Iran holding a contest to find best Holocaust cartoon

The great thing about being a libertarian is you can sneer at both sides of most debates. While the Muslim response to the comics is ridiculous and insane, I still maintain (as I posted earlier) that the Europeans are hypocrites by invoking free speech when they have special censorship laws to protect Jews. Iran is now taking that line:

Iran's biggest-selling newspaper has chosen to tackle the West's ideals of "freedom of expression" by launching a competition to find the 12 "best" cartoons about the Holocaust, the Associated French Press reported on Monday.

Farid Mortazavi, graphics editor for Tehran's Hamshahri newspaper, said that the deliberately inflammatory contest would test out how committed Europeans were to the concept 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.
[Jerusalem Post]

I don't really see any more reason to ban Holocaust cartoons than the controversial Muslim ones, so good for Hamshahri.

Of course, its not like these two sides are equal in their immorality. On the one hand, we have Europe, who I'm poo-poohing for being a little too restrictive on free speech. On the other, we have Islamic extremists, who are rioting, threatening death, and setting buildings on fire over a few stupid cartoons. Its no contest who the good guys are. And the recent deaths due to the protests are all deaths of protestors, not European ambassadorial staff, so at least the body count is going the right way.

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I am sure that the fact the

I am sure that the fact the Iranians are targeting Jews with their cartoon contest has nothing to do with the fact their President wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. They are using this whole cartoon row as an excuse. Wondering if they planned this contest, like the conference, all along. :wall:

That Finnish libertarian

That Finnish libertarian blog blew my mind. Finnish looks crazy.

- Josh

Free Speech, both ways Iran

Free Speech, both ways
Iran holding a contest to find best Holocaust cartoon (from Catallarchy)

Indeed. Like in most nordic

Indeed. Like in most nordic welfare states, in Finland the christian church is happily married with the state, with of course the accompanying economic and social privileges.

Best of all, blasphemy is illegal in Finland. People have been sentenced to fines for insulting the christian god even just a couple of years ago. The maximum penalty for dire blasphemy is 6 months in jail.

Sickening, but it certainly

Sickening, but it certainly adds some perspective.

I agree with - like - every word in this post. Good, good, good, good blogging, Patri.

"Farid Mortazavi, graphics

"Farid Mortazavi, graphics editor for Tehran's Hamshahri newspaper, said that the deliberately inflammatory contest would test out how committed Europeans were to the concept freedom of expression."

Obviously, Mortazavi's "test" will surely backfire on him. If Europeans, and European Jews in particular, display even one-fifth of the violence and rabblerousing that was shown after the Muhammed drawings, I'll be surprised.

And it's not like cartoons depicting Jews as parasites, vampires, monsters, devils, etc, are anything new in the Middle East anyway.

Oh, this is very much in

Oh, this is very much in keeping with a timeless pattern of anti-Semitism: does soemthing piss you off? Take it out on the Jews!

My thought throughout this

My thought throughout this whole ordeal is: what a backwards culture that cannot distinguish between the institutions of religion, the press, the government, and the body of citizens. To them the first three are inseperable. Because one DANISH NEWSPAPER said something offensive, DENMARK must suffer as well as DANISH CITIZENS. And hell, some throw in all westerners just for good measure.

It's scary. I've been fighting the us-against-them groupthink that has set American war drums beating since 9/11. It's startling to see such a stark example of it on the other side.

from the CIA

from the CIA Factbook

Denmark is: Evangelical Lutheran 95%, other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, Muslim 2%

so although I agree with the Iranian newspaper to respond to the cartoons with their own contest, its kind of stupid to target the Holocaust when there are no Jews in Denmark!

Best of all, blasphemy is

Best of all, blasphemy is illegal in Finland. People have been sentenced to fines for insulting the christian god even just a couple of years ago. The maximum penalty for dire blasphemy is 6 months in jail.

Wow, that's even more hypocritical than I thought.

Doug: Obviously, Mortazavi’s “test” will surely backfire on him. If Europeans, and European Jews in particular, display even one-fifth of the violence and rabblerousing that was shown after the Muhammed drawings, I’ll be surprised.

But that isn't not the point. As I said, there is no question about who is more peaceful, and that isn't the point of the cartoons. The point is that Europe held up free speech for mocking a religion as the reason to publish the cartoons, yet they don't actually allow free speech for mocking a religion. They are peaceful, but they are peaceful censoring hypocrites.

