February 15, 2011

Jewish Groups in Netherlands Demand Swifter Punishment for Holocaust Deniers

Jewish Flag / anti-Semitism
By Francis Nye

Jewish groups in the Netherlands called Wednesday for swifter punishment for Holocaust deniers as parliament debated how to combat rising anti-Semitism. Among other measures, a Jewish umbrella organization said it wants Holocaust deniers punished under rules usually reserved for drunk drivers, shoplifters, and football hooligans.

Under the "snelrecht," or "fast justice" policy, police and prosecutors offer offenders a choice immediately after their arrest between a fine and a court appearance within two months.  All this is because there is rising anti-Semitism.  Sources say this can be attributed to the rise of influence of Islam in the Netherlands.  More Islam, more anti-Semitism.

While my heart goes out to the victims of Holocaust I think it preposterous that special laws are needed in regards to anti-Semitism or any anti-religious views.  If violence is occurring then laws regarding assault, battery, and such should be enforced.  But just to arrest and fine or detain people over anti-Semitic remarks is just oppressive.  It crosses the line between a free society and a tyrannical religious dictatorship.
 
All civilized societies are secular and for good reason. Many Western nations have accepted the standard of separation of church and state.  Their citizens enjoy many liberties not afford to those who do not.  While I think anyone who denies the Holocaust has their head in the sand, it is a step backwards in their development to take away their liberties for a point of view not in agreement with another group.

Moreover, if there is such outrage by the Jewish community over anti-religious views, why didn’t they stand up and be counted over the reprinting in 2005 of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons that was such a whopping controversy in the Netherlands?

The Jews are just as guilty of anti-religious rhetoric as the rest of us, so why the special laws?  I don’t think for a minute they are anymore persecuted than anyone else.  One could also argue that these Jewish organizations that are trying to promote these laws are no better than the Muslim caitiffs they oppose.  History is replete with examples of religious maltreatment of all faiths even the Jews.  Also I think it is noteworthy to point out that while it is tragic that 6 million Jews died in World War II, 27 millions Russians died in the same conflict.  That is 4 ½ times as many Jews, but no one is crying over the Russians now are they? 

The real danger is if we start crossing over the line on how free speech is defined. Then pretty soon the state will control all forms of expression. It becomes a religious controlled tyrannical society much like those of the Middle East with all the trappings and oppressive laws that come with it.  Really were does the religious intolerance stop if we choose one religion over another or worse if we have a hodge-podge of religious laws to make everyone happy? Soon women will be wearing the infamous hijab in the Netherlands because their beauty offends some other group’s sensibilities.  Think of what confusion that would be.  The Jews could learn from the adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  Ω

What are your views on this situation?  Please let me know in the comment section below.

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Freedom Of Speech Is Non-negotiable!

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