Letter to The Editor - We should not fight fanaticism with a new anti-intellectual repression
To The Age No, I don't like the sound of "a de-Nazification campaign" or the idea of banning public display of the swastika ("No more swastikas: ban these symbols of hate", 12/8). The various examples of a "swastika epidemic" cited by Dvir Abramovich are regrettable, but hardly amount to evidence of "an unprecedented surge in anti-Semitism in our nation that is frightening in its intensity." Some of the acts may have been committed by hooligans and social pests, rather than political fanatics; and Australia is temperamentally impervious to Nazism. More seriously, a legal ban would symbolise a total rejection of Nazism. It would link up with the current de facto censorship of revisionist historians. We should not fight fanaticism with a new anti-intellectual repression. Allowing free discussion of tyrannous regimes does not mean support for the wrongdoings of those regimes; but it does respect the humanity of all concerned.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic