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February 5, 2015 4:00 pm

Iranian Regime Announces New Holocaust Cartoon Competition in Response to Charlie Hebdo Atrocity

avatar by Ben Cohen

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The winning entry in Iran's 2006 Holocaust cartoon contest; the regime is relaunching the competition this year.

Iran has responded to last month’s terrorist massacre against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by organizing a new Holocaust cartoon competition, in a clumsy bid to demonstrate western intolerance for freedom of speech. Denial of the Holocaust is actually a state doctrine in Iran, promoted by the regime’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as by the ostensibly “moderate” current president, Hasan Rouhani.

Organized by Tehran-based House of Cartoons and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex, the contest sets out questions for entrants to address in their artwork, including: “If the West says that freedom of speech has no borders then why don’t they let historians and experts properly research the Holocaust?” and “Why should the Palestinian people pay for the Holocaust?”

All cartoons must be submitted by April Fools’ Day because “April 1 is the day of big lies, and the Holocaust is a big lie that the Zionists invented to suppress the Palestinians,” said Masoud Shojaei-Tabatabaii, head of House of Cartoons and one of the competition’s organizers.

According to the Fars news agency, an official mouthpiece of the regime, the winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of $12,000, the runner-up $8,000, and third place $5,000.

Iran organized a similar competition in 2006, in response to the decision of a Danish newspaper to publish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, which led to violent protests across Europe and the Middle East. On that occasion, the winner of the competition was a Moroccan entrant, Derkaoui Abdellah, whose entry showed a bulldozer marked with an Israeli flag building a wall around the Al Aqsa mosque. A photograph of the train lines leading to the Auschwitz concentration camp was superimposed upon the wall.

Second prize was awarded to the rabidly antisemitic Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, whose entry showed a Palestinian man wearing the striped uniform of prisoners in the Nazi extermination camps.

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