Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Where are the Leunig cartoons?

Controversial Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig is denying that he submitted two entries to a contest by top-five Iranian newspaper Hamshahri calling for Holocaust-related cartoons. The Hamshahri contest is a tit-for-tat exercise in offensiveness denied to show the Danes and the Norwegians (who seem to get blamed for stuff they didn't do; it's that Viking legacy) what it's like to have your feelings hurt. Or to show that one person's free speech is another person's punch in the stomach. Basically to test the limits of the West's love of free speech (which we all know is a univerally held notion of all North Americans and Western Europeans).

Here's an example of a Leunig cartoon:

This one is apparently unpublished, but I thought it was funny so I decided to include it.

Anyway, while trying to find the fake Leunig cartoon on-line, I came up short (ha ha). This cartoon is newsworthy, at least as newsworthy as the Danish cartoons were when the decision was first made to publish them, but where is the offensive Holocaust cartoon? Was it never released? If it is, will any western papers that ran the cartoons making fun of Islam also run the cartoons in the Iranian contest?

I am not a Holocaust denier nor an anti-Semite, so my interest in these cartoons has nothing to do with that. I support Israel's right to exist and I think that people who deny the atrocitities by the Germans... I mean the Nazis... need to be checked for chemical imbalances. But the Holocaust is a sacred cow that comes about as close as we in the West might get to something approaching the Danish newspaper's offense against believers in Islam. So while I don't think tit-for-tat is right, it was shrewd and we should have seen it coming.


At 2/17/2006 11:26 AM, Anonymous slim said...

Seen it coming? Holocaust denial, blood libel and crude antisemitism are nothing new in the Arab or Islamic media. It will be hard to tell the contest cartoons from the ones normally printed -- which adds hypocrisy to all the that can be laid at Muslim fantatics door in this one.

At 2/20/2006 9:26 PM, Blogger Sweet Zombie Jesus said...

While denying the Holocaust is absurd, as it clearly happened, printing cartoons as tit-for-tat is understandable. I mean, the Danish cartoons mock the holiest figure of the Islamic faith, after god. There is room for a rebuttal I think, which could only expected to be equally tasteless.

As an aside, calling Arabs anti-semitic strikes me as a bit odd. Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines a Semite as:

1 a : a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs
1 b : a descendant of these peoples
2 : a member of a modern people speaking a Semitic language i.e. Arabic


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