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Monday, February 6, 2006

Laugh it off

Posted by on February 6 at 11:36 AM

According to The Times Online, Iran’s most widely read newspaper is launching a competition to find the 12 “best” cartoons about the Holocaust, to counter the original 12 cartoons satirizing Muhammad which first appeared in a Danish newspaper.

Farid Mortazavi, graphics editor for Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper, said that the deliberately inflammatory contest would test out how committed Europeans were to the concept freedom of expression.
“The Western papers printed these sacrilegious cartoons on the pretext of freedom of expression, so let’s see if they mean what they say and also print these Holocaust cartoons,” he said.

The twelve winning artists will be rewarded with gold coins and probably ass slaps by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is affectionately known for hating Jews, denying the Holocaust, and calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”

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This is disgusting, offensive, immature, and infinitely preferable to killing people.

If only this served as a substitute for deadly riots and calls for beheadings we could all be, appropriately, moderately pissed.

Exactly. What they won't find are embassies being burnt, thousands of people chanting "Death to Muslims", or threats to specific people. That response will speak volumes, but I doubt that it will be acknowledged.

Someone needs to point out to the graphics editor of Tehran's Hamshari newspaper that there isn't much of an analogy between Holocaust cartoons and Mohammad cartoons.

The Mohammad cartoon was connecting terrorism to religious fundamentalism...a legit editorial point...

What is the editorial point of a "Holocaust" cartoon? To say it didn't happen? If so: That's not an editorial opinion, it's a lie.

That said: Obviously, the paper can run whatever cartoon it wants. And I doubt any death threats will be issued or that buildings will get burned as a result.

Also: Anti-Jewish editorial cartoons (not to mention the Protocols of Zion TV show in Egypt) have been getting play in the Islamic world for years. It's not like a Holocaust cartoon is anything shocking. I mean, the president of Iran has already come out as a Holocaust denier.

(not to mention the Protocols of Zion TV show in Egypt)

What? You're joking! I have to see this. Google is useless. Can you link?

No joke. It was widely covered.

In 2002, Egypt's state-owned television network produced "A Horseman Without a Horse"— a 41-part "historical' drama series based on the Protocols.

Not only did the racist series run in Egypt, but it was carried via Satellite on stations thru out the Middle East.

Maybe they can print this one showing Anne Frank having sex with Adolf Hitler:

Remember that Egypt is considered a MODERATE Middle Eastern state, one which receives billions in US aid (just like Israel).

What I'd really like to see is the U.S. national papers--which have so far been conspicuously quiet on the issue--commission a series of cartoons mocking or offensive to Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Shinto, Mormons, Wycans, Zoroastrians, and of course atheists, agnostics, and those who consider themselves "spiritual."  Just one cartoon each will make 12 total for a neat front page.

That would show devotion to the cause of free speech and solidarity with European publishers while side-stepping accustions of Islam or religion bashing.

I wish people would stop saying "freedom of speech" and start saying "freedom of the press" instead. They're related, and covered by the same constitutional amendment (in the US) but they are not the same right.

When I was in high school 10 years ago we mocked those who prayed to God before a sporting event and were chastised by conservatives for being rude. Today when I mock those who pray to God while beheading someone I'm chastized by liberals for being rude.

Oddly enough, a sort of holocaust cartoon appeared in Mad Magazine in mid 1960's. Following Mad's parody of the TV show "Hogan's Heroes", Mad proposed (in a one page spread) that if a TV show based on a prisoner of war camp could be considered proper comedy material, a show based on a concentration camp ("Hoffman's Heroes") would be even funnier! There was even a bit where the amiable Nazi commandant joked that he would have to send the inmate's pitcher "to the showers" if they beat the guards in an in-house baseball game. Of course, this holocaust cartoon passed without notice. I have never heard anybody else even speak of this.

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