The European Court of Human Rights has often issued judgments protecting individuals who have been accused of blasphemy, especially against the Christian religion. Meanwhile, he upheld the condemnation of the conviction decision of the blasphemy Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff by Austrian courts, who publicly described Mohammed's known marriage to a minor girl as pedophilia. The Austrian court officially confessed that it had to condemn these words in the name of religious peace. The ECtHR upheld this judgment in the name of religious tolerance, somewhat suspending previous case law and not censoring any statements criticizing Islam, even if they were true. This violation of freedom of expression is justified by a new positive obligation imposed on you by the Tribunal, consisting in "ensuring peaceful coexistence of all religions and those who do not belong to any religious group, by ensuring mutual tolerance." In this way, any statement, even a true one, can be considered reprehensible as an expression of religious intolerance, if it could lead to social tensions.
European Court of Human Rights ; Austria ; freedom of speech ; Islam ; Muhammad
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AfiliacjaEuropean Centre for Law and Justice Francja
Grégor Puppinck, PhD, is Director General of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ). He is also a Member of the OSCE Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief and an Expert to the Council of Europe. He takes part in the Committee of Experts on the Reform of the European Court of Human Rights. From 2003 to 2008, he has taught human rights, European law, and constitutional law at the Law School of the University of Upper Alsace, France. Grégor Puppinck holds his PhD with a dissertation in legal theory. He graduated from Paris II Law School and from the “Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales.”