself is,
03:30 and I do not really like to be compared with her,
03:32 that Susanne Winter is a politician. I am a mother, a feminist,
03:39 a teacher of Islam, and at the same time also a victim.
03:43 In contrast to Susanne Winter I lived in Islamic countries,
03:48 in Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Libya, and have experienced these things,
03:52 the Quran, Shariah, teachings of Islam in my own life,
03:59 and believe that I also learned some things from that,
04:03 as people always call me a “Self-declared expert on Islam” ..
04:07 I never said that .. I never declared myself
04:10 an expert on Islam, but then, I think, when someone sits down,
04:16 studies the Quran, the hadith, the Sunnah and Shariah,
04:20 that one can actually acquire some knowledge
04:24 and as mentioned I experienced this on my own body, and well –
04:27 when people consider me a self-declared expert on Islam –
04:33 take away the 'self-declared' – I do actually know a few things.
04:37 Did you get any clues from the state prosecutor how they view the problem?
04:42 The state prosecutor must now decide how to proceed, right?
04:47 Do you think it might fizzle, or do you fear that it might end [in a trial] for you?
04:55 I believe the State has to proceed, the pressure from the multicultural system is simply too big.
05:02 The question is: Will the State get away with this?
05:07 One notices that, like, we have now seen at this demonstration,
05:12 that the people, the persons are beginning to reflect, and this is the question:
05:16 Can the State still tell its citizens: “We consider what you are doing bad”?
05:26 The citizens, I hope, as we have seen today, still more citizens come,
05:31 they are slowly saying: “We do not like what you are doing!”, and I think that this is good,
05:35 then, I believe the State has no choice but to make me face trial.
05:40 What then comes of this, well I'm quite excited to see.
05:46 I figure that there are also expenses associated with this, it is like this,
05:50 that the Islam-critical society shows solidarity. We saw it with Susanne Winter,
05:54 where for example Politically Incorrect initiated a campaign ”1 Euro for Susanne Winter”.
05:58 What can critics of Islam, be it in Germany, Austria, Switzerland,
06:02 in the entire European sphere, do to support you,
06:05 for in reality you are standing trial by proxy for all of us?
06:09 Yes, I really want to tell you this. But one thing before I explain how people can help:
06:14 This case is not about Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff, it is about everybody,
06:20 it is about all women, all children, all girls, and about freedom.
06:26 Also I do not take this all too personally.
06:28 It of course affects my personal life, I have expenses for my lawyer,
06:33 who, by the way, is one of the best in his field, and I cannot carry this alone
06:37 and for that reason I appeal to the solidarity of the community of Islam-critics
06:42 to support the case with one euro, two euros or five. This does not go to me personally,
06:48 the money will be deposited in a trust account in Austria,
06:51 and information about this account can soon be found on Politically Incorrect [and elsewhere],
06:57 and I really ask everyone to support me and the case.
07:02 I thank everyone in advance for any support. And would like to add
07:08 that any money that might end up being in excess on this trust account,
07:11 will not benefit me personally. Instead I have provisioned
07:15 that any excess money will go to the Citizens' Movement PAX Europa.
07:20 Wonderful. We will of course strongly support such a campaign.
07:23 We also have some kind of symbol here, I think,
07:27 The first traffic light in Germany, which is now on 'Red'.
07:32 Could we perhaps use this as a metaphor for our situation,
07:36 that we want to turn the traffic light to 'Red' for Shariah?
07:40 Actually, it should never have been permitted to show 'Green'.
07:45 We want to turn this back. And, thank God, there are still traffic lights
07:49 that switch from 'Green' over 'Yellow' to 'Red'.
07:52 Perhaps this light is not completely 'Red'.
07:55 At least 'Dark orange' is what we want,
07:59 and then at the end of the day entirely 'Red' – No to Shariah!
08:04 You are also active at OSCE, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
08:10 What are you experiencing there with regard to Islam, human rights, Shariah, etc. etc..?
08:17 This Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe
08:21 specifically has defending and promoting human rights as its banner cause,
08:25 and during the 70's and 80's made very significant contributions
08:29 towards pushing back Communism.
08:32 This is one of the reasons I attend OSCE,
08:37 representing the Citizens' Movement Pax Europa, for this organisation,
08:42 this international institution is not yet as subverted as the United Nations,
08:48 and I consider it a significant victory that there it was possible for me
08:53 and for the Islam-critics in general, that we one year ago in the Plenary,
08:58 a plenary session of all ambassadors, I, representing Pax Europa,
09:05 was able to quote sura 4:34 from the Quran, which actually says,
09:10 that husbands are permitted to beat their wives.
09:13 Of course this created great uproar,
09:17 and it saddened me that quite a lot of women raised their voices,
09:22 merely trying to explain that all of this really had nothing to do with Islam.
09:26 But it was clear to me – what mattered more is that once,
09:30 in the annals of the OSCE it is in there and can be found.
09:35 The next conference will take place in December, I will of course be there,
09:40 and once again I will bring up some relevant suras.

