It takes a nation to protect the nation
Austria: Judge Rules That Yodeling Offends Muslims
Austrian man fined after his yodeling offends his Muslim neighbor.
It seems as though in Austria, the popular yodel is an insult to Muslims.
An Austrian court has recently fined a citizen for yodeling while mowing his lawn, according to a report in The Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
The citizen, 63-year-old Helmut G., was told by the court that his yodeling offended his next-door Muslim neighbors, who accused him of trying to mock and imitate the call of the Muezzin.
In Muslim tradition, the Muezzin is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets.
The yodel is a song which is sung with an extended note which rapidly and repeatedly changes in pitch and makes a high-low-high-low sound. Developed in the Central Alps as a method of communication between alpine mountaineers or between alpine villages, the yodel later became part of the region's traditional lore and musical expression. The technique is used in many cultures throughout the world and Austria is one of the countries where it is most popular.
Unfortunately for Helmut G., his neighbors were in the middle of a prayer when he started to yodel. The Kronen Zeitung reported that he was fined 800 Euros after judges ruled that he could have tried to offend his neighbors and ridicule their belief.
Helmut G. clarified that “It 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.”
Across the street from where I used to live in Oslo was a neighbor that had his balcony door open wide and blasted out loudly Muslim prayers from the Islam channel at all hours of the day. Further up the narrow street of cheap apartments, a large Somali family shouted at each other (their normal method of communication) with the windows open. Bang on the door to complain and you are defeated by the language and cultural barrier, indifference and denial. I had lots of other culturally enriching experiences. I was very glad to be given the opportunity to move to live elsewhere where an occasional loud party at some neighbors house is like music to my ears in comparison to the hell that the inner city has become.