Monday, February 20, 2006

Cartoon Publishers are in Danger After British Historian sentenced to 3 years in Prison

British historian David Irving has been found guilty in Vienna of denying the Holocaust of European Jewry and sentenced to three years in prison.

If a British writer is sentenced to 3 years in prison in Austria what is the obstacle to put the Danish cartoonists in prison over Prophet Muhammed’s Cartoons.

I find is sentence is so arbitrary, and there is no logic to ask or question him over his writings, especially that he admitted he made a mistake in the court in the Austrian capital: "I made a mistake when I said there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.”

He admitted that in 1989 he had denied that Nazi Germany had killed millions of Jews. He said this is what he believed, until he later saw the personal files of Adolf Eichmann, the chief organiser of the Holocaust.

Irving told the court. "I said that then based on my knowledge at the time, but by 1991 when I came across the Eichmann papers, I wasn't saying that anymore and I wouldn't say that now."

Jyllands Posten apologized for the cartoons but now what will prevent sentencing the cartoonists to few years to jail.

I am not so happy with Europe now.


At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

In case you hadn't noticed, "Europe" is not a country. Austria and Denmark are separate countries and have their own laws. Denmark does not have a law outlawing Holocaust denial. Austria, because of its WWII history, does.

Frankly, I think the countries that have the Holocaust-denial laws should drop them. I understand the post-WWII sensitivities that led to their adoption but I think their time has passed, if they ever had a correct time. America has no such laws and while there are a few Holocaust-denial kooks here they are correctly regarded as kooks and ignored. Outlawing them only gives them publicity and gives unwarranted credence to their arguments, in the minds of some people.

But the bottom line, in response to your question about why the Holocaust denier is jailed in Austria and the cartoonist is not jailed in Denmark is that Denmark has no such laws. Denmark is not Austria.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...


Thank you so much for your explanation. Ivring is a British yet he was arrested in Austria in November, on a warrant dating back to 1989.

Danish cartoonists might be protected under Denmark's law, but when travelling to another European country might be arrested under an allegation or a case filed by some nuts.

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

Not unless the Danish cartoonists break Austria's laws while in Austria. Your logic would only apply if a Danish cartoonist had published something in Austria that broke Austria's laws.

Irving is British but his nationality is irrelevant. He was arrested in Austria because he broke Austria's laws, when he was in Austria... in a speech he gave in Austria, not for anything he had done in Britain or in any other country.

As I said, I'm against the Holocaust-denial laws some countries have but those laws apply in those countries that have them. If you break that country's law, in that country, you will be charged. The Danish cartoonists did not break any Austrian law in Austria. And they broke no Danish law.

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

By the way, I think we actually agree here. I think these Holocaust-denial laws are stupid and unnecessary, and they open the door for people to correctly accuse those countries of hypocrisy. I think Irving is an anti-semitic racist idiot but I also think his arrest and jail sentence are ridiculous. I believe in Free Speech, even the freedom for idiots to speak and make fools of themselves. They will be shown to be the fools they are. Charging them with crimes only makes them into martyrs and gives them power they don't deserve.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...


You are right!

My worry now is that the fact this man was sentenced to 3 years over Holocaust charges in a case related to freedom of speech is coming in a wrong timing.

We will see how the news about this man will be completely twisted in Muslim countries. This news will backfire.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Of course, there was a Holocaust, but I also agree that there should be no laws against questioning it. Free speech should include the freedom to express unpopular beliefs, the right to offend. That's what the Jyllands-Posten cartoons were about. Otherwise, there's little need to protect free speech.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Esben said...

FFE, I can only second Mark.. David Irving has violated Austrian law while in Austria.

If he were to pursue his Holocaust denial in DK , that would not be illegal. He would risk being severely carricatured tho' :-)
If there was a law against stupidity I'd sue the editor of Jyllands-posten myself.

Thanks for your moral support to Danes in a troubled time. You are building bridges where others are digging trenches.

One day _insh'allah_ I can go to wonderful Egypt again without fearing for my life, and meet
my Muslim brother and talk freely.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Is it just me, or the timing of this trial couldn't suck more?

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Hope said...

I agree with Mark " Holocaust-denial laws are stupid and unnecessary, and they open the door for people to correctly accuse those countries of hypocrisy." I want to emphasize the word correctly in the previous statement.
People, including Muslims, have the right to free speech , and also the right to request legislation that will serve their interests. I think that Muslims have the right to object to the cartoons, and have the right to lobby for a law that prohibits ridiculing them , their prophet and their religion.
I believe that nothing that happens in the world around us is purely coincidental. This trial happened at this time for a good reason, so the timing , in my opinion couldn't be better. It should be an eye-opener for those who think that everything Western is good and everything Arab or Muslim sucks. For those who believe that Europe and America is all about freedom of speech, democracy, etc, etc ..well, there you go..

