Tuesday, February 07, 2006

As an added twist...

...turnabout is fair play, right? That's what the publisher of Iran's most popular newspaper, Hamshahri, said today. Here's the story:
IRAN'S largest selling newspaper announced today it was holding a contest on cartoons of the Holocaust in response to the publishing in European papers of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

"It will be an international cartoon contest about the Holocaust," said Farid Mortazavi, the graphics editor for Hamshahri newspaper - which is published by Teheran's conservative municipality.

He said the plan was to turn the tables on the assertion that newspapers can print offensive material in the name of 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.

Iran's fiercely anti-Israeli regime is supportive of so-called Holocaust revisionist historians, who maintain the systematic slaughter by the Nazis of mainland Europe's Jews as well as other groups during World War II has been either invented or exaggerated.

So European newspapers re-publish cartoons first printed in Danish newspapers and all Jahannum breaks loose. Now an Iranian newspaper dares those same European papers to publish Holocaust cartoons. I guess this is better than a war.

Jerry Pournelle has this to say about the cultural differences:
You may note that a great number of explicitly anti-Christian works including Peter Blume's Eternal City hang in the New York Museum of Modern Art, and have for decades, and we don't seem to be burning cars in the streets over that. Apparently we need some cultural diversity to teach us the appropriate way to behave when our prophets are blasphemed. Perhaps that will be taught in the diversity lessons in our public schools. How to burn flags, torch embassies, overturn cars and burn them: our youth needs to learn diversity and to learn that no culture is superior to any other. What better way than to learn how to imitate what is going on in Syria and Lebanon? Is this not what diversity is about?

And the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web Today has this observation:
What the Iranian newspaper's stunt should underscore is that the closest counterpart today to the Nazi Party is not those who mock the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him. It is, rather, the radical Islamists who have used that mockery as a pretext for anti-Semitism and incitement of violence.

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