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yes, absolutely.  I think that that particular book is banned and should be if it isn't.  It is hate literature plain and simple.

and as for Holocaust revisionists, I think Holocaust deniers should face bans on their freedom of speech.  To say that the Holocaust never happened is clearly hate speech.  However, to try to investigate if Hitler gave the direct order to unleash the "Final Solution" can be considered valid historical research.

The reason that I mention that is that, from what I have read, that is one of the points raised in the criminal investigation and conviction of David Irving in Austria.  He was also prosecuted for talking about points which are historically unresolved.

On the other hand, he is also known to be a hate-mongerer on other issues related to Jews.  Although he should not be imprisoned for this (unless he advocates and incites violence against a minority), his freedom of speech should also be curtailed.

As should Mark Steyn and Ezran Levant's, two of the commenters in the BBC story.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 8th, 2008 at 10:07:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, absolutely.  I think that that particular book is banned and should be if it isn't.  It is hate literature plain and simple.

It is also, however, a historical document. Properly contextualised - that is, annotated and given a foreword that explains its origins, it provides a valuable insight into a part of European history. Banning it may prevent it from being used as propaganda, but it will also airbrush it from our historical consciousness.

and as for Holocaust revisionists, I think Holocaust deniers should face bans on their freedom of speech.  To say that the Holocaust never happened is clearly hate speech.

Why?

I can see that a case can be made that Germany and Austria might want to ban Nazi parties and the associated expression and paraphernalia. Certainly, such measures were necessary sixty years ago. And while, personally, I think that the justification wears increasingly thin as the years go by, I am not sufficiently conversant with the state of German de-nazification to conclusively state that such laws are obsolescent.

But that is Germany and Austria. Those countries have a very specific historical reason to take heavy-handed legal measures against anti-semitism. It is not clear that the same is true for other countries, nor is it clear that there are similarly powerful justifications for indulging in the same kind of heavy-handed measures aimed against islamophobia.

On the other hand, he is also known to be a hate-mongerer on other issues related to Jews.  Although he should not be imprisoned for this (unless he advocates and incites violence against a minority), his freedom of speech should also be curtailed.

So, how do you propose to curtail someone's freedom of speech if you're not willing to imprison him? Impose fines? They'd have to be pretty hefty to shut him up.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Apr 8th, 2008 at 10:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the same way that yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre causes a stampede, hate speech causes hate towards certain identifiable groups which can then develop into violence

every country should be careful of this for the sake of social harmony and protection of its citizens

in France and other countries, there has been the recall of magazines and books which have been deemed offensive.  this turns out to be quite costly to the publisher and one or two incidents would be useful deterrents.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 8th, 2008 at 10:59:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a much longer causal chain between "hate speech" and the damage that it causes (i.e. the actual crimes committed) than between yelling fire and the stampede it causes. This makes establishing a causal relationship between hate speech and violence a decidedly dodgy issue.

Or, shorter version: I don't buy your causal chain. You're engaging in a slippery slope fallacy.

And on the subject of "social harmony and the protection of its citizens," one might just as easily argue that a syndicalist agitator promoting strikes and blockades as means to achieve higher wages is disrupting the "social harmony" and that citizens need to be "protected" from him.

Lastly, I notice that you keep conflating offencive speech with hate speech. Do you think that the two are the same? If so, who determines what is offencive?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Apr 8th, 2008 at 11:29:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that's an easy one - if it is directed at a group of people identifiable by their ethnic origin, skin colour, religious affiliation, age, sex, sexual preference, or handicap.

so union busters would only be using hate speech if they were trying to bust up a union of Santa's elves.  ;-)

by zoe on Tue Apr 8th, 2008 at 12:37:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Union busters are targeting people based on their political affiliation. Are you saying that political affiliation should not be a protected category? If so, expect labour unions to file for church status.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Apr 8th, 2008 at 01:15:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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