Disgraced Tyrolean politician Werner Königshofer stood in the dock again Friday, to face charges of religious incitement for a publication he had posted on his blog. He was fined €800 for disparaging both the religion of Islam and the Turkish ethnic group.
The case stems from a document, entitled “Tirol or Türol” (implying that the region is being overrun by Turks). Published without a named author, the document generally disparages Turks and Islam in ethno-racist terms, citing – according to Der Standard newspaper – the ‘creeping orientalism’ of the state, and describing the Turkish immigrants in the region as ‘seed cannons.’
The court found that despite protections on freedom of speech being generally guaranteed in Austria, that there were boundaries, and that Königshofer had crossed them.
This is not the first time the 60-year-old former politician has been in trouble. He was expelled from the Freedom Party (FPÖ) in 2011 for comparing the murders committed by Islamophobe Anders Breivik in Norway to the Nazi ‘Final Solution.’ A conviction for libel followed in 2012, when he allegedly linked a scanned newspaper article onto the extreme right-wing Neo-Nazi website alpen-donau.info by posting it under the name of a police detective.
According to the Tiroler Tageszeitung, the court learned that Königshofer had posted on his web site a 173-page document, that among other things, was full of derogatory theses against orientals and Muslims, describing them as ‘animals’ and suggesting that immigrants from those lands had lower IQs.
Judge Martina Kahn stated that “Freedom of expression is not exploitable without limits, even under the Human Rights Convention. It ends where it cuts into the rights of others. Here you have stirred up contempt and animosity; this creates fear.”
She fined Königshofer a total of €800 for his actions.
See also “Ex-FPÖ-Politiker Königshofer in Tirol wegen Verhetzung vor Gericht”, Der Standard, 11 June 2014
And “Verhetzung: Ex-FPÖ-Politiker Königshofer zu Geldstrafe verurteilt”, Der Standard, 20 June 2014