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Holocaust Denier Jailed?

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From one of my readers:

“Recently a British Historian (David Irving) was jailed in Austria for “Holocaust Denial”. OK – he’s a bit of a right wing nutcase – but since when could someone be imprisoned for questioning historical fact? What message is this sending out? Surprisingly the law of Holocaust Denial exists in a number of European countries. So we are free to publish cartoons but not free to question received wisdom regarding a historical event? Why the disparity? Not sure how much publicity this received in the US so here is a BBC link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4733820.stm”

Very well… I read the article, as well as some of the additional sources BBC provided.

Point 1: The guy’s a [PIGEONED] idiot. I can’t see how someone who’s supposedly a brilliant researcher/writer could make such an erroneous judgment on the validity of the Holocaust. Furthermore, allow me to quote from another BBC piece:

“Today, he views himself as a champion of what he calls “Real History”. He blames a vast, largely Jewish, conspiracy of “the traditional enemies of free speech” for losing book contracts and income and now sees his works published free online on his own website.”

No, Mr. Irving, I think it’s your own tattered credibility conspiring against you. Perhaps you can use your rent voucher to finish that college degree of yours and learn some actual research techniques.

Point 2: But regardless of buffoonery on Mr. Irving’s fault, I don’t see how his words can equal prison time. Folks here in the US say some pretty disturbing things, such as westboro baptist church (no proper capitalization for these tools!) hurling anti-gay and anti-soldier epithets at military funerals. Believe me, I at a personal level would love nothing more but the drive down to said church and give all of ’em a fat lip: but then I’d be violating their right to free speech (protected) with a criminal act (not so much protected). Thus, no, I do NOT agree Mr. Irving deserves jail time, no matter what his flawed views are. Unless you’re willfully trying to incite a riot, free speech is sacrosanct, as far as this pigeon’s concerned.

(Hence it’s also my right to call Mr. Irving a [PIGEONED] idiot)

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About Jim Fielder

  • http://unifiedtheorynothingmuch.blogspot.com Diane Kristine

    Why the question mark in the title? This story got a lot of coverage in North America too – it happened a week ago and was hardly a secret to the media. Irving’s career as a legitimate historian was ruined several years ago when he sued Deborah Lipstadt for libel when she questioned his methods and results, but lost dramatically. Even she has come out to defend his right to free speech and decry the sentence.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    This sort of ruling plays right into the hands of the Islamic radicals. They can say, correctly, that Europe allows cartoons attacking Islam and Muslims, but they jail people who attack Jews.

    Talk about a double-standard!

    Me, I support free speech across the board. Let Irving say/write whatever he wants, and let Danish cartoonists draw whatever they want. No double-standard means more credibility for the defenders of freedom and liberty…