segunda-feira, fevereiro 06, 2006

The holocaust denial

"I have a lot of sympathy for the argument that European countries already restrict free speech (for example Austria is currently prosecuting fringe historian David Irving for Holocaust denial), so this falls within the limits of what isn't acceptable."

This is a quote from a moroccon blog, that does not reflect entirely the view of the writer. However, I post it because exposes a common place often used by muslim people (and non-). Which is very wrong, because of the following reasons:
  1. Austria chose to punish by law the denial of holocaust — this is their decision, which is deeply rooted in the country's history and that did not come without debate, but we can say that it reflects the views of most austrian people.
  2. In the western countries, what is acceptable and what is not is defined by the Law. It is precisely here that lies the boundary of the european sense of decency so much invoked these days. And this seems to be the point that does not enter easily in the minds of people that live in less democratic societies.
  3. To deny the Holocaust is a lie. An horrible and disgusting lie on something that has costed the life of about 10 milion people (my father still remembers the german army and the SS in the courtyard, in case somebody out there has a boubt and think we are all subject to allucinations here in Europe).
  4. Unlike the holocaust, a cartoon does not kill anybody. Killing people is quite diferent from offending someone — unless, of course, those fanatics don't make things worse.
  5. Unlike many reactions from muslims that I've seen on the web these days, I am mature enough to not feel the need to deny holocaust in order to criticise israeli politics and actions.
  6. I am wondering whether in the middle east things are at the point that people's mindset find it more comfortable to confront bullets and bombs than cartoons. Surely their dictatorial governments and politicians do.