Some Non-Muslims openly insult Prophet Muhammad S.A.W: There have been multiple incidences where non-Muslims have openly insulted the Islamic Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.
When the Muslims raised their voices in the favor of their Prophet, they were told that it is their right to freedom and speech and thereby no or little action was taken against such people.
A European Court Verdict: However, tables were turned in 2009 when a woman named Mrs. S., who holds an Austrian nationality came forth holding two seminars on defaming and insulting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.
When the case was taken to the court, the panel of 7 judges came up with a collective decision that Defaming the Islamic Prophet puts religious peace at stake and would allow room to raise prejudice.
The court thereby clarified that such an act cannot be justified as a freedom of expression as it hurts religious sentiments of the Muslims. Also, the claims by the lady had no factual basis.
A fine was levied on the defamer: By 2011, the Austrian court had charged her for hurting the religious doctrines and thereby levied a fine of 480 Euros. She made two appeals against the charge, yet in both appeals, the same judgment was upheld.
Her appeals were rejected by the Vienna Court of Appeal in 2011. A renewal request was also dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2013. She took her case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). She highlighted the article 10 which gives her the right to freedom of expression.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR): The ECHR upheld the same decision and gave forth the following remarks.
The domestic courts of Austria have been able to comprehensively assess the statements put forth by the applicant. While the court needs to grant her the right to freedom of expression, they are also duty-bound to protect the religious sentiments of others. Such a legislation shall help in preserving religious peace across Austria.
A good precedent has been set: All the Muslims living in Austria and the rest of Europe should know about this case. We know that once the precedent is set, the courts, later on, are bound to follow it unless the circumstances suggest otherwise.
In this regard, any Muslim organization in Europe can take into court any or all the people who commit or intend to commit any blasphemous act against Prophet Muhammad S.A.W in the name of freedom of expression.
Source: Daily Mail