Protesters demonstrate against insults to Islam at the American Embassy in London Sept. 16 (Reuters/Neil Hall) Protesters demonstrate against insults to Islam at the American Embassy in London Sept. 16 (Reuters/Neil Hall)

Defaming Prophet Muhammad not freedom of speech: ECHR

Fri, Oct. 26, 2018
CAIRO – 26 October 2018: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Thursday, Oct. 25 that the defamation of Prophet Muhammad goes beyond the permissible limits of freedom of expression, adding that it can endanger "religious peace."

Upholding a lower Austrian court decision, the ECHR ruled that fining an Austrian woman, who insulted Prophet Muhammad in her seminars in 2008 and 2009, did not violate her freedom of expression, according to reports.

The Austrian woman accused Prophet Muhammad of having pedophilic tendencies, and subsequently provoked the Muslim population of about1.8 billion around the world, according to some studies. The Austrian woman argued that local courts failed to recognize her legitimate right for freedom of speech. However, the court said that the verdict does not violate the woman's rights.

The ECHR classified the Austrian woman's statements as "an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam," adding that her statements exceeded criticism and could trigger religious intolerance.

Austria has about 600,000 Muslims out of its 8.8 million citizens. The court fined the Austrian woman €480 ($548), convicting her in 2011, of depreciating religious doctrines.
 
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