The Austrian authorities have indicted politician Susanne Winter on charges of incitement and degradation of religious symbols and religious agitation. This offence carries a maximum sentence of two years. Last January, Ms Winter said that the prophet Muhammad was “a child molester” because he had married a six-year-old girl. She also said he was “a warlord” who had written the Koran during “epileptic fits.”
The politician, a member of the Austrian Freedom Party FPÖ, an anti-immigration party which is in opposition, added that Islam is “a totalitarian system of domination that should be cast back to its birthplace on the other side of the Mediterranean.” She also warned for “a Muslim immigration tsunami,” saying that “in 20 or 30 years, half the population of Austria will be Muslim” if the present immigration policies continue.
Following her remarks, Muslim extremists threatened to kill Susanne Winter and she was placed under police protection. Today, the Justice Department in Vienna announced that Ms Winter will be charged with “incitement and degradation of religious symbols” (Verhetzung und Herabwürdigung religiöser Symbole). If convicted she may have to serve up to two years in jail for her opinions.
However, Alfred Hrdlicka, the Austrian “artist” who depicted Jesus and his apostles engaging in homosexual acts of sodomy during the Last Supper, has not been indicted. Nor will he be. Depicting Jesus sodomizing his apostles is not considered to be a “degradation of religious symbols” in Austria, but referring to the historic fact that Muhammad married a six-year old girl is “incitement to racial hatred.”
Neither has Mr Hrdlicka been threatened by Christian assassins for his “opinions.” The difference between Christian and Muslim extremists is that the former do not aim to kill those who offend them, but the latter do – which is perhaps also why the European authorities fear the radical Muslims and persecute their opponents while they subsidize those who insult Christians.
Meanwhile, it has become clear that only 144 of the 785 members of the European Parliament have supported the proposal of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch politician who lives in hiding following death threats from Islamists, to establish a European fund to protect people who are stalked by assassins for their opinions. Ms Hirsi Ali is under de facto house arrest because the Dutch authorities are only willing to protect her while she remains in the Netherlands, but not when she travels abroad. Due to the lack of protection she is confined to hide-outs in the Netherlands.
Last month, Henk Hofland, a leading Dutch journalist, proposed that the Dutch authorities lift the police protection of Geert Wilders, another politician whom radical Muslims want to assassinate for his opinions. Several Dutch individuals and organizations have lodged complaints against Mr Wilders for incitement to racial hatred because he made a 15-minute film, called Fitna, to express his views about Islam.
VNO-NCW, the Federation of Dutch Employers, has ordered its lawyers to see whether it is possible to claim damages from Mr Wilders for the loss of income which Dutch companies may possibly suffer as a result of a boycott of Dutch products by Muslims who are angry at Mr Wilders and at the fact that the Dutch have not been able to shut him up. “Companies like Shell, Philips and Unilever are easy to recognize as Dutch companies,” VNO-NCW chairman Bernard Wientjes told the newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad. “I do not know how rich Geert Wilders is, or how well insured he is, but if we suffer from a boycott, we will investigate whether it is possible to claim damages from him.” Last November, Doekle Terpstra, a member of the board of Unilever, called upon the Dutch to “rise in order to stop Wilders” because “Geert Wilders is evil and evil has to be stopped.”
Today in neighbouring Belgium the government’s anti-discrimination body CEOOR warned bloggers and websites to remove their links to Wilders’s movie. The CEOOR states that the movie aims to foster “fear, distrust and hatred of Muslims.” The anti-discrimination body has asked the Belgians to be “vigilant” and to report “cases of incitement to hatred and/or discrimination.”