Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Double Standard of Democracy

An article ran in the Metro this morning that criticized Iran for hosting a gathering of "Holocaust deniers".

The EU's top justice official yesterday condemned the conference as 'an unacceptable affront' to victims of the World War II genocide. British Prime Minister Tony Blair denounced it as "shocking beyond belief" and proof of Iranian President Mahmous Admadinejad's extremism....

Although organizers touted it as a scholarly gathering, the meeting angered many in countries such as Austria, Germany and France, where it is illegal to deny aspects of the Nazis' '"Final Solution".

In Washington, the White House condemned Iran for convening a conference it called "an affront to the entire civilized world."

Any one who reads this blog knows that I do not support the beliefs presented at these gatherings. But this latest controversy targeting an Islam country has me slightly confused.

Isn't the 'right to gather' protected under the tenets of freedom? Does the government really have the ability to make laws about what people are allowed to believe? We are willing to risk the lives of Americans to bring freedom and democracy to the citizens of the Middle East, but isn't the freedom of speech - no matter the horrors of its subject manner - protected in those rights?

The idea of legalizing a march of the KKK through the streets of Alabama disturbs me, but I also know that the laws that give them these rights are the same laws that allow me to gather at the foot of the Washington Monument in the name of women's emancipation.

Isn't anyone else afraid that extending the arm of the international moral police may swing back to hit us in the face?

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posted by Pop Culture Casualty @ 12/13/2006 07:40:00 AM |


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