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Canadian prof at Tehran Holocaust Conference. December 13, 2006

Posted by publicpolitics in NeoNazis.
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ONDON — Gathered in a Tehran auditorium yesterday were some of the world’s most notorious figures: Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis, leaders of the Ku Klux Klan. And among them, somewhat incongruously, was a soft-spoken political science professor from Nova Scotia.

The presence of Shiraz Dossa of St. Francis Xavier University at a Holocaust conference organized by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has raised eyebrows in Canada. Mr. Ahmadinejad has called for an end to Israel’s existence, and the conference is widely seen as a provocative exercise in anti-Semitism.

Doug Saunders, Globe and Mail

Dr. Dossa says that while he “gladly” accepted the invitation from Iran and welcomed the opportunity to criticize the West, he is “horrified ” to discover that the was sharing the stage with anti-Semites. He claims the his paper has nothing to do with Holocaust denial, and that the paper is about the role of the Holocaust , symbolically and historically, in the war on terror. Dr. Dossa describes the essay as treating the abuse of imagery of the Holocaust. He also claims that no pressure has been exerted on him to endorse any particular point of view.

All of the above is probably true. Dossa is correct to say that criticizing a particular rhetorical use of the Holocaust is not the same as denying it, distorting it, or diminishing it. His unawareness of his surroundings, and of the purpose of the conference might be innocent enough- in fact, it approaches the criminally naive.

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Germans Refute Iranian Holocaust Denial December 13, 2006

Posted by publicpolitics in NeoNazis, Uncategorized.
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Germany, too, is holding a counter conference on Monday. While Thomas Kruger, head of Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education — which is sponsoring the event — is wary of giving the Tehran gathering too much credence, he says: “The denial or questioning of the Holocaust cannot remain uncommented. We have to do what we can to counter this current before it begins to make inroads into our society.”

source

, Thomas Kruger is correct in saying that the dangerous nonsense now taking place in Tehran at the “Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision” conference must be countered. For those coming to this story for the first time, Iran has invited discredited holocaust deniers from all over the world to gather in Tehran for a conference, now ongoing. What’s worse is that the Islamic republic is representing itself as a citadel of free speech. In a better world, these batty scholars might be considered fringe eccentrics, but the rise in neo-Nazi activity in Europe is cause for alarm, particularly in Germany , where neo-Nazis have aligned themselves with Iran’s Ahmadinejad’s hateful positions on Israel and the holocaust. Several members of the German far right were invited to attend the Tehran conference, but were not permitted to do so under German law. The restrictions on travel and speech in Germany are unfortunate and to be lamented, not least because such censorship has a way of giving ammunition to Tehran’s bigots, encouraging the political paranoid, and allowing these extremists to claim a thorny crown of martyrdom. Nevertheless, Berlin’s limits on speech are as nothing compared to the wholsale distortion of truth and the barely intellectualized hate mongering now taking place in Iran.

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Holocaust deniers gather in Iran for conference December 12, 2006

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An international cast of established Holocaust deniers and implacable foes of Israel were given an open forum by Iran yesterday to support Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s contention that the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis was a “myth”.

Robert Tait, The Guardian

Now from Tehran comes a state sponsored conference on denial of the Holocaust. The cast includes some unlikely visitors to the Islamic capital, including David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan, and most unlikely , a group of Jewish rabbis.

What on earth can Ahmadinejad think he is accomplishing by gathering together the wretched refuse of the scholarly world, and invoking the spirit of David Irving, the discredited historian now serving a jail term in Austria? Truly, this represents an unearned martyrdom for Irving, whose views were discredited in a long and famous libel trial involving the historian Deborah Lipstadt. Had Irving not been jailed, he would have been on the way to a well deserved obscurity.

Holocaust deniers may raise interesting questions, but mostly they don’t, and there is very little payback in engaging in conversation with them as such conversation is rarely, if ever, produces anything except bigoted monologue. . And as for Ahmadinejad- his claims to provide a haven for free speech would be more credible if say, he were to host a conference on the democratic ideal in the theocratic state, or the role of theocracies in the history of warfare. Then we might listen, but not to this errant nonsense.

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