by A. Millar
January 17, 2011 at 5:00 am
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-wing News 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?"
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