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Holocaust Denial, the BNP and freedom of speech


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Recently, the Oxford University Student's Union invited two people to debate at one of their famous meetings, Nick Griffin, Chairman of the far right British National Party, and David Irving, a holocaust denier (see his Wikipedia page for more details of what exactly he's denying). The students invited these two people to their debate in the interests of freedom of speech. But many anti-racism campaigners were angry that these people should be given a platform to express their views. I'm sure many of you living in the UK have seen the headlines in the news, for those who haven't here are a selection of BBC news articles covering the protests/incideny, 1 2 3 4

 

 

 

My question is, do you think that these people should be given such a platform to express their views? Or not?

 

 

 

My views can be summed up by one post on the internet, replying to the controversy which astutely said "Always remember kids, freedom of speech is too precious to be given to those who disagree with the liberals"

 

 

 

Christopher Hitchens on freedom of speech (

)

 

 

 

Discuss.

"Da mihi castitatem et continentam, sed noli modo"

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I think they should have the right to speak, but I am not clear on UK Free Speech laws.

 

 

 

Here in the US you can say whatever you want, as long as it's: A) True; B) Is not libel or slander.

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This is an issue especially close to my heart (hell, its my union) so I intend to make a half decent post on this (after the college Christmas Dinner).

 

 

 

Let it be known that I was at the protest and a good couple of my friends even got on the news :lol:

 

 

 

EDIT -Barihawk I've spent the last week reading the human Rights Act and freedom of expression laws, I'll elaborate for you later as well.

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As much as it irks me to say, yes, they should be permitted to express their views.

 

 

 

However, whether allowing them to express their views unopposed is the best way to educate democratic citizens... Can't say I agree there. They should be invited to participate in debates, but they should be invited alongside people willing and able to tear their views to shreds. 'cause I'm not entirely sure what kind of "debate" two characters like that are meant to create that isn't a platform from which they can spout their own propaganda.

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Well, everyone should be allowed freedom of speech, though when publicely, to an extent. If it is just a few students debating with these 2 people, then it's fine. They're probably going to shoot the denier down within minutes.

 

 

 

If this were a public event, then I'd disagree with the Freedom Of Speech rule taking place. It would deeply aggrevate/upset many people due to one man's views.

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Firstly, most of us are agreed that the BNP's views are, frankly, pure venom, and have no place in our modern, diverse democratic society, yes?

 

 

 

In which case, the only argument I can see for giving them this platform is that the members of the Oxford Union, in all their wisdom and glory, can smite them down in an intelligent argument. They appear to have overlooked one thing though.

 

 

 

I, being a Socialist who has fairly strong political viewpoints on most issues, have argued with members of the extreme-right (not just the BNP, but the NF as well) on several occasions. They simply don't listen to a logical argument. They spin terminology so much, that the very meaning of words in their own minds becomes twisted and distorted. They fail to see that promising rights to one race, and denying them to every other race, is racism, claiming instead that is merely the way to respond to(what they see as) a failing experiment of multiculturalism. Instead, they call it "realism".

 

 

 

First they claim immigrants come over here and sponge off our welfare state, then they claim immigrants take all the jobs in Britain. 'How on Earth can they do both?', you might ask. They reply with some vague, mediating answer, such as, 'They take the jobs, get bored after a day, and live off benefits which they just send back home'. You try and point out the hypocrisy in that argument, they just demean you as some 'brainwashed lefty Commie'.

 

 

 

Not only that, but they do it in the most cowardly of ways. They effectively scapegoat anyone who is a Muslim. They advocate the views of Pat Condell, who in his own words, thinks all Muslim women who wear a Hijab are "mentally ill". They blame not extremist and fundamentalists, but the religion as a whole for the terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow.

 

 

 

Every election, they deliberetely print lies in their pamphlets to exploit the hidden xenophobia that exists, admittedly, in most people, just to give them some sort of credibility, using terms like "Islamification of land previously belonging to the indiginous population".

 

 

 

Why should we offer Freedom of Speech to those who wish to take it away? They hide behind laws which they don't even support!

 

 

 

One thing that was apparent last night was that no one cared about what was being debated; instead they noticed the massive anti-BNP/Respect protest that gathered outside the halls. I really cannot care less about martyrdom, or equality in regards to this. These people's views and actions should not tolerated in a liberal society.

