February 7th, 2006
Iranian paper plans Holocaust cartoon contest info
| Iranian paper plans Holocaust cartoon contest |
February 7, 2006 - 3:38PM
Plans by an Iranian newspaper to publish cartoons making light of the Holocaust showed that Adolf Hitler's ideas remained alive in Islamic societies, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said today.
"They're following the classic formula of Adolf Hitler, which says if there's a problem, it's the fault of the Jews," Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Wiesenthal Centre, a Jewish human rights organisation dedicated to remembering the Holocaust, said.
Hier spoke after Iran's largest selling newspaper, Hamshahri, announced it was holding a contest of cartoons about the Holocaust.
The competition was a response to cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed printed in Danish and European newspapers that have sparked angry and violent protests across the Islamic world.
Another Iranian newspaper printed a cartoon online depicting a devil with a Danish flag and bearing the Jewish star of David, implying Jews were to blame for the Danish newspaper cartoons.
"They're reading from a script from Mein Kampf, and just going chapter by chapter," said Hier, referring to Hitler's autobiography and manifesto.
Iran's regime is supportive of so-called Holocaust revisionist historians, who maintain the systematic slaughter by the Nazis of mainland Europe's Jews during World War II has been either invented or exaggerated.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust a "myth" and called for Israel's destruction.
In Tehran, Hamshahri newspaper said it would hand out gold coins to the winners of the cartoon contest.
"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," said Farid Mortazavi, the graphics editor for Hamshahri newspaper.
Hier said that Islamic ideologues were hypocritical as they encourage and tolerate hateful writing and caricatures against Jews and Christians in their own press on a regular basis while insisting on universal respect for Muslim beliefs.
"There's a double standard," he said.
Referring to the Danish cartoons, Hier said: "The truth is if you asked me about the cartoons, I would say of course they're offensive.
The United States today made a similar point, saying Muslims angered by newspaper cartoons should also condemn frequent anti-Semitic and anti-Christian "hate speech" in the Islamic world.
Hier said Western governments have adopted a "timid" stance towards Iran and needed to take a tougher line in light of Tehran's explicit anti-Semitism and attempts to deny the Holocaust.
"If they want to be a pariah state, we should grant them their wishes. Europe should not allow Iranian trade delegations to visit," he said.
"They should say to them: 'If you want to continue on this path, we don't want to trade with you, we don't want anything to do with you."'
He added that a regime that espoused such an anti-Semitic ideology posed a serious threat to world peace given its disputed nuclear program.
"Iran getting a nuclear weapon is the scariest thing to happen on this planet since Hitler."
If I am asked what we are fighting for, I can reply in two sentences. In the first place, to fulfil a solemn international obligation . . . an obligation of honor which no self-respecting man could possibly have repudiated. I say, secondly, we are fighting to vindicate the principle that small nationalities are not to be crushed in defiance of international good faith at the arbitrary will of a strong and overmastering Power.
Author: Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Asquith
Source: Statement, to House of Commons, Declaration of War with Germany, Aug. 4, 1914