The Local (Stockholm), March 16, 2011
A Swedish court has ruled that depicting the prophet Muhammad naked together with his nine-year-old wife naked is legal, freeing a local politician on charges of racial agitation.
Malmö district court has ruled that the poster does not fall foul of press freedom legislation and confirmed a not guilty ruling from March 3rd in favour of Carl P Herslow, leader of the Skåne Party (Skånepartiet) who faced charges of agitation against an ethnic group (hets mot folkgrupp).
The poster included the text: ‘He is 53 and she is nine. Is this the kind of wedding we want to see in Skåne?’.
Herslow admitted producing the poster but contested the charges and argued to the court that the poster was intended to stimulate a debate about Islam, which he argued was incompatible with democracy and equality.
The case had been brought by the Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern – JK) – the country’s top legal official and responsible for prosecution of cases involving freedom of speech.
Prosecutor Bo Birgerson, representing JK, said that the distribution of the poster showed disrespect to Muslims.
The poster was seized at a public meeting held by Herslow and the party in 2010.
The Skåne Party is a small right-wing populist, anti-immigration party based in southern Sweden. The party was founded by Carl P Herslow in 1979 and was originally formed to protest the Swedish state radio and television monopoly and to advocate self-government for the province of Skåne.
The party won 17 votes in the general election in 2010, claiming 0.8 percent of the vote in its home municipality of Malmö.
The Local’s calls to the Skåne Party for comment on Wednesday have not been returned.