A French woman who protested a temporary tent-abattoir set up in a car-park near a hospital to ritually slaughter animals for Eid has had her conviction overturned, after she appealed a €4,500 fine and three month jail sentence for calling Islam a “cesspit”.
Retired school-teacher Christine Tasin, 58, was convicted under an 1881 law after the prosecution argued criticism of Islam was the equivalent of inciting violence against Muslims, and that in addition to the normal punishment of a fine and imprisonment, Tasin should also be stripped of the right to hold public office.
Her subsequent appeal was supported by Dr. Daniel Pipes’ American-based Legal Project, an advisory and funding body established to “protect the right in the West to freely discuss Islam, radical Islam, terrorism, and terrorist funding”, who have also backed Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders after his prosecution for criticising Islam.
Overturning the conviction last week, the court confirmed that Islamophobia and blasphemy was not a crime in France, despite the claims made by some Muslim groups after her initial conviction in August.
Speaking exclusively to Breitbart London, Tasin said of the verdict: “Last Thursday was a great day for freedom of expression in France. I said, in Belfort, in 2013, before the mobile Eid abattoir that “Islam is sh*t” to Muslims who had recognized me and attacking me because I claim my Islamophobia.
“I was sentenced to a fine of €3,000 including €1,500 suspended after the Belfort court considered that I had incited hatred against Muslims. The [appeal] court in Besançon has now acknowledged that one has the right to express opinions and I did not encourage hatred against Muslims, and I can think and say that Islam is a threat to France, that it is a freedom of expression.
“The Resistance to Islam and all those who, in France, fear that freedom of expression is disappearing, and that blasphemy has become a crime again are relieved”.
A video of Tasin, taken by a group supporting the abattoir, formed part of the evidence brought against her in the original trial. In it she criticises the slaughterhouse, erected to enable Muslim men to cut the throats of goats and sheep for the Islamic religious festival, for being cruel and unsanitary, but is accused of being an “Islamophobe” for her comments.
Rather than backing down, she wears the label with apparent pride, replying: “Yes I am an Islamophobe, so what? It’s Normal! I’m against Islam that causes problems. I don’t find it normal to torture animals, I don’t find it normal to veil women. I’m talking about a serious problem.
“This must not happen in a public space, it is outrageous that everyone has to eat Halal without knowing it… sixty percent of animals killed in France are killed ritually in line with Islam, and people eat Halal without knowing it”.
This is not the first time Tasin has been persecuted for her views on Islam. Formerly a teacher of Classics in French schools, she claims to have been forced into early-retirement after a campaign against her by Muslim parents, and has been the subject of repeated death threats. One man who threatened her with death for her opinions was prosecuted by a French court last year, receiving a fine of €800.