Iran announces the winner of the “Holocaust cartoon” contest

A while back, I commented on the infamous Iranian “Holocaust Cartoon Contest,” which Iran sponsored in response to the Danish cartoon imbroglio in which cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed triggered violent protests among Muslims last winter. Their stated goal, was to try to draw some sort of equivalency between their offense at having Mohammed mocked and what they expected would be the West’s offense at having the Holocaust or attitudes towards the Holocaust mocked. The result, as I mentioned, was underwhelming; with a few exceptions, the contest didn’t cause much reaction. Even Rabbis yawned when a Danish newspaper reprinted some of the entries, and the contest even led to a humorous Jewish contest to outdo the Iranians in making tasteless and anti-Semitic Holocaust cartoons.

As I also pointed out, the entries to the Iranian contest consisted by and large of the usual vicious anti-Semitic stereotypes (the hook nose, the greed, the Jew portrayed as a “vampire”) and the equating of Israel in particular and Jews in general with Nazis. Indeed, only a very few of the 228 entries that I forced myself to wade through and that are available on the cartoon website dealt with anything resembling the Iranian pretext for the contest of making fun of the West’s supposed double standard when it comes to the Holocaust.

I bet you wonder who won. Well, wonder no more:

Iran’s best-selling newspaper, Hamshahri, launched a competition in February to find the best cartoon about the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis.

The contest was a retaliation for last year’s publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish and other European newspapers that angered Muslims worldwide.

Presenting a prize to a representative of Moroccan cartoonist Abdellah Derkaoui, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi praised Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has described the Holocaust as a “myth”.

“Our president was the brave and freedom-seeking person who started this debate without being concerned about its consequences,” Saffar-Harandi said.

Derkaoui’s cartoon shows a crane with a Star of David sign, putting up blocks making a wall separating the Muslim shrine, the Dome of the Rock, from Jerusalem. The wall has a gate, shown in the distance, that looks like one at the Auschwitz concentration camp, where Jews were incarcerated and killed.

“The taboo is broken now. People should not think that by questioning the Holocaust, they are committing a crime,” the minister said. The Moroccan cartoonist won $12,000.

I agree. By “questioning” (in reality denying) the Holocaust, people shouldn’t think they are committing a crime. They may be spouting anti-Semitism and idiotic lies, but they shouldn’t be thrown in jail for being worthless, racist idiots prone to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, an inability to critically evaluate the massive evidence for the historicity of the Holocaust, and just plain credulity. People should be free, for the most part, to make utter fools of themselves, and Holocaust deniers are no exception. In fact, they did it in spades with this Iranian cartoon contest.

Let’s take a look at the winning entry, shall we? Here it is:

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Gee. Imagine my surprise. It’s a cartoon equating Israel with the Nazis using an image of Auschwitz-Birkenau. How original. How “brave.”

Here’s the second prize winner:

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Surprise, surprise! It’s another cartoon comparing Israel to the Nazi regime and Palestinians to the Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious entry is this other second prize/honorable mention winner:

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Representing Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson‘s work as somehow “toppling” the “myth” of the Holocaust is so hilarious that one has to wonder if it was chosen as a joke. If you want to get a taste of Faurisson’s arguments debunked, see this deconstruction of his claim that Ann Frank’s diary is a forgery, courtesy of the Holocaust History Project. Faurisson was also one of the deniers who procured the services of self-styled Mr. Death Fred Leuchter to “prove” that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were never used to kill humans, and is on record as saying some utterly ludicrous things about the capture of Rudolf Höß. In addition, both Holocaust Controversies and Flavor Country have also written about Faurisson’s lies and pseudoscholarship, as has Nizkor.

The rest of the “winners” of this vile contest are here. Note that only one of them seems to address the claimed “purpose” of the contest, namely to mock the West’s supposed “double standard” about the Holocaust. The rest are just the usual collection of “Jew”/”Israel” = “Nazi” tripe, some of them laden with some blatantly anti-Semitic caricatures.

Pathetic. But did anyone really expect otherwise?