On Thursday, 25 October 2018, the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that an Austrian woman's conviction for disparaging religious doctrines in 2009 did not breach her freedom of speech. The ECHR said Austrian courts had "carefully balanced [the woman's] right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected."
In 2011, a Vienna court convicted the woman for having called the prophet of Islam a pedophile and ordered her to pay a fine (plus attorney's fees), a ruling that was later upheld by an Austrian appeals court. In its decision last week, the ECHR said the appellate court ruling was appropriate, as it had "served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace."
This is another blow against European freedom of speech by the ECHR. Sohrab Ahmari, formerly of The Wall Street Journal Europe and now a writer at Commentary, had this to say the day after the ECHR's abominable decision:
"This will not end well for European liberal elites, who imagine they can use coercive judicial power to shut down debates about immigration and assimilation and Islam’s place in Europe. The stultifying, decayed Europe these elites have created, and which they struggle to maintain, is a “false Europe,” as the signers of last year’s Paris Statement, including philosophical luminaries such as Roger Scruton, Pierre Manent, and Rémi Brague, noted:
What is conservatism?