The ECHR ruled against an Austrian woman who claimed calling the Prophet Muhammad a pedophile was protected by free speech. The applicant claimed she was contributing to public debate.
An Austrian woman’s conviction for calling the Prophet Muhammad a pedophile did not violate her freedom of speech, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday.
The Strasbourg-based ECHR ruled that Austrian courts carefully balanced the applicant’s “right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.”
The woman in 2009 held two seminars entitled “Basic Information on Islam,” during which she likened Muhammad’s marriage to a six-year-old girl, Aisha, to pedophilia.
The marriage according to Islamic tradition was consummated when Aisha was nine and Muhammad was around 50. Aisha was the daughter of Muhammad’s best friend and the first caliph, Abu Bakr.