The Political Persecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff


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Photo credit: Aeneas

Editor’s note: The following is the first installment of a series of articles following activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s battle against her own government, as they proceed to prosecute her for disseminating the truth about Islam.

On February 15, 2011, the Austrian Counterjihad activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was convicted of “hate speech” in a Vienna courtroom for what she said in a private seminar about Muhammad and Islam.

The original charge was “incitement to hatred”. On the second day of her trial, the judge at her own discretion added a second charge, “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion.” Elisabeth was acquitted of the first charge, but convicted of the second. She was sentenced to pay a fine of €480. Her case is currently being appealed to Austria’s highest court. If the verdict is upheld, and she refuses to pay the fine, she will spend two months in jail.

How could this happen in a modern European democratic state which recognizes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and enshrines the right to free speech in its Constitution?

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Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is the daughter of a retired diplomat in the Austrian foreign service. During her childhood and young adulthood she experienced Islam up close and personal, in places such as Libya, Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran. She was in Tehran with her parents during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. As a student, she was working during her summer break in Kuwait when Saddam Hussein invaded the country. On September 11, 2001, Elisabeth was working in the Austrian embassy in Tripoli. She saw the Libyan people celebrate the destruction of the World Trade Center and the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans. All of these experiences were lessons she took to heart, but 9-11 motivated her to examine Islam more closely over the next few years.

In October 2007 Elisabeth attended the Counterjihad Brussels conference and delivered the country report on the state of Islamization in Austria. In early 2008 she began a series of seminars on Islam in Vienna, explaining to interested parties what the Qur’an and the hadith actually teach, along with the basic tenets of Islamic law.

For the next year and a half the interest in her seminars grew, and attendance increased. The success of her lectures drew the interest of Austrian leftists, who are as determined as leftists in other Western countries to discredit and destroy the work of those they view as “racists”, “fascists”, and “Islamophobes”. Unbeknownst to Elisabeth, the left-wing magazine NEWS sent a reporter to one of her seminars to make a surreptitious recording of it.

As a result, in late November, 2009, a criminal complaint was filed against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff for “hate speech” under Austrian law. From an Austrian progressive’s point of view, her offense was compounded by the fact that it was held under the auspices of the FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, or the Austrian Freedom Party). Despite its popularity with Austrian voters, the FPÖ is reviled as a “xenophobic” party by the media and political class.

A few days after the complaint was filed, Elisabeth was interviewed by the prominent Austrian magazine profil (the Austrian equivalent of Time or Der Spiegel). Some quotes from the interview:

• “We are people defending the principles of freedom and equality in a secular society. I criticize political Islam and its political manifestations. No democratic country can take this right away from anyone.”

• “I want to preserve Europe and its democratic and secular values.”

• “Islamic doctrine discriminates against women and non-Muslims. Islamic law, or shariah, cannot be reconciled with democratic principles and universal human rights.”

• “There are powerful groups who are working towards the Islamization of Europe. That is a fact. What can we gain from closing our eyes and ignoring this? Even Libyan leader Muammar Ghadafi says: ‘There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquest.’”

• “Muslims have to liberate themselves; from this static and tenacious Islam that is hell-bent on following norms from the seventh century. The result is that wherever there are Islamic societies there is no progress, but steps backwards, especially in the realm of human rights and democracy.”

• Concerning “Islamophobia”: “A phobia is an irrational fear. My worries are not irrational, but justified. One of these days our politicians will have to recognize this fact. People like me are not right-wing xenophobes.”

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  • Steeloak

    Let the show trials begin! Like Geert Wilders before her, Elisabeth's trial will only serve to create thousands of new activists willing to fight for freedom. They will go down in history as some of the first ones to say no to the oppression of political correctness.

  • Western Civilisation

    Islam is not a religion. It is a cult. It spread hates speech via the Koran and via its organized Mosque infrastructure. Islam should be put on trial, not someone telling the truth.

  • StephenD

    Wasn't it said that the day will come when Good will be called Evil and Evil will be called Good?
    Are we there yet?

    Someone posted on these pages the sad truth is we watch casual as the world boldly marches straight into the 7th century.

  • tanstaafl

    The new facism raises it's ugly head in the west.

  • mrbean

    I will bet that daily in the Universities there is open anti-semitism in classrooms and seminars – and open advocacy by Muslims for the subversion and violent overythrow of the elected governments of European countries in the Mosques and on street corners. Hell they even openly advocate the raping of infidel women in the Mosques and publically. Europe will be Europa sooner than you think with these Mr Alligator eat me last European cowards.

  • Questions

    Where can I send this woman some money? She's a real fighter for the right cause.

  • mrbean

    Did you ever wonder why Michael Savage was banned from entering Britain? This video is why! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btdya9uOA8Q

  • UCSPanther

    I wager that the European Elite are probably a bit disappointed that Brevik was declared insane, because it means that they will have to change plans and try another approach to not let the Utoya rampage go to waste…

  • hajid

    "denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion" , Wow, they recognize a cult which encourages child pronography and molesting as a religion while 'denigration' a citizen who is telling the truth about it?

