by Adam Turner
Austrian “hate speech” prosecutors are very busy these days. In addition to going after Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff for “prejudicial incitement,” i.e., criticizing Islam and Sharia laws at a seminar, the Austrians found the time to crack down on yet another “Islamophobic” miscreant, a 63 year old Austrian retiree.
“Helmut G. was busy on Friday afternoon, mowing his grass. ‘And because I was just in such a good mood, I yodeled along with it and sang a few songs,’ says the retiree, speaking to the Styrian Crown. That was not all right with his neighbors — believing Muslims. They had gathered in their house at prayer hour, which was also broadcast into their yard by loudspeaker… Consequently, several of them felt disturbed in their religious exercises by the grass-mowing 63-year old — and promptly reported him to the police. ‘In the statement it said that my yodeling sounded like the call of the muezzin,’ Helmut G. shook his head, bewildered. ‘It was definitely not my intention to imitate him,’ the Graz native assures us. The court did not believe him and sentenced him to a fat fine.”
In a way, I am glad that the Austrians have helped to flesh out further the debate regarding Islam and Islamism. As you know, LP works to protect the right to comment on radical Islam, terrorism and related issues without fear of legal retaliation. It is often hard to discuss such politically charged topics without knowing exactly what the rules of the debate are. At the very least, we need to determine how far we can go before violating them and/or if we are going to be violating them. So, it is probably a good thing that in the past two decades, in a piecemeal, case-by-case fashion, the elites of the European nations – and to a lesser extent, the US – have been steadily compiling and revealing the rules of discussion regarding Islam, radical Islam, and Islamist terrorism to educate ordinary folks like you and me. These rules apparently include the following:
Violating any of these rules – in the US and in Europe – is, according to the elites, a clear sign of “Islamophobia.” Violating any of these rules – in Europe alone – is also a sign of criminality.
So, thanks to the Austrians, we now know that we should add “thou shalt not yodel along with the call of the muezzin” as another rule to be followed. And I, for one, am thankful for this addition. Who knew that “Islamophobic Yodeling” was a problem?
This article was originally published by The Legal Project on December 2, 2010.