Thursday, February 23, 2006
Double standards ahoy!
As you already know, I believe the Danish cartoons are protected political speech. That said, it is very difficult for a country to proclaim the Danish cartoons protected free speech if they ban other images/thoughts/ideas. In Austria, on February 20, famed Holocaust denier David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison. His crime? Denying the Holocaust. THAT was his crime. It seems to me that when the Muslim groups claim there is a double standard for speech in Europe, they do have a point. Yes, Hitler was from Austria. Yes, there is a very real fear of the Holocaust occurring again if deniers/liars such as Irving get to shout their hatred from the highest rooftop. But by denying his right to speak, it is certainly difficult to then claim it's okay to allow the cartoons. It seems many European countries are saying speech is free for some but not all. The solution should be more speech, not less speech. Exposing the stupidity and lies, in the long run, accomplishes a hell of a lot more than banning and punishing the speaker. Otherwise, what's left? What is hate speech, and what is legitimate political speech? The line is not so clear.