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Let them come out and say it publicly and recorded as evidence as incitement to racial hatred so we can jail them.

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I think they should be able to express their views, whilst not preaching it to the rest of the public i.e. they can say what they believe when asked. Not say what they believe when not asked.

 

 

 

It's funny how the Human rights law in this country allows such freedom and how in other countries a teacher gets jailed for letting a toddler name its teddy Muhammed link

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As much as it irks me to say, yes, they should be permitted to express their views.

 

 

 

However, whether allowing them to express their views unopposed is the best way to educate democratic citizens... Can't say I agree there. They should be invited to participate in debates, but they should be invited alongside people willing and able to tear their views to shreds. 'cause I'm not entirely sure what kind of "debate" two characters like that are meant to create that isn't a platform from which they can spout their own propaganda.

 

 

 

I agree. Yes, they should be able to speak their minds on whatever platform, but it would be a lot more useful if they debated against someone who didn't agree with them.

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Of course, everybody should be given a right to express their views, waving the "we live in the free world" flag but banning books and opinions on certain subjects seems hypocratic to me. That's not to say I support any of the viewpoints these people put up.

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On the surface I'd say being able to express one's views is a fundamental privilege of a modern, western society. It's not without it's issues, though, firstly expressing a view which is contradictory with things that are known and accepted by basically all and secondly by expressing views which incite hate, discrimination, crime, etc.

 

 

 

If the first dosen't harm anyone, I'd in principal probably let them express it but encourage debate about the point to flesh out exactly why they disagree with essentially everyone else. Dunno, probably some things to think about on that point. The incitement of hate, discrimination or crime is a no brainer in my opinion, if you happen to be expressing such a view in a society with western values. After all, the whole free speech ideal seems to be a western value in itself.

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is it all a myth a story fabricated to fit a agenda. there plenty of evidence to debate.all nuremburg confessions were got from torture . the red cross evidence does not support the systamatice extintion of jews they found no evidence in sientific studys on the walls /concrete in the death chambers show no trace evidence that should still be inpregnated in the structure.because no results were found the seintific team were jailed. ground penetrating sonar show ground not disturbed in 5000 years yet we are told 500k people were buryed there ,volume .capasity .area and timeline cant and wont compute. human lampshade skin has been debunked as lies.the numbers reduced from 6 million to around 250kthats from auchwich .auchwich super ovens were built after the war by the russhains the weather the figures the timeline and the fact hitler diverted so much manpower away from winning the war to lose the war nope im not convinced.

 

we can deny christ exists elvis is dead but we are not allowed in some places by law to deny the holowcaust.we convict and jail without debating the evidence truth needs no laws to uphold it.

 

 

 

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for

 

people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

burrrppp

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is it all a myth a story fabricated to fit a agenda. there plenty of evidence to debate.all nuremburg confessions were got from torture . the red cross evidence does not support the systamatice extintion of jews they found no evidence in sientific studys on the walls /concrete in the death chambers show no trace evidence that should still be inpregnated in the structure.because no results were found the seintific team were jailed. ground penetrating sonar show ground not disturbed in 5000 years yet we are told 500k people were buryed there ,volume .capasity .area and timeline cant and wont compute. human lampshade skin has been debunked as lies.the numbers reduced from 6 million to around 250kthats from auchwich .auchwich super ovens were built after the war by the russhains the weather the figures the timeline and the fact hitler diverted so much manpower away from winning the war to lose the war nope im not convinced.

 

we can deny christ exists elvis is dead but we are not allowed in some places by law to deny the holowcaust.we convict and jail without debating the evidence truth needs no laws to uphold it.

 

 

 

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for

 

people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

 

 

 

To a degree, it's probably acceptable to contest the number of people who died in the Holocaust (though, what difference does it make? Were the nazis/Hitler a better person if they "only" killed 1 million jews?). Jewish lobbyists have tried to score political points on the expense of the dignity of the survivors for decades, even justifying the numbers as a reason to create the state of Israel.

 

 

 

What's not acceptable is the denial of the whole event occurring at all, because that statement is a blatant lie. Yet some people even in a political party such as the BNP accept this view. Saying the holocaust didn't exist to a jewish person, especially one who survived the holocaust, is worse than publicly humiliating him by insulting his family or telling him to f... off. Which can be both punished by law if the person decides to take legal action against you for public slander or libel.

