The Strasbourg-based ECHR ruled that the woman’s “right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.”
The ECHR engaged in what is now an all-too-familiar effort to deny its obvious denial of free speech by saying that freedom of religion did not protect religions from criticism but they upheld the punishment of someone for doing precisely that. It simply declared that the woman’s comments “could only be understood as having been aimed at demonstrating that Muhammad was not worthy of worship.”
The opinion is perfectly Orwellian in saying that you cannot get away with using free speech by simply claiming the right of free speech. The court rejected that people are entitled to free speech by simply “pack[ing] incriminating statements into the wrapping of an otherwise acceptable expression of opinion and claim that this rendered passable those statements exceeding the permissible limits of freedom of expression.”
That type of circular logic would be laughable if it were not so chilling.