From Hudson New York.
When Austrian anti-sharia activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff stood in court November 28 to defend herself against the charge of “incitement of hatred,” her alleged “crime” was to have given a seminar on the subject of Islam in Europe, during which she quoted the Koran and several prominent Islamic scholars.
The case was suspended until January 18, when she will be back in court facing the possibility of receiving a sentence of up to three years in jail. In the meantime, although the Austrian media has largely refused to report the case, Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff has been garnering attention elsewhere for her activism. She recently visited Israel with a small delegation of European politicians. Sarah Palin has called the delegation to offer her support, and author Bat Ye’or has also sent a letter of support.
“It is so important to fight this fight,” Sabaditsch-Wolff said recently, “and not to give up. I feel if ever I have to be in court, this is a very worthy cause.”
Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff’s legal problems began when she presented a three-part seminar to the Freedom Education Institute, attached to the Austrian Freedom Party. Veronika Dolna, a young journalist for the Left-wingNews magazine attended the first two parts, recording the second part and about 30 minutes of the first.
Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff has since been studying Islam for about ten hours a day in preparation for her court case, although she says that “religion should not be in the courtroom. It does not belong there. How can you explain in court the gates of Ijtihad [questioning,]… that they have been closed.,” she said.
“What is the judge going to do with information… that there cannot be any change in Islam as long as the gates of Ijtihad are closed. What is she going to judge on? Is she judging me or is she judging the Koran? What is she going to find me guilty of? Of quoting the Koran?”
Neither Dolna nor any other journalist with the magazine attended the crucial third part: the then-editor of Newshad reported Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff to the authorities, and pressed for a prosecution.. The third lecture was subsequently delivered as planned, and Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff says that she “would have learned the most from it because that is the part on human rights, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights, honor killings, and sharia law and how it affects us in Europe today. She basically missed the most important part.” Surprisingly Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff has no hard feelings towards Ms. Dolna, and says that “she’s just a young girl who was just used – and abused, in my opinion. I have no hard feelings towards her. I think she is just a victim of this game that the editor in chief was playing.”
The game, as far as Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff is concerned, is “lawfare.” – the malicious use of the courts to try to silence free speech about Islam: “We all know,” she said, “that lawfare is the name of the game.”
The EU recently issued the “Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia,” which its member states were required to implement by November 28. This requires the punishment of “certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law,” and Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff believes that it will be used to silence critics of Islam and sharia.
She recently spoke of this at a conference in Paris, where she derided the EU as totalitarian like “the Nazis and the Fascists and the Communists,” but, she says, they are establishing their dictatorship “quietly and peacefully” through the use of lawfare rather than violence. Nevertheless, citizens of EU member states who fear Islamist terrorism, and violence or intimidation in “Muslim areas” are finding that this is backed up by EU law and political correctness.
“That is what’s so evil about the European Union”, Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff said. “Of course there is no violence coming from the European Union itself; it is just paving the way for the violence… Violence within the European Union is happening because the EU is making it possible. The uprisings in Paris, or Brussels, or Rotterdam – they are taking place because the EU is a conduit.”
Those who dare to stand up and be counted find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff runs off a list of prosecutions against those who have criticized Islam – Geert Wilders, Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn, and so on. They want “to silence us,” she says, “because what we are saying goes against the politically correct doctrine that is now being preached in Europe and the United States. It is there to silence us, but I for one will not be silenced.” That is certainly true: since Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff heard about her court case from the media – she was officially informed only later – she has been more active than ever, becoming the poster-woman for Europe’s “Counter-Jihad” movement.
At a recent speech in Paris Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff received a standing ovations from an audience of people of all ages and backgrounds. She says that there has been a notable change in Europe over the last year. People no longer accept the reassurances of the old political class; they are “hungry” for information. “The past year,” she notes “started with my story, and also with Thilo Sarrazin in Germany, and the Wilders trial in the Netherlands; and there is a movement starting because people are fed up – absolutely fed up. The political elite are telling them one thing, but what they see is a totally different reality.”
This unwelcome “different reality” of Europe is, at last, beginning to find a more coherent opposition in the form of what is being described as the “New European Right.” The term denotes the significant number of anti-immigration, anti-Islamist and, increasingly, pro-Israel parties in Europe. Dutch MP Geert Wilders is the best known of these, at least within the US; his Party for Freedom has undoubtedly served as something of a model for the movement.
Some of the other parties described as part of the “New European Right” are… Continue reading.