Jacob - yes, I love the Danish governments initial response, which was like "Um, it wasn't us. It was a newspaper. Newspapers do what they want. Go away"

These people need to watch

These people need to watch South Park, particularly "The Meaning of Christmas."

Patri, I agree that the

Patri, I agree that the Western European countries are hypocrites on this issue. But, at least their hypocrisy vis a vis free speech related to religions is, generally, trying to do something good. The consequential outcome isn't good, but still not the point. There is a massive difference between a culture that is full of hypocrisy due to guilt over the holocaust and trying to make amends for it and a culture that is full of hypocrisy due to wanting to commit a new holocaust.

And I would venture to say that many of the newspaper editors aren't the hypocrites in question. So, the Jyllands-Posten isn't necessarily hypocrites, just constrained by wrong headed laws. I don't know that to be true of course, I'm speculating.

The bottom line is what I choose to support. It's not a perfect world where I can choose the perfect group to support who are well aligned with the ideals of classic liberalism. Instead I have well meaning (generally), but only partially liberal on one side and definitely not well meaning and definitely not liberal on the other side to choose from.

The world that I wish to live in does not exist and until space is a viable frontier, it will not exist. An earth with jets and nukes is just too small for competitive governments and a liberty market right now, and has been for 100 years, or so.

It's also worth noting that

It's also worth noting that there's a big difference between making fun of a religion and making light---presumably approvingly---of the slaughter of millions. I have no doubt that the holocaust cartoons will be much more offensive than the Mohammed ones, and there's not necessarily any hypocrisy in publishing the latter but refusing to publish the former.

The reaction to the

The reaction to the holocaust cartoon contest ought to be that it's far better than rioting or killing people over cartoons. Instead Bush played right into their heands giving them the offended reaction they wanted.

I have no doubt that the

I have no doubt that the holocaust cartoons will be much more offensive than the Mohammed ones, and there’s not necessarily any hypocrisy in publishing the latter but refusing to publish the former.

Hypocrisy isn't a crime anyway. The point is that nobody in the west is going to riot when they see Iranian cartoons, whatever they are.

i wonder if that editor

i wonder if that editor would have printed those cartoons had he been living in say o i don't know, saudi arabia or pakistan. safely encapsulated in his little limp wristed world, i'm sure he got a tummy ache and sobbed himself to sleep on his ikea form fitted bed, when he heard there are places on earth wjere there are actual repercusions for your actions. like it or lump it, this world always going to be filled with people who physically extract revenge. i don't agree with it but when you walk around slapping pitbulls in the face, don't act shocked when it chomps your face off, and 'trying to understand why' just antagonizes the fucker. leave em alone.

Well Qwest, that's certainly

Well Qwest, that's certainly one approach. I'm sure that the violent totalitarians and religious extremists agree with you.

The same paper in Denmark

The same paper in Denmark that ran the Muhammed cartoons says it is going to run these offensive Holocaust ones. So I guess there isn't some legal double standard in Denmark about this after all. Both Jews and Muslims can be mocked.

they don't 'agree' with me,

they don't 'agree' with me, i'm just stating how some people are, and western liberal blabbering and hand wringing isn't going to change them.
why does everything in this world have to be squeezed throught the 1 dimentional iq of the tv liberal? maybe they don't want to be democracies with impartial courts? why do we have to 'try to understand' everything through a filter thats as equally retarded as they are? as a libertarian who couldn't care less, trying to define/understand the rest of the world like/as a liberal is like watching a baby trying to open a safe. the thing is too stupid to even know what its looking at let alone understand the process' at work.

What is worse that European

What is worse that European goverments are not censorious (not that I am advocating it) against other language papers published in their country that are anti-semitic. As long as its not in the local language it seems to be alright. :wall:

Ummmm, Qwest, the reality is

Ummmm, Qwest, the reality is that classic liberalism has done more to change "how some people are", how cultures and societies are organized, and how differences are tolerated than any other single political movement. Ever. Since libertarians are the descendants of classic liberalism you would, presumably, understand that people, cultures and governments can be changed. To suggest that it's "just how people are" and we can't really do anything about it is to give up and surrender. This whole live and let live thing only works if everyone involved is of the same mindset.