ChatterBank11 mins ago
This seems to cropping up rather a lot at the moment, what with David Irving being arrested in Austria and now the Iranian president denouncing it as a myth, saying that
"They have created a myth today that they call the massacre of Jews and they consider it a principle above God, religions and the prophets".
Just how on earth can holocaust deniers even attempt to justify what they are saying, and is it only Germany and Austria that have laws regarding this?
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For me its like saying the earth is flat. You know its not, I know its not but there are still people out there who would have u believe it is. So there are people who would have you believe 6 million Jews never died. Its not just the Jews who died either. Gypsies, mentally impaired, Russians, the list goes on.
My husband knew an ex SS officer while he was in Germany working and he was there. he said it happened. we have no end of evidence to say it did, but there you go. I think the Iranians have got a bug in their shorts over Isreal. Paticularly the president and its anything to attract attention. This is not going to go well for Iran.
Iran upping the ante with these anti-Semitic comments could prove to be a dangerous (if not explosive) game.
I certainly would not criticise anyone who genuinely believes in any given point of view.
Those who express a point of view which does not match their true beliefs (for political gain) are of course a different matter.
The question this thread hangs on is: Is freedom of speech and expression more or less dangerous than the suppression of speech and expression.
My position will always be that within a democratic framework, there is never any need for such suppression.
If a fraudulent standpoint is put across, there will always be evidence which proves such a position is fraudulent, negating the need for limits to be put on personal freedoms.
I would be interested to hear people's opinions on those nations who DO treat holocaust denial as an offence.
Why do they feel the need to do this? How far can such laws be taken? Could they go down the road of banning political parties for not fitting in with the accepted agenda?
Or is this simply another (less obvious) facet of democracy in action?
I believe that the countries that treat holocaust denial as an offence are completely right to do so, yes everyone is entitled to their opinion, but denying that such a terrible masacre happened is not an opinion, its complete disregard for the facts.
I think that countries have such laws so that the memory of the people that were killed cannot be forgotten or belittled, and hopefully so it cannot happen again.
Jeremy Clarkson made a Hitler salute on his show the other night which has sparked outrage and so it should. If it had been in Austria or Germany he would have had 6 months in jail for it.
It all sounds very laudable to proclaim that within a democracy the indiviual has the right to free speech, and can therefore say whatever they like. Within a democracy however, along with rights, individuals also have responsibilities to the rest of society.
Those people who are holocaust deniers are peddling their own version of history, completely disregarding the overwhelming evidence. They are doing this usually to further their own particular agenda,and in my view should be punished for it.
After all, we now have laws on the statutes which can be used against people making inflammatory comments designed to stoke up race hatred.Given the current tensions, I am sure most people think this is a good idea.
Hang on a sec - Jezza Clarkson would face 6 months in prison? I am assuming it was on Top Gear - a satirical look at motoring.
So, should Mel Brooks be treated in the same way for Springtime?
How about John Cleese?
Whilst people should never forget, a prison sentance for a mockery is just outrageous
With regard to Jeremy Clarkson, the man took the mick out of a german car, big deal. Nothing he said was seriously disrespectful or intended to cause anyone pain and anyone who took offence clearly misunderstood his motives. With regard to Holocaust denial, whilst clearly the Holocaust took place and there can be no doubt about that, it is fundamentally wrong to deny people their opinion, however odious that might be.I am a Catholic from Belfast whose wife is Jewish so we know all about people's odious opinions first hand.My wife lost members of her family in Theresienstadt and she will agree that only freedom of speech keeps anyone safe and needs to be cherished at all costs.It's what makes our society different from the perpetrators of the Holocaust.Interestingly no-one ever sems to pull up the US Govt on the fact that they strongly dispute another holocaust, that of the Native American Indians.According to them the systematic removal from their lands and subsequent starvation and murder was merely an "unfortunate historic event".