Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Why I am not Celebrating Today's News from Austria

A friend emailed me this link today with the subject line "heh heh heh". I do not share his joy. Why would I not be pleased that a Holocaust denier of David Irving's calibre is put away ? Ok, I am a little pleased at an emotional level. Neverthelss, it is important to recognise that Irving's conviction is a step in the wrong direction.
This is because freedom of speech is the most precious weapon in the Western armoury. Without it, we cannot bring the other weapons to bear. I will not reiterate the dismal state of freedom of speech in The UK and other parts of Europe, as well as in Victoristan, ostensibly still a state of Australia (expecting some serious Sydney-bashing from Nilknarf and other Melbournabad bloggers here :) )
Freedom of speech is also vital because it shows our enemies for what they are. Forcing them to moderate their speech does not moderate their agenda, it only makes it smoother and more effective.
As Blair's Law (named after uber-blogger Tim Blair) takes greater hold, and the moonbat leftists, Islamists and Holocaust-denying (or Holocaust-celebrating, or, strangely, both simultaneously) Nazi fascists all congeal into a grand anti-Western alliance, it is important for the world to hear their increasingly dissonant and insane rhetoric, and for us to be able to say exactly what is wrong with their ideas, and the people who hold them.
Irving's conviction is a sop to those otherwise sane, sensible people who know the Holocaust for what it is, but whose pain and sense of justice may blind them to more immediate and frightening threats, and force them to forget the value of key freedoms and institutions. Those who applaud Irving's conviction provide political capital to those who would try Oriana Fallaci for insulting Islam, ban the publication of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons or convict Daniel Scot and Danny Nalliah in Victoristan.
I could find no better case against the jailing of Irving than this recently taken picture:

I would rather Irving was not jailed, but instead photographed marching alongside these ladies, or freely attending Holocaust-denial conferences in Iran. The important thing is not to punish him, but to discredit him. Noone can do this better than Irving himself, but only if he is given the key human rights of free speech, and freedom of association.
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