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Austrian, 63, fined £700 after Muslim neighbours claimed his yodelling mocked call to prayer

article-1339150-0C822134000005DC-177_233x436A judge decided Helmut Griese, 63, was ‘ridiculing’ the Muslim family’s beliefs and fined him nearly £700. Yodelling is as much a part of Austrian culture as lederhosen (file picture)

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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.

The 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.

‘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’ he told Austria‘s Kronen newspaper.

The yodel is a song sung with an extended note which rapidly and repeatedly changes in pitch and makes a high-low-high-low sound.


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