October 10, 2006

The Problem With Banning Historical Points Of View

I've got a Holocaust-deying troll who has been infesting my site for some time. He is an immoral, intellectually-deficient pseud-Christian hate-monger. But under no circumstance should he be considered a criminal for his holding and expression of a repugnant view that is contrary to the overwhelming weight of historical evidence.

A situation taking place in Europe now illustrates the folly of laws banning the publication of what the government decides is the only correct interpretation of historical evidence.

Turkey's painful progress towards European Union membership has been plunged into crisis by a dispute with the French over the massacre of Armenians during and after the 1914-18 war.

A Socialist-backed proposal, which could pass the National Assembly on Thursday, would make it illegal in France to deny that the killings amounted to genocide by Turkey.

The legislation, which has gained support from Right-wing assembly members, would see anyone denying that a genocide took place jailed for up to five years.

Armenians claim that as many as 1.5 million of their ancestors were killed between 1915 and 1923 in an organised campaign to eradicate them from eastern Turkey.

The Turkish government fiercely denies a genocide, saying that hundreds of thousands of Turks and Armenians died in a civil war.

Under Turkish law, it is illegal to accuse the state of genocide. Scores of Turkish writers and intellectuals who have debated the massacres publicly have faced prosecution under article 301 of the penal code, outlawing insults to "Turkishness".

The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reacted with indignation to the French proposal, asking: "What would you do if the Turkish prime minister came to France and denied that the genocide had taken place? Arrest him?"

And therein lies the problem. Such an official, while clearly wrong about the history of his own nation, would not be a criminal in any moral sense -- merely deluded. After all, the documentary evidence is too strong -- including pictures of soldiers standing next to piles of severed heads of Armenian men, women and children.

But neither is the scholar who dares to present that evidence to document the grave evil that took place betwen 1915 and 1923 a criminal, for all of Turkey's attempt to punish those who dare to speak the truth about the murder of millions of Christian Armenians by Muslim Turks acting (for at least part of that time) on behalf of the religious government of the Muslim Ottoman Empire.

The study of history is not a crime. Stating one's conclusions should not be, either.

|| Greg, 04:44 AM || Permalink || Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

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Comments on The Problem With Banning Historical Points Of View

When will the siteowner defend the right of incarcerated historians David Irving and Germar Rudolph to question the orthodox story of events surrounding World War Two? Does he wish to leave it to Ahmedijinad?

|| Posted by Ken Hoop, October 12, 2006 02:11 PM ||

I know nothing about the Rudolph case, but i have defended the right of Irving to freely espouse and present his diseased rantings and historical misrepresentaions anywhere in the world.

Including in a comment thread with you, KKKen.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 12, 2006 03:30 PM ||
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