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February 7, 2006

Iran To Hold Holocaust Cartoon Contest

Topics: Iran

According to Hamshahri, one of Iran's largest papers, the contest will be launched Monday and co- sponsored by the House of Caricatures, a Tehran exhibition center for cartoons. The paper and the cartoon center are owned by the Tehran Municipality, which is dominated by allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, well-known for his opposition to Israel. The paper said Tuesday it would hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust to test whether the West extends the principle of freedom of expression to the Nazi genocide as it did to the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The newspaper says that the contest is a reaction to European newspapers' publication of Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, upon which Muslims all over the world have issued death threats, held demonstrations, boycotts and attacks, and even murdered several people including a Catholic priest in Turkey (by a Muslim high school student as he shouted, "Allah Akbar").

Dan Riehl at Riehl World View has the story with images and links...

Although I'm glad to see Iran's Islamic Regime take a stab (sic) at humor, albeit a bit misquided by their doing so on the fiction that the Holocaust never happened or to make fun of the genocide of 6 million people, Iran's Holocaust cartoon contest shows that they and what appears to be a majority of the Muslim world still don't "get it." Islam's prophet (theirs - not that of non-Muslims who, for the most part, regard him as the wellspring of Islamic terrorism and Islamofascism, whether actually true or not) has been the subject of caricatures because of what Islam has come to represent to the world, not for the purpose of ridicule. However, as I posted earlier today, the world has come to learn since 9/11that we are dealing with a clash of civilizations and cultures exactly, as we've in fact been witnessing; the real irony is that the clash of civilizations and cultures is not only between actual civilizations and cultures, that of the West and Islamic culture - principally that of the Middle East, but also within the Muslim faith itself!

Related: Drawn into a religious conflict - The West's current struggle with a murderous global Sunni Muslim insurgency and the threat of a nuclear-armed theocracy in Iran makes it clear that it's no longer possible to overlook the culture of intolerance, hatred and xenophobia that permeates the Islamic world. The hard work of rooting those things out will have to be done by honest Muslim leaders and intellectuals willing to retrace their tradition's steps and do the intellectual heavy lifting that participation in the modern world requires. They won't be helped, however, if Western governments continue to pander to Islamic sensitivity while looking away from violent Islamic intolerance. They won't be helped by European diplomats and officials who continue to ignore the officially sanctioned hate regularly directed at Jews by the Mideast's government-controlled media, while commiserating with Muslims offended by a few cartoons in the West's free news media.

[Note: The imam who preached the Friday sermon in Gaza's Omari Mosque told 9,000 worshippers that the cartoonists who executed the caricatures should be beheaded.]

Posted by Richard at February 7, 2006 10:00 PM

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