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French Free Speech Victory
by Andrew E. Harrod
A French appeals court on December 18, 2014, overturned a hate speech conviction involving Christine Tasin's condemnation of Islam. Tasin's encouraging victory, won with Legal Project aid, demonstrates that not all threats to free discussion of Islam are violent like the subsequent Paris jihadist Charlie Hebdo massacre.
The retired classics teacher Tasin had appeared on October 15, 2013, in a parking lot before a temporary tent abattoir in use by local Muslims in the French city of Belfort near the Swiss border. During the ritual animal slaughter for the Eid al Adha ("Festival of Sacrifice") Muslim festival, Tasin before Muslim bystanders had criticized Islam's halal slaughter as unsanitary and cruel to animals. In an ensuing argument filmed and uploaded to the internet, she received "Islamophobe" accusations.
"Yes I am an Islamophobe, so what? It's normal!" answered Tasin. "I'm against Islam that causes problems. I don't find it normal to torture animals" or "to veil women. I'm talking about a serious problem." Tasin considered "outrageous that everyone has to eat Halal without knowing it . . . sixty percent of animals killed in France are killed ritually in line with Islam." "I am proud of hatred of Islam," Tasin concluded. "Islam is piece of sh*t . . . a danger for France."
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