Defend the Right to Criticise Islam in Europe!

In Austria, a speaker has been sentenced by a court for publicly questioning Muhammad’s morals. A case was taken against the speaker, and Austrian judges sacrificed her freedom of speech on the altar of the “religious feelings” of Muslims, “religious peace”, and alleged “blasphemy”. Their judgement against this critic of Muhammad amounted to observing Sharia law!

Right now, however, the case is currently pending before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. And, because of the threat to the freedoms of speech and religion, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) has intervened in this case.
Please sign this petition to support the Written Observations of the ECLJ to the ECHR, and to support our freedoms of speech and religion.

The speaker, whose case was referred to the Court, was condemned for publicly “disparaging a person who is an object of veneration”, namely Muhammad, in a manner, “capable of arousing justified indignation”.

The Court reprimanded her because she declared that Muhammad, “liked to [have relations] with children”, as he had wed Aisha, who had been six years old at the time of marriage, and only nine years old when the marriage was consummated. The speaker noted that it was a problem, because the highest commandment for a male Muslim is to imitate Muhammad.

She also added, more generally, that “Muslims get into conflict with democracy and our value system.”

The speaker was giving a seminar with about thirty other participants, entitled “Basic Information on Islam”.

She was sentenced to a €480 fine, or sixty days’ imprisonment, even though her speech was based on facts that the Muslim tradition considers true and whose diffusion, in a political context, took part in the public debate.

In this case the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will have to choose between freedom of speech and prosecution of blasphemy.

The ECLJ has been working for more than ten years with the UN and the Council of Europe against the attempt of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to impose, in international law, a crime of blasphemy, also called crime of “libel against Islam”.

For the ECLJ, freedom of religion and freedom of speech are complementary, and there is no right, for believers and non-believers, not to be subject to criticism. Only insults, slander and obscenity which are gratuitously offensive to others, as well as speech inciting immediate violence, can be limited.

Support freedom of speech. Please sign the petition now!

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The European Centre for Law and Justice is an international, Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in Europe and worldwide. The ECLJ holds special Consultative Status before the United Nations/ECOSOC since 2007.The ECLJ engages legal, legislative, and cultural issues by implementing an effective strategy of advocacy, education, and litigation. The ECLJ advocates in particular the protection of religious freedoms and the dignity of the person with the European Court of Human Rights and the other mechanisms afforded by the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and others.

The ECLJ bases its action on “the spiritual and moral values which are the common heritage of European peoples and the true source of individual freedom, political liberty and the rule of law, principles which form the basis of all genuine democracy” (Preamble of the Statute of the Council of Europe).

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