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« Food for Thought | Main | Bravo South African Muslims »

February 22, 2006



Thanks to the hosts for always keeping us so uptodate. You are a true source of info regulalry. Where else would be we be reading about these items?


Its our pleasure. Thanks for the kind words.

So...what do you think of freedom of expression? Should it be an absolute right?

Should anti-Holocaust denial laws exist in Austria and Germany and Israel?

Do you allow hate speech in order to allow absolute freedom of expression?


Freedom of speach is positive in that it allows those who need to be heard to speak to their required audience. For eg people who are opressed need to be able to relate the details of their opression to those who can help.

However, there is an equal obligation to not use that right to be hurtfull to others.

In an ideal world, social morality would make this common sense. However, in an ideal world we would not need laws against child-molestation, murder etc...
Thus, I support laws against hate-speach and I support the existence of anti-holocaust denial laws. I guess therefore, that I support laws against depiciting the prophet Mohammed if it offends Muslims. There is no possible positive a person could gain from publishing such pictures other than financial profit.

(the burning of the embassies is ofcourse a separate discussion)

The running of this holocaust cartoon competition and hosting of the conference in Iran do illustrate however, that this issue was never about common deceny. It was used to stoke the fire within muslim communities and create an annimosity towards the West.


The Independent (via The Star) have voiced their opinion.

"An Austrian court has sentenced the British historian David L-ving to three years in prison for Holocaust denial in speeches delivered 17 years ago. Three years is far less than the maximum 10 years he could have been required to serve under Austrian law. But it is three years more than anyone should have to serve for exercising freedom of speech in a democracy Irving, a right-wing historian of Germany, has spent much of his adult life claiming that there was no systematic extermination of Jews by the Nazis. It was the articulation of these views in 1989 that got him into trouble in Austria, precipitated his arrest when he re-entered the country last year and led to his trial and sentencing yesterday To us, though, this case is far less straightforward than the Vienna court proceedings would suggest. We hold no brief for Irving`s views on German history; as to his overall philosophy, we could not disagree with him more. But he is entitled to hold the views he does, and to express them in public. The principle of free speech cannoL apply only to those who hold views with which we agree. But neither, as we have seen with the Danish cartoons, can it be a shield behind which those who give gratuitous offence to others can hide. Nevertheless, everyone should be able to believe and say what they like, up to the point where their words amount to incitement of hatred or violence or murder. Disputing the Holocaust, of itself, does not come into that category however erroneous and hateful such an opinion might be. We would argue, however, that laws restricting free speech are not the way to deal with Holocaust denial. Irving is entitled to believe what he pleases. He should also be able to say what he believes on a public platform. To prosecute Holocaust denial is the start of a slippery slope that ends in the proscription of all dissent. And dissent can be defined as anything which at a particular time displeases those in authority."


Cartoons of the prophet are accepted as offensive to Muslims and therefore not OK. But holocaust denial which is offensive to Jews is OK. The whole cartoon furore clearly shows that terrorism, economic or physical, does work. It’s a very sad indictment of the society in which we live.

yaron fishman

hi steve look tomorrow morning for the Lowfeldwr issu (7/3/2006). the courtcase took place last Friday. if you can not get it in the big city contact me and i will e.mail the artical. judge will decide in 2-3 weeks.(mike did a good artical on israeli parties)all the best yaron


Anti-Semitism is as old as the Jewish race. We are disliked, despised and denigrated because of who we are and what we represent. The Jews constitute but a percentage of all people on the planet, yet we have contributed 100 fold more to the betterment of the world than any other group of people. Why is this so? Why are we the conscience of the world? Why are we the ones acting as the voices of reason and morality? It is simple, we are the chosen people, not through an act of narcissism, but through divine intervention. We are detested because we care; because we put ideologies above self-interest; because we are an impregnable fortress when we are united; because we are still here after thousands of years of persecution. The Jew, in the words of Mark Twain, "He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstract learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all the ages, and has done it with his hands tied behind him"

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