In late November 2009, I was informed about a story that was about to break:
“Hate school in Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ)! Read more about how your tax money is used to sow hatred against Muslims! Speaker says: Muslims hate us, the Koran is an evil book!”
What happened? A young woman, a journalist, had infiltrated two of my seminars in October and November, illegally recording my presentation, and then reported me to the Austrian authorities, who in turn began an official investigation. The charge: Hate speech.
The outpouring of criticism from official Austria was astounding. From the vice chancellor to the chief rabbi, from a high-ranking bishop to party leaders: My statements – all taken out of context – were condemned through and through. I was even compared to Bin Laden by one Muslim official. Not one of these so-called leaders bothered to ask for clarification from my side. I was to be vilified, my statements were to be condemned, for two reasons. First, I gave these seminars for the “right-wing, xenophobic” Freedom Party and second, the content of the seminars described Islam.
FP: So tell us about your trial and where it stands now.
Sabaditsch-Wolff: Simply put, I have now been made a victimless convict. On December 20, 2011, my conviction for denigration of a legally recognized religion was upheld by the higher court.
What was the reason for this conviction, you may ask. Well, during the course of my seminars, I mentioned the choking EU directive “Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia,” and in order to illustrate my point I told the audience about a conversation I had with my sister and how she believed that one should find a different word for Mohammed’s actions with Aisha. I said, “How does one name what he did if not call it pedophilia?” And this sentence got me convicted, for I am allowed by law to say that Mohammed had sex with a young girl, but I may not qualify this behavior as this is deemed “excessive” and thus denigrating. The Austrian state has created a victimless crime, and a criminal without a single victim.
The trial is now officially over. There is only one way to appeal, and that is taking the matter to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. But– this will cost a lot of money and will take a lot time (6-8 years minimum).
FP: Ok so what is going to happen? Are you going to appeal, go to jail? Tell us what options you face and what you are going to do.
Sabaditsch-Wolff: It would be dubious to speculate about any options right now as I have to wait for the written verdict and my lawyer’s analysis and suggestions. So I cannot do anything right now but wait and see. It is a fact, however, that I may have to pay the € 480 fine.
FP: Oh I see, ok, I will save questions about this for our next interview and as developments ensue.
So in the context of all that you have shared with us, what do you think of the prospects for free speech in Austria? For the rest of the EU?
Sabaditsch-Wolff: There is no free speech in Austria or the EU. I am not sure how many of your readers are aware of an EU directive that firmly limits freedom of speech.
A milestone in this ominous totalitarian trend was reached on 28 November 2010, when the member states of the European Union were required to implement an innocuous-sounding legal provision known as the “Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia”, or, more fully, the “Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.” According to the final article of the Framework Decision, “Member States shall take the necessary measures to comply with the provisions of this Framework Decision by 28 November 2010.”
Why does this matter to the cause of free speech in Europe?
If you read the full text of the Framework Decision (which may be found in the legislative section of the EU’s website), you will learn that “Each Member State shall take the measures necessary… to ensure that the following intentional conduct is punishable.” Such “intentional conduct” includes “conduct which is a pretext for directing acts against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin.”
Based on what has recently happened to Geert Wilders and me — and earlier to Gregorius Nekschot, Jussi Halla-aho, and numerous others — we can all guess who will be punished under this provision of the Framework Decision: those who criticize Islam.
Jamie, these are the methods of a totalitarian state. They are more successful than those of the Nazis and the Fascists and the Communists because they are accomplished quietly and peacefully, with no need for concentration camps or gulags or mass graves or the shot in the back of the neck in the middle of the night. They are surgical strikes executed via our legal systems, and they are quite effective. Between the summary punishment carried out against Theo Van Gogh and the Framework Decision applied though our courts, there is no room left for us to maneuver.
We are systematically being silenced.
FP: How do ordinary Austrians respond to the kind of things you say in your seminars?
Sabaditsch-Wolff: They are shocked and dismayed. They feel helpless and often hopeless.
FP: What do you think Vienna will be like in 20 years?
Sabaditsch-Wolff: Even today, the city of Vienna is completely different from the city I left in 1997, when I moved to Kuwait. Back then, there were hardly any women in hijabs whereas today they can be seen everywhere and in large numbers. I have seen too many young girls in hijabs, sometimes younger than my daughter.
There are areas in Vienna where a non-Muslim Austrian would feel very unwelcome. The crime rate has soared, most often the perpetrators are of “Turkish” or “Tunisian” or “Bosnian” background. Whereas at first the media would not report the background, nowadays nearly all of them do so. And still, politicians still choose to ignore this situation, calling for even more integration (i.e. more tax money to be spent). The mantra is as follows: Integration can and must take place and the key to this is education. Only education will help these poor migrants. Only more understanding will help them. Only more Turkish language classes will help them.
I envision a city that is governed by a Turkish mayor, where Austrians are a minority, and sharia law is strictly enforced. Current trends point in this direction, and the indifference of the indigenous population to the situation makes this scenario possible.
FP: Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
We are all behind you my friend. Thank you for being such a courageous and noble hero and freedom fighter in our modern world. We wish you strength, perseverance and good fortune in the struggle ahead.
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