Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is the Truth Illegal in Austria?

We’ve been following closely the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who has a “hate speech” charge pending against her in her native Austria for giving informational seminars about Islam.

For those who have written asking about her legal defense fund: it is in the final stages of being prepared, and sometime in the next few days I will be giving you details about how to donate to it.

In the meantime, A. Millar has written an excellent account of Elisabeth’s case for Hudson New York. Some excerpts are below:

Lawfare in Austria: Is Truth Illegal?

Paul Revere Gets the Slammer

by A. Millar

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff — Hudson photoAlthough the trial of Dutch MP and critic of Islam, Geert Wilders, and its serious implications for free speech in Europe, is once again creating a furor in the press, another high-profile trial of a critic of Islam — Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, in Austria — is being overlooked.

Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff now faces up to a three-year prison sentence if convicted of “inciting hatred against a religious group” and “defamation of religion” in a lecture in 2009 on the “Islamization of Europe.”

As allegedly criminal statements fill the indictments of “hate speech” prosecutions, as in the case with Mr. Wilders, the Dutch MP says that he spoken the truth, and the truth cannot be illegal.

If the authorities in the states of the EU have taken note of this axiom, the Viennese state attorney has not. He has taken an even more sinister approach to prosecuting Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff: No statements are listed in the indictment. Instead, her entire three-part seminar has been designated as incriminating.

I am “always careful to distinguish between Muslims and Islam,” Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff says. That, apparently, does not matter.

Having spent most of her life in Muslim-majority countries, she has had much time to get to know Muslims as individuals, and to experience contemporary Islamic culture. She has lived in Kuwait; in Iran, as a child, at the time of the Islamic revolution, and, during the 9/11 attacks, in Libya.

Her stories are undoubtedly disturbing: two of her non-Muslim friends were attacked for breaking the Ramadan fast — one, a Coptic Christian, was assaulted for licking stamps at a post office; the other, for chewing gum. On another occasion, apparently, when Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff sat in her apartment watching the 9/11 unfold on television, and her landlord burst in exclaiming that “the Jews did it,” she asked him to leave.

Such events, she says, with the 9/11 attacks as a catalyst, made her want “to learn more.” She began by researching Islam, sharia, and Islamism; and later became a critic of, and activist against, “Islamization.”

Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff currently represents Pax Europa in Austria, and has represented it at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. She describes Pax Europa as “the foremost human rights organization in Germany,” although it focuses specifically on the growth of sharia law in Europe, and the erosion in Europe of free speech in relation to Islam.

According to Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff, the organization is “non-partisan, not political, [and] does not except any membership from people who are radical, either Left-wing or Right-wing.” She describes her own political outlook as “classic conservative libertarian.”

The three-part seminar on the “Islamization of Europe” that led to her being prosecuted, was delivered at the tax payer-funded Freedom Education Institute, an organization attached to the Austrian Freedom Party, which had been headed by the controversial Joerg Haider until his death in 2008, and which its detractors describe as “far-Right.”


Although it may seem more practical to focus solely on Austria, she raises an important point: What happens in one European Union member state affects the others. [emphasis added]

This is the great significance of her case — and those of Geert Wilders, and Gregorius Nekschot, and all the other Europeans who have been prosecuted or threatened with prosecution for speaking the truth about Islam.

The “hate speech” laws are already on the books. They take various forms, but they all follow the same guidelines put out by the Muslim Brotherhood and promulgated by the OIC through the UN. Their goal — regardless of the actual intentions of the legislators who passed them and jurists who execute them — is to silence any honest critical discussion of Islam whilst a stealth jihad is waged successfully throughout the entire Western world.

We are fortunate to have these heroes amongst us, because we need them now. By the time the success of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “grand jihad” becomes obvious to the populace at large, it will be too late — “the most beautiful sound in the world”, the call of the muezzin, will be echoing over the rooftops of what were formerly the great Christian cities of Europe.

The next few years will form the pivot around which the boom of history will swing. If Geert Wilders and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff don’t stand up for us now, we won’t be able to stand up for ourselves later.

Read the rest of A. Millar’s essay at Hudson New York.

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


EscapeVelocity said...

OT, but I thought that GoV readers and Baron and Dympha might be interested in this PBS episode of Wallander, via the Masterpiece series.

Wallander is a Swedish police detective.

This episode is about the investigation of Farm Murders (reminds me of Southern Rhodesia and South Africa), and it explores racists and immigrants, in perfect Politically Correct fashion.

British actors, English primary language. British production...with American funding, I believe. Original air date Oct. 3rd, 2010.

Faceless Killers

sulber nick said...

In Britain 'the truth is no defence' - I'm not sure whether that makes it illegal or not, my guess is that it makes the truth illegal in certain circumstances.

laine said...

It's not just Austria where the truth is punishable by law if it errs against political correctness. Every western country has been infected and has plenty of examples. In Canada and many European states there are kangaroo courts with human rights in their title that trample real human rights in the name of invented human rights like the right never to be offended. In this they model themselves on the farcical United Nations body that includes the worst sinners against human rights on the planet judging the countries with the best record. Despite the first amendment, the United States is not immune as the witch hunting on university campuses shows. Even if they are not strictly speaking found to have committed a crime, many westerners are being hounded one way or another ruining their reputations, careers and/or savings for speaking the truth about off limits subjects.