20 February 2006 - Monday

Criminal opinions

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, on the imprisonment of David Irving:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center commended the Austrian government for its commitment to fighting Holocaust denial by sentencing British historian David Irving to three years in prison on charges of denying the Holocaust.
I nearly laughed aloud. Parsing the sentence, I find that the Austrian government has a commitment to sentencing David Irving to three years in prison. (Or else, I suppose, the Simon Wiesenthal Center commended the Austrian government by sentencing David Irving to three years in prison.) The wording is poor.

Either way, the Wiesenthal Center's agenda is clear: it wants this man imprisoned for his beliefs. Not because he intentionally harmed someone, but because he refused to affirm what the center wants to be compulsory to affirm.

How can a group devoted to tolerance and human dignity advocate compulsory belief or silence?

I read further and was amused even more:

"Today's sentencing confirms David Irving as a bigot and an antisemite and also serves a direct challenge to the Iranian regime's embrace of Holocaust denial," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center.
I suppose he thinks Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is going to fly to Vienna to turn himself in, or something.
"While Irving's rants would not have led to legal action in the United States, it is important that we recognize and respect Austria's commitment to fighting Holocaust denial, the most odious form of hatred, as part of its historic responsibility to its Nazi past," Rabbi Cooper concluded.
Your parents did evil things. Therefore, you must punish people who disagree with us. It almost makes sense until you think about it.

Clarification: The author of this post believes David Irving is a wicked man who thinks wicked things and teaches wicked false history. But he still has a right to speak. Freedom of expression means nothing if it only applies to the innocuous.

| Posted by Wilson at 19:54 Central | TrackBack
| Report submitted to the Power Desk