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European Court ruling on insulting Prophet Muhammad ‘reinforces right of religious belief’

October 27, 2018 at 10:18 am

The Integrity Foundation for Humanitarian and Human Rights (Hayat Haq) has expressed its support for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, which considered that insulting the Prophet Muhammad does not fall under the framework of freedom of expression.

The Integrity Foundation said in a statement that “the European Court’s decision reinforces the freedom and rights of religious belief, one of the pillars of freedom in democratic societies governed by law”.

On Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that “insulting the Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him – does not fall within the freedom of expression, and considered that the conviction of an Austrian court for a woman accused of insulting the Holy Prophet does not violate the right to freedom of expression, nor Chapter X of the European Charter of Human Rights”.

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The Integrity Foundation explained that the decision of the European Court comes in the context of encouraging the protection of and respect for the religious feelings of Muslims and functions mainly to promote community peace.

The Foundation noted that the European Court “has cleared up the distinction between the right to freedom of expression and what is considered an infringement of this right and the abuse of religious feelings of individuals and communities”.

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights came in support of a judicial ruling issued in Austria in 2009 against an Austrian woman who the regional courts fined €480 ($548), in addition to litigation charges, for the abuse of Prophet Muhammad.