Saturday, 25 July 2009

Freedom of speech includes the freedom to express daft opinions

An American group (the American Jewish Committee) wishes to sue a German company ( for eroding German laws. Well, I may be wrong, but this looks like some Americans being determined to stick their nose into other people’s business. After all, Holocaust Denial is not a criminal offence in the USA. And yet, the American Jewish Committee said “We cannot let the spread of internet sales erode laws that ban Holocaust denial and incitement to hatred of minorities in Germany.” Is there not something ironic about people who live in a nation that has a certain freedom of seeking to support the suppression of that freedom in another land?

I’m not quite sure which I find more ridiculous: Holocaust Denial, or the fact that some nations have actually made Holocaust Denial a criminal offence. Holocaust Denial may annoy some people intensely, it may shock and horrify people, but it harms no-one, and criminalising it is a basic infringement on freedom of speech.

On reflection, I think that people should be far more horrified at the criminalising of Holcaust Denial than at Holocaust Denial itself.

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