An Austrian man has been fined for yodelling while mowing his lawn because it caused offence to his Muslim neighbours. Helmut Griese, 63, was found guilty of “ridiculing” their religious beliefs and fined nearly £700 by a court in Graz. Rather than face a protracted court case, with all its attendant legal costs, Mr Griese agreed to pay. The court heard how the Muslim family regarded Mr Griese as a “grumpy old man” whose open-air Alpine chanting was intended as a taunt aimed at their religion. The retiree was accused trying to “mock and imitate” the call of the Muezzin, who calls the faithful for prayer in mosques. They alleged that he always began his yodelling just as they knelt down to pray. Mr Griese, however, told the Austrian newspaper Kornen 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.” The court heard how things came to a head late in the summer when Griese was both mowing his lawn and yodelling as the Muslim family were praying. Police were called, and he was served with a summons.
(And yes, I know that Heidi was Swiss)