The Associated Press released the following story:
A German businessman who printed the name of the Koran on toilet paper and offered the rolls for sale to mosques and media will face trial for disturbing the peace.
The man, identified only as Manfred van H., is scheduled to go on trial Feb. 23 at a court in Luedinghausen in western Germany, Jochen Dyhr, a spokesman for judicial authorities in nearby Muenster, said Thursday.
The businessman last summer printed sheets of toilet paper with the sentence “Koran, the Holy Qur’aen” and sent them to about 15 mosques, television stations and magazines.
In an accompanying letter, authorities say, he asserted that Islam’s holy book is a “cookbook for terrorists” that calls for acts of violence.
He proposed that a “memorial to all victims of Islamic terror” be set up, financed by sales of the toilet paper – an offer that prosecutors say he also posted on the Internet.
The businessman’s offer led to criminal complaints and telephone death threats against him.
Prosecutors argue that the man’s actions overstepped the legally guaranteed freedom to criticize other religions. They say he has cited his right to freedom of opinion and artistic expression, and said his aim was to provoke rather than actually sell the toilet paper.
All jokes aside, I have to ask… Was this guy simply exercising his right to free speech or was he intentionally trying to offend Muslims and provoke them? Do you believe that he has committed a crime?
If he simply printed the toilet paper and had it available for sale that would be one thing. But this guy sent it to mosques and the media with a note intended to offend and insight anger. In a civil society, we have to draw the line somewhere and this guy clearly crossed it.
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