Monday, November 26, 2007

Oxford University: Host to Anti-Semitism?

Oxford University, host to famous individuals such as Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama, plans to feature David Irving and Nick Griffin, two openly anti-Semitic men, in an open debate on the college campus. David Irving is a historian who spent a year in an Austrian jail after denying the Holocaust. Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, was convicted for publishing material denying the Holocaust.

Voltaire once said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Should this approach be taken with Irving and Griffin? Does the issue of freedom of speech apply to these openly anti-Semitic men? Will hosting this debate at Oxford University serve only to spread fear throughout the British community? Or, is an open debate the most effective means of discrediting the men? Perhaps exposing racial or religious hatred is the solution to eradicating it.

The students of Oxford voted in favor of the men speaking. How would you vote?