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Question for Daniel Pipes re David Irving vs. Austrian Gov't

Reader comment on item: Western Civilization on Trial: Why We Should Be Watching Geert Wilders

Submitted by freespeechsupporter (United States), Mar 8, 2010 at 17:21

Acquaintences of mine insist that your motive in supporting Wilders cannot be free speech, since they claim that you do not object when othersbeen prosecuted by European governments for ideas offensive to you and your causes. One brought up David Irving vs. the Austrian government (2005-2006). I was doubtful of this since you cite on your blog "Talking Freely with the Enemy" (2/25/2009 update) Eric Fingerhut of (JTA) as saying you were against "hate-speech" laws including those used against Holocaust deniers in Europe. One of them responded that Fingerhut was your "supporter," and that he only imputed those views to you (falsely apparently!), but that you did not "really" object to the legal prosecution of Holocaust deniers. I responded that you would not likely cite Fingerhut on your own blog if he falsely imputed to you the opinion that prosecution of Holocaust deniers was a "bad idea." For the record, did you support the Austrian government's prosecution and punishment of David Irving (2006) for Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, etc.? In general, do you think that individuals should be prosecuted and punished by European governments for denying the Holocaust, or other comparable atrocities (e.g. what the Ottoman government did to Ottoman Empire Armenians c. 1915-1922?)

Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

Holocauast Denial should not be a criminal offense. I do not write about this topic because it is remote from what I specialize in - the Middle East and Islam.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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