 

 

 

Why should denying the holocaust be any different?

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is it all a myth a story fabricated to fit a agenda. there plenty of evidence to debate.all nuremburg confessions were got from torture . the red cross evidence does not support the systamatice extintion of jews they found no evidence in sientific studys on the walls /concrete in the death chambers show no trace evidence that should still be inpregnated in the structure.because no results were found the seintific team were jailed. ground penetrating sonar show ground not disturbed in 5000 years yet we are told 500k people were buryed there ,volume .capasity .area and timeline cant and wont compute. human lampshade skin has been debunked as lies.the numbers reduced from 6 million to around 250kthats from auchwich .auchwich super ovens were built after the war by the russhains the weather the figures the timeline and the fact hitler diverted so much manpower away from winning the war to lose the war nope im not convinced.

 

we can deny christ exists elvis is dead but we are not allowed in some places by law to deny the holowcaust.we convict and jail without debating the evidence truth needs no laws to uphold it.

 

 

 

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for

 

people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

 

 

 

That arguement would have been one helluva lot more convincing if it hadnt looked like one long incredibly unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic. Seriously, capital letters come after full stops, as do spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

I think that we should let people speak their mind and let their opinion be heard, however if that opinion is grossly offensive and stupid then we can stop them from actually DOING anything. The BNP arent doing any harm because they dont have any power, so let them have their debate. However, racism is downright unnaceptable and even free speech has limits. The trouble comes in deciding where those limits go, and who has the power to place such limits. I dont know why this is such big news to be honest. People voice more extremist views on a daily basis, this isnt anything new, or big.

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I say: let them speak. That way, someone with their act together can go Freddy Kruger on their "facts", then we can write them off as loons and ignore them. Also, if they plan on attacking people based on racism, we can use the tapes as Hate Crime evidence. :-w :XD: If they wanna dig their own political graves one mouthful at a time, let them. It's something to point and laugh at, which we are probably due for right now.

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I think that we should let people speak their mind and let their opinion be heard, however if that opinion is grossly offensive and stupid then we can stop them from actually DOING anything. The BNP arent doing any harm because they dont have any power, so let them have their debate.....

 

Now, wait a second, the NSDAP (the Nazi party in the Weimar Republic) had almost no power before 1930. If you support their right to speak, so be it, but don't do it based on that argument.

 

 

 

I also agree that freedom of speech is, in that sense, overrated. When someone uses their right to express hateful, racist or defaming views, that's when their rights come to an end.

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[hide=long post]is it all a myth a story fabricated to fit a agenda. there plenty of evidence to debate.all nuremburg confessions were got from torture . the red cross evidence does not support the systamatice extintion of jews they found no evidence in sientific studys on the walls /concrete in the death chambers show no trace evidence that should still be inpregnated in the structure.because no results were found the seintific team were jailed. ground penetrating sonar show ground not disturbed in 5000 years yet we are told 500k people were buryed there ,volume .capasity .area and timeline cant and wont compute. human lampshade skin has been debunked as lies.the numbers reduced from 6 million to around 250kthats from auchwich .auchwich super ovens were built after the war by the russhains the weather the figures the timeline and the fact hitler diverted so much manpower away from winning the war to lose the war nope im not convinced.

 

we can deny christ exists elvis is dead but we are not allowed in some places by law to deny the holowcaust.we convict and jail without debating the evidence truth needs no laws to uphold it.

 

 

 

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for

 

people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."[/hide]

 

 

 

That arguement would have been one helluva lot more convincing if it hadnt looked like one long incredibly unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic. Seriously, capital letters come after full stops, as do spaces.

 

Not to mention all the freaking mispellings. A few are fine, but so many.... :uhh:

 

 

 

Well, you give people free speech, this is what will happen. People hear this, hate it, civil unrest and angry protests, and nobody wants that.

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Why should they be given the right to publicy speak when they abuse the freedom of it for others, themselves?

 

Even so, you still can't take the right of freedom of speech away from anyone, even those who protest crap like that.

 

I see you take literally being able to say anything you want as "the freedom of speech".

 

I really wish people would open their eyes and stop thinking that.

 

 

 

That arguement would have been one helluva lot more convincing if it hadnt looked like one long incredibly unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic.

 

 

 

So that no-one had a chance to interrupt it was really quite hypnotic.

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