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Now it is getting interesting...

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.


At 9:56 AM, Blogger Ivan said...

Indeed, european anti-free-speech rules related to touchy issues like the Holocaust are pretty hypocritical.

Responding like this newspaper did is actually totally acceptable. The solution to speech you don't like is more speech, not torching an embassy.

Also ... not blocking trade to the country, though that is their (idiotic) right.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

The originals were done by fascists in Denmark and now it's being done by fascists in Iran.

The fact that government restrictions on speech are unacceptible shouldn't confuse another salient fact: that in both cases the cartoons in question are worthless as anything but provocations. Taking the racist content seriously is assinine; it presumes that hatemongers are part of some valuable dialect.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

I really could care less how racists express their free speech.

That _is not_ the issue.

The issue is folks going ape shit and burning down embassies. The issue is potential government censorship to prevent backward peoples from being offended.

Is that somehow excusable because the cartoons were incendiary?

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

No, the retaliatory violence done unto Danish properties is not "somehow excusable." Who, exactly, is eager to excuse violent behaivior in Muslim countries?

There is exactly no threat of "government censorship" over these cartoons, your delusional off-the-grid-Montanan remarks about the UN notwithstanding.

The actual threat is of violent civilian retribution, more along the lines of what happened when the film American Me portrayed the rape of a gang leader. Two of the crew members were killed and Edward James Olmos was threatened and by some reports successfully extorted in retribution. The best possible outcome is to punish the violent actors, and to disagree with or ignore the protesters.

The story behind the instigation of these riots is semi interesting: people have been pamphleting around the world with "informational" papers which include not only the twelve original cartoons, but other more offensive ones which were never published in Denmark. These activists presumably expect to gain in any political upheaval, and to bring said upheaval about sooner rather than later by attracting international attention to unruly demonstrations.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Ivan said...

"There is exactly no threat of "government censorship" over these cartoons, your delusional off-the-grid-Montanan remarks about the UN notwithstanding."

Perhaps you haven't heard of a little place called Europe, where censorship is pretty common.

Also, you might not have heard about something which is much more common: self censorship.

I bring up excuses because you basically said that the point of the cartoons was provocation. That implied people that have been prodded into violence aren't at fault. I'll assume you don't agree with that.

As for the crazy discovery of the fact that some Ismalic extremists are trying to fan the flames of general discontent, that is effectively whole issue in the War On Terror.

A minority create mass appeal for murderers and excuses for the actions of corrupt regimes.

At 1:46 PM, Blogger oded said...

Self censorship with regards to Racist cartoons is a good thing.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

You said: "The issue is potential government censorship to prevent backward peoples from being offended."

It isn't.

Government censorship of speech exists in Europe and around the world and it isn't changing at all on account of this.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

"Self censorship with regards to Racist cartoons is a good thing."

Speech isn't free if there are limits. People not speaking because they are afraid of violence is bad, regardless of what they have to say.

Besides, the cartoons are just not that big a deal. If they caused riots, and newspapers refused to print them as part of a legitimate news stories _about_ the cartoons, that is ridiculous.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger oded said...

Are you saying you dont think that some people should keep their opinions to themselves, because thats all I'm saying.

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

Did someone remove my comment?

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

An arab.


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