Part 2:

00:02 How does this make you feel. Also, I mean, this is like, completely irrational,
00:06 that educated women in the West close their eyes to Islam like this.
00:11 What, from your point of view, are the reasons for this?
00:14 Well, if only I know... It is me quite incomprehensible why women close their eyes,
00:20 and in particular that the mothers are closing their eyes,
00:25 in face of these really gruesome acts that women are forced to suffer in the name of Islam.
00:33 I honestly do not know, for even members of my own family,
00:39 are thinking completely different than I do, but I think it should be our common goal,
00:44 also that these women should be taught, taught and taught, that's all.
00:49 At some point it will hopefully stick that it is wrong to mutilate girls, it is wrong,
00:58 and a girl and a woman must always be respected. Not in the Islamic meaning, but in ours:
01:06 Human rights, universal human rights. Not in the sense of Islamic human rights.
01:12 Is it also that the OSCE has Islamic members creating pressure?
01:17 Of course. There is a block of Turkish representatives, Turkish diplomats,
01:25 and representatives of Turkish NGO’s. There is a group named COJEP,
01:31 who usually has a young lady sitting there wearing a heavy headscarf,
01:37 also the ambassador of Morocco is there, so yes –
01:44 there is a block attempting to … at first they were quite surprised,
01:50 that we were there at all last year, that really surprised them,
01:52 in between they became somewhat, well, unhappy that we are there,
01:58 but exactly this feeling of discontent spurs one on, to step up again,
02:03 and we will do this over and again, together with my colleagues
02:07 from the other organisations, Islam-critical organisations,
02:12 raise my voice and show the Islamic bloc that there exists another side.
02:18 Elisabeth, yesterday you also had the opportunity to meet Geert Wilders,
02:24 after the event, what can you tell us about him?
02:29 Yes, I had been looking forward like crazy to meet Geert Wilders in person,
02:32 and it was indeed possible in the short and somewhat stressful time,
02:35 to compare our pending cases, we have done that,
02:41 we will remain in contact, and will exchange information and news
02:46 about what happens. He is to face court tomorrow,
02:51 so he is somewhat ahead of me, but I am of course looking forward to
02:55 when Geert Wilders tells me how things are in the court room.
03:00 Geert Wilders is of course systematically defamed, denigrated,
03:04 for being a right wing extremist, xenophobe, right wing populist, everything ....
03:08 How have you experience as a person, meeting him directly?
03:13 Well, I was really quite impressed by him, by his calmness dealing with all these accusations,
03:22 and I must say he is in some way a model for me,
03:26 because I also try to remain calm in face of these accusations.
03:32 I know quite well who I am, and in the same way Geert Wilders knows who he is,
03:35 and he know for himself, as do I, that he is neither a right-wing populist
03:39 nor a human-despising hate preacher. Also in Austria it has been said
03:45 that I am a 'hate preacher', but one must try to return this to sender.
03:53 My friends and my fellow freedom fighters know what I stand for,
03:56 we all know what Geert Wilders stands for, and if by criticizing Islam, Geert Wilders
04:01 prevents merely a single female genital mutilation because a woman wakes up,
04:06 then it has been worth it, and then it has been worth it for me as well, absolutely.
04:09 Geert Wilders has also created the International Freedom Alliance.
04:16 What do you think is happening in Europe in particular, according to your opinion?
04:21 Well – I am deeply impressed, considering that a year ago here in
04:27 Potsdamer Platz just – was it a third? – that we could get to stand here,
04:33 when I read I the papers, when I see reactions from people I do not know,
04:41 who come to me and say: “You are right, gal, keep on going, don't let it get you down!”
04:47 Then, I have the opinion that founding the International Freedom Alliance
04:52 is simply the right thing to do, an important step in the right direction,
04:56 and I am very pleased to be part of this movement, am looking forward to the next years,
05:04 Wonderful. Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, we are keeping our fingers crossed,
05:06 we will stick together, the Islam-critics in Europe – good luck with the proceedings
05:10 and for your future work. Thank you very much!
05:13 And thank you for the interview.

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


doxRaven said...

I admire her determination and as soon as she has the details I will be contributing to her defence fund which is defence of us all to criticise that which is in need of criticism even if it is the darling religion of the politician elite.

ib said...

Any idea yet where to contribute to her defense fund?

Baron Bodissey said...

ib --

I know that it is in the works, and will be ready shortly. I don't have any details yet.