Tuesday, February 21, 2006

David Irving is jailed for Holocaust Denial

Well, David Irving played with fire when he went back to Austria due to his controversial views on the holocaust and now he's been made the martyr he has aiming to be. An Austrian court has decided to imprison him for a whopping 3 years, which does in fact seem to have given him a rather nasty surprise if his reaction is anything to go by. He initially pleaded guilty, but after the decision shocked him he is now apparently going to appeal the decision.

You know, I find the very ideals surrounding holocaust denial to be generally reprehensible, especially with how much historical fact is frequently abused to various degrees. In this case however, I think the Austrian court has done the wrong thing. Simply because D. Irving has a particularly controversial and somewhat misguided view of history, however much it concerns the suffering of some six million people, he should not have been jailed for his views. Jailing him will simply make him out to be a martyr and goes against the sort of principles that 'democracy' supposedly stands for.

I'm beginning to wonder more and more if people think that free speech should go only as far as those you agree with. If that is what free speech is supposed to be, then it sounds somewhat more like a dictatorship of the majority rather than a true democracy. Just because someones views are repugnant/inflammatory doesn't automatically mean they should be jailed for it.

Also, Ocellated has some further comments that I thought were dead on.