Giulio Meotti
Giulio Meottiצילום: עצמי
"Islamophobia is not an opinion, but a crime," exulted left-wing senator Danièle Obono at the news that the European Court of Human Rights - whose decisions are legally binding on the 28 member countries of the European Union - condemned right-wing journalist Eric Zemmour for "discrimination and religious hatred against the Muslim community".

"The Court considers that the interference in the applicant's exercise of his right to freedom of expression was necessary in a democratic society in order to protect the rights of others," the judges explained.

The independent journalist candidate for the French presidential election had made the remarks on television on September 16, 2016. Zemmour said Muslims should be given "the choice between Islam and France", assimilate or return to their own countries, that France she lived "for thirty years under an invasion", that "in countless suburbs where many girls are veiled there is a struggle to Islamize a territory" and "a jihad" was taking place.

Convicted for telling the truth?

The European Court, which is the judicial arm of the Council of Europe, ruled that "such remarks given the context of terrorist attacks include a discriminatory intention towards the Muslim community". In the same hour as the sentence was given down, in France, a thirteen-year-old student was arrested after having praised "killing all unbelievers".

Zemmour is France's most loved and hated polemicist. Islamic organizations and those of the anti-racist left have been dragging him to court for years, while Islamic fundamentalists are forcing him to go around with an impressive security escort. Now the European judges are also removing the word from the "most threatened man in France."

But I am confused. Is it the European Court of Rights or the Pakistani court that sentenced Asia Bibi to death for “blasphemy” or was it one of the hundred Sharia Courts that legally exist in England?

But no scandal: the sentence of the European Court of Rights against Zemmour is in line with the others of the Strasbourg Solons on Islam.

This is now open submission to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the large bloc of 57 Muslim countries that has long been calling for the EU to punish "freedom of expression' (read: criticism of Islam). And the Organization for Islamic Cooperation is in fact rejoicing over the sentences of the European Court.

I don't believe in coincidences: Strasbourg is the city where Erdogan incites the Turkish community.

In September, the European Court condemned France for repatriating the families of ISIS terrorists. The European Court has condemned the Italian government by ordering it to pay thousands of euros to a group of immigrants pushed back to the Libyan coast. The court has again convicted the Italian government of pushing back migrants. The Court also condemned Spain for having decided to proceed with the expulsion of a group of migrants from the enclave of Melilla, a European territory. The Court has always condemned France for having violated the freedom of expression of pro-Palestinian militants who in supermarkets invited customers to boycott Israeli products.

Freedom, but not for you!

We come to the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, the Austrian activist who was found guilty of "denigrating Islam" after giving a series of lectures on the dangers of fundamentalist Islam. She had no right to freedom of expression, she ruled the European Court of Human Rights. Her statements represent "an attack on the Prophet of Islam which could arouse prejudice and threaten religious peace," the European court said. In a seminar, not inside a mosque, Sabaditsch-Wolff had called Muhammad a paedophile because of his marriage to 6-year-old Aisha. An Austrian court had convicted her of "denigrating" Islam.

The European Court ruled that European states must limit the right to freedom of expression enshrined in Article 10 of the Convention if what is expressed "risks disturbing religious peace" (a similar sentence has never been issued in defense of Judaism or Christianity). Instead, a sentence that the lawyer Thibault de Montbrial describes, in his book “Osons l'auteur”, as "the recognition on a European scale of the crime of criticizing Islam". "A shovel of dirt on the grave" of Charlie Hebdo journalists, according to public law professor Roseline Letteron.

A shovel of earth on our freedoms. Hamlet, there is something rotten in Brussels and Strasbourg. Dear Emir of Qatar, Europe is ready for you!

Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author, in English, of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books, in addition to books in Italian. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Gatestone, Frontpage and Commentary.