Friday, August 20, 2010

Free-speech crusaders thwarted

It seems to be a rule in politics that pure accusations of hypocrisy are hard to come by. The abstract notion of someone being hypocritical is simply not that interesting to people. So if John Doe accuses Richard Roe of hypocritically having one attitude towards A and another one towards B, the chances are that John Doe has some sort of unspoken stake in A or B or both. Case in point:
The Arab European League has been fined €1,000 by a court in Arnhem for carrying a cartoon on its website which suggested the holocaust was invented by Jews, reports Friday's Volkskrant.

The cartoon featured two men in suits discussing how to boost the number of people killed during the holocaust.

The court ruled the cartoon was 'highly offensive' to Jews. The total fine was €2,500 with €1,500 suspended. Abdoulmouthalib Bouzerda, head of the AEL who drew the cartoon, was acquitted.
According to a Reuters story:
The Dutch group says it had no intention of disputing the Holocaust, but wanted instead to highlight what it described as double standards in free speech.

The AEL circulated it in 2006 after a Danish newspaper published a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad . . .
MPAC-UK, in a very revealing moment that was repeated over and over again in the Muslim world during the original cartoon controversy, thinks the hypocrisy charge is on-target, thereby reminding us that they are, after all, an organization co-founded by somebody who once gave money to David Irving. (And if you think it is unfair to Muslims to focus much attention on them, recall also that they were invited by the BBC to give a pro-democracy rebuttal to Hizb Ut-Tahrir Caliphate advocacy). Iran's PressTV comments at the end of its article on this latest chapter in the cartoon saga:
Challenging or disputing the Holocaust story is considered a major offense in Europe, entailing fines and long prison term. Many observers view this as a contradiction to the so-called democratic principles of Western democracies, namely the freedom of expression.
Which really means that they, like MPAC-UK, support Holocaust denial (certainly the "soft-core" version, at least), want to shove Muslim taboos down the world's throat, and don't care about freedom of speech. I wonder what Feisal Abdul Rauf thinks. Don't you?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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