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article imageOp-Ed: The brilliantly honest Pat Condell about 'Free Speech' in Europe

By R. C. Camphausen     Nov 11, 2010 in Politics
Vienna - While most readers know about the recent free-speech trial involving Geert Wilders, another such trial is coming up in Austria on November 23. Pat Condell speaks about it in his latest video, forcefully defending free speech in contemporary Europe.
While the trial of Dutch MP and Islam-critic Geert Wilders has been creating a furor in the press, another high-profile trial of a critic of Islam in Austria -- Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff -- has been largely overlooked even though both trials have much in common.
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, an Austrian citizen who has lived in Iran, Iraq, Libya and Kuwait, will stand trial on November 23 in Vienna, the country's capital. Similar to Geert Wilders, Mrs Sabaditsch-Wolff is accused of 'incitement to religious hatred' during a seminar she gave in 2009.
The interesting fact about the seminar alleged to have been filled with hate-speech is that she mainly quoted verbatim from the Koran (Al Qur'an). However, it is not the text itself that is on trial, though it is filled with hate speech, misogyny and discrimination, but the woman who quoted the text in order to educate and enlighten her audience.
While her detractors accuse her of being a self-declared expert on Islam, she has claimed no such status. However, having lived -- as a woman and mother -- in four Islamic countries and having read all relevant scripture (Koran, Hadith, Sunnah), she clearly knows what she's talking about.
A lengthy interview with her about the past accusations and the future trial can be found at Europe News. It is in German but does have English sub-titles.
Patrick Condell (November 23, 1949) is an Irishman and became first known as a comedian. Meanwhile, however, he is appreciated worldwide for the variously sharp and satirical monologues he delivers on sites such as LiveLeak and YouTube. As of October 2010, Condell's YouTube channel alone had over 134,000 subscribers and over 27 million views.
Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, has said that "Pat Condell is unique. Nobody can match his extraordinary blend of suavity and savagery. With his articulate intelligence he runs rings around the religious wingnuts that are the targets of his merciless humour. Thank goodness he is on our side."
On his own website, called Godless Comedy, Condell greets the faithful visitor with the following words: Hi, I'm Pat Condell. I don't respect your beliefs and I don't care if you're offended. Cheers. Now that we’ve got the formalities out of the way, welcome to my website.
A version of this video without the Dutch subtitles can be found on watch it on YouTube.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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