Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, February 20, 2006

Is Jail OK For Hate Speech?

Right-wing British historian David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison today, after pleading guilty to saying the Holocaust never occurred.

Irving fell afoul of a 1992 Austrian law that criminalizes the actions of "whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media."

As dispicable as Irving's beliefs are, how can a society that stands by the rights of media to print the Kartoonistan cartoons in the face of Islamic opposition throw a holocaust denier in prison? If Muslims get confused by this turn of events, who could blame them?

Yes, Irving's conviction justifies our criticism of their anti-Semitic antics, but it tells them our Sacred Cows are worth defending, but theirs aren't. And that's not free speech.

Sheesh. I feel like I'm making the ACLU's arguements. So be it, in this case.

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