As you might have heard, an Iranian paper will be holding a contest for cartoons on the Holocaust, supposedly “to test whether the West extends the principle of freedom of expression to the Nazi genocide as it did to the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.” The paper asked, “Does the West extend freedom of expression to the crimes committed by the United States and Israel, or an event such as the Holocaust? Or is its freedom only for insulting religious sanctities?”
Leaving aside the absurdity of freedom of expression in Iran, precisely what kind of response does Iran expect to provoke? As with all the other disgustingly anti-Semitic cartoons published in government-controlled newspapers in the Islamic world, the American and Israeli governments might register a note of protest. Yet somehow I doubt that citizens of either country will be demanding death sentences for the cartoonists in bloody street riots. So just what is this absurd stunt supposed to prove — other than the already-obvious fact that the Islamic world is barbaric, while the West is civilized?