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Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Holocaust Conversation

Whenever I discuss the J-Posten cartoons with anyone, I always hear the same comment: why is it OK to draw insulting cartoons of the prophet Muhammed while it is not OK to discuss the holocaust? Go to any Arabic internet forum and you will find the same comment.

See, we are a nation obsessed with Jews. We see them behind everything, behind every rock. It’s so funny that people here are asking why it is not OK to discuss the holocaust in a number of European countries and not whether it is OK to draw insulting cartoons of Jesus or any Christian figure.

Anyway, below is a recent conversation I had with a friend. I’ll call him M.

M: have you heard of this cartoons thing?
BP: Yes
M: I am wondering what kind of freedom of speech they are talking about. It is OK to draw insulting cartoons of the prophet while it is forbidden to discuss the holocaust.
BP: Well, only a few countries in Europe have these “holocaust rules” and even though I am against such rules, I still see that the holocaust issue is very different than the one we have at hand.
M: how?
BP: Let me tell you. In countries that have these “holocaust rules”, you might get in trouble if you denied the holocaust because of the rules that these countries have instituted. I don’t agree with these rules, I believe that nothing is beyond discussion. However, because of the magnitude of the massacre, the 6 million Jews who were killed in just a few years, these countries government decided to promulgate such laws.
M: The number is not 6 million! It is much less.
BP: ok whatever, 4 million.
M: NOOO, less.
BP: ummmmmm 2 million
M: No no less. Around 500,000. Jews are exaggerating the holocaust to draw concessions from European countries.
BP: 500,000??!! OK..that’s still a lot! Anyway, we’re drifting from our main topic here. What I wanted to say is that you might get in trouble if you denied the holocaust for yet you won’t get in trouble if you wrote a book saying that the Torah is a bunch of fairy tales and the Talmud was written by crazy maniacs. And you would definitely not get in trouble if you drew cartoons of Moses. You might offend some people, yet it’s not illegal to do so and you would find many people who don’t agree with you yet will defend your right to say whatever you want.
M: Then why can’t they deny the holocaust??
BP: I just told you..First, only few European countries have these laws. Second, they have them because of the magnitude of the disaster and the hope that it won’t happen again. Third, while it might not be OK to deny the holocaust or engage in anti-Semitism (hate towards Jews), it is perfectly OK to discuss or analyze or lambaste the Jewish faith and its characters. I hope you notice the difference here.
Another thing. Did you know that France, which recognizes the Armenian genocide, have the same laws regarding what happened to the Armenians during world war one. So this proves my point. It’s not only about the holocaust!
M: Jews knew how to gain concessions and apologizes by exaggerating their suffering. Their lobbies are so powerful there.
BP: Well, I can’t say anything but “good job”. They’re smart. Nothing wrong with highlighting your sufferings. We do the same by the way with the Palestinians. We keep on saying how Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian women and children yet we don’t give a hoot about Iraqi women and children being killed by suicide bombers in every single day. That’s very ironic not to mention hypocritical.


BP: And by the way M..don’t forget to:



(Nah I didn’t really tell him that!)

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