Saturday, 24 December 2011

Thoughtcrime in France

I haven't been following the news very closely lately, but it sounds like the French have decided to outlaw some more Bad Thoughts. Daniel Hannan has said all I'd want to say on the matter:
I am not competent to pronounce definitively about 1915. Where I do feel competent is in condemning the French decision that, from now on, even to question one side of the argument is a criminal offence. In any free society, the right to say what you believe surely trumps the right not to be offended. This, though, is not even one of those ludicrous ‘hate crime’ issues. What is being proscribed here is intellectual enquiry.

Turkey is right to react as it has. French lawmakers would never dream of legislating to restrict a free discussion of, say, Stalin’s deportations, or the Belgian atrocities in the Congo – or, indeed, France’s own abuses in the Algerian war. Turks are being picked on because French politicians believe that there are votes in Turcophobia, just as Nicolas Sarkozy calculates that there are votes in Anglophobia.

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