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Myrtle said...

I do think that "Cartoon Jihad" and "Holocaust Denial" are two separete and different cases.

The Cartoons imply that islam is a violent religion - Muslims deny that and then go out and burn flags, torch a few Embassies and kill each other? True or False?

David Irving says Holocaust didn't happen - well where did all the European Jews go then (except for the few that the Danes helped across to Sweden)? Away in a flying saucer? True or False?

You can get punished for lying or slandering...
David Irving is a liar and got punished for it, that doesn't mean all British people are liars.
One or more of the cartoons may be slander. The newspaper can get fined for it, if found quilty, perhaps even the cartoonist can get fined.
As I see the problem is that the Muslims themselves have proved the slander, they are protesting, to be true... A self goal?
But that doesn't mean that all Danes from the outset believed all Muslims to be violent or the religion itself for that matter....

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Hope said...

Burning flags and embassies and all sort of violent protests that led to death and destruction are wrong, immoral, stupid, and in addition defeat the purpose.
the majority of Muslims neither participated in or condoned such protests.

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous myrtle said...

To Hope
I agree with you - the majority of Muslims neither participated in or condoned such protests.
As the majority of Danes didn't draw the cartoons and don't agree with the implacations that the cartoons made.
Right now, I am afraid that the only winners in this situation is the extremists of both sides:
the extreme right in Denmark/Europe and the extreme islamists.
But I feel I have more in common with you bloggers here, that the extreme right in Denmark.
What shall we do?

At 12:27 PM, Blogger urbansocrates said...

It's interesting; an American can send pro-Nazi materials to Germany, but if he were sending them out in Germany, he'd be violating the law. I'm kind of extreme in defense of free speech, and I agree that Austria's law is wrong. But the historian convicted was profiting from spreading lies, which is also wrong. I just don't think that the Austrian government is responsible for deciding what statements are lies with respect to the Holocaust!

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Esben said...

myrtle said..."What should we do ?"

talk, talk, and talk. Reach out others. Stop thinking in terms os "us and them".. the world is rapidly growing too small for that.

I - along with most other Danes - have been learning a lot in a very short time..I'm beginning to understand how it must be to live in Israel.

Muslims, Christians, Jews, Whatevers must get to know each other. We're all in this shit together

Is it too far out ? bear with me, it's been a tough couple weeks lately

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Support free speech.
Buy Danish!
Boycott Austria!

At 11:24 PM, Blogger Bent El Neel said...

The timing does suck! People in Muslim countries have been fed anti-semitic propaganda for a long time now. They believe that Israel has the world wrapped around their fingers while the Arabs or Muslims are hated in the West. This will serve to inflame them even more.

When you stop to think about it, they’re completely different cases. Denial of the Holocaust is a bit ridiculous really. It wasn’t that long ago that it happened. People who were there are still around (or were until very recently). However the actual law against this denial IS a bit ridiculous too.

My hope is that this incident doesn’t trigger demands by the Muslim world for trialling the cartoonists or the newspaper.

Mark; thanks for your first comment. It’s good to k now the reason behind things.

Cheers All

At 4:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One point is not really observed hear.
The holocaust denial is clearly a lie.
The one carton that indicates a relation between Muslims and bombs is an opinion that is even hard to call a lie.
To spread lies about people is also in Denmark not legal.
E.g. I can say that our PM is an idiot and that I do not like his idiotic policy. That’s legal.
BUT if I would say that he is homo and I can not prove it. I can be prosecuted for slander.

What some countries did is say holocaust denial is classified like slander and can give this and that specific penalty.

BUT this case boils down to the fact that Muslim and especially radical Muslims are a big damager to the world peace and that we in Europe do not have the means to control the radical elements. They actually use our free systems against us.

A reformation of Islam is definitely needed and would make the world a lot safer.

What we will do in Denmark? Implement more laws to be able trough out the Imams.

We should do like Saudi and make other believes than Christian believe illegal.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger rafaelkasper said...

Be serious,
by recognizing his mistake, Irving is just trying to reduce his sentence. denying holocaust is a racist crime, is kinda an anti-semitic propaganda. He's been condemned for racism and anti-semitism, not just for a simple exercise of freedom of speech.

the case of cartoons is different. Can be disrespect, but not completly racism or a completly lie. Just a humor in extremism. Like cartoons of Sharon or a hasidic rab driving a tank.

that was an unhappy comparation.


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