Iran hosts Holocaust cartoon contest
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Iran hosts Holocaust cartoon contest

Following Charlie Hebdo Muhammad caricatures, organizers launch new edition of competition making light of Nazi genocide

An Iranian Holocaust cartoon (photo credit: Channel 2 screen capture)
An Iranian Holocaust cartoon (photo credit: Channel 2 screen capture)

In a response to the controversial depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, two Iranian organizations have announced they will hold an international cartoon contest focused on Holocaust denial.

Iran’s House of Cartoon and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex are organizing The Second International Holocaust Cartoons Contest, Masud Shojaei-Tabatabaii, the contest’s secretary, announced in a press conference on Sunday, according to the Tehran Times.

Shojaei-Tabatabaii, who is also the director of Iran’s House of Cartoon, added that contestants will be asked to submit their drawings before April 1.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $12,000, with those in second and third place taking home $8,000 and $5,000 respectively.

The announcement marks the second time such a contest is being held.

After the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Postens caused controversy throughout the Muslim world by publishing cartoons depicting the Prophet in 2005, the two organizers held a competition calling for contestants to draw cartoons denying the Holocaust or comparing it to the plight of the Palestinians.

According to the organizers, the contest was meant to challenge perceived Western double standards on free speech.

“Why is it acceptable in Western countries to draw any caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, yet as soon as there are any questions or doubts raised about the Holocaust, fines and jail sentences are handed down?” Shojaei-Tabatabaii said to the Observer in 2006.

The winner of the previous contest, Abdellah Derkaoui of Morocco, drew an Israeli crane erecting a wall around the Dome of the Rock. The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp is featured on the wall.

Top works from the upcoming competition will be displayed at the Palestine Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran and several other locations throughout the Iranian capital.

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