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Iran seeks to test taboos with Holocaust cartoons

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by poindexter, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member


    By Parisa Hafezi 1 hour, 24 minutes ago

    TEHRAN (Reuters) - At the exhibition entrance, a poster shows a helmet with the Star of David lying on top of others carrying a Nazi Swastika. Inside, the Statue of Liberty is pictured holding a Holocaust book while giving a Nazi salute.

    Organizers say displaying more than 200 entries from
    Iran's International Holocaust Cartoons Contest aims to challenge Western taboos about discussing the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews died but which Iran's president called a "myth."

    "This is a test of the boundaries of free speech espoused by Western countries," said Masoud Shojai-Tabatabai, head of the Cartoon House which helped organize the exhibition, as he stood next to the Statue of Liberty drawing.

    Iran's best-selling newspaper Hamshahri in February launched a competition to find the best cartoon about the Holocaust in retaliation for the September publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish and other European newspapers.

    Those images of the prophet sparked attacks on European embassies in Muslim nations, including missions in Iran.

    "We wanted to challenge European taboos. Why should questioning the Holocaust be a taboo?" he said. "Why should anyone who talks about it (the Holocaust) be fined or jailed?"

    It is a crime in European countries such as Germany and Austria to deny the Holocaust. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed it as a "myth" and said the issue should be open to debate, prompting Western condemnation.

    The initial plans for a contest about the Holocaust provoked a storm of condemnation and revulsion in some countries, including the United States, which called the idea "outrageous."

    The newspaper backed off and broadened the rules to include any caricature that tests "freedom of expression."

    The contest, held jointly with Iran's Cartoon House, a syndicate for caricaturists, will be open until September 14. Until now, Shojai said 1,193 drawings had been received from 61 countries but he said judges chose 204 to put on display.

    Several cartoons showed images of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, one showing him smiling as he stood behind
    President Bush while bombs carrying the Star of David fell. Another showed a turtle with a U.S. emblem laying eggs carrying the Star of David.

    The contest was welcomed by some visiting youths who were at the exhibition on Wednesday, two days after it opened.

    "After the Holocaust was questioned by the president, now I have real doubts about it," said Maryam Zadkani, a 23-year-old graphic artist as she wandered around the exhibition.

    "I came here to see what other cartoonists around the world think about the Holocaust."

    The winner and runners up will be announced on September 2, with the top three entries receiving $12,000, $8,000 and $5,000 respectively. "The government is not financing the prize," Shojai said, without saying who was offering the cash.
  2. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Wait, it is against the law in Germany and Austria to deny the Holocaust? Can we start legislating against people being ignorant jackasses in this country, too? ;D
  3. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    i'm not sure how to respond to this. when a cartoon makes them look bad, they cry to the world and then use it to encite violence. could we now do the same? Probably not. Another fun PR battle for the president to gain support from mindless, uneducated citizens of his country. It's sad really.
  4. jay_christley

    jay_christley Member

    This is the quote that really scares me.
    Especially since this sort of logic isn't reserved for Iran.
  5. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Here, I'll go first:

    What's the difference between a pizza and a Jew?
    A pizza doesn't scream when you put it in the oven.

    Heard that one when I was five. I had to ask my mother what it meant.  I'm sure there are kids still telling that 'joke' today....no doubt they heard it from some senile idiot uncle who still thinks it's just a joke.

    What's the surprise here? That these psychotic monsters want to play Free Speech Jeopardy? Duh. We have bigger problems than cartoons.  
  6. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    Actually, that was the part that distibured me the most.

    The woman is 23-years-old and now she's questioning the Holocaust. Such a thing can only come from ignorance.

    21, you are correct. There is more to worry about than stupid cartoons. I just look at this and say, "What do they hope to gain?" Did they really think that Israel would launch attacks because of it? Did they think America would?
  7. EmbassyRow

    EmbassyRow Active Member

    So, they're essentially playing Fred Phelps in Tehran...

    Good luck with that.
  8. patchs

    patchs Active Member

    Hogan's Heroes must be a big show in Iran.
    Guess they don't get the History Channel.
    Wonder how many Iranians have seen that old, grainy B&W footage from the end of WWII, the bodies stacked by cordwood, the survivors, walking skeletons...
    Yeah, the holocaust never happened.
    I still hate Iran because of the hostage crisis, I wish we had invaded that piece of crap "nation" instead of Iraq.
    They are the bastard fathers of terrorism against the US.
  9. RubberSoul1979

    RubberSoul1979 Active Member

    Nowhere in the world does denial run more rampant than in the Middle East. It only makes sense that one of the more insane countries in the region (therefore, making it one of the world's hotspots for insanity) would host such an exhibit.

    Many Jews lived in Iran for centuries until they fled after the Ayatollah came to power. Most of the Persian you see around Westwood and West L.A. are Jewish.

    Remember when it seemed Iran was moving more towards democracy? Those student protests in Tehran in '99 sadly didn't lead to much change I guess. Funny how Mel Gibson, Steve Carlton and all the hillbilly Jew-haters in America have plenty of company in the Middle East.
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