Austrian right-wing politician found guilty of insulting Muslims

Vienna – A youth leader of the Austrian right-wing Freedom Party was found guilty Monday of inciting religious hatred against Muslims, and received a suspended prison sentence. As the leader of the Freedom Party’s youth organization in Graz, Michael Winter, 20, had suggested in a newsletter last year that that Turkish Muslims were in the habit of committing bestiality. The defendant’s mother Susanne Winter is also set to stand trial this autumn for stating earlier this year that Islam’s prophet Mohammed was a paedophile. She is slated to take a seat in the Austrian parliament after her Freedom Party won 18 per cent of the votes in last week’s elections. The Vienna criminal court sentenced Michael Winter to three months in prison, suspended on probation. The maximum punishment for public incitement or insults against members of specific religions, ethnic groups or countries is two years. The verdict is not yet legally binding: When Susanne Winter was asked in a magazine interview last November if she denounced her son’s statements, she answered that she could provide proof of her son’s allegations against Muslims.