Austrian, 63, fined £700 after Muslim neighbours claimed his yodelling mocked call to prayer
An Austrian has been fined for yodelling while mowing his lawn because it offended his Muslim neighbours next door.
A judge decided Helmut Griese, 63, was 'ridiculing' their beliefs and fined him nearly £700.
Rather than face a protracted court case with all its attendant legal costs, Griese agreed to pay.
court heard how the Muslim family regarded Griese as a 'grumpy old man'
and came to view his open-air versions of the Alpine chanting as racist
asides aimed at them.
Austrian media reported how the pensioner
was accused in the court in Graz of trying to 'mock and imitate' the
call of the Muezzin.
They alleged that he always began his yodelling just as they knelt down to pray to Mecca.
was not my intention to imitate or insult them. I simply started to
yodel a few tunes because I was in such a good mood' he told Austria‘s
The yodel is a song sung with an extended note
which rapidly and repeatedly changes in pitch and makes a
Developed in the Central Alps as a
method of communication between mountaineers or between villages, the
yodel later became part of the region's traditional lore and musical
Accused: Helmut Griese was brought before a judge in the Austrian city of Graz and accused of mocking his neighbour's religion
Most westerners of a certain age know it purely through a version of a
song warbled by Julie Andrews in the classic Austrian-set musical ‘The
Sound of Music.´
The court heard how things came to a head
late in the summer when Griese was both mowing his lawn and yodelling as
the family were praying.
Police were called and it was him who was issued with a summons as tempers got heated.
was charged with the arcane offences of 'disparagement of religious
symbols' - usually reserved for neo-Nazis who desecrate Jewish graves -
and ‘hindering religious practice.‘
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1339150/Helmut-Griese...
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