A court in Graz, Austria today cleared Freedom Party deputy Gerhard Kurzmann of charges brought following last year's release of anti-Muslim flash game Moschee Baba ("Bye-Bye Mosque").
Released last year as a political advertisement for the Freedom Party, Moschee Baba was a relatively short flash game in which players shot stop signs at minarets, mosques and muezzin. The game played for a minute, after which the player was polled to see if they supported a ban on Muslim buildings, attire and if Muslims living in Austria should be forced to swear to Austrian law over that of the Koran.
The whole thing was essentially a political advertisement created for Kurzmann, who at the time was running for governor of the south-eastern province of Styria at the time. Not only did he lose his bid, he was also charged with inciting religious hatred and defaming a religion.
Charges that Judge Christoph Lichtenberg cleared Kurzmann of today, saying "It did not reach the threshold of incitement and I would also say this was not the intention."
While the prosecution plans to appeal the verdict, the Freedom Party took the decision as a legitimization of their original anti-Muslim point.
The Freedom Party said the ruling showed that "the question of whether mosque-building should be banned is being discussed all over Europe and that it is a completely legitimate debate", Reuters news agency reported.