Should racists have a platform?

Protests are expected later outside the Oxford Union when two controversial figures arrive for a free speech event. Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, and David Irving – jailed for denying the Holocaust – are to take part in an Oxford Union debate.

Words are the motors for action. Speeches can be the biggest movers. Hitler didn’t at first rule Germany by forming an army. He used his fiery speeches to gather support. Through his speeches he got the allegiance of the army and the Nazi sympathisers. Words can become deadly weapons as they translate thoughts which affect actions. Many thinkers change the world through their writings and speeches. Words have magic on the mind if they are eloquently expressed. The best forms of speech are slogans which can result in automaton thinking and actions. Labelling a group of people or a race with well memorised phrases can turn into die-hard attitudes. It should take generations to change them.

Racism and anti-Semitism are some of the contentious issues that despite campaigns and educational programmes are still entrenched in the mind of many. In many countries where Jews have left in masses and no longer exist there, anti-Semitism still exists. This is handed down from parents to children. Old stories and religious scripts are used for that effect. In orthodox interpretation of religions Jews are still seen as infidel. The religions that came after Judaism are meant to correct their irreligiousness. The revival of the Latin Mass created great controversy among Jews.

In the Muslim world, the speeches of Al Qaeda broadcast on the internet or on Al Jazeera TV channel had immediate effect on many young Muslims. This in turn has become a security scare for the authorities who have to discover and dismantle Al Qaeda cells now operating in tens of countries.

People, especially thinkers, should be free to express their views. But speech should be limited to what can unite people of different races and creeds. The danger is in manipulating facts and manipulating people’s mind to the point of their seeing facts distortedly.

There are different ways to start revolutionary thinking, but not on the basis of inferiority and superiority pattern, especially when it comes from influential thinkers whose words can be taken as gospel-truth by the multitude. At best people should keep their racial and fanatic attitude to themselves. Sometimes social hypocrisy works to maintain peace. Being straight on controversial attitudes in public will result just in extreme reaction on all sides.

1 Comment

  1. Hisham said,

    November 27, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Abdelilah, Please try this:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: