Insulting Prophet Muhammad not 'free speech,' ECHR rules
Austrian courts did not violate the right to freedom of expression of a woman convicted for implying that the Prophet Muhammed was a pedophile, a European court ruled on Thursday.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that an Austrian woman's criminal conviction and fine for her statements accusing the Prophet Muhammad of pedophilia did not breach her right to free speech.
Stating that the court had found that "the applicant's statements had been likely to arouse justified indignation in Muslims" and "amounted to a generalization without factual basis", the ECHR statement said the woman's comments could not be covered by the freedom of expression.
Saying it classified the 'impugned' statements as "an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam, which was capable of stirring up prejudice and putting at risk religious peace," domestic courts came to the conclusion that her speech contained elements of "incitement to religious intolerance."