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74-Year-Old German Woman Convicted of 'Hate Speech' Against Muslims
by Andrew E. Harrod
As Michael Stürzenberger, an editor of the conservative German website Politically Incorrect reports, a Munich court convicted on February 6, 2013, a 74-year-old pensioner, Maria Frank, of hate speech for a sign displayed by her at a September 8, 2012, rally. Frank's case demonstrates once again that individuals criticizing and/or condemning Islam can easily encounter legal difficulties in Germany and elsewhere.
Frank had taken part in a Munich protest of Stürzenberger's small conservative and anti-Islam party Die Freiheit against a proposed Islamic center/mosque in Munich (the Zentrum für Islam in Europa—München or ZIE-M). Although Frank is not a member of DF, Stürzenberger describes her as "one of the most zealous collectors of signatures" for a DF-led petition drive to stop ZIE-M. As quoted by Stürzenberger, Frank's sign referenced the Ottoman Empire's September 12, 1683 defeat at the siege of Vienna, a historic turning point in driving back a Muslim advance into Europe, and sarcastically stated that the "Turks then peacefully bombarded Vienna." Frank's sign also sarcastically described the allied troops of Austrians, Poles, and various German contingents who relieved the siege as the "original Nazis."
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