PI News author Michael Stürzenberger was given a six-month prison sentence by the criminal court of Munich for “disseminating propaganda material of unconstitutional organizations.”
Spectators in the crowded hall of the criminal court reacted shocked after the verdict. They witnessed a significant moment in Germany, just a few hours after the Islamic mass murder of Barcelona.
Stürzenberger reviewed the article “Swastika and Crescent” by newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, in which he was mentioned by name. In his well-researched historical essay, he also used two original photographs, which showed the then Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Amin Al-Husseini with Nazi leaders.
The use of Nazi symbols for historical reporting to aid civic enlightenment is expressly exempted from punishment by § 86 (3) of the German Criminal Code. The Süddeutsche Zeitung used similar original photos. Stürzenberger showed the historical intersections of the two ideologies “Islamism” and “National Socialism.”
In a Facebook entry, he justifies his PI news article with the Süddeutsche Zeitung article “Swastika and Crescent” and the research results of the renowned Egyptian political scientist Hamed Abdel Samad.
Prosecutor’s office: “Hate speech against Islam”
The prosecutor objected to his, as he calls it a “fight against Islam” and points out that the photo wouldn’t show the Mufti with a crescent. He claims that a “passing observer” would be led to degrade the religion. The “passing observer would not recognize in his ‘timeline’ that this is a historical review of the subject.”
A suspicious “Herr Fisch”, a police officer, who also obediently submitted the complaint against Stürzenberger to the public prosecutor, was heard as a witness. His account was hardly comprehensible to trial observers – the request to the High Court to use the microphones was refused by the judge.
The defendant’s request to show quotes of the Quran and the relevant passages from the work of Abdel Samad’s book “Islamic Fascism,” also mentioned by the prosecutor’s office was denied. However, a verdict of a Swiss court in Graz against Stürzenberger was read out in full detail and acknowledged by the public prosecutor and the judge.
Tantamount to ban Stürzenberger from Working as a Journalist
The final plea for Stürzenberger was fulminant – he received “standing ovations” from the courtroom audience. The court sentenced Michael Stürzenberger to six months in prison and an additional 100 hours of social work. The period of probation is three years and six months, which is equivalent to a factual occupational ban for a journalist specialized on Islamism.
Last but not least, the visibly annoyed judge insulted the unquiet audience along the lines “The remarks by Stürzenberger about Islam and fascism are wrong, but you on the back seats have no idea about that because you do not know such things.”
The court made copies of the identity cards of all listeners of the trial. Stürzenberger vows to appeal the decision. He will also try to legally charge the judge herself for insult and bending the law.