Sexualized Speech About Religion in the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights

This paper claims that whether or not speech about religion is sexualized is a very good predictor of whether the European Court of Human Rights will allow it to be restricted or punished under national law. Thus, for example, the recent controversial case of E.S. v. Austria involved the suggestion that Mohammed was a pedophile, Wingrove v U.K. that St. Teresa of Avila imagined orgies with the crucified Christ and another woman, Otto Preminger Institute v. Austria that Mary the mother of Jesus was a slut, I.A. v. Turkey that “Mohammed did not forbid sexual relations with a dead person or a live animal.” By contrast other negative statements about religion (e.g. that Christian anti-semitism led to the holocaust) are more often held to be protected speech.