In a monumental irony, the ECHR's agreement with an Austrian court that offensive comments about the Prophet Mohammed were 'beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate' has handed a big victory to both Islamists and Islamophobes – while infantilising believing Muslims everywhere.
The case concerns an unnamed Austrian woman who held a number of seminars during which she portrayed the Prophet as a paedophile. After she was convicted by an Austrian court of 'disparaging religion' (and fined nearly €500), she appealed to the ECHR claiming the punishment breached her right to free expression. The court disagreed.
As a practising Muslim, I find this notion – that the Prophet was a paedophile – to be as abhorrent and nasty as they come; not to mention completely false. Yet I could not disagree more with the ECHR's ruling.