The protection of Muslim minorities against cyber hate expression in Europe: A critique of the European Court of Human Rights approach to defining and applying offensive speech

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Abstract

Those who disseminate online hateful expressions against religious minorities (Muslims for the purpose of this chapter) in European states rely on the protection of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the ECHR hereinafter) and the “Handyside notion” which grants them a relaxed and unclearly regulated right to offend, shock and disturb the state or any of its sectors. Equally, it is undoubtful that the European Court of Human Rights (the ECtHR hereinafter) combats racial and religious hateful expressions through the application of Article(s) 10(2) and 17 of the ECHR, this article, however, argues that the upsurge in religious intolerance (political or otherwise) among Western states - evidenced by their widespread abolishment of blasphemy laws – is further reinvigorated by the ECtHR’s decreasing level of the protection towards religious values, the unclear approach to defining hate and its ad-hoc [inconsistent] interpretation of the limitations of Articles 10 and inconsistent referral to the protection of Article 17 of the ECHR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Cyber Hate, the Modern Cyber Evil
EditorsAnne Wagner, Sarah Marusek
PublisherSpringer
Pages(In-Press)
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9783031512483
ISBN (Print)9783031512506, 9783031512476
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2024

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