    Elisabeth should counter sue the magazine, the prosecutor, as well as the judge of 'hate speech' against a person!

  • Omar Khalid,Cairo

    Islam is a problem that will never go away. Inbreeding affects around 65% of all current muslims and 100% of them throughout history. Their minds are not like a normal person. Liberals, progressives will get their due when they face G-d on their way to their chosen messiah. There is only prayer left and G-d will have his way eventually.

  • LindaRivera

    Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is a heroine! She has placed her life on the line in order to protect innocents and DEFEND our freedom. It was to protect innocents and defend freedom that the brave heroes of the world wars fought and died and gave their lives so that we could live in FREEDOM and safety.

    European countries who persecute and prosecute Elisabeth, Geert Wilders and other heroes of the Free World, stomp on the graves of our heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live in freedom.

  • Ben

    Instead of denazification the country was declared the Hitler`s victim and all past nazies became leftists-the procedure described by the writer A.Malroe about Germany. The first president-Jew ( as the reparation) became Arafat`s friend. Austrian(and German) anti-nazism and anti-semitism fight excludes Muslims.When Muslim attack a Jew nobody describe this as the religiouse hate act.

    • Questions

      Nazis didn't become "Leftists." The Left in West Germany was a youthful homegrown post-War phenomenon of the universities that erupted, as in France, in 1968. Most German Lefties weren't even born when WWII broke out.

  • Johnny Appleseed

    If you have not familiarized yourself with Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff 's work, please do so.
    These charges IMO are political payback, to bully her into silence.
    Please see her presentation at a OSCE conference in Vienna (link below) entitled, “Confronting Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims in Public Discourse.”
    It is vital that those of us in Western societies familiarize ourselves with the arguments she presented against the use of the terms "Islamophobia" and "anti-Muslim". In her arguments, she demonstrated clearly with evidence that these terms are part of a long term documented campaign by the OIC to silence criticism of political Islam and pressure Western governments and societies into accepting sharia-based Islamic slander laws and is part of an ongoing process by OIC to establish Islamic jurisprudence for themselves within Western countries . The evidence she presented indicates an ongoing encroachment by a foreign, organized Islamic body to undermine the sovereignty and freedoms of Western societies that should ultimately have nothing but complete independence and freedom from foreign interests and from Islamic sharia law. Her arguments will be those Americans most likely will have to adopt in short order if we are to preserve freedom of speech from Islamist encroachment. Consider that Hillary Clinton just this summer indicated that our own State Department would be "coordinating" with OIC on legal ways to implement UN's resolution criminalizing "defamation of religion". This "resolution" only refers to Islam and no other religions and is a tyrannical dictate of the highest order in light of the OIC's complete disinterest in advocating for religious freedom or measures against defamation of non-Islamic religions within Muslim-majority countries in the middle east.

    Please read Elisabeth's increasingly relevant arguments here: http://english.savefreespeech.org/?p=403#more-403
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/08/secretary-of-st

  • Jim

    The violation of the human right called freedom of speech is the real crime for which the violators should be brought to trial.

  • Ronald W. Carnine

    Some time ago I blogged with an ex-cop who wanted to move to Austria because it is "a wonderful, open, and non-polluted place to live." He was a good chap but from this and other articles I believe he was wrong. What is the matter with the authorities? Are they stupid or what? Freedom of speech is so very important. When one religion (and I'm a retired pastor and police officer) is allowed to silence anyone, it is the beginning of the end for that country. Islam is a threat to freedom loving people everywhere. It is a religion what justifies "killing, stealing and destroying" which is the description Jesus uses to describe the devil. It's goal hasn't changed since it's founding. It ok's cutting up a women's vagina, making them wear a garbage bag, and lowering their impact to 2nd class citizenship. It makes non-Muslim's into third class citizens, with ridiculous requirements and allows Muslims to kill non-Muslim's and destroy churches and other religious meeting places. Have we forgotten the Taliban's destruction of centuries old Buddhas because it conflicted with their beliefs. Stone statues are no threat to anyone and they were important to many people. This lady should be listened to. If you don't like what she says fine, you don't have to agree with her or even listen to her. If they take away her right to speak, your right to speak will be next. Good heavens, Austria, wake up.

  • hammar

    mule-ham has been dead and rotting in the ground for some 15 centuries…..
    the false prophet of islam is nothing more than the devil’s
    mix’s of hatred and sin corrupting the world.

  • Fran Thaler

    While supporting the rights of free speech and opposing her conviction — be realistic about
    the Austrian Freedom Party — they have Nazi roots and to this day glorify Nazi war heroes.

  • James Green

    Islam is a totalitarian fascist ideology. Nothing more, nothing less. Islam's war on the world is more than 1300 years old.

  • valhalla

    "Forbidding the criticism of -any religion is certainly not a precept of a- free society -or of Western civilisation-by -silencing -criticism of -islam -islam supremascists-succeed -have suceeded-have -imposed -sharia law."