If only the mullahs could be logical and reasonable!

In an obvious attempt to muddy the water, Iran is planning to host a Holocaust cartoon festival:

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.

I think "they" should go ahead and print the cartoons just to show the Iranians how lame their claim of a "double standard" is. But whether they do or not isn't the point. If, say, the Danish press refused to print the Holocaust cartoons, that's an editorial judgment wholly irrelevant to their right to do so.

What's more, the Iranians' argument is specious because they are demanding that "Western papers" do something reciprocally that they will not do themselves. Only if they printed both the Holocaust cartoons and the Muhammad cartoons would the Iranians be able to press this demand under cover of "fairness."

I suppose an argument can be made that the laws in some European countries (making it a criminal offense to deny the Holocaust) render all European claims of free speech hypocritical. But that's not logical either. Goering made a similar claim at Nuremburg: that the murderous Soviets had no right to sit in judgment on the Nazis. Yes they did. It is an elementary legal and moral principle that one's guilt is not determined by reference to the guilt of other people. Otherwise, I could beat a speeding ticket were I able to show that the traffic court judge was speeding too.

(The problem is, when dealing with Iranian mullahs, I'm afraid that logical arguments are a waste of time....)

UPDATE: Actually, in light of what's already standard fare in so many Mideast newspapers, if they gave a Holocaust cartoon festival, how would we know it?

posted by Eric on 02.07.06 at 08:33 AM


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» "Great idea! Let's embarrass the Muslim world even more!" from Apartment 604
According to the UK Times, Iran's largest newspaper has just announced what I guess it thinks is a really brilliant response to the controversial Danish cartoons (linked here for informational purposes only!) featuring the Islamic prophet Muhammed: it'... [Read More]
Tracked on February 7, 2006 9:38 PM


I suspect that most of the winning entrants will come from Mideast papers.

Raging Bee   ·  February 7, 2006 8:55 AM

The cartoon festival isn't the only Iranian counterattack:

Iran has decided to rename Danish pastries "Mohammedan" pastry - a new twist in the crisis which has triggered protest by Muslims throughout the world against cartoons of Mohammed first published in Denmark. The name change recalls when some Americans started calling French fries, "Freedom fries" to protest France's opposition to the United States-led invasion of Iraq.


Bonnie   ·  February 7, 2006 10:52 PM

I'm sure the Danes are trembling in their boots!

But seriously, renaming a rich and flaky pastry for the prophet?

If we did that here, there'd be hell to pay!

Eric Scheie   ·  February 7, 2006 11:09 PM

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