Eugene Volokh has a very interesting post about a recent Austrian case in which a woman was convicted of “denigrating religious beliefs” in connection with a series of lectures on Islam. Eugene puts the case in perspective by comparing it with other recent European blasphemy prosecutions and 19th century American analogues. Actually, I’m not sure that Austria was prosecuting the woman for “blasphemy,” which connotes insults to the majority religion of a state; the prosecution seems more to be about “hate speech” targeting the religion of a minority. The case is a good example of the differences between the American and European approaches to speech about religion, though, as Eugene suggests.

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